Something that has developed in me over recent years, that I don’t remember ever experiencing before, is anxiety. It really became a problem about 2 years ago when I had a major meltdown one afternoon that resulted in me being taken to my GP the next day by Mr who was very concerned about me. Since then I have been on prescribed medication, continued to see my counsellor every week and tried various relaxation methods including exercise, cutting out caffeine and doing mindfulness exercises.
As you would expect, when I am particularly stressed/under excess pressure the anxiety increases. Interestingly, I am not worrying about my children and the challenges they face each day, it is an internal anxiety that bubbles, wobbles, jitters, and agitates. The mornings that I wake up feeling jittery, I know I am not going to last all day without a blow out or unreasonable critical rant. It affects how I am with other people, reduces my (already low) tolerance levels and generally makes me feel chaotic.
The Boy has extreme anxiety and struggles with worries every day, he can always list at least 15 worries off the top of his head and find plenty more where they came from. I know that I should be more tolerant of his anxiety and the effect they have on his behaviour. Yet, my own feelings cloud in and I am consumed not only by my own anxiety but by his too. It is a toxic mix.
I was recently contacted by 2 old school friends who want to meet up in London with me. It has been about 13 years since we were all together and initially I thought it was a great idea. Over time however, I began to think of all the differences between us, their ability to have birth children, their lives being different to mine, the fact that I wasn’t invited to either of their weddings, the threesome that never felt equal as a child, their holidays together with their parents, the high achieving sporty children featured on facebook and on and on my doubts crowded in. My anxiety increased and the idea of a crowded London not feeling secure with those I was sharing the weekend with made me decide to back out.
I contacted them both via email a few weeks ago and told them that I wasn’t going to go because of my problems with anxiety and I wished them well. The responses were united, they thought that a weekend away with the ‘old girls’ would be just what I needed. It would do me good. My heart sank. It was more pressure, they’d not taken No for an answer. I have been thinking about it since and my gut feeling is still not to go. I need to avoid situations that are going to make me more anxious. I do this with the Boy too, much as he wants to do things, and often he pushes through the anxiety and gives it a go, sometimes the challenge is just too risky. It’s often a hard decision to make but the right one.
Tonight I had a call from one of them wanting a decision, I was put on the spot. It was awkward but I still said no. I think (and hope) it is the right decision. Finding the right balance has to be about making difficult decisions at times, but hopefully it will keep me heading in the right direction and not have me being set back at regular intervals.