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Featured Friday: Allison Street’s Story

by Featured Friday | 3 months ago

One morning I found myself on the floor of my bedroom, unable to move and in tears. This was not a “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” kind of morning. This was more so a “woke up in a nightmare that was, unfortunately, my reality.” My infant twins cuddled up to me as if they sensed I was in need of nurturing. I realize this is probably not the most hopeful start to an article, but it is honest as this moment has become one of the lowest and yet, most pivotal moments in my life.

My initial thoughts were of course, what in the world was wrong with me but more so, how could I have allowed myself to get to this point? I believed I was having my first ever anxiety attack brought on by the lifestyle I had chosen to live out for over a year. It makes sense, right? Turns out I had a really bad case of mastitis which caused all of sorts of symptoms that make you feel all sorts of ways. However, for the sake of this article, I’m sticking with the moment I believed I had caused myself to have an anxiety attack. If I believed this is what was happening to me then certainly there was truth in the fact that I was running myself into the ground. Those around me did not hesitate to concur.

Growing up, I was told there are 2 types of people. There are those who learn by watching and those who learn by doing. Though I have come to realize that much of our decisions are impacted by our current situation making them much more fluid than not, I do see myself as someone who likes to test the waters.

I am not writing to specifically talk about this moment of feeling completely broken, that is for another time. Instead, I want to address the how and what then. How did I end up experiencing what I thought was my first anxiety attack? Once I got to the root of the problem, what then did I do about it?

Let us quickly take a look at what my overall life looked like. I had a good paying job, wife to a hardworking and loving husband, mother to boy/girl infant twins. It does not sound bad at all, am I right?

Photocred: William Hill, Jr

 

Here is the “how”:

However, since giving birth to my twins, my life quickly became centered on my children. I admit that I lost myself. My identity was fading and I felt I was losing my relationship with my husband, let alone myself. My good paying job was nothing but and everyday I went in, I felt as though my soul was slowly being pulled from my body. My life was an autopilot and I was taking care of everyone and everything except for what was most important, MYSELF. In a matter of a year, I had become a series of titles and I take full responsibility for that.

Now, let me tell you, one of the best days I’ve ever had was the day after my perceived anxiety attack. That was the day I decided that I would never let this incident happen again.

Here is the “what then”:

I assessed the various decisions that I had made and how they turned out. I did some research on various people whom I admire in all walks of life. For example, I have followed Dany Garcia’s, Shonda Rhimes’ and J.K. Rowling’s journey for a long time now. I have always admired their determination, hustle and entrepreneurialism despite all odds as moms and as women. With this research, I settled on four attributes that I could implement in order to create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

EXCUSES

If you want to succeed, you will make a way, not an excuse. Excuses are like candy. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. While fun to eat, they likely do absolutely nothing to sustain or nourish your body. You may tend to be the person who always has an excuse readily available for every situation. Fight it with everything inside of you. Take the time to assess your situation and find the positive outcome. What is the path that will lead you there? Take it.

ASSISTANCE

This one, in particular, has always been very difficult for me. I have always believed that strong women do not take help from anyone and carry burdens until their backs break. I am here to let you know that is for the birds. On numerous occasions, I was offered help by a number of friends and relatives to help me with the twins once they were born. They would give me the time to take a shower, go on a run, have some quiet time, or even enjoy a date night. I always said no, thank you. I had some twisted belief that if I was to be the best mom, I had to do it on my own without assistance. A path to success is rarely walked alone. Use the help to invest time in yourself so that you can continue to function at your best.

MENTORSHIP

Having a role model is a great thing. Do one better and get a mentor. If you want to go the distance, become a mentor. Having guidance is not a weakness. Your mentor should help guide you and offer knowledge in situations where you may feel helpless. Also, don’t count yourself out. Despite however many failures you’ve experienced or how little knowledge you believe you can bestow, you have valuable insight to give to someone else who may be going through the same things. Get a mentor, be a mentor. It is key in growth for yourself and for whatever your goals in life and business are. Receiving and giving knowledge truly is power.

VALUE

At the lowest point in my life, I had to decide what I was worth. It was the only way that things would be different. Once the decision was made, I set a plan to implement a self-awareness check each day. What I have learned is that self-care is not selfish. In order for me to be at my best, I had to recharge. For over a year, I had been continuously giving of myself and it had taken its toll on me. I had stopped exercising, barely drinking enough water for one let alone three with breastfeeding twins. Food became a matter of convenience, so guaranteed I was not getting enough. My day was on autopilot going from taking care of the twins, to working my corporate job, back to taking care of the twins and into the next morning. This led to me devaluing myself for over a year. Yes, refusing to consider yourself or take time to get your health in check is devaluing yourself.

I reached a point in my life where I felt as if the world owed me for the work I had put in. I felt sorry for myself day in and day out. This led to being angry when things did not play out the way I had planned. The truth was I should’ve only been angry at myself, enough to make an internal change. If there is one attribute that you take with you, I hope it is this one. Life does not owe us anything. It is up to us to take control and own our path.

Realize your strength. Know that you are capable of more than you have been led to believe. However strong you think you need to be, know that it is already inside of you waiting to be released. This year has been filled with tough decisions and a lot of changes are still on the rise, but I could not be more certain that I have prioritized what is most important, my health and my family. For the first time in a long time, I have never been more sure about my worth and purpose.

Photocred: William Hill, Jr
Allison’s social:
Instagram: @lifeonourstreet