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Constant anxiety is destroying me...(9 Posts)
The past 5 years have been tough. This will possibly out me in RL but I need to get this out:
Infertility (premature menopause, so not exactly fixable and has symptoms that can cause anxiety. I'm on HRT and have had very good care in this regard)
Baby growth restricted, me having pre-eclampsia, 15 weeks of not knowing whether the baby would make it then 6 weeks in hospital for me, 4 weeks in SCBU when DD was born, total miracle and she's now a wonderful 3.5 year old
Health issues when DD was newborn; had genetic testing etc to rule out causes of her very low birth weight (2lb 10ozs at 35 weeks gestation)
DH lost his job when I was pregnant
Debt (see above)
Husband diagnosed with depression- received treatment; much better now, weaning off meds
Moved house twice this year- cleared debt, now have savings, renting nice house, albeit with a damp problem but the landlady is sorting this
So, new area, new friends, new nursery for DD but still see old friends regularly too
Bought first ever car- great but has caused stress as it's been another thing to worry about and I'm not yet very confident and DH doesn't drive
DH not found work so is now a SAHD and I'm now in a job I really enjoy where I don't need to work FT (I'm freelance)
I'm also a bit sad as DD will be an only child (see infertility+ finances + me working)
There have been other things that have contributed to my feeling so exhausted and on edge but these are the biggies.
I've been slowly starting to crumble, I feel. I'm really irritable, have a very low tolerance for noise/certain noises. I've had feelings of being physically unbalanced especially when crossing 4 lane roads and walking through Waterloo station, which I do frequently. Sort of giddy, I suppose. These feelings have lessened since I started to eat better and I've also started running again, which has helped. I've been careful about not drinking much and I've been trying to get to bed at a reasonable time and keep to a regular wake up time when I'm not working. When I am working, I have to be up at 5:20am.
But nothing's really made much difference. I feel so tired and weary. I've had blood tests done recently but everything seems okay. I constantly feel nauseous and frequently feel agitated and on 'high alert'. I don't feel depressed in so much as I do enjoy things but many fun activities and events feel tinged with 'what if' and that horrible churney tummy feeling. And I feel tearful. I also seldom get the chance to just sit and relax. It's as if I've got to keep going. I'm feeling worried about a piece of work that I need to complete this week but don't feel I've got the headspace to do it. I feel as if I must constantly stay alert and worry in case something happens when I don't worry. I also feel very, very burdened by everything yet I still want to do things like join the school PTA and help with Christmas fairs etc. I want to enjoy life not just do essential stuff. I'm not sure DH really 'gets' this.
He does the lion's share of childcare, laundry, cooking bad bits if cleaning but he doesn't work in an organised way so often only half does a job. I tend to run around completing things. Fine- I'm fussy about how clothes are out away etc but I can't do this and work too. I should say that although I love my job and it pays well enough for me to not need to work full time, I feel I'm missing out on being a SAHM and want to still have control over parenting and of 'my domain'. I know that sounds archaic and sexist but it's hard to make the shift from always imagining I'd be a SAHM with an earning husband to me being the sole earner. It's just how things have to be at the moment but I'm not sure I'll ever reconcile with this.
So, last night after getting back to our nearest station from a friend's daytime Christmas party, we pile into the car and discover the battery is flat. Fortunately I'm an AA member so was rescued (and sent DH and DD in a taxi so he could put her to bed. DH doesn't drive but is learning) but it was another 3 hours until I got home so now have even less time to get back on top of things. When I walked into the door, I dissolved into tears and finally confessed to DH how overwhelmed I feel. He was, I have to say, very supportive and I don't think he had realised how down I've been feeling.
He's just managed to get me a doctor's appointment for this evening. I'm still in bed. I need to get this sorted, don't I? I can't keep going feeling like a sitting duck. That's what I feel like: on constant high alert.
So I'm even more anxious, even though I know it's the right thing to do, as I don't really know our new GP yet.
Sorry for the epic post- I just feel rather alone and adrift. But splurging all of this has been rather cathartic. Thanks for 'listening'.
You poor thing. I know exactly how you feel, I've suffered from anxiety and depression in phases ever since DS1 was born, and if I'm honest looking back a lot longer than that, I just never knew what it was.
I can totally relate to that build up of things which over time leave you a total wreck with no emotional reserves.
Go and talk to the GP, tell them everything you have here - maybe even print out the post and take it for them to read if that will be easier? Do consider medication, I've taken ADs for a year twice, and both times they really helped me.
In terms of how to cope day to day, I think the first thing is that you have to let go of the domestic stuff, although I also think it would be fine to talk to your husband about how things could be better organised for you all in order to maximise everyone's relaxation time.
Taking time out to really switch off is very important - my Dad taught me a technique where you sit or lie down, and go from one end of your body to another tensing and relaxing each 'zone' of muscles as you go. Then just stay still for 5 minutes keeping your mind as empty as you can. I also use a Paul McKenna stress relieving CD which really helps.
I know what you mean about wanting to do PTA stuff and get involved with everything, but if you don't have either the time or the headspace to take it on then don't. I've taken a big step back this year, I'm helping out at the school fair but not doing any of the organisation, I've declined all Secret Santa things. I'm focusing on the things which are important for me and us as a family - spending time with family and close friends, making my own Christmas cake, we spent a whole day yesterday buying and putting up our tree, having a nice dinner with a good bottle of wine - I feel prepared for the week because I was so relaxed yesterday.
God what an essay, I hope some of it is useful! But you are not alone, it is really common to feel this way and Christmas brings it all into sharper focus because there is a lot of pressure to have and do everything.
Thank you for talking the time to respond, Alibaba. I'm crying again now but in a good way.
Good idea about printing my post out to take to the GP.
I do remember the zone-tensing technique actually. Must start doing again.
I like helping at DD's school. It's just that if I don't, then I don't feel that involved in her life.
I agree that DH and I need to sit down and talk through who does what as I very rarely get any down time. It's partly my fault for having low tolerance for dirt and mess (and I must say that I do feel more anxious when things look messy and chaotic) but I think DH has more headspace than me because he genuinely doesn't see what needs doing.
Would an app work for him? I use Tody which gives me a to do list without having to think about what needs doing. Might work for him if he doesn't see the jobs and give him a bit more ownership of the housework. I set it up eg Hoover once a week, mop once a week, clean loo every other day, laundry every day etc
Thanks sleepy. I will look at Tody. That sounds like a good idea.
I'm feeling awful today. I went to my slightly useless GP (just moved house so new practice... will try and change but not priority at the moment) and he quite rightly did the Edinburgh test (I scored moderately) and the GAD scale on me- top scoring, I'm officially anxious. Who knew? He listened I suppose but he's a man of few words. He didn't offer CBT but to be fair I did explain that I've been feeling like this for months now and that I've tried diet, routine, low alcohol and exercise but to no avail. So he prescribed Sertraline. As the appointment was late, my DH is dropping the prescription in no on his way back from taking DD to nursery.
I feel dreadful this morning. Slept badly so got up around 4 am and did some work, which was good and a distraction.
I feel slightly soothed having had a shower and a cuppa and a massive skoosh of rescue remedy but I felt very panicky and afraid until about half an hour ago. My tummy is still churning and I've got that lump in my throat. I feel on the verge of tears and I'm very agitated but sitting here pouring out a graphical stream of consciousness I'd helping so I'll keep talking if no one minds? Not worried about replies but I just need to let all of how I feel out. And I slapped the sides of my face earlier. It soothed me. That's not good, is it?
Anyway. I'm okay ish.
Plan is to do a bit of fly lady style house stuff while DH is sorting prescriptions and taking DD to nursery.
Write 6 Christmas cards and put them in the parcels I'm getting ready to send
Put petrol in car
Send parcels from post office
Drive to sainsburys and do quick shop
Play date after nursery here, with the two children and their nanny. I've got cookie dough leftover from the weekend, resting in the fridge so will do Christmas biscuits with them
Then I'm going to get ready for work tomorrow- no option to not go as I'm self employed and sole earner. Might book taxi for morning to get to train station. I need to cut myself some slack right now.
Thanks for 'listening'. Just writing on here is really helping to calm me down.
Has the sertraline had any effect? Most of your post I could have written.
I am really anxious about work, all the time. Fear of getting something wrong.
Thank you for posting this. It is exactly how I feel and prompted me to go to the gp yesterday who referred me for CBT and gave me a prescription for beta blockers if I feel I need them. I think just having them will help. I have felt like this for much too long before asking for help.
The thanks was to the OP but realised also to those who've provided tips and advice too!
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