I haven’t been writing. It feels like I’ve been doing everything but. Working full time, studying, two smallies – one who doesn’t sleep and coordinating with and dealing with an international move.
It’s been a year. Not necessarily a good or bad year but just a year. I survived. I feel ungrateful writing that because I do know how blessed I am. A beautiful family, full time employment, we have had a year free from cancers and treatment in our immediate family. We moved home and have seen so many family and friends. So many laughs.
But this year I’ve just gone through the motions. I’m sorry if I cancelled on you. I felt like a bystander in my own life just merely watching from the distance feeling like I should be enjoying this more and laughing when appropriate instead of feeling joy. Crippling anxiety has taken over my life and left me feeling numb and not in control.
I’ve experienced it before in periods of high stress but never in this prolonged state. It’s probably been part of my post partum journey after the birth of Mary Kate last December. Maybe it’s been the huge change in our lives by moving home. Or perhaps it’s been the culmination of the past few years and my mind is catching up on everything we have been through. Maybe it’s PTSD from my mother’s death and giving birth and the hurricane. I don’t know. But I do know that what I have experienced and gone through this past year isn’t normal.
Small things go wrong and my reaction is over the top. My husband has picked me up off the floor on occasions where I haven’t been able to drag myself into a shower or get dressed. I haven’t been able to face people or events. While being back to work has actually helped, it still feels like going through the motions and craving the weekend where I can spend a day in bed rather than enjoying it or enjoying the time off with the kids. Social media is a killer. If you look on my instagram account you’ll see a happy and smiling family photo of us at Mary Kate’s christening. The reality is pretty different. I had been so stressed about the actual day and everything going well that I hadn’t stopped eating in two weeks and I was taking laxatives daily to combat any potential weight gain – not concerned with the impact on my health.
I had some shoddy dental work done in Puerto Rico. At a cost of 5k it’s left me with constant gum infections and 6 veneers that need to be replaced. It’s something I need to fix urgently to even be comfortable when speaking. Right now, I’ll hide behind my hand when possible.
I went to visit a functional therapist and had some medical tests done. High adrenal function, melatonin all over the place, lacking good gut bacteria and cortisol levels off. The actual Dr was awful – she charged 1000’s and didn’t actually do anything to help. My weight has continued to pile up and up and it’s now a huge factor in getting my life back on track. To be comfortable in my own skin.
I’m finishing 2018 glad that I survived it. Glad that I have my wonderful husband and children and wanting more from 2019. I have a plan in place. I’ve researched some natural supplements that will help with my gut bacteria and adrenal function. I’ve visited a homeopath and I’m taking some natural remedies that should help with overall well being. I’m going to take time for myself outside of work and kids and have booked in for some personal training sessions for January and February. Exercise has always been a huge part of my mental health and wellness and it’s something I’ve grossly neglected in 2018 while being too busy.
These all look like small things but are significantly big in my world where the worst days involved having difficulty getting dressed and brushing my hair.
2019 will involve change. Hopefully for the better. I will be taking a break from non essential work social media but if people are interested in my recovery and programme in getting back to healthy then I will come on here and blog about my progress weekly for those first two months.
It’s taken a lot for me to write this and put it all down. Especially when most of my family don’t even know that is the reality. But if reading this spurs just one person to think about how anxiety is impacting their own life and make a plan to make things better then it’ll be worth it.
Here’s to 2019. The year of Siobhan 2.0.