Anxiety – The Joy Sucking Vampire

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?

Rainbows and Unicorns

The holidays are over (I can hear the cheers reverberating around the neighbourhood) and my boys are going back to school.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved, but I confess to feeling a little sad too.

PANIC YE NOT, IT IS STILL ME WRITING THIS BLOG!

It hasn’t suddenly become all rainbows and unicorns.

There have been some spectacular meltdowns this holiday (including a brawl at a public swimming pool). Not to mention an “interesting” counselling session where Boy Wonder implied I beat him regularly. OH MY GOD! (yes, tears were shed and gin was had).

However, the more challenging situations have been managed differently and some of the time, the new strategies have worked.

(The Saint definitely noticed the lack of tearful phone calls made at 9.30am asking “when are you coming home?”.)

I also had a secret aim. To say ‘yes’ more than I said ‘no’. I’m not saying I achieved this 100% of the time, but  I am not Wonder Woman (yet. Another secret aim).

So while we may not have completed all of the activities on the boys list, I think judging by these photos, fun was had.

How were your holidays?

Helping Myself

Sometimes, when the black dog is hanging around, it’s hard to keep going.

Lost in the fog, I stop smelling the roses and focus on getting through the day, one sluggish step at a time.

This blog is going to help me on those dark days, by enabling me to look back on moments like these pictured above.

A reminder of who I am, who I love and who loves me.

The Interview

 

(Source: gamerboat.com via Caroline on Pinterest)

Tomorrow I have a job interview.

I haven’t had an interview this century in 12 years!

After 5 straight rejection letters the prospect of a face to face interview has thrown me.

I’ve been sussed out on the phone, twice.

“Our client wants to see some examples of your work”

“Oh”

Silence.

My confidence dips. They have seen my resume, but clearly they want to know what the fuck I’ve been doing for the past 12 years.

After watching the boys setting up an execution centre for their teddies this afternoon,  I am not sure I want to take them to the interview as evidence.

The past 12 years have been filled with feeding, clothing, soothing, cuddling, organising, negotiating, ambulance-riding, medicating, toilet training, and puke clearing. With little recognition from my employers.

“But, mum, you haven’t got a job” . “Daddy has a job”.

Thanks guys!

I thought I’d ask my current employers about my strengths.

Cheeky Monkey has already said that I am the “Best wiper ever”, but has expanded his list to include: cricket batting, running and making Anzac biscuits.

Boy Wonder said shouting and making things fun. Oh.

I think they cancel each other out.

Back in the day I was lucky. With the last job I travelled to Paris and Florence. It was an exciting time. I thought I’d miss it, but I didn’t.

Now I do want something more. I want to feel passionate and excited about something more than Skylanders and Lego. ( I am a consummate actress)

The trouble is I’ve forgotten what I’m good at. I think the time has come to find out.

Wish me luck!

(FYI the job will not entail selling babies, just to be clear)

Fly me to the Moon

I’ve lost it.

My ‘To Do’ list.

The anchor that underpins my life, has gone.

I look in every handbag, on every scrap of paper, in every notebook, but I can’t find it.

Deep breaths.

I start again.

Dentist appointment, thank you notes, call X,Y,Z about Boy Wonder. Buy shoes, buy ink, get more sawdust for the rabbits….blah blah blah…

I giggle as the list grows back to its former A4 glory, because it doesn’t matter if I lose it, it doesn’t matter if I tick every farking thing on it -THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE SHIT TO DO!

These days, this is how a successful day is measured. How much I’ve ticked off my list.

(image source)

Oh dear.

Well, things have got to change.

I am jazzing up my ‘To List’.  “SMILE MORE!” , “CHECK WINE STOCKS” and  “HAVE SEX!*” will now feature on all future lists. *maybe

Slowing I will take away the mundane and add more exciting things…

Write a novel,

Win an Oscar,

Fly to the moon. (Well, you never know.)

What have you got on your ‘To Do List?’