'I honestly thought it might be a heart attack'

When she stopped breastfeeding, Adele expected a few changes in her mental and physical state, she didn't anticipate this.

I have something to say.... and it has taken me nearly a year to find the courage. But today I’m speaking, for all of you, that are not.

Back in January this year, I stopped breastfeeding and I experienced a huge hormonal change. It was my second child and I hadn’t experienced anything like it but all of a sudden I started getting anxiety, in the afternoon, but not every day.

And then it started to become daily

There was a day I was sitting on the couch, my heart racing and feeling this unsettling choking feeling and at that point, I called my hubby and asked if we had ambulance cover. I was that frightened with how I felt, it was terrifying. But it eventually passed.

Months went on where I didn’t talk about it to anyone and it started to happen in the middle of the night. I would be so panicked when I woke, that I had to go and stand outside in the cold and try and snap myself out of it.

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At this point, I knew I needed to see someone. I wanted to talk to everyone about it but I was too proud to see a professional, I was dead set against taking medication and I was too embarrassed to talk about it on the blog as I had a professional job and workplace. I didn’t want to walk into work and have everyone know. But at the same time, I wanted every single one of you to know because I know so many people suffer alone, for the same reasons.

On my husbands birthday in September, I felt so bad at home, I left him playing in the yard with the kids and drove myself to the hospital. On his birthday. And when I arrived I didn’t want any medication. I just needed to be told, after many tests, that I was ok and not going to have a heart attack.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I sat in a warehouse and realised it was happening again. So, I got in the lift and went down for fresh air but realised I was alone when I got down to the bottom. I panicked more and thought that was it for me until I found a woman who talked me through it. She told me she was a trained nurse and that I was ok and I came out of it again.

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Picture: supplied

Here’s the thing

Most of you will never, ever have picked up on this about me. I have been a professional in the workforce, held together a home while my hubby travels and I have recently launched a business. I determined and I have goals. But I have quietly suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and have never spoken about it even though I pride myself in sharing the real and relatable. Why!? The fear of being looked at differently and also defeat.

Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There's no better way for you to show your love.

So, if I’m not talking about it, I know there are so many of you that are not too. So, today I am talking and I am also talking for you.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression, anxiety, PND etc comes in many forms and gets people at different times in their life. I want you to know that the more I have opened up, the more I have realised that a huge amount of people walk around with something that is impacting their mental health, too. As you walk down the street, I guarantee you that you are walking past someone that is low, in a rut, having anxiety, feel in a hole, depressed. And suffering alone.

But let’s get real

We need to remove the stigma on mental health and realise it doesn’t make us less of a person if we are struggling with it. Just too proud to say it.

So just bloody say it. Just share this. Or like this. Tell someone. Tag someone. Check on a mate. Remind someone you are there. Feel empowered to say you have felt this or are going through it or even better, that you have come out the other side. Tag your mum groups. Share your experience so others know they are not alone. Or simply leave a kiss or a smile or whatever you can bring yourself to say today. But don’t be silent.

"Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they are born and they start using sleep deprivation to break you." - Ray Romano

This post was originally published on the Adele Barbaro - The Real Mumma Facebook page and has been republished here with permission. You can see more from Adele on Instagram.