Anxiety. I think a lot of us have suffered with it at some point in our lives, and for me having children helped with my anxiety.
This is not a “normal” post for me. I tend to keep my blog quite light and don’t have many ‘From the heart’ posts.
I’ve kept it under control for over 15 years now, but really did struggle in my teens and early twenties.
I guess I was a bit of an anxious child, for all different reasons. My mum brought us up on her own and I remember living in fear that something bad would happen to her. I’d constantly question her on who would look after my sister and I if she died.
My mum was a pretty big worrier herself, probably for good reason, and I’m pretty sure it rubbed off on me. She always used to say to me “Your too young to have worries on your shoulders”.
So from a child I turned into an anxious teen. This is when I feel I was at my worst. I had zero confidence and was totally consumed with worry, not one specific thing, but a whole range of things. School, home, the state of the world, health anxiety, anything and everything.
I felt so overwhelmed and would adopt certain rituals and had some o.c.d tendencies.
I would have the mindset of thinking if I didn’t do certain things, then bad things would happen i.e I had to count to a certain number or do something a specific number of times and only then would everything be ok. I’d be up and out the bed 3/4 times a night checking all the plugs were switched off and pulled out, and making sure the front door was locked over and over again. There were lots more but you get the drift. It really was debilitating.
I carried on like this throughout my teens, certain life experiences did trigger them, and this stage of my life was the most out of control it has ever been.
There wasn’t really any one I could tell without making myself look crazy. Back then no one really spoke about things like that, and although my mum knew I don’t think she realized how bad I was.
At 20 I had a major health scare, which you can read here, thankfully all was ok.
This was a big turning point for me, the wait to have the operation and remove the lump made me so ill with worry, I could barely function.
Once I got the all clear it really made me take a stock of my life. I remember thinking how bad would I be if I had children, I knew even then that motherhood would bring a whole new set of worries and that it would be relentless.
I threw myself into my job and social life and by my mid to early twenties finally felt free.
James and I got together when I was 26, and he was another big thing that really helped me. James is the most laid back person I have ever met in my life. I have never known him to worry about anything. His life’s mantra is ‘I’ll worry if and when I need to worry’ What a fab outlook to have!
When we had Colby a couple of years later, it was the icing on the cake for me, overcoming my anxieties. I have no idea how or why this was, I just knew I didn’t want to ruin my experience of motherhood worrying about every single possible thing there was to worry about. It is truly exhausting.
The more children we had, the less time there was for me to worry about anything.
Even when my mum got ill, and we knew it was terminal, which had been my biggest fear as a child, I dealt with it far better than I ever imagined I would.
I’m still me and every now and then I can feel myself on a little slippery slope. The latest thing has been my fear of choking with Carson. Even though I know this is something normal to be concerned about, I started to take it to a whole new level. We had a choking incident in a restaurant with Casey, which is what triggered this. It was affecting his diet and I wasn’t giving him food appropriate for his age. He wasn’t eating much more than pureed food. Even past 18 months old, so I knew I needed to sort it out.
And I did, Carson’s diet is pretty much normal now.
I look at my 4 older ones, and I’m so glad they aren’t having the same experiences as me. I watch them from a distance and just want them to enjoy there teens.
Anxiety and mental health is spoken about so much more now than it was 15/20 years ago. It’s a lot more accepting now and a lot more common than people realize. We’re all on this crazy life journey!
Well that wasn’t such a light post was it haha
See you soon