My anxiety is back and it is high intensity anxiety. I am constantly on edge. Constantly feeling like there is something bad around the corner. Constantly trying to avoid the world.
I know this has been triggered by my charity event. I know it isn’t helping reliving the miscarriages every week but as I have said previously, I can’t undo what I have started.
Work is proving difficult because my brain just can’t function. I have no pressing demands, no deadlines so I go into full on avoidance mode.
My self care is so bad. I can’t remember the last time I had a bath because I am scared of that I will suffer flashbacks of when I dried to drown myself in the water.
I am scared to get public transport because I am scared that people, specifically men, will get too close and accidentally touch me or brush up against me. I am scared of the memories that will resurface.
I want to binge so badly but I went back to SW and am doing well. I am eating better for the first time in months. My IBS and migraine symptoms are receding. I can’t indulge and have a treat because I am scared that once I start on that slippery path I won’t get back off again.
And my counsellor is on holiday this week, so I have no where to turn. No one to talk to because I can’t tell my friends because I am scared they will think I am crazy.
Maybe I am.
So a while ago at work I made some small mistakes. Unfortunately, as often happens, small mistakes add up and they became a big mistake. Especially when they culminate when you are on holiday and you can fix them. And then you come back into work complete unaware of what happened when you were absent and it feels like all hell has broken loose. You are dragged over the coals and spend the better part of the day crying because although you knew things were bad, you never knew they were that bad.
But things improve, or so you think. It gets easier to go to work again and it gets easier to do your job. And you think you have made improvements, good improvements because no one has told you otherwise (and the weekly meetings you asked to have with your manager – well they never materialise). All of a sudden, some six or seven weeks later you have another meeting only to be told there has been an improvements, but not a massive improvement. And your world starts to fall apart again.
This was me, on Friday. And I have spent all week anxious and worrying about work. I am going on annual leave again on Thursday and already I can feel the dread and the panic because I am worrying about what I will face when I come back to work next Thursday. I have wished this week and my holiday week away through fear.
I tried asking for help and support and got nothing in return. My manager won’t hold weekly meetings with me and never intended too. It’s not his style and he doesn’t see why he should. He won’t do it for me if he’s not doing it for the rest of the team and as the rest of the team don’t need it therefore I don’t.
He won’t give me clarification on what I can do to improve as I should know. I should know what is expected of me. I don’t. I struggle to do the basics of my job and I need help with the additional stuff. Apparently because I am the senior person in my role, it feels like I don’t need support. Or I shouldn’t need support rather.
I don’t want to cause trouble. I don’t want to be the person who is always complaining. But I want to be able to do my job. I don’t want to be scared anymore. It’s just too hard.
It seems a bit daft, putting that as a blog title, as I am in effect writing the letter I can’t write. Maybe I should have written the ‘Letter I wish I could Send’ or ‘letters’, maybe it should be letters.
I wish I could write a letter to my husband to articulate just what is going on inside my head. How I have these horrible thoughts but they are just thoughts and I would never act on them. Just so he could understand why my mood can change so dramatically and why I am so anxious all of the time. I just want him to be able to understand my anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I am tired of hiding it.
I also want him to see how much pressure I am under. How being the sole breadwinner places a huge burden on me, especially when my mental health is already so delicate. I need him to understand that if he got a job, any job, it would help me so much. It would relieve some of the immense pressure I am under. I think he thinks I have it easy. I go to work full time and don’t have to do school runs or tea but I have it all when I get home. The moment I walk through the door they become my responsibility because I have been at work. They are mine until they go to bed, which is getting later and later as they get older. But I have to do this because I have been to work all day and he has been at home with them. Despite the eldest being at school all day and the youngest all afternoon.
I also want to be able to tell my friends how I am feeling. How I have planned ways to die. How the weight of so much responsibility is crippling me. But I can’t. We share friends, so to say this would be implying that my husband isn’t pulling his weight and that I am speaking badly of him. I wouldn’t want them to look at him knowing what I had said and for it to affect their relationship with him. Or for them to say something to him that I might have said in confidence. So I say nothing. Of course the depression also takes my voice away and doesn’t let me speak, so even if there wasn’t the sharing of friends to deal with, I am not sure I could speak in the first place.
I have gotten better at opening up. I can admit when I am struggling but that’s about it. People know when I am sad but not to the extent that the depression can hit me. And I haven’t admitted the eating to anyone close. I wish my husband could know this. I wish my friends could know the extent to which I suffer. But I can’t let them in. I can’t let anyone in.
And this is why I can’t write these letters and I don’t think I ever will.
I am starting to consider another pregnancy. It is something that I need to do in order to get closure. If we have a healthy baby at the end of a pregnancy, then fantastic but if we don’t then I know that this is the end of my journey and our family is complete.
I have posted about how I wouldn’t consider suicide. It is not something that I would do. I would rather have a terminal illness or a surprise illness and die quickly. Or some kind of accident. Something that takes my choice away but gives me the same result.
Thinking about pregnancy has brought up a lot of memories of the miscarriages but also a lot of catastrophising on what could go wrong. I get from having a very early miscarriage to a complicated miscarriage where I need a hysterectomy and I end up in the ICU. Sometimes I have a stillbirth and sometimes the baby is born healthy and they die shortly after birth. Sometimes, one of my other children dies. One thing is clear though, I do not end this pregnancy by adding another child to our family. It doesn’t happen. And I want to say that this is ok. I mean in the catastrophic thoughts it’s ok. I am used to these thoughts and I can manage them ok.
But this brings me back to dying.
Throughout any pregnancy I have had, my husband and I have always said that if there are any problems and only the baby or I can be saved, we save me. It is non negotiable – the children can cope with losing a baby brother or a sister but their mother would be harder. And I have always agreed. It seemed like the right choice. Except it doesn’t anymore.
In my darker days, this seems like my perfect get out of jail free card. I change my mind at the last moment and save the baby and then I can die. And it won’t be my fault. Not really. It might be my choice but not my fault? Maybe.
And it’s ok to say this hypothetically and probably wouldn’t happen but I am going into a third pregnancy knowing that it is high risk. Knowing I can’t go into labour. Knowing they are protecting me from this by doing a c-section at 37 weeks. They wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t a risk.
So although I am not pregnant and am unlikely to be for a while, this choice does seem very real. And I am scared as to what would happen if I was presented with this choice. No doubt we would present a united front, and save me but what if I was alone and I was given this choice? What if I was having a bad day? What then?
This scares me.
I’m not pregnant. I’m definitely not pregnant but I can’t get pregnancy off my mind.
Ever since I came up with a plan that we would have another baby, it’s all i can think about. However they’re not nice thoughts. They are anxious filled, catastrophised thoughts.
I am scared of having to tell people that this will be pregnancy number 6. I’m scared of having to mention the three miscarriages and I’m terrified for the scans. And this is all when I’m not even pregnant yet.
My thoughts range from losing the baby in ways that I have previously to other ways. Work features heavily in this. I am convinced I will lose the baby at work and then get PTSD and have to give up working there because i can’t go back in. Or I will be travelling for work and miscarry on the train or the airplane.
And they progress. I lose the baby at varying stages of the pregnancy or after they are born. None of these thoughts end in me having a baby I can keep and bring home.
And then I think about pregnancy number 7 which of course goes the same as number 6.
It’s so hard living with this in my head. It’s so hard seeing it all wrote out because I feel crazy most of the time for thinking this but I can’t help it. It’s been my reality for 60% of my pregnancies. It feels like all I know at the moment.
I wish these dreams had a different outcome. I really do.
So I chased the specialist psychotherapy this morning and I had been sent back to talking therapies. When I spoke to the manager at talking therapies, she had investigated my referral and found out that the specialist service had refused my referral. Apparently, I need more time on my own to consolidate what I have learnt in therapy already and try and deal with it on my own!
The poor manager at talking therapies then got an earful as I ranted about the likelihood of the PTSD disorder and the eating disorder, as well as the panic attacks and flashbacks. To be fair to her, she did ask more questions and I explained that things had deteriorated since I had last been seen and I was back to relying upon diazepam to get me through the tough times. She also took me seriously when I said I used my eating as a form of self harm, which no one has really done before.
So I have a new referral, this time to the community mental health team and a psychologist. They can also say no and turn down my referral. I might have an update within the week. She said it will be completed by Monday and then she will chase on Friday.
I broke down at work. In floods of tears at my desk. And then the least sympathetic of managers found me and I had to talk to her. I wish that someone else had found me because I already feel like she doesn’t like me and this will just make things worse.
So now I sit and wait again. I am tired of waiting. I just want to feel better so I stop wishing that I would die. I googled how many diazepam it would take to overdose, knowing that I had some additional tablets in there…just in case. I google how to be anorexic or bulimic, just so someone would see how unwell I was.
I don’t want to die. I know that. But I don’t want to live like this for much longer.
I am struggling at the moment. I have anxiety and depression. I have had two miscarriages recently, with the due date of the second one looming shortly. I have as of yet diagnosed PTSD and an Eating Disorder. I am the sole earner in our family. I am currently having to manage the workload of two people at work while they find a replacement for my colleague who left at the end of December. I have no support. No counsellor or therapist and as a private person, I hate asking for help.
Yesterday I went to the opticians. I knew what the outcome would be – I need new glasses. My husband needed new glasses about six months ago and I couldn’t buy them for him. I need to buy mine though as I need them for work. I had to ask work for a loan – again.
My GP was going to chase the therapists up for me. I haven’t heard anything from him. I am probably due to chase them myself at the end of the week.
But I am sick. I am so so sick of everything. I am tired of everything being a battle. I am tired of everything being so hard. And I am tired of being so responsible.
I just want to say F*** it and give up. But I can’t. So many people rely on me and need me for something. But sometimes, it is just so hard to carry on.
This was meant to be a happier, positive post. It was meant to be a sign of me turning over a new leaf and it was going to have goals, which I might actually keep.
But somehow, it has turned into self hate and self loathing. I feel like I am constantly on the verge of tears.
And I don’t want to write down how exactly I feel, because I know I will use it as a form of self harm. Come back and hurt myself with my words. I can’t do that to myself today.
So I will leave it here. Just as a record for today.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
I have abandonment issues. I fit the criteria. Although not severely or seriously abused as a child (within the home environment I mean) there was a degree of emotional neglect. As an adult, I can see this, but it is hard to accept. There are other things too that would make it seem likely I have those issues too.
So I may have mentioned that my midwife counsellor is off sick for her own bereavement and there was no indication of when she would be back. I, naturally given all my issues, became extremely anxious about this. Added to this, my last two therapists ‘abandoned’ me mid-therapy. The last, because she was leaving the charity and I couldn’t afford to follow her to the private practise and pay her and the one before because he was a little unethical and some of the things he said and did didn’t sit right with me.
So this counsellor being off sick has triggered all those thoughts and feelings. And one of those experiences was pretty traumatic. Someone suggested I ring or email and find out when she would be back. So I did. But I fear I might have been a little insensitive in my email. The reply back (from the lady who runs the support group – counsellor’s colleague) was a little less friendly than I am used to and more to the point. It made me feel bad when I read it.
So now I am anxious because I don’t have any counsellor of any kind for the foreseeable future but I am also anxious about seeing support group lady in two weeks time. I don’t know how my email came across, I am reading things into her reply which might just not be there but it is making me feel rubbish.
And I really can’t deal with this. I am tired of doing this on my own, and I just want someone in my corner, standing up for me and prepared to fight for me and there is no one.
I just don’t want to feel so alone anymore.
People hear that you have anxiety and they just don’t realise how hard it can be. Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. That in itself doesn’t seem so bad. People worry about things everyday, so why should it be such a big issue? Everyone has a sense of unease when things are uncertain.
But. And this is a big but, not everyone worries when they can’t get a hold of their husband and imagine the worst sort of things happening to them – they have died in a car crash, they have decided they don’t love you anymore and have left without saying a word or they have been run over by a bus. And this doesn’t go through your head once or twice, but every second, every minute until you eventually speak to them and confirm they are ok.
Not everyone plans their family on what might happen to them. And worry about what will happen if they get pregnant. Will they lose the baby to a miscarriage, to a stillbirth or to neonatal death. Will one of their daughters die as the baby is being born and they have to sacrifice being their for their dying child for the one that is being born. Shall they even get pregnant again because their husband could die and leave them as a single parent to all three children. Or their husband and children could all die, leaving them alone with a new baby. But then there is the side that says they should have another baby, so that if one of their living children should die, the remaining one will still have a sibling. And rinse and repeat. Over and over again.
No one tells you of the crippling fear and how anxiety robs you of living your life because you are too scared to go out. And when you take your child skating to the park you feel so sad because you are scared but you are not exactly sure what you are scared of. Or how you can’t take your children out on your own because you are scared of how they will behave and what other people will think and how you might have a panic attack over something, anything.
Or how the perfectionist in you fights with the anxiety and you become scared to do anything because it won’t be perfect and if it is not perfect, you will have failed. And failure isn’t an option. So you become scared to do anything in case you fail.
No one tells you that anxiety can rob you of who you are. You forget the things you were good at, the things you enjoyed because anxiety makes you scared. It makes you worry constantly so that there is no time for anything else. And no one tells you that anxiety is the devil on your shoulder, always second guessing the decisions that you make.
So on the face of it, anxiety doesn’t seem that bad. But it is. It really, really is.