I wake up anxious.
I go to bed anxious.
Every day is spent trying to be one step ahead, trying to avoid tears and tantrums. I often feel that despite appearing calm, I’m actually ferociously dreading water in an attempt to stay afloat.
Before I even leave the house my mind is telling me that something will go wrong.
What if one or both of the kids misbehave or become upset?
I cook dinners that nobody knows about and yet I think ‘what if someone judges me for giving them chicken dippers and curly fries tonight?’.
The thing is, I live in a permanent state of fear. A fear of not appearing to be good enough. Deep down I know I am, I know my children adore me and we create memories to last a lifetime. But what if others don’t think the same?
I’ve spent so long trying to be someone I’m not that my world is now consumed by a need for perfection that sends my pre-existing mental health issues into overdrive.
Every situation comes with its own set of anxieties, nipping to the shop becomes a trip to Timbuctoo, an appointment becomes an Olympic event, even the school run feels like a marathon…
I should be enjoying the little moments, instead they become lost in a sea of worry and self-doubt.
Anxiety leaves me on edge and snappy, my fuse can be short and I often find myself apologising.
I am incredibly lucky to have friends and family who know the ‘real me’. They are not afraid to tell me when I’m being unreasonable and are quick to sense an anxiety attack without me having to say a word.
But it shouldn’t be this way, anxiety shouldn’t rule me. I’ve had enough of the fear.
Why can’t I just relax?
Do you suffer with moderate/severe mental health issues?
What coping methods do you find useful?