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help- i am losing the plot...

(15 Posts)
paulwellerfan Wed 13-Jul-16 14:33:07

Hi i am 49- single mum to daughter 15 and son 12. I live along from family and i have been on my own for 5 years- my dad has dementia so my parents can no longer visit me and i get to see them maybe 3 times a year. My marriage was a very difficult one and the divorce was horrendous- he is a high earner and he hid money from me and i am in the family home but have to sell it when my son is 21 and my ex still gets half- so my financial future seems scary at times. I am grieving for my dad too as every time i see him he has deteriorated badly.
My stress levels have been very high over the past few years and i know that i have been very low at times. I have a terrible driving phobia so i have been limited where i can drive- but we live near a train station so that has been ok because we get get around by train. but a few weeks ago i went by train by myself- something i do alot and has never bothered me and all of a sudden i started to experience this dreadful panic- it has awful- i felt sick, needed the loo, was shaking and sweating and didnt know what to do with myself...i felt totally out of control and very scared.
Since then every time i go by train i feel panic set in and so i am avoiding it again...but i cant keep avoiding things- my kids need me to take them places and we need to have a life.

My anxiety is exhausting me- i am dizzy and shaky and feel like my brain is full of cotton wool- i dont work but i know at some point i will need to- but both my kids have asd and various other conditions so they need me at home to support them.

Gp gave me antidepressants but i am scared to take them as in the past i have had awful side effects and withdrawl effects. I have got some diazepam if i need to take them but havent taken them for years.

I feel so alone- i feel so tired- i feel frustrated because i want to feel in control and well- i am fed up with feeling like this- it has been on and off for years- i want to do exciting things and start to live again-

my daughter is 15 and wants to be a doctor - she is an amazing kid- strong and determined and an A* student who is predicted to get A*s in all her gcses- she is on work experience at the moment at the local hospital- i am so proud of her- but i want her to be proud of me too- and i feel so pathetic that i am trapped in this anxiety- they dont see how bad i am - i am good at putting my mask on and pretending i am ok.

I really need some friends who understand how i feel- people think i should be ok now- divorcing a man with a personality disorder is the hardest thing i have ever done- and i have done it alone- i feel battered and worn out-

Gp said i had generalised anxiety disorder and probably PTSD due to the abusive marriage and horrendous drawn out divorce.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post- i am sorry if it is abit rambling- i guess that is how my brain feels right now lol.

Mumble29 Wed 13-Jul-16 14:48:29

Hi, sorry to hear you are having such a rough time, you have a lot to cope with so no surprise you are feeling so low. I know you said you don't want to take medication but it can help if you stick with it, it can take a while for it to kick in.
Anxiety is awful and can feel very lonely at times, you have come to the right place though as lots of us on here are in the same boat smile

dangermouseisace Wed 13-Jul-16 19:12:48

Well done you flowers you are successfully raising 2 children, alone. You have been through a horrendous relationship/divorce with an abusive ex and the fact your kids are ok shows that you must be their 'rock'.

FWIW I'd take the anti depressants. It's better to take them consistently and be stable than have to take diazepam when things get out of control. I suffer from anxiety, but on anti depressants I don't get to that feeling sweaty/sick/legs not working place. Modern anti depressants have far less side effects/issues coming off than diazepam AND you can drive.

I know it's hard, but try not to worry too much about what is going to happen when DS is 21. I can relate to the divorce thing (currently going through one…ex refusing to fill in financial paperwork…again a high earner). Don't feel that you should be 'over it' I think the only people who would say that are people who haven't been through it. I think it's like having your entire world turned upside down and shaken about. It sounds like you ended up with a very rough deal in the divorce- how the hell did he wangle that?

Try not to worry about the house at the moment. Lots of things might have changed by the time your son is 21. Your ex might not even still be alive, who knows?

paulwellerfan Thu 14-Jul-16 09:12:09

Thank you for your replies.

I went on ad's when my kids were little as i had pnd- but the side effects i had and withdrawl was so awful my gp said he would never put me on them again- he felt i worried more about being on them than the benefits i might be feeling. So i have managed all these years without them and i guess a big part of me feels like i would be failing if i went on them- like i have got this far without them so if i go on them now i might as well have gone on them all those years that i have been struggling.

I have also gone through the menopause over the past few years too as i had a hysterectomy 8 years ago and so i went through this earlier than i would have naturally- so my hormones have obviously been affected and i think alot of my anxiety is down to that.

My heart feels like it is breaking too because i am losing my dad to dementia- he was a police officer and coroners officer- a fine upstanding pillar of the community and now he is weeing and pooing himself- it is an evil disease- and i live so far from them so i speak to mum most days and hear how he is and how she is struggling- it breaks my heart.

My kids need me happy and healthy but i am aware that it is a crucial time over the next few years- my daughter takes her gcses next year and then starts A levels- my sons schooling is going to involve even more input from me as he goes into year 8 and 9 and at the same time my dad is going to be getting worse and possibly be going into a care home- it all seems really fragile- and i have no one to share it with as i am a single it all feels really scary- hence the anxiety kicking in i guess.

If i do start to take the meds i wont do it till the school holidays are over- i cant cope with the side effects of starting them when i have the kids around 24/7- if i do take them it will have to be when i have time to collapse and take it a bit slower.

Do you recommend anything else that might be able to help me manage my symptoms in the meantime- anything natural or any online support.

Thank you so much- i really do appreciate and welcome any help.

Mumble29 Thu 14-Jul-16 09:35:13

Meditation can help to calm you, try a guided one, there are lots on YouTube.
I always find going for a walk in nature/by the sea, quite relaxing.
Meet up with friends have a coffee and a gossip.
Little things like that can take your mind off stuff at least for a while.
I wish I could give you better advice but just sharing what sometimes helps me flowers

paulwellerfan Thu 14-Jul-16 10:13:49

Thank you so much- just having people who really understand is such a comfort.
I love the sea but live 200 miles from it- but i live near countryside- i try to get out to walk but one of my horrid symptoms is i feel dizzy alot so walking ends up not being relaxing- i love it though and i long to be at the sea- would love to live by the sea really.

alot of my friends think i am ok- they dont know my anxiety is so bad- guess i need to open up and tell people how much i am struggling.

Thank you so much for your advice-
i have just order a book and a cd from Amazon by Claire Weekes about anxiety- so i am looking forward to getting my teeth into that.

thank you so much for your help

Mumble29 Thu 14-Jul-16 10:50:50

Telling friends is hard, but trying to pretend your ok makes things worse. Tell them how you are feeling , you need as much support as you can get when you are feeling like this. smile

paulwellerfan Thu 14-Jul-16 12:49:50

Yeh absolutely right. Friends have been few and far between i guess over recent years- because of how my marriage was i didnt really have any mutual friends with my ex. I am not from this area- i moved here to be with him so i dont have many friends in the area- i am a friendly person and would love to have a close circle of friends but it just hasnt happened yet.
I have quite a big group of Facebook friends , some of whom i have never met- who are part of some of the single mum groups i am on or groups for parents of kids with extra needs- some of them always comment on my posts and support me- i have been thinking about contacting just the ones who always are so kind in their comments and telling them about how i am feeling and seeing if any of them would like to meet up sometime...i really need people in my kids lives too- they see their dad but he has moved on and has recently bought a house with his woman and her daughter- so he is not particularly involved in their lives- its always down to me to make life happen for the kids and that pressure sometimes feels huge.

Thank you so much for your support.

dangermouseisace Thu 14-Jul-16 21:40:34

OP you weren't on paroxetine by any chance? (thinking of AD's that are notoriously awful to come off and remembering being head zapped)

As mumble said having RL support is invaluable. I wish I had told my friends earlier that things were hard- trying to everything by yourself AND be ok is a bit much, you do need at least some moral support! Good idea arranging to meet up with people OP!

dangermouseisace Thu 14-Jul-16 21:41:35

also my friend recommended the Headspace app for meditation

paulwellerfan Thu 14-Jul-16 23:11:55

I was on citalopram. Apparently i have a sensitive nervous system and i am affected by meds quite alot...thats why i am so reluctant to go on ad's.
I would love to have people in my life can seem at times like i an billy no mates....i do have friends and i do meet up for a coffee every now and then but it is never more than that so me and the kids spend alot of time with it just being the 3 of us.
Thanks for the advice re the Headspace app.
Thank you for your help

outputgap Thu 14-Jul-16 23:21:30

Have you thought about CBT? It can be very effective and it gets around the issue of medication affecting you negatively.

You sound like you are doing and have done a fantastic job for your kids. You should be really proud of yourself. Your daughter didn't get to be that successful without some stability and love, which must have been near impossible in your circumstances, so well done you.

paulwellerfan Fri 15-Jul-16 07:22:45

Thank you for your reply....i have had some counselling recently at my gp sugery and i have my last appointment next week. She said i can be referred for cbt but i have to wait 3 months after counselling ends....then i go on the list and have to wait to be it could be well into next year before i start....its crazy.
Yeh my kids are great...but i feel daily that i am failing them and i ferl huge guilt that i feel the way i do. I have held it all together despite having no family around to help, a very difficult exhusband who argues with everything, having had 2 operations in the past few years, a prolapsed disc and severe sciatica, a horrendous divorce and both my kids have health issues.
I guess it is no wonder i now feel like i am falling apart....i actually feel like i am having a breakdown. But the kids break up next week for 6 weeks hols....i have to be ok.
Thank you for your support.

outputgap Fri 15-Jul-16 20:19:55

Gosh, that would have broken most of us. You are actually doing an amazing job and you must stop feeling guilty, bless you.

I wish I could offer you more help. Just a tip which worked for me when I had panic attacks, which I hope might help with the train, was to breath in for a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, breath out for a count of 5. It's just a sticking plaster but it got me back on the tube

paulwellerfan Sun 17-Jul-16 11:48:56

Thank you for that tip- bless ya
i went on the train with my kids yesterday- within about 5 mins i fel the panic rise- but i did breathing and it helped- i was ok- not pleasant but i coped and on the way back i had no panic at all.

I bought a book by Claire weekes- Self help for your nerves- it is great- reading it made me realise that i prob am having a breakdown- and it has been building up for years- but the kdis break up from school next week and i have them for 6 weeks- got lots planned and i so want to be well- but putting a brave face on i so exhausting- maybe i will wait till September to fall apart- lol

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