Anxiety and Me

Last week I began to feel those horrible, old familiar feelings. Where you have an unsettling squirm in your stomach. You feel oddly out of breath even though you’ve not been doing any exercise. A feeling of hesitance, anxiousness, worry. I’ve always been a worry wart and it has often escalated. Since I fell pregnant with Josh I had managed to have what felt like complete control over it. All through my pregnancy I had the attitude that I was growing this little life and I had to give it the upmost respect; this meant removing myself from stressful situations, not associating with people who drained me or were negative. And I am sure this all helped me in having a positive pregnancy (apart from the constant vomiting, but hey we can’t have it all)!

I knew once I’d given birth I’d have hormone overload – they’d be flying around everywhere and I’d have no control over them. And that they did – ever cried over a cube of cheese before? I have! I won’t go into it, it’s an absurd and ridiculous story, but once I’d had Josh I was hormonal nutter.

I’d expected this to a point of course. We all know the vast majority of women suffer from a few days of the baby blues and this will result in you crying at dog food adverts. But mine seemed to continue. I felt… weird. And having learnt from the past the warning signs, I quickly reeled it in and went to the doctors and got some much needed advice.

Soon after that and following doctors orders, things picked up. I felt fine again, the hormones settled, and as you all know I threw myself into Mummy life. I loved it. But as I’ve said many, many, many times, it’s hard. Some days are harder than others, but you pick yourself up and immerse yourself in the good days. I’ve learnt to become quite good at giving myself a kick up the arse if I recognise that I need it. I’ve become accustomed to recognising the familiar signs of bitch face anxiety rearing her ugly head and taking action to stop her in her tracks and send her on her miserable way!

But last week was a test. And a struggle. It was only Monday; I’d only been alone for two days, and already I was losing my grip. Josh was teething, demanding, everything a one year old is perfectly entitled to be. I’d recently won some PA work and it was that day that it went into overdrive; a great thing really – to be earning my own money again from something I genuinely like doing was fantastic. But then I started to have a gazillion thoughts rush through my head; I had work to do, I had Josh to amuse, I wanted to get him out in the fresh air, I needed to cook him some dinner, I needed to get a washing on, I needed to pop to Tesco, I had a doctors appointment. Normally I can write a list, tick these things off one by one, but that day I couldn’t. I felt like all these things to do were whirling round my head like a tornado and I didn’t know how to stop it or where to begin. Cue the uneasy nervous stomach feelings and the struggling to breath calmly.

In that moment I was livid at Sam. He was off snowboarding, having fun, no responsibility beyond making sure his nice hotel was paid for and that he didn’t over indulge in Jaigers! I am not a martyr wife – I don’t dictate to Sam and I don’t tell him what he can and can’t do. And in all honesty, I didn’t think I’d be bothered about him being on holiday; as a stay at home Mum, it’s the harsh reality that I do do most of what Josh needs! But knowing he was away, having fun and there I am trying to stop my baby from disconnecting the internet again whilst I am trying to book flights for someone to Dubai, I wasn’t a happy bunny! By Tuesday I let Sam know it; you might say I went catastrophically bat shit crazy. In all fairness to Sam he took it, he accepted what I was saying but at the end of the day he was thousands of miles away and I had another 5 days to get through.

We still made each other laugh every day!

I was finally able to take a step back. I couldn’t do this. It wasn’t just the practicalities of trying to juggle working at home with a one year old who likes to play and be read to and who I cook for and seem to be constantly washing for, but it was my emotional state too. Dare I say it, in some respects I am vulnerable.  I’m an emotional person, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I am terrible for letting things get to me. But I am also incredibly strong; I’ve got through some very difficult times, as I am sure we all have in life at one point or another, and those tough times have defined me, made me who I am today. Most importantly I’ve become strong enough to say “No, enough is enough, sort this out now Fi before it escalates”.

I never want to experience a panic attack ever again. If you’ve had one before you’ll know what I am talking about. That fear, the inability to breath, the ringing in your ears; it’s utterly terrifying. Touch wood, I’ve not had a full blown panic attack since before I fell pregnant, but last week was the closest I have come to having one since then. Instead my release seemed to be crying, which I just embraced. I feel it’s important to let go of emotions sometimes and let them all out. And if that was the way it was going to be then so be it. My second way of dealing with it was talking; getting some advice from friends, asking my fellow Mummies if they’ve suffered their own feelings of anxiety and how they’ve coped and, once he was home, talking to my husband. Opening up to him and explaining how I felt. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a nice calm conversation over a cuppa. It was me absolutely ranting, venting and getting everything off my chest whilst we were driving for a lunch with family! I don’t think I even stopped for breath for about ten minutes. To his credit, he listened. It takes a lot for me to see red; I might be a bit feisty, but full on confrontation is not something that I’m a fan of. So for him to see me go crazy at him twice in one week, he realised it was time to listen. And being the logical guy he is he came up with some ideas to help me balance this crazy life style; popping Josh into nursery one morning a week and seeing how he gets on before potentially increasing it to two – this would enable me to do some work without Postman sodding Pat in the background and me feeling insanely guilty that I am not the one entertaining my child despite being just four feet away from him!

We also had the conversation that I bet most of you have had with your other halves; I need you to do more. I ranted about how I do everything – in fairness I do! From the moment he’s up to the moment I put him to bed I do pretty much everything Josh needs; feeding, baths, playing, reading, getting him down for naps, getting him out in the fresh air. Of course this is more relevant during week days whilst Sam is at work. But in between all that I am also the one doing the laundry, cleaning the house, preparing meals and all the other things you need to do round the house. Juggling so many things at once, something had to give. So hubs has said he will be trying to finish work earlier, do bath time and play time before bed so I have at least an hour a day to myself. I am someone who needs a bit of space from everyone including my husband sometimes. I like to read, I like to catch up on my favourite vlogs and blogs. I need that time otherwise I am going to lose a bit of myself. But I also need to let go a bit and let Sam do more around the house especially in terms of getting up with the baby on weekends. I was so cross when he said “you just have to nag me a bit more, tell me if you want me to do stuff”. That’s all very well and good, and the sentiment is golden and kind, but as I said to him, I shouldn’t have to ask. That just adds to the anxiety list in my head; “worry #365 am I a nagging bitch wife”!

However I have to say, talking to my husband made all the difference. It did feel like a weight had lifted. He could see my anxiety was trying to take hold again and neither of us want that. Neither of us want me to be unhappy. I’ve got a lovely life, a beautiful family. I’m a positive person and I don’t want to be unhappy. It used to annoy me when Sam would say “only you can change that” but to an extent he does have a point. If I don’t let her in too much, I can be in full control of anxiety bitch. I can take her down in my deep breathing, list writing, positive thinking kind of way! So that’s what I’m going to do.

To end this post on a positive note here are a few things that have really cheered me up over the last few days:

The boy – HE WALKS! Seeing Josh walking is amazing and I felt like such a stupidly proud Mummy!

Stopping Breastfeeding – this is a hard one to explain and I’m actually going to write a whole post about it. It’s not the stopping that’s made me happy as I’ve actually found it quite tough, I am missing that bond, but it’s that I’ve been strong enough to stick to it once the decision was made. We had a few sleepless nights and it would have been very easy to just put him back on boob but I didn’t and even though it wasn’t much fun going through that, I am really proud of myself for powering through.

This top from I Wear Mama Ink I love this range and a new top definitely got me smiling!

New Make up – what can I say! Anything that hides those bags or gives me a lovely faux glow makes me pretty happy!

Friends – simple messages sent for no reason are just the best! And so are my friends!

Snow Days!  Nothing like being tucked up indoors whilst it snows outside. And Josh’s little face when he saw it was beautiful!

So happy I captured this moment – seeing snow fall for the first time

Tea! Tea Tea Tea. And sometimes prosecco :-)))

Quotes! You know me – I love an inspirational quote!

Sleep – being super tired on top of everything else would have just finished me off!!

Motherhood is often overwhelming. It can feel like you’re on your own sometimes. Like no one else understands. But my God, I bet they do! Anxiety is something I think can often be misunderstood, it can feel isolating. You do doubt yourself and wonder if you’re just being daft or if you’re making a big deal out of nothing. You’re not – because you ARE  a bit deal and you deserve to feel happy. Talking to people about how your feeling, finding comfort in the fact others may experience these feelings and getting reassurance that those around you love you no matter what, those things are priceless and they get you through the tough days.

Best Friends

As I always say, let’s support each other. You supported me no end last week – for that, my heart is so grateful.

Love

Fx

 

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22 Comments

  1. January 16, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    #candidcuddles anxiety sucks, hormones sucks and sometimes Mondays suck…weeks suck and perspective is hard to find. You seem to have found it. I think balance on blue days is the biggest win you can have. Keep fighting the good fight.
    Fridgesays recently posted…Whistle while you workMy Profile

  2. January 16, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    Anxiety is the worst! Can relate to this so much. It sounds like you are very in touch with your emotions and that is always a good thing for helping to cope with the attacks. Hormones really don’t help things either… batshit crazy mum right here a lot of the time *raises hand* #marvmondays

    • beautybabyandme
      January 17, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Ha ha thank you lovely xxx

  3. January 16, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    I get highly anxious and totally know what you go through. I havent had a panic attack before but I can only imagine. Your very strong to overcome it though, they say the strongest people are the most sensitive. #MarvMondays
    Rochelle recently posted…My Kids dream bedroom decor on Pinterest My Profile

    • beautybabyandme
      January 17, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much sweetie xx

  4. January 17, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Ah love, it sounds like you’ve already made great big strides in getting on top of things. I think we all have to concentrate on our mental health – so often people spend a lot of time and energy worrying about their physical health but we have to do the same with our emotions and mind sets, too. Also I am pretty sure I’d have told B to eff off if he suggested going on holiday without me, so fair play to you – you’re a much nicer wife than me 😂😂 hopefully you guys can find a better balance with housework etc that works for you, and putting Josh in nursery so you can work is a great idea. Thanks for sharing this, though – I bet lots of women will take comfort in it Xxx
    Ellen recently posted…A note for our virtual memory box: #3My Profile

    • beautybabyandme
      January 17, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Ah thank you so much honey – such a lovely comment. xxx

  5. January 18, 2017 / 10:42 am

    I feel lucky that I’ve not suffered with panic attacks for a long time, but I’ve definitely been guilty of having the meltdown at my husband for not doing enough. You let it build up to a point and then just snap when you absolutely can’t do anymore – and you know you sound totally unreasonable because it’s coming out of nowhere to them, but you just can’t stop.

    I know I was all over the place hormonally when I stopped breastfeeding, and could see myself slipping into depression a little bit, I wonder whether there’s something in that? I was pleased to stop too – I wanted my body back to myself and was pleased to have a little bit of freedom back – but I think my body felt differently. You always find the positive though, and that’s such an amazing tool for anxiety and depression. Hurrah for Josh and his walking!! #bloggerclubuk

  6. January 18, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Anxiety is the worst, and I’m so glad that you are able to write it all down in your blog as I think that is always helpful to reassess everything. I have suffered with anxiety my entire adult life, as we have spoken about before, and was having up to 20 panic attacks a day at one point, even as recently as last year. These days I have learnt to recognise my triggers and although I do get panic attacks creeping up on me, I can control them far easier than I used to. Anxiety can leap out at you from nowhere, it can disappear for months, even years on end, it can be completely full on or hidden away at the back of your mind, but it’s all about educating yourself, learning your triggers, working out ways to cope with it, and it sounds as though you are doing just that. Always here for you. xxx #BloggerClubUK
    five little doves recently posted…You know you’re getting old when….My Profile

  7. January 18, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Anxiety is so tough and hard to keep in check. I’m doing really good at the moment but it won’t take much to to try balance I know. We did have a good snow day though didn’t we, his little face as he watched was so cute! #bloggerclubuk

  8. January 19, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Oh I so feel you on this! I often feel exactly the same. I also need some alone time and am finding that the only time I’m getting it nowadays is an hour at bedtime which isn’t always that healthy as it makes me go to bed sooooo late too often!! Hope your anxiety eases a bit soon. Popping over from #coolmumclub today xxx
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…More Midwives and my 15 Minutes of FameMy Profile

  9. January 19, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Anxiety is a horrible, horrible thing. It comes out of nowhere. Mine is mostly under control but sometimes I just feel it. I can’t put my finger on what I’m worrying about but my chest constricts, my heart races and I feel totally overwhelmed. I think you’re doing a fantastic job. I hate it when my husband is away over night (it’s only happened a handful of times in the last 10 years) so managing it on your own, with a baby, for a week? That’s amazing! You are strong. You can do this #CoolMumClub
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Bloggers Bluff #13: This Is Me NowMy Profile

  10. January 19, 2017 / 11:43 am

    Oh this brought tears to my eyes. That feeling of anxiety for you must be overwhelming and I know the pressures you mean and how they can multiply and you can’t thunk straight and the stress takes over in full force. You poor love. You’ve done so well to fight it so hard and you you have one of the most wonderful positive attitudes out there in the blogging world that I’ve read – you’re doing something beautifully right. I love how you finished this post and just wow to Josh walking – amazing! Big hugs lovely #CoolMumClub
    justsayingmum recently posted…Bloggers’ Cafe Series One Episode OneMy Profile

  11. January 19, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    I’m sorry to hear things got a bit too much and those old feelings started to rear their ugly head again but it’s clear from this post that you recognised what was happening and handled it in the best possible way. I’m a huge advocate of a good old cry, I honestly believe it helps to ‘get it all out’ sometimes. You have such a warm, positive manner which always shines through in your posts including this one. So nice to hear you’re feeling happier this week, sounds like you’ve had an emotional few days, look after yourself and remember you are doing an amazing job even if it doesn’t always feel like it! xx #coolmumclub
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…She Loves Herself – Motherhood:The Real DealMy Profile

  12. January 19, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    It is the worst. A constant inner battle. Months on end can be great- then out of nowhere it strikes.

    Keep fighting, keep writing, keep being YOU!
    #coolmumsclub

  13. January 19, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    I struggle with my slight anxiety as well. Most days, I get a good handle on it. And then something will trigger it. My husband is amazing and recognizes it and I’m so thankful for him not looking at me like I can’t handle it. Hugs to you and absolutely agree with showing and sharing support amongst us bloggers is such a great thing to have/be. #bloggerclubuk

  14. January 19, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    I’m a worrier/anxious type of person, but never to full blown panic attacks, well done for keeping it together and letting it all out, crying is like a huge release of energy – can be so helpful! I worry a lot about being the nagging bitch wife. I feel like I’m always asking hubby to do basic things that surely he should just see and do?! I think so long as I ask nicely, its not nagging?! right?!
    enjoyed reading this #coolmumclub

  15. January 19, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    The way you are so open and honest about these issues is such a breath of fresh air Fi. We all have proper shitty days, sometimes shitty weeks. Adjusting to life as a working Mum is hard – as is being home alone for a number of days. Cut yourself some slack and know it’s okay to sometimes drop the ball when juggling too many things. I sometimes feel totally overloaded just doing the most day to day things – school run, shopping, cooking, laundry etc etc…and I’m not even working. I know I’m reaching my limit when I start adding ‘have a shower’ or ‘wash hair’ to my mental to do list ha ha. Somethings in life should just flow, but it’s all too easy to feel like you are the glue holding the whole families shit together. Life becomes one long list of stuff to do. That’s when it’s time to throw it all up in the air and release somehow…okay I’m really waffling now!
    Hope you’re feeling loads better love. And, thank you for linking to #coolmumclub x MWAH
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  16. January 20, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Sorry you’ve had a tough time. Motherhood and juggling work and life in general can be so daunting and overwhelming and at times it can be hard to see your way through the fog of it all. Your positive points seem to work well and I try to remind myself of things to be thankful for regularly too! #CoolMumClub
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  17. January 20, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    awwww your husband sounds like a keeper! mine too also listens to me when i go off on one as he knows sometimes a vent is needed to then be able to step back and deal with what needs to be done.
    It honestly sounds like im reading my own post with regards to panick attacks and doing most of everything around the home whilst looking after baby.
    Glad you can still see the good things from the week! #marvmondays

  18. January 23, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    I’m so glad you talked to your husband & felt a weight lift. It’s easier said than done to choose happiness when you have anxiety or fears. Focusing on gratitude helps me to stay positive too. Thanks for sharing with u at #candidcuddles lovely xx
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Monopoly Token Madness VoteMy Profile

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