It didn’t get better… As a matter of fact it got worse. I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks simply because the minuscule remnants of energy i had needed to be directed toward my children and keeping their noses out of their tablets and/or phones!!
Over the last 20 days since my last post, my anxiety has been at its worst. I don’t have any idea why, as far as i am aware there has been no trigger and any events that have taken place were either known about or expected. But my mental health has taken an alarming nosedive! I’ve spent the majority of these nights crying myself to sleep because i have no idea what is going on inside my stupid head! I’ve a panic attack almost every day ranging from mild enough that i got it under control before anyone noticed, to severe enough that Chris had to bear hug me in the middle of the night and help me breathe so that he didn’t have to drop me off at A&E. It’s been, for want of a better word, shit. I wish I could say that i feel better, but in all honesty i have no idea how I feel! Saturday afternoon came with the most unexpected panic attack I think I’ve ever had. In my room with my 15 year old daughter for company, i was sorting the washing into it’s respective piles while listening to music and a random attack started. That’s all I was doing, such a mundane task that i probably do everyday, turned into me being unable to breathe and shaking so much that I had to lean on something just to stay upright! My daughter was the one who calmed me down and made sit and drink a glass of water, which made me feel guilty which in turn caused another attack that night as i lay in bed. As i said…it’s been shit!
That being said yesterday i had some sort of breakthrough. My kids and hubby were at a family ‘party’ which i didn’t attend (because i knew on that day my anxiety would have been 1000 times worse if I had) so i was at home completely on my own for the first time in i don’t know how long! Just me and our new yorkiepoo pup Arlo. I had a bubble bath and I read a booked called f*cked at 40 by a woman called Tova Leigh… (I love her, i’m pretty sure she’s my spirit animal and my wcw!) This book was my breakthrough in a weird way. Although it’s predominantly aimed at women over 40, so much of it resonated with me at 33, maybe because i have been a ‘wife’ and mum since i was 17, maybe because the majority of women still feel repressed in some way by the stress of motherhood, or maybe just because sometimes being an adult sucks balls! Whatever the case may be, it made me think of all the things i had wanted to do with my life but had forgotten about because my kids have to come first., and they should. BUT and i mean a HUGE but…. Why do we feel like bad parents if we do something, anything for ourselves? Why do we have to forget everything we ever wanted in order to have happy kids? Surely teaching them to grab life by the balls and go after the things they want is a better than leading them to believe that once you’re a parent your life is over?? Right? I’m 33, there is no way of sugar coating it I am in my 30s and I have done ZERO of the things i wanted to do. And all because i felt as though it was my job to give those things so that my kids had everything they wanted. I don’t go out to socialise with friends, it’s usually a meet up at each others houses for a brew and a natter. I haven’t had a girly weekend away or girly holiday because i haven’t taken the kids abroad yet. I haven’t written the book that i so desperately want to write because i know it takes hours upon hours and it will take me away from the kids too much. But my other half still meets his friends at least once a week and the kids generally tend to leave him to watch TV in peace while I’m at home! He’s been on camping trips with his mates and out for curry etc and i’ve never batted an eyelid because i understood his need for ‘man time’.
Reading Tovas book made me realise that I do want more and that it’s okay, healthy even, to have hopes and dreams for yourself as well as your loved ones. I shouldn’t have to be an after thought in the great big circle of life. I was a person before i was a parent and i deserve to be my own person now too, I love my kids and i am forever grateful for everything they’ve taught me and I love Chris for helping me create them, but now i think i need to learn to love myself too. I’ve never had very much self esteem, i was bullied and picked on a lot when i was younger for being different and I since i didn’t have the most loving upbringing, confidence isn’t something that i’ve ever really had. I hate my body, i hate it! I know that i should love it because it gave me my children, but i just can’t. It’s such an obstacle in my daily life that i genuinely hate it, it makes me feel disgusting and unattractive. But then i find dieting hard because i know i have an unhealthy relationship with food, i am without doubt an emotional eater, so as you can imagine with my anxiety being the way it is, I’ve eaten enough junk food to feed a family of 10! Add that to health issues that make it 10x harder for me to lose weight and you will understand why my willpower is usually at a 0 even on a good day. BUT now I’m thinking maybe getting healthy is something I should want for myself, maybe losing a little weight will help me gain the confidence I need to go ahead and do all the things I’m wanting to do?! Maybe i should stop being a bloody scaredey cat and just do it anyway? Maybe i should try and deal with my anxiety professionally before doing any of the above? Or maybe just maybe, that the feeling of being trapped and the feeling of being an afterthought are the reason my anxiety is as bad as it is??
I don’t know, but i do know that i NEED to do something and i know that i refuse to feel guilty for it. We always tell our kids that they can be anything they want to be and that they can do anything they want to do… Maybe it’s time for showing instead of teaching?!
Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself. You deserve it! Be safe, Love V xxxx