As I sit here in my cosy living room, watching silly Saturday night TV I feel an unusual sense of calm. A feeling that I am not all that familiar with but one that I’m really enjoying nonetheless. We’ve been talking about our plans for Halloween and the run up to Christmas, which has gotten me all excited for the coming months! I LOVE Christmas! It might seem odd coming from someone like me, but i do. I don’t love the shopping, but i love the wrapping and the grottofying of my house. Not to mention the family days out, baking and crafting that goes on in our house. If i didn’t have to physically go out to do the shopping it would be bloody perfect, as long as I manage to keep my anxiety in check anyway. When i was a kid i didn’t have the best childhood, but I don’t EVER remember having a bad Christmas. My sisters and I loved it and we would look forward to it for months. I am now 33 years old and i STILL get excited for it, i love watching for Santa on the Norad Santa tracker and leaving out the magic reindeer food, i love elf on the shelf and all the silly things the elves might do…. My personal favourite last year was when he quite obviously rode our ornamental reindeer in a race with various other Christmas ornaments and made a finishing line out of my little boys underpants…. Ahhhh memories 🙂 My teenage and pre teen girls all get involved and i love them all the more for it. A little Christmas magic is something that we’re never too old for i think!
Although I very rarely get stressed about xmas, this year I am worried that my anxiety will ruin it for me. I’m pretty good at physically forcing myself to do things, but I’m not so good at dealing with the aftermath. I had a dream last night that i woke up Christmas morning unable to get out of bed because my anxiety rendered me catatonic with panic. Waking up from that in cold sweat was NOT the way I’d wanted last night to go, but it did and the more I thought about it the more i realised this… If i can force myself up after ZERO hours of sleep and look after four children whilst doing the daily chores AND cook a meal without burning my house down.. I can drag my fat arse out of bed for my babies on Christmas morning. Then i decided that may be just in case I’ll go and speak to my doctor about trying medication. This is a BIG deal for me. I hate taking medication, i already have tablets that I HAVE to take for certain health issues so i really didn’t want to be taking them for my mental health too. I’ve gotten this far without it and it worked for a while, but now it’s clearly not working anymore. I have tried medication for anxiety before but i stopped before it really had time to work because i believed that taking it made me weak… HA what an idiot!!!
I really have no idea where the stigma attached to mental health came from but i do know that it’s a load of bullsh*t. If being medicated means that I can feel like myself more of the time then I’m going to go for it, and i refuse to apologise for that. We know ourselves better than anyone, which means we know when we need a little extra help. So here I am admitting to myself and whoever reads this that I am seeking help in the form of medication, to begin with, for my anxiety. I would like to say that I spent hours thinking and agonising over it, but I’d be lying. If I’m being honest it’s more out of being so sick of waking up feeling like my world is ending, or being scared of waking up feeling like that, than anything else. I am well aware that it might not work, I’ve seen my mum be tested on all kinds of medication relating to her mental health issues, some of which didn’t help and even made her feel WORSE. But I’m still willing to try it at this point, anything if there is even a tiny chance that it might take these feelings of anxiety an irrational thought away, even if it’s only for a little while!
I often wonder what life would be like, not just for but for my kids too, if i never had anxiety. I wonder how much it’s impacted them and if they hate me because of it, i wonder if Chris finds it frustrating having to calm me down in the middle of the night because a nightmare started off a panic attack…. I am so different now to when we first met and while he always tells me he loves me no matter what, i can’t help feeling like he drew the short straw! When he met me I was the quirky, confident, outgoing girl who didn’t care what anyone thought. Now I’m a scared, jittery chunky weirdo who hates going outside and who sometimes has random panic attacks for no good reason. FUN…!
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this post is. I guess i’m just trying to make sense of all the “noise” in my head and I’ve heard that sometimes writing (or typing in my case) can help you get it out. There is so much going on up there that if i have an outlet it gives me a little relief. Right now, I am relaxed, for a change. But i know that in a split second it could change, i could go to bed and have an anxiety attack for no reason. I could have a horrible dream that feels so real that i wake up crying and physically shaking uncontrollably. That’s the worst thing, you know? One minute i could be completely at ease cooking tea for everyone and then I literally can’t breathe… Sometimes it’s that quick and with absolutely no warning. Other times it creeps up on me. For example, I could go to the supermarket and get around with no issues… BUT when i leave the rush of relief changes to thoughts of what COULD have happened, which changes to thoughts of what MIGHT happen on the way home….This leads to a spiral of dangerous thoughts which eventually turns into a full blown panic attack and that can take minutes or hours…It can last minutes or hours too. I have tried every trick I’ve ever been taught from breathing techniques to mindfulness techniques and as of yet i have not managed to master any of them… This is something that I will have to keep working on, it works for so many people bu i just can’t seem to get he hang of it!!
Anyway…I have weaved between so many thoughts tonight….. There is most likely no point to this post, but i feel sort of lighter in an odd way!! I will say though that one winter dream of mine is lots of family time without any appearances from my anxiety…I know that’s unrealistic… But a girl can dream! On the plus side…. Today my house is actually clean, i finally saw the bottom of my wash basket, I managed to drink A FULL HOT BREW and I even had all my toilet breaks ALONE while daddy and our little boy repaired our quad. We even made plans for our annual Christmas family day out that our kiddies are super excited about plus we did it without any disagreements. I’m calling that a win!! I mean i did also get dressed only to realise that my jeans had yesterdays knickers in the leg and my jumper was on inside out…. But small victories right??
If you’re reading this…I hope you are feeling okay and if you’re not? Reach out to someone…Anyone. I promise you you will not be the burden you think that you are!
Lots of love, V xxxx