“She wore her scars as battle wounds as they reminded her of the wars she had survived.” Zeenath Khan

Last night as we were going to sleep, I called myself “an anxious mom,” to my husband. My subconscious was speaking and while I was surprised by the words that came out, I had no issues hearing myself say it. It felt honest.

In 2011, I/we experienced a life-altering event. I was mugged and had my jaw dislocated in 2 places while living in Australia with my husband. This was 2 weeks after we married, and putting aside the media that came from this, “American Newlyweds attacked in Melbourne,” I couldn’t kiss my love nor did I know if I would ever be able to smile again. If we hung out today, you’d see a scar behind my jaw bone, where the surgeons accessed my injury to place 2 titanium plates in my face.  I was out of work for nearly 6 months, which included braces and a medical Visa.

Once I felt capable, I returned to work but found myself hyperventilating in the bathroom having a panic attack after being asked to do a very simple task from my boss. Our receptionist found me, hugged me tight, and told me to go home.

It took a long time to not be scared anymore, or so I thought. Right now, today, during our pandemic, I feel fine, but once the evening comes around, I find myself not wanting to fall asleep. I feel grounded, I feel safe and I feel nourished, but I also feel worried, I have a sense of some weird stress, that desires a different name. This stress feels a lot alike when I called my dad weeks after my jaw accident, from our couch upstairs in our condo, crying hysterically asking why this had to happen.

I know anxiety will always be part of me, and it will always need some nurturing (which for me comes in the form of walking, and walking, and walking) but looking back, I know the silver lining from being knocked down. I had clarity on wanting children and my own practice.

Heaven knows what silver lining we have ahead, but there will be one, and in the meantime, hopefully, this story helps you feel your feelings, process what is going on, and perhaps help you heal.

Thank you for letting me share my story, as it helps me heal. I am an anxious mom but my anxiety grounds me, makes me human, and helps push me to continue to work on myself unapologetically.