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How do I cope?

(14 Posts)
goldsilver Thu 05-Nov-15 05:55:39

I've been here before to say that my OH is very understanding but sometimes life doesn't run smoothly :-( At this time, I seem to be perimenopausal (I am 45 years old) and I suffer from anxiety anyway, so this has increased, PMS bad, very low mood and a general feeling of malaise and feeling drained. Yesterday, I was meant to go to a gig with him (for a band he has seen twice before) and we have been to many gigs together. I have never found it easy; to stand for four/five hours and I suffer from mild agoraphobia also, that I have never overcome. Well, yesterday, for once, I just couldn't do it. And to tell him that I couldn't just seemed to highlight how bad I was feeling (to me) and how much I was struggling. It would have meant travelling a long way as well from where we live and we wouldn't have got to bed till three in the morning. Then I would have had to be up at half six to get the dog from the sitter! I simply couldn't face it. He said he couldn't go without me because it would make him feel too guilty and I would be left home alone (no real friends and no family). I have made the mistake of saying yes to these gigs to appease him (mistake, I know). So, despite me feeling crap, last night, he sinks a couple of bottles of wine and just falls asleep. I end up anxious again, stay on the sofa while he toddles off to bed. Normally, we are up at half five every morning for his job and my body clock is set to that. I can't seem to sleep more whereas he can just go back to sleep if he doesn't have to get up, and doesn't understand why I can't. So, here I am awake. But the real problem now arising is this...on Friday, we are meant to travel four hours to London, staying in a hotel overnight and seeing Alice Cooper and Motley Crue in Wembley Arena. I'm bricking it because I am trying to handle all these physical and psychological problems and the arena is huge with many thousands of people going. And I have agoraphobia. He says he will look after me and I know I should NEVER have said yes to this gig, but does anyone have any coping and helpful tips at all? Thank you in adance :-)

Cabrinha Thu 05-Nov-15 06:35:01

Well, he can't do much to look after you because you have medical conditions and he's not a doctor / psychologist.

Now is the time to tell him that you're sorry you committed to it when you can't do it, and you need to pull out and he should take a friend. But also show him that you're going to do something about it - and you will need his support. Then call your GP and get an appointment.

If he isn't supportive of you when you're getting help, bin him - you will improve faster / more without him.

goldsilver Thu 05-Nov-15 06:41:01

Thank you Cabrinha. I have seen the doctors several times, and they haven't helped. However, I will go back and keep trying.
The thing is, to pull out now would also cause me a lot of anxiety. I would then spend the whole weekend alone and cause upset to him and to me so I am in a sticky situation. And he won't pull out of this one because of what he has paid for the tickets and hotel and I would hate for him to miss out.
He also doesn't have anyone else to go with him.
He is very supportive and understanding.
It is just a difficult situation that I have found myself in.

Friendlystories Thu 05-Nov-15 07:01:53

My instinct is that you shouldn't have to do anything which causes you so much anxiety just to please someone else, having said that you also say it will cause you significant anxiety if you don't go so is it worth speaking to the doctor about short term medication (beta blockers possibly?) to get you through on this occasion either way and look at long term solutions once this weekend is out of the way? I found beta blockers helpful for PTSD type anxiety after a traumatic event when I was struggling to even leave the house, they're not a long term solution but can help keep anxiety symptoms at bay in the short term while you develop other coping strategies. I'll be honest, I don't think you should have to force yourself to go to this gig if you don't want to just because his reaction will cause problems in itself and I think you will need to rethink your relationship either in terms of major changes on his part or whether it's actually healthy for you to continue being with him but it sounds like for now you need a short term solution to the immediate problem so that's what I'm trying to address for now. Have you ever been prescribed beta blockers before? You would ideally need to see the doc today and give them a try before you try and leave for the journey to London as they work better for some people than others but if you can get an emergency appointment this morning and explain you have to travel and are very anxious about it they may be worth a try.

swisscheesetony Thu 05-Nov-15 07:10:53

Yes! What Fern said - ask your doc for a couple of Valium for a stressful train journey. You won't be the first who goes to pieces on public transport - my mil takes them to visit - honestly, we're not that bad! Against all the rules I'd have popped one in the post for you today but I doubt it'd reach you in time.

FuckyNell Thu 05-Nov-15 07:18:28

I found myself getting like this a few years ago. I started hrt and I'm fine again now. I was 39. Anxious, stressed, flushes (but I didn't know what they were) and panic attatzcks. Not saying you are like me of course but as you mention peri well, it's like a personal call to me grin

Have a look at www.menopausematters.co.uk

happystory Thu 05-Nov-15 07:20:27

Is it a coincidence that these two events are so close together or are these quite regular trips? It's obviously his 'hobby' and he can do what he likes but I think he should understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea. It sounds exhausting at the best of times, and inconvenient if you have a pet. I think he's being rather inconsiderate.

pocketsaviour Thu 05-Nov-15 08:48:07

You mentioned being "left alone" a couple of times, OP. Do you find it hard to be on your own?

goldsilver Thu 05-Nov-15 09:07:52

Thank you, lots of understanding and empathy, so appreciate it. I have tried beta blockers when I was younger Fern25; didn't get on too well with them but do know they can help. Swisscheesetony, I do have valium :-) Took two yesterday (mind you, they are only 2mg) but they didn't make too much of a difference but they are a bit of a comfort. But thank you for offering to send one to me. Doctor won't prescribe stronger ones. FuckyNell, I did try HRT but got a bit worried about it, and after six months, didn't make much of a difference. What did you find worked for you? I was using patches, perhaps I ought to try another form of HRT. Happystory, not normally are there so many gigs, it is just that they all came together. Next year there are only two! But I do find it very hard. But yes, pocketsaviour, I do find it hard to be on my own which is perhaps why I have never been alone. I think, for me, I find it hard with no family and very few friends. I keep trying to do something about this. Every day, I try to find groups, work (as I work from home) activities but nothing has lasted. And of course, the agoraphobia doesn't help. Yet when OH goes to work, I spend a good ten hours on my own, so it shows I can cope. I think there are quite a few things that need working on.

Suddenlyseymour Thu 05-Nov-15 09:55:32

This sounds really hard, you have my sympathy. I can't help thinking though that if your husband understood what / how anxiety mixed with agoraphobia is for you, that a massive event in an arena with thousands of people surely is something he would grasp is frankly your worst nightmare, and I'm questioning his thinking in even asking you to attend? It also sounds like the fallout then from not attending makes it worse for you, a bit of a viscous circle......you try, get the courage to speak up that you really feel you can't manage it, and the reaction is that he drinks 2 bottles of wine and you feel doubly crushed. I think he could handle this a lot differently. It's putting you under pressure in a very precise and unremitting way

Friendlystories Thu 05-Nov-15 10:54:10

I think if the medication route isn't going to work you need to decide which will be worse wrt this weekend, having to go to the gig and all that entails or being alone and the potential fallout from your OH. Neither sound particularly palatable but if one seems a little more manageable than the other then that's probably what you should do. If it helps to know what others would do in your shoes I know I would stay at home, my anxiety is largely under control now but a big event like that would still be stressful for me and I can't see any point in putting myself through something I wouldn't enjoy. My DH wouldn't expect me to either, he would get no pleasure from me attending something he knew I wouldn't enjoy in fact it would probably spoil it for him because he's just be worrying whether I was ok. That element of your posts does seem a little contradictory, why would it cause upset in your relationship if you backed out of the gig because of your anxiety and agoraphobia? Surely he wouldn't want you to put yourself through that amount of trauma for his benefit? Would he not feel more guilty about you forcing yourself to do something you really don't feel able to do than leaving you home alone? I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting your post but it seems like emotional blackmail to me for him to say he won't go if you don't because he would feel too guilty if he properly understands the degree of your anxiety/agoraphobia. Plenty of people attend events like this on their own, I would just tell him I didn't feel up to it but he should go ahead.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 05-Nov-15 15:50:45

When used to treat anxiety in adults the dose for valium is 2 to 10 mg to be taken 2 to 4 times a day and I suggest you up the amount you're taking as 2 x 2mg a day is clearly not having the desired affect.

Make an appointment at your GP's surgery to have your blood tested for deficiencies commonly associated with perimenopause and post on the General Health board for advice/recommendations for pharmacetutical HRT and for natural remedies such as black cohosh, evening primrose, etc.

Vitamin D deficiency is the scourge of northern countries. If you dont spend a great deal of time outdoors during daylight hours buy Dlux Vitamin D Oral Spray 3000iu and keep it by your toothbrush so that you don't forget to use it each day. It has a nice minty/refreshing taste and is cheap as chips on eBay.

Consider booking a couple of sessions of hypnotherapy to address your agrophobic tendencies - your GP's surgery or local pharmacy should be able to recommend a clinicial hypnotherapist who practises in your area.

Take 2 x 2mg valium tablets every 6 hours (3 doses in all) tomorrow to ascertain whether this dosage will curb your anxiety about travelling to London. If so, give consideration to accompanying your dh to the hotel with the proviso that he goes to the gig alone if you don't feel able to tag along (he may be able to sell your ticket on outside the stadium) and in future ensure that he/you only buy seated tickets for events of this nature.

The health issues/problems you've outlined aren't insurmountable but it's down you to take steps to remedy them.

goldsilver Sun 08-Nov-15 07:36:18

I wanted to thank you all again for your really helpful messages. And to also update you. I decided to be 'strong' and go for it, despite feeling rubbish. The alternative still felt worse (being alone at home). In many ways it is quite amusing :-) It took us ages to get to where we were to stay. My OH haadn't planned the trip well; we ended up almost lost, going through very heavy traffic and it took us over 5 and a half hours when it should have taken more like four ish hours. Then the hotel. Awful! Level 9 (and the lift was too dodgy to use). Room too hot and not comfortable and not even a tea spoon to take your tea bag out! And so many stairs. Then, and it was only then, discovered the doors opened at six and there wasn't even enough time to eat...just a rushed sandwich as we walked from a nearby Tesco Metro. Then the gig...oh my God! I feel like a female Victor Meldrew here;-) The Wembly Arena...too hot, long queues for the toilets (OH had to pee outside!), I never got to go to the toilet at all and OH did get seated tickets...but there was no point! Everyone stood up, in the seated area! I couldn't see a thing (being less than 5 foot 3 inches) and missed it, through sitting down. I rowed with my OH as I said I wanted to go...but of course, despite it all, he wanted to stay. The drinks were astronomical prices, hardly any staff, lots of people. My anxiety wasn't too bad (all these horrible distractions I suppose!) but later, my tummy played up. But the experience woke me up. All that I do for my OH. Even now, as I write this, I would have liked to have got up early and left, to make the journey home and get my dog from the sitter...but he has to have his sleep (so that he can drive back which is understandable). And of course, I can't sleep. For someone who seems so thoughtful and caring, he does has a selfish, perhaps thoughtless streak? He has booked two more seated gigs at this terrible place (to stay two nights in London in December, which admittedly he now regrets for he didn't know how bad the place was) and I have refused to go. Yet he still tries to convince me. It has started to make me question what I really want and I think I deserve better. I am making as many plans as I can to improve my life and put myself first. Ultimately to be independent, despite my problems and to be even more determined to find a better life for myself. Thank you so much to you all for all your help.

swisscheesetony Sun 08-Nov-15 17:06:10

Well done for going - it's a colossal effort and you made it. I'm sorry to hear about your tummy though - you must be delighted to be home safe and sound again. smile

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