When you can’t trust your gut

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day which is an initiative to end the stigma and talk about mental health. This post is in no way affiliated with Bell and I have not been asked to write this, but it is something that has been on my mind a lot this week. So when I saw all over my social feeds that today was Bell Let’s Talk Day, I just thought, it seemed like a good day to share.

I suffer from anxiety. It’s not something I talk about much, or ever really. Sometimes I’ll share a post I’ve seen that someone else has wrote on my facebook page, but I don’t speak of it from a personal level, often not even with family or friends. 

But there it is. I have anxiety. Not sometimes, or occassionally, but every day. 

So lately I’ve had a few opportunities that came up where I had to make big decisions. Any decision is hard for someone with anxiety, making big ones, can be down right debilitating.  As always I turned to my husband as a sounding board and it really hit me when he told me to “trust my gut”.

I used to be really good at trusting my gut. Time and again I’ve made decisions this way and was right, my gut was a good guide to have. But not anymore. I can no longer trust my gut.

My gut is where the anxiety lives. It’s a breeding ground, an anxiety factory. 

When I’m faced with a decision, no matter how big or small, my anxiety starts pumping out every reason it can think of as to why I shouldn’t. So even when presented with a fun opportunity to try something new, to go somewhere amazing, to do something I’ve always wanted to do, anxiety tries to talk me out of it. Anxiety tells me it’s too much money, it’s scary, that something bad will happen, the risk is too great, the guilt too strong, the journey too stressful. You’ll regret it, she says. What if it’s awful? She asks. It will be all your fault, she blames, if things don’t work out. 

I can’t trust my gut so I have to trust others. I’ll present my husand with an idea and see how he reacts. Even when it’s positive, I’ll start bombarding him with questions and see again how his answers play out. What if? What if? What if?……..

I’ll ask friends for advice and see if they agree. If they’ve done it before, I’ll start bombarding them with questions. What did you do? What happened? What was it like?…….

Anxiety makes my head fuzzy and loud, so that I couldn’t hear my gut even if it was telling me the truth. Anxiety makes my body freeze, where I become immobile, I can’t turn left or right and I’m stuck. Anxiety for me is foggy and confusing, loud and disorienting, it’s untrusting and suspicious, it’s lonely and afraid. 

It’s not being able to trust your gut. And when you can’t trust yourself, it’s a frustrating and frightening place to be.

bell lets talk

Today, for every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell donates 5¢ to #MentalHealth initiatives. Join the conversation: Bell.ca/letstalk 

 

Comments

  1. Chandra O'Connor says:

    Really good read,I developed anxiety when I caught my husband cheating and then walking out. I got extremely depressed and I couldn’t even leave house without having an attack. Feels like someone is sitting on my chest and my heart beats like I just ran a sprint. It’s been a year and half now, I’m doing much better but I have meds now to help
    Keep head level.

    • momvstheboys says:

      Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. In my experience anyway. I’m glad you are feeling much better.

  2. I can relate to 100% of this post. I get it through and through and I even got teary eyed bc i understand that the struggle is SO real, and SO frustrating and that it makes so little sense to others.
    I hope that talking about it can help you work through it.

    • momvstheboys says:

      Thanks for your support today Angela. It is so hard for people to understand, because it is so hard for us to understand.

  3. Oh I hope you know how much I feel you. I have also lived in the don’t tell anyone phase. Now I tell most people. It takes the power out of the anxiety. HUGS

  4. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I do hope that sharing this has helped you a little. Anxiety can be debilitating and it must be a horrible feeling. Thank you for sharing with us. Keep your chin up, I’m hoping things will get easier for you over time.

  5. kathy downey says:

    Thanks for sharing this post,it’s very difficult !

  6. Jenn! I too suffer with anxiety. It hit me hard when Kennedy was a baby and diagnosed with SVT. I lived in a whole new world of worry and it has not left me. It makes it hard to work full time with a teaching partner and balance family/career life. It also creeps up in my gut more than anywhere else. I take a low dose of meds at night to “balance” me out. Anxiety sucks that’s for sure. I often feel as though I’ve lost myself and my mind 🙁.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • momvstheboys says:

      Hello lovely lady, so nice to hear from you. Sorry to hear you are experiencing anxiety as well. It must be so hard to balance working outside the home and family life. Though, the isolation of working from home probably helped the anxiety grow for me actually. I definitely understand when you say you feel like you’ve lost yourself and mind. I know that feeling well.

  7. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer. It’s not easy to talk about anxiety, but you have helped so many people by normalizing it. Many have anxiety, or love someone who does. It makes it easier to know they’re not alone. Sending hugs…

  8. You’re not alone; I have suffered from anxiety all my life although I didn’t know it growing up. I always felt like I was different. I don’t generally talk about it because most people don’t understand. But now that I know what it is I can better deal with it. And I still don’t talk about it but for me exercise is my saviour!

    • momvstheboys says:

      It’s a hard thing to pinpoint a start of isn’t it? I agree, I think for people who don’t have it, it’s just really hard to understand what you are going through.

  9. Thank you for sharing, all of this sounds so familiar. You are definitely not alone, I’ve lived with anxiety most of my adult life. I can’t tell you when it began but I can tell you it’s exactly how you describe it. Proud of you for speaking out. xo

    • momvstheboys says:

      I can’t tell when it began for me either. I think it’s a combination of a lot of different things that slowly grow over the years. It is nice to know that I’m not alone, thanks for the kind words Alyssa.

  10. Thanks for this post. I completely relate. I suffer from anxiety as well and feel it has held me back from so much. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Lynda Cook says:

    I totally understand where your coming from, I am the same way, well used to be the same way, I’m not as bad now as I once was, it was so bad for me that I would even just stop the car I was driving in the middle of the road and would just freeze, I would have to get out and have my mom drive. But since I have been home on disability I need to do more for myself and it’s been eight years that I have slowly been getting better, and it’s a good thing too because taking my husband to the cancer clinic that place is packed full with people, I would never been able to do it 8 years ago!!

  12. kathy downey says:

    I am so happy that so many people got on board with Bell Let’s Talk Day.I believe we all suffer from Depression and anxiety at some point in our lives.

  13. Clara Hughes an amazing athlete, person and advocate for those suffering from Mental illness. She along with many others will tell you that a healthy diet is important in this and many other areas of life (that obviously could be inclusive of products on this site). #BellLetsTalk was/is one of the most important events that has ever exploded into Canada and the discussion should not stop between the yearly anniversary. Meeting Clara Hughes in Gander Newfoundland when I was walking West for a separate cause and she was riding east is still one of the most profound moments from my past! Be the same memory to others!

    • momvstheboys says:

      Hi Jason! That is so great that you were able to meet Clara. I followed your walk actually, very proud of you, such an amazing thing you did! I do agree, a healthy diet it important for overall health, including mental illness.

  14. Judy Cowan says:

    Thanks for sharing. Ever since having to deal with some major health issues I find that I have to deal with anxiety and it is something I try to keep to myself. Definitely would be better to talk about it, will have to work on that.

  15. I’m just starting to realise how much anxiety is affecting me and it’s definitely a difficult step to take..

  16. Cheryl MacPhail says:

    So true you often can’t trust your gut or at least I cant as I have anxiety.

  17. Victoria Ess says:

    Thanks for sharing — what you describe is so accurate of anxiety.

  18. I recall working with someone that would have panic attacks and the horrible reality that no one understood, knew what to do or even really cared to be completely honest. Difficult to look back on that and realize how poorly they were treated.

  19. I think we all suffer from varying levels of anxiety at different times. Thanks for sharing.

  20. sarah alexis says:

    Lately anxiety has been ruling my life… but I’m slowly getting better. I try really hard to listen to my gut but it gets all mixed up and confused sometimes. Especially when my kid is sick… I’m always second guessing everything!

  21. kristen visser says:

    I have a friend who suffers from anxiety! She knows I am always there for here and she can talk to me anytime. I made sure to share that day for her and everything else

  22. Thanks for this post. I struggle with anxiety too, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  23. Leslie C says:

    I remember years ago someone I knew had an anxiety attack & called 911, at the time I was only a teenager but when I heard about it we laughed and called her a drama queen.
    Karma being what it is…fast forward a few years & I started getting anxiety that a few times BLEW UP into full blown PANIC ATTACKS….scariest feeling ever! Even if you logically know what’s happening it still feels like your dying. I actually told a friend if it ever happens again to knock me out because it would stop!! Luckily I learned how to avoid letting get that far but I will never forget that feeling!

    • momvstheboys says:

      part of the reason it’s so good that anxiety is being talked about more, losing that stigma of being a drama queen. Panic attacks are very scary.

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