Laura Mazza, a mom and blogger who runs the site Mum on the Run, has been open about her experience with postpartum anxiety and depression in the past. On Sunday, the writer posted a picture of her and her husband on Facebook, and added a letter for anyone who needs to explain their anxiety to a partner, but doesn’t quite know how.
To the man whose wife or partner has anxiety,
You might have heard that she has anxiety from sitting by her side in a doctors office, holding her hands while the tears steam down her face. You might have seen her get angry and explode because she’s overwhelmed. Wondering where this rage has come from. You might have seen her sit quietly staring into the distance with a panic in her eye.
You might have guessed, or she might have told you, but either way there are things you should know.
Anxiety isn’t a one size fits all, it isn’t consistent and it isn’t always easy to tell.
You might think she’s just snapped at you, but it was anxiety that did it, you might think she’s angry, but it’s the anxiety that’s got a choke hold, you might think she’s not enjoying herself when you go out and it’s your fault, but it’s not. It’s anxiety
When you live with anxiety, it can be hard to explain to your spouse what you need. Many commented that Laura took the words right out of their mouths. As one woman said, “Holy hell. How have you organised all my jumbled thoughts and put them into something understandable??
Everything that I’ve tried to explain a thousand times but can never get out (especially in my frustrated moments of pure anxious messiness)! I think a lot of ladies are right now thinking pure gratitude towards you. Thank you for finding the words and sharing them. Thank you!”
Another said she cried while reading the letter, and commented, “Thank you for not making me feel alone and allowing me to remember how much appreciation I have for my husband. Anxiety has affected every aspect of my life for so long.. something I hope to overcome in time.”
You can read Laura’s full letter here.
If you’re having a hard time talking to your spouse or partner about what anxiety feels like, you’re not alone. When you can’t talk about your own feelings, sharing something someone else wrote can be a great way to get the conversation started.
Then, you can discuss how their experience is different than yours, and how it’s similar. Everyone’s relationship with anxiety is different, but it’s OK to lean on your fellow anxiety warriors when you’re having a hard time.