For the second week of this Mental Health Monday series, the lovely Suzy from The Airing Cupboard is sharing her tale of suffering from anxiety. This is a subject which can be very difficult to discuss so I’m happy that she wanted to contribute to this series with it, hopefully to make someone else unable to put into words how they feel a little more able to express it. Suzy is a mother of two beautiful children, who uses great wit and humour to document her parenting journey at her blog, The Airing Cupboard.
Assuming my head doesnâ€™tÂ explode
To be honest, I would have expected this post to end up in the pile of unpublishables, but Iâ€™ve decided to put it out there because the whole point of this blog to be honest and this is whatâ€™s happening. Plus Iâ€™m trying to write other things at the moment and this is a big screaming hurdle thatâ€™s demanding to be jumped over. Slightly weird metaphor there. Anyway.
I am suffering from anxiety. Not the usual come-and-go garden variety, nor even the situation-fuelled type, but a generalised, intense feeling of irrational dread that has gone on too long. Iâ€™m consumed with it. Existential terror. Catastrophic everything. Car crashes. Plane crashes. Cancer. Heart attack. Old age.
Lately itâ€™s Ebola. Iâ€™m obsessed with it. I google it every night and then feel sick because of the things I read. Because not only is it contagious, itâ€™s also a horrific way to die. Bleeding from the eyeballs, for fuckâ€™s sake.
My heart doesnâ€™t thump, it bashes. The dread is there all the time, like a dirty little secret. It fades in and out but culminates in evenings that are fraught and miserable. I worry. About every possible and impossible thing. Driving. Coughs. Unanswered phone calls. Bang bang bang, I forget how to breathe.
I shouldnâ€™t feel like this. I should be happy. I have all the stuff. The good stuff. Itâ€™s almost like I have too much, you know? So I expect to lose it. And Iâ€™m so worried about being unhappy that Iâ€™m missing out on all the happiness that I actually have because Iâ€™m too busy thinking about impending doom. Stupid.
Iâ€™ve been looking into CBT. A few people have recommended it and it doesnâ€™t need a doctorâ€™s referral. I really donâ€™t want to haveÂ thatÂ conversation with my GP. Sheâ€™s there for the likes ofÂ Scootergate. And anyway, I donâ€™t want to spend â‚¬65 just to be told to try CBT.
So there we are. Makes a change from shoes anyway.
(This piece originally appeared on The Airing Cupboard in October 2014)
If you’d like to get involved in this Mental Health Monday series, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you. Pieces can be original or already published elsewhere – it is all about getting a message out there to a broad platform, parents sharing their experiences with mental health.