Kristen Hewitt is no stranger to anxiety. After the traumatic birth of her first child eight years ago, which involved a botched epidural that required Hewitt to undergo a spinal procedure called a blood patch, she suffered from PTSD and was also diagnosed with postpartum anxiety disorder. Now a mom of two young daughters, Hewitt still struggles daily with anxiety. Still, it's not something she's often talked about—until now.
In a raw, real post to her blog that she also shared on her Facebook page, Hewitt opened up about the day she felt anxiety had "won."
"Today has been a rough day," Hewitt shared. "Today anxiety told me I couldn't leave my kids to go on vacation with my husband because the plane might crash. Today anxiety brought me to my knees in tears that wouldn't stop for hours. Today anxiety had me hiding in my room, afraid for my kids to see me so upset. Today anxiety made me believe I wasn't good enough."
The Emmy Award-winning TV reporter and lifestyle blogger—who went viral earlier this year with a post about her family's blissful lack of summer plans—admits she's been hesitant to open up about these feelings in the past for fear of what others would think. "I was afraid people would know I'm broken," she writes.
But now, Hewitt says, she wants to share her story to help others. "I want others to know you might see someone put together on the outside, but we all struggle with things on the inside," she told Parents.com. "There's no such thing as perfect and I just wanted to be real."
Hewitt also told us she wishes more people talked about anxiety to help ease the stigma around it. "It's something I've struggled with for eight long years, and I was tired of being afraid of it. Afraid to talk about it. Embarrassed to feel it. I almost didn't publish that post but I'm so glad I did because I was amazed to see how many women silently suffer."
The response to Hewitt's post has been overwhelmingly positive, with many other women chiming in to offer supportive words and stories of their own struggles.
"I just love you. Thank you for this. I suffer with anxiety and ptsd.... You're definitely not alone in this. Big hugs," wrote one.
"Thank you for writing about this. It has made such a difference for me to write and talk about my depression. Hang in there!" wrote another.
"I am extremely grateful to each and every person who wrote to me," Hewitt told us. "It was so encouraging to learn that so many women feel exactly like I do. It's time we all helped each other—we rise by lifting others. Anxiety doesn't define us. It's just an emotion and we all have the power to overcome it, if we take the time and get the help we need."
For Hewitt, that help came in the form of therapy after her diagnosis, as well as caring for herself with acupuncture, meditation, and journaling. "A gratitude journal is my lifesaver," she adds. "I also use essential oils to help stay calm."
Here's hoping Hewitt's post reminds all of us to take time to care for ourselves, and to never be afraid to reach out for help when we need it.