Self care is a huge part of suffering with mental health. Learning to become aware of your moods, your triggers & letting those around you know too.
For the longest time I felt my husband left me at my most vulnerable times, when I needed him the most, but actually, just as my anxiety was building so was his need for a break. Without much parental support close by, just our siblings, lots falls on my husband, pretty much everything. Some days I’ll Simply say, “I can’t deal with that”, so he just has to. And 99% of the time he’s fine, but it’s hard work for him. And the guilt I feel for putting it on him just makes me feel worse.
He now also has responsibility for all my medication, & he’s generally the only one I can vent to, so he gets everything.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up that are helping me & us as a family:
⁃ Although with EUPD my moods can change hourly, generally I can feel when I’m on the way up to a build up. As strange as this sounds, I try & get my husband to go out or have a break at this point. This way when I really freak out he can be there for me.
⁃ I try to be honest with anyone close to me, friends, family & work so I feel less guilt about cancelling plans, or getting the support I need.
⁃ I try to prepare for the dip or drop that’s coming. This is the hardest point & the point most people don’t understand. Everyone has that feeling at the end of a holiday, a big event, some even feel it Sunday nights before work Monday when they don’t enjoy their job. Mine is like that but times by thousands. I come to thinking that everything in my life was building up to that moment, what is there left for now? When’s the next holiday? When’s the next big work project or travel trip? When am I off to a concert? What’s the next “big thing” to focus on. I’m still on holiday for almost another 2 weeks & I’m already thinking about what’s next?!!
⁃ My biggest trigger is something unplanned! A last minute change, a plane delayed, train cancelled, venue changed, need of clothes or equipment I wasn’t prepared for. On the odd occasion someone phones and say, “Fancy going for food or a drink, pick you up in half an hour?” Chances are I’ll say no. Ask me in the morning to travel to the other side of the world the following day, I’m in, but I do need those 12-24 hours in general for planning.
⁃ Things not going as expected, a little like the above. If I have a plan (right or wrong), unless it’s followed to the letter I find it hard to accept. This is more in my personal life, Christmas morning for example (opening presents in certain orders), date nights where I think it has to be perfect & we both have to make the most of a babysitter having the most fun. This usually ends up in arguments & me spoiling situations for myself.
⁃ Because I don’t trust my own judgement, I find it hard to get it “right”. I become extremely defensive at the thought someone might suggest I am parenting badly or could do better, even though I believe this 100%
⁃ Questions that we all constantly struggle with as parents these days, but the fear of no mum to ask or qualify my thoughts & ideas I find hard. The judgement can cripple me even when it’s not there & Im completely overthinking as usual:
⁃ Are they happy?
⁃ Do they know how much I love them?
⁃ Do they know id give my life for them?
⁃ Do they know how sad I am when I know I’ve let them miss out on something because I’ve been anxious?
⁃ When should they have a mobile phone?
⁃ Should I take them to see Little Mix?
⁃ Should I push them more at school?
⁃ Should I work more/ less or not at all?
⁃ How do I act around them when I’m ill?
⁃ How do I stop them forming my bad habits?
⁃ What time is an appropriate bed time?
⁃ Should I encourage competition or it’s “the taking part”?
⁃ Should I move out & go to hospital when I’m ill so they don’t see me, let them see me when I’m crying & sad or just try to avoid them?
⁃ Should I be open & honest about my condition with them? I wrote a blog on my first attempt to explain in here https://sarahsthinkingagain.blog/2018/02/25/telling-your-own-kids-about-bpd/
⁃ Should I keep up with trends or try to not follow the crowd?
My head can feel so full of these things without an outlet sometimes without a trusting opinion to talk them all through. My google searches for example, below:
I love this & am “trying” to make it my motto. Maybe there is no right or wrong. Maybe there’s no black & white. I have to find the grey area, fill it with colour, fill it with what’s right for me & go with it! Because sometimes, probably most of the time, there is no right or wrong, we’re just doing our best whatever our circumstances.
I find help most from websites like Mind &
Sheffield Flourish as its local to me).
You can read more of my blogs at http://www.sarahsthinkingagain.blog but I like to read others too. I can recommend
4 thoughts on “Learning to live and parent with anxiety and a personality disorder”
Fantastic blog Sarah, you’re such an inspiration to me and as much as it can feel like it, you’re not alone in how you feel. Your struggles ring true for me and others I know. Your girls always seem so happy and well behaved when I see them, you and your husband are doing a great job! Keep writing, I love reading them xx
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Thanks Ellie. That’s so lovely of you to say. Lots of love xx
Thanks for sharing this blog