I haven’t been coping really well lately. At all. For a long time really.
It’s hard to admit that.
If you follow my Facebook page you will have seen that I went to the doctor the other day. I’d had enough and I owed it to my daughters and to myself to finally do something.
After a chat I came away with a referral to a psychologist with a “diagnosis” of “anxiety disorder with depressive symptoms”. (I read the referral letter, the doctor didn’t actually tell me that).
This “anxiety thing”, as I’ve always termed it, has been around for years. In high school I had panic attacks but they stopped and I thought I had it under control. But I didn’t.
I noticed it mostly once Lily was about 12 months old. At the time, I was getting really bad anxiety while driving – I’d had a flat tyre once without realising and drove for about 15mins on it. However, that was before I was even pregnant with Lily but suddenly I couldn’t drive without freaking out the whole time that a tyre was flat. It’d make the regular 1.5 hour drive to my parents’ house rather stressful.
And then suddenly, that was gone. Instead, I’d just always jump to the worst possible conclusion. Mr Monkey not answering his phone? He’s been hit by a car on his way home from work. Lily has a little cough? Whooping cough. It was completely illogical and exhausting.
Then for a few months I’d be fine. Then for a few months it’d be worse. It just sort of ebbed and flowed.
When I was pregnant with Chloe I was ok – it was mostly realistic worries. Even when I had GD and there was the stress of knowing if I was going to be induced, I think I handled it fairly well. If anything I probably didn’t worry enough (one of my favourite coping mechanisms). Then Chloe was born and I was ok too. I had been worried about life with a toddler and a newborn but I was coping ok. So well, that I signed up to do an online certificate.
Then there was a fire at a house around the corner from us. While it didn’t stick in my head and I wasn’t anxious about a fire in our house as such, I noticed I wasn’t sleeping as much and I was eating a LOT more chocolate. I started to take more notice of my thoughts and I realised I was jumping to the worst possible conclusions again.
I wasn’t sleeping because every little sound the cat made downstairs sounded like someone was breaking in to our house. Lily would have an unsettled sleep, probably just from a tiring day, but I’d start worrying that she was getting sick or maybe there was something I was doing wrong, maybe she was scared about something.
I started becoming completely overwhelmed with everything – the house was a mess, I was falling behind with my course work, the blog was being neglected. Lily spent a lot of the time watching movies when we were home and it had been ages since we’d gone out and done an activity together.
But I put up with it, as I always have. And it wasn’t long before I was feeling ok again. I would get slightly on top of things and I’d feel like I was able to do it all again.
A few weeks ago I noticed it was happening again. My chocolate intake was getting out of control and I wasn’t sleeping much. I had been worse but I had definitely felt better too.
So what made me finally do something about it? A few things:
– the checkout lady mentioned one day that she’d like to come to our house, with all that chocolate. And Mr Monkey mentioned that perhaps I should slow down a little.
– a family friend that I am friends with on Facebook mentioned to my Mum that I always seem to be tired.
– I started to realise how many movies Lily watches when we are home.
– I was offloading some of my anxieties to Mr Monkey when we were visiting him at work and he started getting frustrated (not at me but what I was anxious about). It wasn’t fair that my anxieties were affecting his work.
– the house was (is) a complete mess – even getting the dishes washed or doing the washing seemed like too much of an effort. Not to mention the actual cleaning that needed to be done.
It was obviously affecting not only my life but Mr Monkey’s as well and I still don’t like to think about the affect it has been having on my daughters’ lives. They are well loved, fed, happy children but they deserve a mother who can be fully there for them.
Also, last week was PND Awareness Week. I don’t think I have or had PND but it made realise that really I should be getting some help.
So I made that doctor’s appointment and I mentioned it on Facebook. I’m really glad that I did – the comments and support I got stopped me from calling and cancelling the appointment like I really wanted to. The support everyone has given me, both in real life and online has been amazing. Thank you.
I haven’t made an appointment with the psychologist yet but I haven’t been able to get hold of her. I’m hoping to organise a session soon. There was mention of medication, only if the first few sessions aren’t helping.
I keep wondering why I feel so bad still, forgetting that even though I’ve seen the doctor I’m not “fixed” yet. It’s not going to be quick fix, it’s going to take some work. I’m inherently lazy (hence the original intention behind this blog) and that side is rebelling against the need to do anything but I know it’s needed.
It’s going to be hard. But I have to do it.