After reading and commenting on a blog post written by Pip from beautyandallthebeasts we decided to have a linky to support each other and hopefully others who suffer from this debilitating condition.
As sufferers know anxiety just creeps into your life like a thief in the night, and steals your ability to rationalise, think and act within the norms society expects. I seem to swing from depression to anxiety and back again, sometimes there are obvious triggers such as trauma in my hectic life, other times it just creeps in and totally takes over.
I hate that hyper feeling that comes over me, that feeling of imminent impending doom, the needing to curl up in a ball and disappear before tragedy strikes, strangely enough its when things are fairly quiet in my life that I feel the worse, i cant relax and enjoy the peace I always seem to subconsciously be prepared for when the next disaster hits. These feelings began many years ago and have weaved in and out of my life, I had years of forcing myself to be strong to cut off from emotion, to not live or grieve to just breath, and do what you have to do to keep others fed and safe. For a short period i had a kind of epiphany where i realised i was wasting my short god given life, so approaching 50 i went back into education, and starting doing the things that people enjoy, I was suddenly a strong person embracing life, but it wasn’t long before depression and anxiety crept back in, my son in trouble my daughter in a violent relationship and trying to study and make ends meet opened a little crevice, just big enough for them to squeeze through and take over. I was aware that i was very old in my uni group but I was just me and appeared to be accepted for that, a new tutor came in one day and asked who i was taking notes for, i said i was a student and instead of leaving it at that, he felt the need to point out, old people were usually there to take notes, just that one little throwaway comment unlocked the cage of the elephant in the room and there i was left bare, the decrepit old student, i laughed it off but from that day I felt out of place, I just wanted to stay at home and stop interacting with anyone. It was about this time the panic attacks began again, the inability to do the most primal of things, the inability to breath, searching gasping for air, feeling like somebody is sitting on your chest squeezing your neck, choking every bit of life out of you. The power of the panic attack is so strong it sends you running home to the little haven where you feel safe, i have had panic attacks while shopping driving and so many times in crowded places, the fear of the feeling keeps you locked away from people and triggers.
Like Pip I find routine helps but how exactly can you have a routine when you have a teen and pre-teen grandchild living with you always needing to be taken somewhere, and a son and daughter that lurch from one disaster to another. I often get brave and defy the power of anxiety and do something really out of routine like running a coach trip to a theme park or taking the children to a festival, these moments of defiance are diminishing though, as anxiety will jump out on me when least expect it and show me i am putting vulnerable people in danger, like the night we came out of a festival where no major incidents had occurred, when suddenly we were surrounded by thousands of people, maybe if it had just been me i would have given in to the fear, but i grasped my grandsons little hand and fought like somebody possessed to get back to a space where i could breath, luckily he was not bothered by it al all and finds his nans crazy behaviour amusing, but its incidents like this that keep me under anxiety’s firm lock and key, puts me in my place and makes me feel useless 🙁
I don’t think i will ever give in totally there’s that little defiant part of me that stands up and fights and kicks anxiety and depression into touch, but they always find a little chink in my armour and creep back in 🙁