Someone needs eye drops.
THINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD.
Married to a man I adore, two (on the whole) OK children, and living here, I am content.
Some weeks are harder than others, but the laughter is more frequent than not. There is an exciting new project on the go and some plans to help my writing. All progress on the path of self-fulfilment.
But hanging around like a bad smell, threatening to throw me off course, is my old foe, Anxiety.
Heart-racing, palm-sweating, breath-stopping anxiety.
Sucking the joy out of life, like a fucking vampire.
Along with his friend Panic Attack, both of them can …yes. That.
I am what is known as a ‘born worrier’ (an insecure childhood will make you anxious that’s for sure) and have carried that throughout my life.
Then we had children. God knows every parent worries. For us though, our intense experiences were more than just the average concerns about sleep and potty training .
BW had seizures on average every 6 weeks between 12 and 24 months. We would hear the noise in the night, in his sleep. The sound of him choking.
There were too many high-speed ambulance journeys, too many nights sleeping in hospital chairs next to his cot. We got to know the paramedics by their first names.
He was finally diagnosed with epilepsy at 2 and medicated shortly afterwards. The seizures stopped and we relaxed enough to allow babysitters to come so we could go out together (we’d been too terrified before).
But that didn’t stop me from keeping a baby monitor in his room until he was 7.
A few years later, after a spell of enormous stress, TS had 4 seizures in 2 hours. I’d seen enough seizures with BW not to panic, but my mind was racing through the possible causes – brain tumour, cancer, he was dying? No. It was epilepsy.
For him, that meant meds and no driving for 12 months and for me, being too terrified to leave him alone with our children. You can imagine the scenarios that went through my mind, can’t you?
BW’s Asperger’s diagnosis was probably the final twist in our family story that my anxiety needed. The worry that goes with parenting a child with special needs is unfathomable. I have no idea what each day will bring, let alone what sort of future he has.
Now my body doesn’t know how to function unless it is in fight or flight mode.
I am an adrenaline junkie.
Cold Turkey isn’t an option.
Medication, space to contemplate and relax, good friends and gin help.
I can manage.
Some weeks better than others.
But I need to kick the habit.
Do you suffer from anxiety? What helps you?