I’m sitting in the car in Asda car park, eating a bag of haribo and trying not to cry (but not doing well on that score).
I’ve just been to see the GP about dizziness that I’ve been experiencing for a few weeks, and have come out with not only tablets for that, but some antidepressants. And I feel that I’m failing. Again.
I have suffered with depression on and off for over a decade, including bouts of postnatal depression after having both H and Tink. However, I’ve been pretty good for a couple of years and haven’t had any medication for a long while.
But I am stressed. I know, we’re all stressed these days, but for whatever reason I am really stressed. I can feel how tense I am and have to physically try to relax my muscles. I wake up at night (on those all to rare occasions I do get some sleep!) and I can feel I have been clenching my jaw, or grinding my teeth or something.
And the anxiety has crept back in. A while ago I had some CBT to treat my emetophobia – fear of vomiting. I am ridiculously scared of being sick, or seeing or hearing someone else being sick. I mean, I know it’s not nice, but we’re talking paralysing fear. I can even tell you the date I was last sick (2nd July 2010) as it happens so rarely. So when the kids are ill (also, thankfully pretty rarely), I just can’t cope. I can’t do it. I have to run away, and not to, which goes against every fibre of my maternal being. This time of year my anxiety levels are sky-high, as the kids have gone back to school and it’s bug season – they love to share those germs around! So it got to the point where H only had to say he felt poorly or had a tummy ache and I’d be a gibbering wreck. The treatment helped a little, but hasn’t cured me and now I’m getting those old feelings back.
So the stress and the anxiety, coupled with some aches, pains, the dizziness and generally feeling absolutely bloody knackered all of the time, then added to the worry about someone I love who is going through a crap time too, multiplied by general daily life with Tink and H and work and everything… Equals a bit of a breakdown in the GP’s surgery. Oops.
I didn’t mean to burst into tears. It’s not what I went for. But there’s just something safe about a consulting room, isn’t there? I was standing there, blood pressure cuff on and inflating when it just happened. The doctor looked up and said, “oh!” and then urged me to tell her what was making me cry. And it all spilled out. She had such big eyes and a lovely accent and was so kind, I couldn’t not tell her.
I told her that I’m exhausted, that I don’t sleep well for a few reasons. I told her that my child is autistic and that I have to deal with whatever that throws my way. I told her Dave and I are having a bit of a tough time lately. I told her my rock is wobbling and I’m just not sure if I’m strong enough to hold it steady.
“Who do you talk to about all this,” she asked.
“Um… Nobody really,” I replied. (Except I do really, I ramble on to you, dear readers, but not sure that was the answer she’d have been expecting).
“And what do you like to do?”
“Do? I don’t do anything. I don’t have much time to myself.”
“Hmm, yes, I imagine it’s hard.”
You got that right, sister. So, after a bit of a chat about options, I came away with some medication for that too. I hate it – it makes me woozy, but the medication for the dizziness should help that, so that’s a bonus! Only problem is that both lots can cause drowsiness – is it possible to feel even more sleepy than I already do?!
So now I’ve taken the plunge, I can try to work on getting myself better, stronger for my family. I need to try to make more time for myself and find things to do. And someone to talk to. And about six more hours in every day…