In fact, I found myself so overwhelmed and impressed that I feel I've developed an even deeper inferiority complex and now feel a bit shy to even try and write a post.
But given that us carers/special needs parents are a minority, I shall persevere...
The point of this post is to talk about anger. Lately I have found myself so irritable I can barely be around myself or my own thoughts. I'm not sure if it's PTSD, anxiety, stress, or all of it combined.
But I don't like the person it makes me become. I can be snappy around those I love most in spite of how much I try to internalise it or let out in different ways.
Anger is a really ugly emotion. When I'm angry I often end up in in altercations over silly things.
A few nights ago I found myself in a pointless argument with a pizza company over a mistake I made whilst ordering. The man became so argumentative that it provoked me further.
I almost wish he had just said whatever it was I needed to hear to make me feel better and shut me up. The pizza turned up burned so maybe that was karma for my bad attitude.
I've had similar conversations with doctors, secretaries and various other parts of my daughters' care.
The fact is, my anger that I have built up over however long ends up projected onto some person who isn't expecting it. The slightest bit of unkindness or unhelpfulness and I turn into the incredible hulk.
Afterwards I feel so silly. I think of how much I should have just kept calm. I need; and everyone needs to remember:
- Always be kind! Kindness is free, and it is contagious. Every time I have a positive encounter I can feel myself start to feel a bit better about myself and the world around me.
Generally I try to be kind all of the time, but every now and then the anxiety monster within takes over, I need to reel it in, and breathe. Just breathe.
- Will it matter five minutes from now? Will it matter in a few hours? Will it matter tomorrow?
Today, two people became quite aggressive with me because I was turning my car around and they were getting impatient. I got so upset and angry that once I was out of their line of vision I cried and cried.
Silly really... because it didn't matter. Their inability to wait for 5 seconds shouldn't ruin my whole day.
Things like that need to be water off a ducks' back.
- Don't isolate yourself. Just because you're hurting and feeling down doesn't mean that everyone out there is bad.
I feel that for every bad egg out there, there are 5 or so well meaning, kind-hearted individuals. It's so tempting sometimes to just hide away. No one can hurt you when you hide away. But it's lonely.
Loneliness breeds sadness, and sadness is the worst. Call a friend, listen to a great song, read a good book, do whatever you need to do to calm down.
- Don't sweat the small things. Carers and special needs parents in particular need to conserve as much energy as possible.
I find that anger, sadness, bitterness, jealousy ie. all negative emotions are so draining on vital resources. Our time is precious, our lives are often fully dictated by the needs of another.
Little things like rude secretaries, road rage, traffic etc... they don't matter. Sometimes these little things all build up and send us over the edge, but really... we have much bigger fights to fight.
Getting the right care for our children, making sure their education is going well, preventing future hip issues with physio etc.
We have to make a lot of tough decisions and follow a path we didn't choose... the small stuff is just that. We've been through so much that really these things shouldn't phase us.
- Say no to overwhelming demands - Sometimes my weekly schedule sets off my anxiety. So many appointments popping up, so much paperwork to contend with and calls to make.
I am trying (trying being the key word) to eliminate any unnecessary appointments... things that get in the way of "normal" life.
Sometimes I can feel a great relief at cancelling plans just because my head is over running with thoughts and I know I won't be able to focus and be calm.
It's easy to feel guilty about it but we all need alone time, time to be a bit introspective and ruminate.
I want to please everyone and at times can become a bit of a martyr with my obsessive need to help others and be liked. Self care is important!
- My feelings are valid. Like many others I find myself often deeply moved emotionally and caring for others so much that it can even have a physiological effect on my health.
Other times, I find myself numb and vacant, incapable of emotion. Stress will do that to you.
I beat myself up for it in my mind, wishing I could just feel the normal amount of emotion... but the truth is, when you have PTSD and anxiety and lead a chaotic life style, your brain chemistry may alter from time to time!
It's okay to go from one extreme to another. Just ride it out, breathe, and don't blame yourself.
I plan to visit my GP soon as sometimes medication and breathing techniques alone aren't enough to help us qualm those anxious thoughts and snappy behaviour.
I want to and need to become a better, more patient person. But I also need to accept that stress is a part of our lives and not to beat myself up when I am struggling.