A Mum Living with Anxiety

Because Me or someone I love is certainly dying from cancer, because Russia are going to go to war with us, because the wind might blow over the tree outside my bedroom window and crush me or the children as we sleep, because North Korea will fire nuclear missiles at the UK. It sounds ridiculous to say it out loud and I know that. But to be a Mum living with anxiety these are the types of thoughts that circle my head all day and keep me awake all night.

I've always been a bit of a worrier, always the one to think 'but what if?' But since having the children my anxiety is on a new level. I feel I've taken the weight of the world on my shoulders. The worlds problems have become my problems. I feel an overwhelming urge to protect my loved ones in a world that I have no control over, which terrifies me.

I've had a couple of previous 'episodes' where anxiety has briefly consumed me. My anxiety is usually triggered by health worries, money worries or the possibility of death.

Doctor Google is not my friend!

About a 2 years ago I found a lump on Stanleys neck. It was still there about 2 weeks later and he hadn't been poorly so I took him to the Doctors. They had a look, said they weren't worried and to just come back if it gets bigger or there's more lumps appear. I didn't take any notice of the lump for about 6 months. Then it suddenly caught my eye so I felt it again. It was definitely bigger and there were now 3 of them! Panic set in! I booked a Doctors appointment for him to get checked and did the worst thing I could have possibly done which is ask my good old friend Dr Google what he thought. This is where things spiralled. I didn't sleep that night because Google told me he had cancer.

We attended his Drs appointment and she referred him to a paediatrician and requested a blood test. This made me worse because it felt like she thought there was something to be concerned about.
The blood test was one of the worst days of my life. Holding and restraining the person I love more than anything in the world while they did something he was so fearful of completely broke my heart.
I called the Doctors to get his results and heard the words 'You need to make an appointment to discuss them with the Doctor.' And I felt like my heart had been ripped out. I burst into tears, begging them to tell me what was wrong. (I now work in a Doctors surgery so know the receptionist can't help but I felt broken.)

When the appointment came round and she told me the results she didn't sound worried at all. But as soon as I came out and googled his results they were consistent with the cancer I had diagnosed him with and that was it. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I cried daily. I lived every day as if he wouldn't have another. My family watched all of this and then decided that they would help contribute towards getting him seen at a private hospital so that hopefully my life could return to normal (I am so very grateful to have such amazing family!) We attended a private consultation with a paediatrician who obviously said Stanley was fine. Finally life returned to normal.

When the terrorist attack happened in Tunisia I was on edge for weeks. I tried not to take the kids out unless absolutely necessary and was constantly keeping my eye on the nearest exits just in case. I remember walking into Tesco alone (because I thought it was too risky to take the children) and feeling so alien. I couldn't understand why these people were walking around so calmly, so normally when a terrorist attack was imminent and Tesco could quite possibly be the target. I worried about going to work incase either the children or myself got caught up in it and we weren't together. I'm aware I sound ridiculous. But once you get sucked in by the anxious thoughts they are all consuming.

I could go on with the examples of times I've fallen into the anxious territory. Right now I'm struggling with anxiety for myself and my own heath. I'm having a couple of health concerns and obviously I've diagnosed myself with the worst possible case scenario and there can't possibly be another explanation other than resulting in death. It's the summer holidays and I'm making the most of them, honestly because I've convinced myself it will be the last summer holidays I see!

Living with anxiety is truly tiring aswell as truly lonely. Your loved ones try to help you, try to tell you that of course everything will be okay. But these words do not help me, if anything they make me angry because I think they are lying - how can they possible KNOW everything will be okay?

Iv just downloaded an App I was recommended called 'headspace' and I'm hoping this helps the thoughts in my head and calms them down a bit. I've started walking the dog in the evenings to try and relax myself before bed. I'd love to know if anyone has any tried and tested ways of living with anxiety. I'll let you know if I find anything that works for me.
Living with anxiety is not a nice way to live and I really feel for the thousands that do and the ones that have it way worse than me. Fingers crossed I find a solution.

Thanks for reading, we hope you stick around

The Harmons x
One of my tried and tested coping mechanisms!




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