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Sweet friend,

I see you doing the best you can to smile and act like everything is OK. You’re trying to hide the truth from everyone around you. You’re even trying to hide the truth from yourself. But it’s hard to continue through the motions.

There is a heavy weight on your shoulders that can’t be seen, but it’s slowly suffocating you.

I know you wish things were different.

You wish you could smile and mean it.

You wish you could relax more.

You wish you weren’t gripped with anxiety.

Sweet friend, I know this isn’t the story you expected. This isn’t what you dreamed about when you were a little girl. This isn’t how you thought motherhood would be. The darkness that looms over you is taking away your breath, your joy, your life.

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You feel like you’re not enough of a mother, that you have failed your kids.

You feel like you’re not enough of a wife, that you have failed your husband.

You feel like you’re not enough of a friend, that you have failed those who care about you.

But you haven’t.

You have not failed, sweet mama, you have not failed!

I know the anxiety you feel. I know that panic attacks grip you at night, making you shake and gasp for air. I know your mind runs wild and doesn’t settle. It’s exhausting and discouraging.

I hate that I’ve walked this path too, but sweet friend, I know exactly how you feel.

You can lean on me.

You can confide in me.

You don’t have to hide it any longer.

Sweet friend, you are not crazy, and you are certainly not alone.

I pray that you open up to someone.

Don’t keep it hidden. Don’t be ashamed.

I know it feels selfish to focus on yourself, but sweet mama, you need to take care of yourself. Your health matters. Your soul matters. You matter! You have so much more value than you can even begin to see.

RELATED: I Have Anxiety and Depression—and I’m a Good Mom

I know it feels like you have lost yourself in this stage of life, but I can promise you that wonderful person is still there. She is not gone.

One day the clouds will part, and you’ll be able to see the glorious sun. You’ll be able to breathe again. Until then, keep fighting this monster in your life. Keep reaching out so you don’t feel alone in the darkness. My hand is right here.

Tynea Lewis

Tynea Lewis is a teacher turned work-from-home mom. She and her husband are raising two little girls, and they love spending time together at a family cabin in Pennsylvania. Tynea remembers loving to write as early as first grade, and now God uses her passion for writing to encourage other women.

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