One mother from my Facebook mothers support group wanted to share her experience of struggling with anxiety here on the blog in the hope of helping others to see they are not suffering alone. I know all to well how anxiety can plague every waking moment of your life, it personally wreaks havoc in my own life.
My anonymous story
This is my personal experience of struggling with anxiety, my journey to overcome this illness and what I’ve learned so far.
I didn’t always suffer from anxiety, I was a happy mother of two children enjoying my day to day life. It was coming up to my mom’s 50th birthday and I was planning a surprise visit from me, my husband, and our children, it took a lot of planning as we live an hour away from my mom, she didn’t know a thing. It was about a week before we were due to travel.
I noticed I became very fidgety, I didn’t want to eat or drink, I eventually stopped altogether except snacking on little bits here and there. I became very tired and didn’t want to leave the house, the thought frightened me, I got it in my head that I was going to ruin my mom’s birthday, but I said nothing to anyone and just hid how I was feeling. I didn’t want to accept that I was struggling with anxiety issues.
The day we were due to travel to surprise my mom came and I couldn’t wait to see her face, her reaction of seeing us all there to celebrate her birthday. Despite feeling sick with fear, I climbed into the car and off we went. We arrived safely and the look on her face was well worth it all. We went out for a meal, she loved every minute, me, however, I was terrified, I was out of my comfort zone, again, I hid it.
I was struggling with anxiety
The following day back I couldn’t stop crying and I just broke down, told my husband and mom how I felt, how low I felt. They took me home and made me an emergency appointment with a doctor who prescribed me antidepressants, told me I was struggling with anxiety and that they should help. I went back to my moms house for a week with the children to have a bit of help, I had to leave my husband at home as he was working.
I took my first tablet that evening before bed, they made me feel like I was flying with the fairies and I soon fell asleep, however a couple of hours later I had horrific stomach ache, I had to rush to the toilet, I started to panic, which made my anxiety worse and I spent the entire night crying, unable to breathe. My mom was a very big help, she went to the chemist to get me some medicine to settle my tummy which helped me loads and I managed to get some sleep.
A few days later my mom sad I had to leave the house, I had been inside for four days by this time. I felt sick at the sheer thought of opening the front door. I got dressed and held my breath as I opened the door ready to step outside. All of a sudden I got very hot, couldn’t breathe, felt like someone was sitting on me. I began walking down the road. I nearly passed out, people surrounding me asking if I was ok, I told them not to touch me, please don’t touch me.
In the end I couldn’t do it, had to go back to my moms. I had failed. The simplest task and I had failed. I couldn’t even walk down the road.
In the end, my nan got me into to see her doctor, he was brilliant, he advised me to stop taking the antidepressants as he thought they didn’t suit me so I stopped taking them, he prescribed me tablets for irritable bowel syndrome to settle everything down which helped loads, made me feel slightly better.
Since then my anxiety has got a lot worse, I still refuse to take the tablets, but I have been referred for cognitive-behavioral therapy. I don’t leave the house unless it is to take the children to school and nursery or food shopping, even then I have to have gloves on.
I am struggling with anxiety and it’s ruining my life
My children are too young to understand but I still try to hide this from them, I don’t want them to know, they are my innocent babies. I have to protect them. I don’t want them to know I have failed as a mother.
Regarding eating and drinking, it is getting better, slowly, I still won’t eat out, I won’t eat in other people’s houses, I won’t share a cup so I won’t drink in other people houses either. At home, I won’t eat food I have touched. If I am eating toast, I hold a corner and then throw that corner away.
I drink out of a straw then throw that straw away, I can’t even drink out of my own cups. My house has to be bleached every day or I feel dirty.
I suffer from bad anxiety attacks – I only have to read someone has been sick and that sets me off. Part of me wants to deactivate Facebook, but then I lose my biggest support system…Emmas Group.
I am finding life exceptionally hard, but I try my hardest. I hope it gets easier soon.
The past few days I have noticed I my anxiety is getting out of control again, but I don’t want the tablets – then I know I define have failed.
I just try to breathe through the panics attack, try to convince myself everything is going to be ok, I don’t know how long I can pretend, though. I am struggling with anxiety and I am desperate to survive this. Can anyone help me?