Anxiety has been with me since I can remember, I started biting my nails at 3 years old and can clearly remember points in my childhood where I feel most stressed about certain things, down to even my first days at starting a new school, even the smells and sounds I experienced and how nervous it made me feel. I have always tried to be everyone’s friend to keep everyone happy and to avoid disagreements and confrontations, but over the years this has become increasingly harder to do, since I’ve had children I’ve had to become braver to say what I think and really feel, especially if its related to their safety or best interests.
The real me is very hard to get along with! I’ve had, for the first time in my life, had experiences in the past year where people have clearly expressed that they don’t like me, or what I believe in and this has been very difficult for me to accept, for the first time in my life I have been called “nasty.” My anxiety is made worse by the thought that people are talking about me behind my back and making disapproving comments. I wish I just simply didn’t care! I often find that people do not openly ask me about why I choose to do certain actions, often ending in them making the wrong assumptions and not receiving the clear picture. I’ve always described myself as a ‘pushover’ and if someone said “jump” I’d say “how high?!” I have always been easy to influence and manipulate. I’d go along with things and agree, even if deep down, I didn’t truly feel that it was necessarily a good thing to do. And these weren’t only small decisions, I’m talking about extremely important, life changing decisions. For the first time in my life I’ve had to make decisions without outside influences and therefore if these decisions turn out to be the wrong ones, I only have myself to blame!
Since my second child was born in March 2015, my anxiety heightened, I was recovering from a caesarean section and living in a first floor flat at the time, I struggled to get down the stairs to the flat with a newborn in a car seat and a very lively 3-year-old who frequently ran off. Plus my eldest daughter felt deep jealously towards her new baby sister even before she was born. I was dealing with a lot of emotions after having a new baby and sleep-less nights again and at the same time battling for my daughter’s additional needs to be recognised. I was encouraged to go and seek advice from my GP in April 2015 and it took until August to actually find the time to go and see the GP on my own. I was then placed on medication to help with the anxiety.
I’m always saying that I feel that I should be able to cope better with my daughter’s additional needs, especially the behaviour she displays, there are plenty of parents out there who are coping far better, but this is me, and unfortunately, I do have a lower coping threshold than some. I am often saying that “this is me, I simply cannot change who I am” unfortunately I can’t wave a magic wand and make myself cope with things better.
I have been so grateful to recently talk to someone else, that for the first time in my life, that feels the same as I do. It was a massive relief to talk to someone who can understand what I’m going through.
With my current anxiety demons to fight, I want to explain why anxiety isn’t my friend!
Anxiety you’re not my friend…
– You make me worry about absolutely everything, even the smallest things.
– You make my chest tight and I feel so helpless and it’s difficult to make things better.
– You make me paranoid, that people are dissing me behind my back.
– You make me over-think and over-analyse everything and everything!
– You make me focus on one thing and it’s difficult for me to think about anything else.
– You make me worry about going into public places, especially if someone is there that doesn’t like me!
– You make me on edge and my daughter plays on that as she’s so hypersensitive to my mood.
– You make me sick of the sound of my own voice.
– You make me question my every action.
– You make me feel that I always get things wrong,
– You even make me feel like I’m a bad mum.
– Sometimes you make me feel claustrophobic in my own home, other times you make me feel like I can’t even go out and even the school runs a struggle.
Anxiety, you’ve been there throughout most of my life…
To this day you are still ‘hanging around’
… you’re definitely not my friend!
… there is a light at the end of the tunnel,
If I talk about it and don’t bottle it up!
“Worcestershire Healthy Minds supports people, aged 16 and over, who are experiencing problems such as stress, anxiety, low mood and depression.”
Here I completed a questionnaire and then a follow-up phone call where I was matched with the appropriate service to help support the issues at that time.
Recently I have used the online service for self-referral to this service, where it may be reading support guides, counselling or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT.) It helps to talk to someone who isn’t involved with the family or the situation.
There was once a time where I didn’t discuss these type of things, I felt ashamed and alone and that I was at fault. I have come to realise, especially over the last year, that it’s necessary to talk about mental health and to #endthestigma
Thanks for reading 🙂