I haven't written for a while.
Things have been... hard.
I don't like to be negative, I feel like my last few posts have a positive vibe, I felt like I was finally starting to have a positive vibe.
I forgot about the journey. I forgot that things can change really quickly. I forgot that there is no such things as a straight, upwards line when it comes to recovery.
I forgot how it felt to have that panic grabbing me, I forgot how fast that lump could come back to my throat, how my stomach could so easily twist into knots and I could dread facing the day.
I can't believe I forgot.
Unfortunately, over the last few weeks - I have been reminded.
I can't really pinpoint when it started. I was feeling good, I was coping well, I was smiling. All of a sudden, I started crying a lot. I started losing my patience must faster than usual. I felt sick. I didn't want to get up and spend a day at home trying to keep Isaac happy, but I didn't want to go out either.
I mentioned in a previous post that I have started weaning from one of my medications (google clonazepam if you're interested). I have been doing this slowly. Going from two tablets a day, to 1 and three quarters over several weeks, then one and a half and so on. I'm currently taking one a day. It has been so much harder than I thought. I guess that's why it's so addictive and generally only used short term. But I had no choice. It was the only medication that really helped my anxiety enough over the last 20 months. It makes me sad to think that I'm not OK without it. I hope I will be eventually, but right now; it's hard.
Isaac is nearly two. His toddlerhood is in full swing. Obviously, that's hard. Tantrums, demanding, clingy, "NO!", stubborn, constantly changing - I feel like I am wishing time away. I want to enjoy this stage (as much as I can) and treasure everything while he is this little. Every day I try to remind myself of this but still find that I am counting down the seconds until bed time. I know that's normal for most parents, and I'm under no illusions that parenting is meant to be some magical stress-free experience, but I want to be present and be able to realise that this won't last forever; and one day, I will be wishing to go back to these days, right now, with all the chaos and the snuggles and the giggles. It's hard, but it's beautiful.
I feel like Isaac soaks up however I'm feeling and mirrors it back to me a lot of the time. Kids are incredibly observant, emotional and sensitive to their surroundings. There is a bit of a long-running joke that Isaac gets grumpy around crowds. Is that because of me? Can he feel that I'm uncomfortable? I don't know for sure, but I would hate to think I am somehow stunting his social development. There is absolutely no evidence to back-up what I've just said, it's just where my anxious mind goes. I also feel like it's so blatantly obvious when I'm struggling. We were at a family function last week, having a lovely time - Isaac of course was grumpy and whingey but he's a kid. It doesn't bother anybody but me. I just want him to be happy and play and some of the time he did, but mostly he just seemed overwhelmed. I could barely keep it together while we were there and I have no idea why. We left early because of Isaac's bed time (something else I hate doing and feel guilty about but I just can't cope with changing his routine), and when we got to the car I started sobbing - complete panic attack meltdown. My Mum had walked to the car with us and I asked her to apologise to everyone for me - turns out nobody even noticed I was anxious. My brain plays these horrible tricks on me and I feel like everyone can tell that my heart is pounding out of my chest, I'm hot and bothered and it seems so clear that I'm about to lose it. Apparently not. Go away, anxious brain.
It's my road, I have to travel it the best way I can and remember it is a journey. It's a long journey. Things will look up again and I will try and focus on that thought while I get through the current rough patch. I'm not great at being kind to myself and automatically feel like a failure. I feel like I should be better now. Why have I gone backwards?? There isn't usually a straight forward answer; often it's lots of little things that gradually pile up and I find myself caught up in a bit of an anxiety battle. Here's to taking it one battle at a time and looking at the bigger picture rather than just the here and now. It will be OK. Repeat. It will be OK.