Lifestyle, Mama Life

What Anxiety & Depression Feels Like

Hello! Me again talking about quite a shitty topic I guess (I don’t want my blog to turn into a sad page of woes) but I thought I’d finish up by just sharing my thoughts on what A&D was for me.

In the beginning, I think I started noticing that I was getting a lot more sensitive; which sooo isn’t my style. Usually I’ve got a hard, ‘nothing can break me’ exterior and attitude and that was getting further and further away and I wasn’t sure why. Little tiny things that didn’t matter at all would really get to me and I just couldn’t control what my reactions were to people or situations. I’d be at work and I’d serve a rude customer (usually I’d be extra polite and sarcastic to wind them up even more) but I used to stand there and think ‘Im either going to cry my eyes out or lose my shit and get super rude back’ and obviously neither of those were ideal.

Out of work, tiny misunderstandings or disagreements would be some huge tragedy to me and I’d cry at the silliest of things. This gradually got worse, especially the more I tried to cover it up or deny I wasn’t feeling normal or right. Thinking about it, that probably was the most destructive part about it; not telling anybody, pretending I was fine, putting on a brave face + makeup (which took crazy amounts of effort) when all I wanted to do was stay in my bed and not talk to anybody or have to go outside and be somebody I obviously wasn’t at the time. The anxiety was worse in the beginning but then that gradually subsided and I was left with that constant low mood. I remember if I knew Ole was coming to pick Jax up, my heart would start racing, I’d my phone every 10 seconds for the time knowing he was getting closer and closer. I’d feel nauseous and sweaty, it was just total panic and even now I have no clue why. He’d knock on the door and it was just like a smack in the face every single time. I always had Jax’s bad packed and him ready to go so he didn’t have to hang around too long but as soon as they were gone I’d burst into tears. The thought of being alone was shit scary and that feeling of panic could stay for hours.

I got more and more exhausted, most nights I was only getting 1.5 hours of sleep maximum because I’d lay in bed and overthink everything. I’d make up situations or worry about things in my head that (looking back in a well frame of mind) would never happen in a million years. I feel like that time in my life was almost a blur because I was so tired. Even the smallest tasks took me hours of psyching myself up and mustering up the energy to do said task. {I’ve recently read an article explaining the side affects of sleep deprivation and its really interesting – LINK HERE} Even moving from my bed to the sofa once Jax had woken up seemed like it took forever and after sorting out his breakfast and getting him ready I’d just lay on the sofa and doze, and not really move all day.

I’ve never felt worse as a mama than during that time. It makes me feel so embarrassed and guilty that I sort of made Jax go through that with me too and I don’t think that guilt will ever leave me. Of course I’d play with him but it felt like I was just braindead. I think after a while I moved almost all of his toys – including his kitchen – into the lounge so I could lay on the sofa without worrying he’d be playing in another room where I couldn’t see him. I’d put Disney Channel on and leave it on all day and the only time I really left my lounge was to make Jax food or go to the toilet and then at the end of the day I’d crawl back into bed. It’s mad but even doing nothing is exhausting. I used to lay there and give myself a million pep talks about how I should just walk to the shops with Jax, go to the park or even a walk round the block because it’ll be good for both of us and then maybe I’d feel a little less guilty but it was so hard. It’s so bad but I just could not be bothered to get dressed and look worthy of a public appearance. Jaxson was honestly amazing though, even if we stayed in ALL DAY, he never played up, he’d always come and give me kisses and cuddles, he’d do as he was told; in a way its like he knew what was going on and was on his best behaviour just to make it that much easier.

I think the thing with A&D is that you just can’t control what your responses are or what your feelings are and you don’t have the energy to try. I’ve always described it as having two little people sitting on your shoulders; one in one ear poisoning your thought process and feeding your brain with thoughts that aren’t real, wearing you down and tormenting you. Then one in the other trying desperately to bring you back to earth, reminding you of whats real and what isn’t, reminding you of the logic that you obtain deep down somewhere, pleading with you not to listen to the other guy on the other shoulder. But the other voice is louder, the other voice is easier, the other voice has more control over you.

I’ve found that it is also one of those situations where you probably couldn’t feel more alone, and think you’re the only person going through it but when you talk to people, you realise that almost everyone you know has been through, is going through it or knows somebody who has/is. It’s so hard to even comprehend talking to anybody about it because it makes you feel so gut wrenchingly embarrassed and abandoned but as soon as you do, you go from one extreme to another almost. I found one of the hardest things for me was the people around me who haven’t been there before, not understanding where I was coming from. I remember telling them over and over that just because it’s not physical and you can’t see it like you would a broken leg – that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and in full force. I’d be scared of going out with my friends because then ‘it would appear’ that I was ‘fine and absolutely normal’ just because I’d have a smile on my face or take a photo? At the time this used to infuriate me, but looking back, I think it may be because they aren’t knowledgeable of mental health? Or maybe they just haven’t experienced it or know anybody that has which I suppose isn’t their fault but it’s just frustrating that people are so quick to judge or pass comments when really they don’t know the half of it.

Around that time I always used to say I’d never been anxious before or experienced low mood but in hindsight I think I probably did. Not to the extent that I did last year, but there were definitely times – especially when I got pregnant – that I’d worry about the most ridiculous things or argue about something ludicrous with Ole because I’d overthink every situation and its like my mind was always 3 steps ahead of me or whatever was actually happening. I used to get so frustrated that I’d be at home whilst my friends and Ole were out clubbing and it actually made me feel really alone. What a wonderful thing hindsight is eh!

So, yeah, that was what A&D was like for me – I am honestly so much happier since completing my treatment and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I’m not saying I don’t have shit days because I do, but I now know that thats normal, and thats absolutely fine. I now have the tools to go ‘You know what? Today really isn’t my day but thats okay, tomorrow is a new day and that’s going to be so much better.’ Whereas before I’d just get into some downward spiral of believing that every day is going to be a bad one. DON’T LET YOUR THOUGHTS RUIN YOUR DAY AND LIFE!

 

Thank you for reading and keeping up to date with my mental health posts! I’m pretty sure the posts from here on out will be positive but I just needed to get all of this off my chest and written down. Love you lots! J xxx

F O L L O W    M E :

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