It doesn’t have a set path that it dishes out to everyone, based on their own circumstances, it doesn’t choose who will be fortunate in health and well-being, it doesn’t choose whether you are able to have a family, work, or be happy.
Mostly your life is defined by the choices you make, and that includes some health issues. Mostly though, and this is the case for my family our bad health is in our genes.
But as we all know life has a way of throwing multiple things at you with such force and ferocity that you have no choice but to juggle these all at the same time whilst still trying to live this life and jump over its forever climbing hurdles.
That is how anxiety took a hold of me.
And that’s how I felt when I realized that I was suffering with anxiety.
Me and my partner have three beautiful children, and two of those are diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, my girl along with those diagnoses suffers with anxiety, hyper mobility, sleep apneas,
Sensory Processing Disorder, and a smattering of other co –existing conditions.
Life for us was very challenging, very up and down and a few years ago due to everything unfolding – and not really knowing how to handle or deal with these conditions – very unhappy.
In 2014, my partner was diagnosed with a neurological condition called X – Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy.He may loose the use of his legs, and he may also need lifelong care.
Life just kept throwing these curve balls, and I just kept catching them and throwing them up in the air along with the rest ready to catch them again on their return.
They were just spinning and spinning, and nothing seemed to stop, there was never a break.
I found my life spiralling out of my control.
We had a calendar full of appointments, many that we had to travel quite far too. Many that needed day beds, and anaesthetics, lumbar punctures, and operations.
I had hospital reports coming out of my ears, and mostly I found out more in a hospital report than I did in the appointment, which then raised more questions, and requests for more appointments.
I was waiting patiently for the postman every day.
I needed those letters.
I needed to read those reports so desperately.
And then my Dad suddenly passed away. My beautiful, wonderful, funny, dad, whom gave his everything when we were children to create happy, perfect, memories that I treasure dearly.
I was grieving and I realized I wasn’t just waiting patiently for that postman anymore, I was detouring on my journeys, after lunch time, knowing the postman’s routine, to collect my letters.
I would check the doormat first thing as soon as I walked in the door.
I would rip those letters open and be so disappointed if it wasn’t something that I was hoping for. ‘Its ok though I’m sure it will be here tomorrow’ I told myself, and so I would wait again, constantly thinking about these letters, spotting the postman and watching at the window, waiting for him to walk down my path I could actually feel the excitement of what he would bring me.
The feeling of despair I felt when he walked on by with a nod of his head was like torture, a deep, painful roar felt throughout my body. I felt like my only purpose in life was to receive these goddamn letters.
I don’t even know when I realized it had become a problem; there were other things, too.
I had no patience anymore, everything was an annoyance to me, and little things like asking me simple questions would be met with intolerance, snappy remarks and sometimes just plain ignorance.
I was also convinced that I had some terrible disease and I was going to die.
I had to sort my family out, I had to tell other family members more about our likes and dislikes, and how our routines went. And if I did die I needed to make sure that my family knew I needed my daughter in a special school.
It was by far the best place for her. I told my partners family that if I did die, someone to have to help him out with the kids because he wouldn’t be able to do this himself he was physically incapable.
I imagined all sorts of things and in my head I prepared for the worst. It was all consuming, I had nightmares, I was so panicked.
I was a nightmare to be around. I couldn’t concentrate on anything but these letters.
My hearing sense was heightened too, certain sounds made my skin crawl and I would sometimes scream because it was so physically painful.
I knew that for the sake of my family, I needed to get help; I had to talk it through with my GP at least and ask her opinion.
Yes I had anxiety and I was given a tiny dose of anxiety tablets. I have also been referred to Talking Therapies, which is on my To-Do list and really needs to be prioritized.
The tablets help, and I’m glad that I finally went and told them my issues because if I am not 100% then my family simply cannot function.
I don’t believe I’m dying anymore, and I do not detour through my day just for the postman.
It hasn’t completely relieved me of the anxiety, I’m still thinking about the postman all the time, but it has gotten easier. And I’m thankful for that.