Yesterday was World Mental Health day and it got me thinking. There is still part of my story I have yet to share.
When I started this blog I hadn’t addressed it. I hadn’t realised I had it, and it hadn’t peaked. Over a year later I can see things a little clearer.
I think in light of yesterday, it’s time for me to talk openly about this aspect of me. So I will try.
I guess as I got older I became a bit of a worrier. Not in a debilitating type of way, but would get extremely nervous about things that many seemed to just take in their stride.
Then I had Maisy and suddenly I worried about everything. If she was poorly, I was worried about missing something. I worried she would choke on her food so cut things up really small or didn’t allow her certain foods. I worried if she ran too fast she’d fall and really hurt herself. I hated her on scooters, bikes, falling off slides or swings.
When Dixie came along I felt ready to be a mum all over again. Only we were hit by a huge curveball pretty much straight away. Dixie wasn’t your typical newborn. The information booklet about her condition didn’t help calm me and I soon found myself with a whole new set of worries.
I’m not quite sure how I got through those first 18 months looking back. I think I just plowed on. One foot in front of the other type of thing.
Then things sort of came to a head last November. After a few people around me had noticed my anxiety peaking, they urged me to try some counselling. I surprised myself by signing up for five 1 hour sessions.
I enjoyed just talking to someone who didn’t know me. I enjoyed getting an hour to focus just on me. Only afterwards did I realise that I was detached when I was talking. My emotions didn’t ebb into my words.
Into the new year and I was doing ok again. I think a lot of it was down to it being a fresh year. A time for me to make some promises to myself which of course I didn’t keep.
Then the headaches started. They plagued me every day. They sucked out my energy. These headaches turned into migraines and it was at this point, following a migraine that had left my left arm numb with pins & needles, that I decided to see a doctor.
We chatted for a while about my headaches and I can remember just bursting into tears. As I continued talking it was like I was admitting it to myself for the first time too. I’d never in my life met this doctor before, and yet in that moment all my fears, and failures came tumbling out of my mouth.
I told him about Dixie. How she was nearly 2 and I couldn’t bear to go shopping in the baby aisle for her gifts. About how I wish she would meet just one big milestone. How I spent so much time chasing up professionals and equipment. How there was a chance she might have two upcoming surgeries.
I told him how I couldn’t sleep because my mind was busy working overtime. How I couldn’t shut my brain down. How I always felt on edge and never relaxed.
I told him I wished things were different.
I think that day was a turning point for me. I’d finally admitted that my anxiety was becoming too much and this doctor listened. He didn’t judge or make me feel embarrassed.
In some ways he counselled me. Made me realise anyone with my life would struggle too. That things were hard.
With the help of this good doctor and a couple of different medications, I am happy to say I feel much better. My headaches are minimal and my nerves and anxiety are much more manageable.
I never imagined this would be me. BUT I also never imagined my life would ever get this hard.
But I’m ok. And I’m not ashamed to say I got a little bit of help. And I know one day I will feel like me again 💗