Pressure

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I have been suffering the worst anxiety of my adult life; well, since I had IVF at least. The kind that makes you wake in the middle of the night, sweating and shaking. The ferocity of which makes you heave and feel as if you can’t catch your breath. I am entirely responsible for my child’s education; that alone is a lot of responsibility. I am trying to look after an adult with a mental illness that is unpredictable. I am trying to keep a household going, pay bills, and keep a grin on my face. I am preparing to see specialists and have necessary medical tests; attempting to scrape together the money to do so. Society regularly tells mothers that we are responsible for our health; that if a parent goes under, everything falls apart. I have been trying, I really have, to not go under. To ensure that my daughter is happy and secure. To not fail in my sworn mission to make everything okay with everyone I love. Oh, also to complete a book this year. 

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This year has pummeled me, the marks of which I acknowledge  in the rare moments  I have to sit and reflect. I knew the anxiety was turning into a monster by the following: 

I had two panic attacks in as many days.  I couldn’t work a door handle to exit a building, and the other when a lavatory door got stuck. I went straight into full panic, and passers-by had to calm me.

Feeling disengaged from life. Having  a list of things to do, but not having any idea as to how to do them. 

A pounding head all day, every day, and a terror of everything that once provided comfort. Social outings and social media, phones and emails procured extreme anxiety. 

Forgetting to eat, to sleep, to stop moving and sit quietly.

I called Lifeline, and tearfully relayed the events which had transpired to heighten my symptoms. The counselor was marvelous, and said they weren’t at all surprised that I was finding the going tough. When everything is all up to you, it can be anxiety-producing! I made contact with a counselor, whom I am going to see for a while, and I also saw my local GP. I am going to start medication, until I have a handle on the anxiety. It is not something I can do by myself, and goodness knows, I have tried. My brain feels as though it has forgotten how to relax and is ticking away 24/7. I am sure many can relate. Chronic pain is exhausting. Being a carer is exhausting. Having high expectations of yourself is exhausting. 

It took a lot for me to admit that I couldn’t cope; that I was in trouble. Relaxation and walks, chamomile tea and lavender oil are lovely adjuncts but weren’t offering a complete solution to such extreme anxiety. Spring is now here, and help is at hand. It is a matter of resetting a brain that has spun out of control. It is a matter of calming it down and soothing the tempest. I will still be responsible for an awful lot in life; that isn’t going to change. However, I will have the foundation required to cope with it all. One short woman alone.

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I saw the doctor and she agreed that I needed some help. I have started on a mild dose of medication and my mind already feels clearer. If you are suffering, please know that you aren’t alone.

The first two weeks of January

I met these two at Neutral Bay
I met these two at Neutral Bay

Well, this year has gotten off to a hell of a start. Not only for myself and those I love, but also in relation to the world. The first two weeks have been reduced by big problems with no easy solutions. The best thing to do is nothing at all at this point. I can hear the little bird’s in the laundry, their melodic song heralding dusk. I have been the subject of vitriol and of love. I have been subjected to confusion and clarity. As I review the first two weeks of January, there are images and words that appear. Hope. Strength. Survival. Renewal.

Friendship
Friendship
Guinea pigs. This one is Goldilocks
Guinea pigs. This one is Goldilocks
Nature Fairies
Nature Fairies
Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens
Dress-ups
Dress-ups
Craft
Craft
Friendship, Hope, Survival and Renewal
Friendship, Hope, Survival and Renewal

Whatever the outcomes, I am okay. When you don’t know what to do, put your bundle down, and leave. Go for a walk then rest. The bundle isn’t going anywhere. It will wait whilst you seek restoration. When you feel trapped, know that they haven’t access to your soul, nor mind. Revisit the bundle with fresh eyes and a clear perspective. That is what I intend to do after another week of friends, craft, guinea pigs, birds, nature and rest.