For the past 18 months I have rarely been able to blog, there has been no room in my mind to write, read or do much of the things I have previously enjoyed. For a long time I just got on with it, we have had so much going on over the past few years, job losses, a house move that then didn’t happen, starting school and then my Dad passing away and this is just to mention a few things. It has felt like a never-ending roller coaster, one that much of the time I have been screaming from within to get off. The trouble is, you don’t realise the effect that stress has on you till it’s too late – well I didn’t anyway. I kept going and going and going, every day reality slipping away from me a little more. Looking back now I can see I was a wreck, totally out of control of my emotions, not sleeping or eating properly, constantly loosing my temper with the kids but at the same time piling more and more onto myself to do to keep my mind busy so I didn’t have to actually think about everything else that was going on.
Last September I broke, I say broke as it is just how I felt, I was broken. I didn’t know how or if I could be fixed but I knew something was wrong with me. I spent most of my days feeling totally paralysed, I couldn’t get my breath, my face tingled, my legs shaking and I would feel hot, cold, and sweaty all at once, I would shake like a leaf and be unable to stop and along with constant nausea I felt like I was falling apart – and all for seemingly no reason. I was constantly on edge, never able to sit still or relax.
After weeks and weeks of feeling totally out of control I went to my GP, sitting in the waiting room I very nearly walked out, I was sure that I was actually insane and didn’t need or want to hear it from the Doctor, I hid myself away in the corner hoping no one would notice me and my name wouldn’t be called. But it was, and off I went, my shaking legs carried me into the room, and as soon as I sat down I burst into tears. I have no idea where it all came from but so much just came flooding out of me, how I felt, how I was unable to cope day to day, it just came tumbling out from nowhere. Thankfully the GP told me I was not insane, but clearly very anxious and struggling, she recommend some time off work (which I declined – work was the only thing that was actually going well for me at the time – strip that away and I didn’t think I could have coped at all). The GP was lovely, I had major concerns about having any medication so after a long chat through the pro’s and con’s she decided it would be best for me to be seen by the Wellbeing Team and go from there.
I felt better having told someone how I felt. I was scared that it would never go away, I still am now if I am totally honest. Following an initial assessment from the Wellbeing team I was referred back to the GP and it was recommended that I was put on some medication to help control my anxiety, which I started on shortly after. The side effects can be tough but they do ease after a while and now the main thing I notice is tiredness, however I now take my medication at night which seems to have helped this a little.
It has taken me 18 months to get the courage to blog about this, I hate the fact that I feel like such a failure all the time. I hate feeling on edge constantly and I keep saying over and again, I wish I could turn my brain off, it’s only now I realise that turning it off won’t fix me, it won’t make anything any better and it certainly won’t go away. Anxiety grips onto you like nothing I have ever known, making you scared of everything. It impacts on everything in my life, where we go, what we do, who we see. There are certain situations now that I just know I can’t mange very well so I avoid them where ever possible. This impacts not only me but the children as well.
Now is the time for me to challenge my anxiety head on and try to get to grips with it. I am starting to do some CBT which is going to help with things on a day to day basis, and I am also trying out some Mindfulness to help me wind down a bit and attempt to chill out. I don’t want to be on medication for ever, and I certainly don’t want to continue feeling like I do, don’t get me wrong I have more good days than bad since taking my medication, but I can’t help but wonder what life would be like with just the good days??
Maybe one day I will find out………