Once upon a time there was a woman in her thirties that didn’t much like being out and about with her kids. She loved her kids so much but the thought of being in busy places with them scared her a bit. You see, this woman suffered from anxiety. Doing the things that she wanted to do sometimes seemed like really big hills to climb and sometimes however hard she tried she just couldn’t get to the top. It didn’t matter how much she wanted to get there, something in her brain would stop her. It made her really sad and the physical feelings that came with anxiety often left her feeling worthless, stupid and like the worst Mummy there ever was. The woman would often look at other Mothers doing things like taking their kids around the supermarket or taking them to busy fun places in the school holiday (usually on Instagram) and wondered why she was so scared of doing these things.
One day the woman realised that she needed help and that she she couldn’t climb that hill by herself. She needed help from the people around her and help from her GP. She took herself off to the Doctors and he gave her some medicine to help her feel back to her usual self. It wasn’t that easy though and even though the medicine helped her to function again, functioning wasn’t enough for her. She wanted to enjoy things again and give her children the best childhood possible so she started to learn how to cope with her anxiety, she decided to push against it. Some days it worked and other days it didn’t but things slowly improved. There were still bad days, she knew there probably always would be but some days she made it to the top of that hill and that made her happy. That was enough for now. The woman had learnt a very important lesson – her hill sometimes was a lot smaller than someone elses but it didn’t matter because when she got to the top it was just as good an achievement as the person who had the bigger hill. The woman decided to give herself a bloody break!
The woman is me.
Silly storytelling aside the lesson that I learnt was one that I wanted to share with other anxiety sufferers. Taking both kids to the supermarket on my own was a big deal to me and I would fear it but when I did it, I was so proud of myself. Last week I took Little Lady to the Library on my own. I have been doing this for a few weeks now but a few months ago I would have been too scared to do it in case something went wrong. School holidays petrified me but I have got through a few now without hitting rock bottom with my mental health. It has taken work, I didn’t just flick a switch and some days I still only just about get through but I am building myself back up and I’m proud of that.
Sometimes when you have anxiety you can feel a bit silly. Silly that something that someone else might deem as normal is a huge deal to you but actually it’s not silly and it really doesn’t matter what someone else thinks. It’s alright to give yourself a pat on the back because one persons little tiny thing that they do as part of their day that they don’t even think about could be another persons massive hill to climb. Mary down the road could be doing it easily but if you’re not and you’ve done it, that’s a good thing!
So if you have done something out of your comfort zone whether it be anxiety related or not don’t down play it, own it and be proud that you achieved it.
Pat yourself on the back.