This was something I was diagnosed with shortly after my mum had passed away in 2015. I no longer had “depression” but had developed a fear of the unknown & often when people asked “what sets you off?”, my answer was “Everything!” And it really was.
I had become accustom during my recovery after my hysterectomy to be indoors, often laid on the sofa or in bed, watching tv or reading a book in my own world. I felt very safe & in control at home & it was very easy to control everything around me. As I started to venture out, the menopause symptoms had started & in the middle of July, I struggled as I still do with hot flushes & sweating. This wasn’t just uncomfortable and frustrating but terribblt embarrassing & I found that it was just easier to stay at home in light pyjamas by the fan. The problem was this became the norm & my only reason for having to leave the house was to run my slimming world group. It wasn’t long before the weight piled on, more than ever before, which increased both the embarrassment, sweating & now a fear of judgement & so along with a number of other reasons, I left my role helping others to lose weight. And rapidly gained weight too.
Me & my team with Jason Donovan
I soon got another role, but apart from travelling to and from work I had ceased the majority of my socialising. A bump in the car, when someone had run into me while I was stationery outside my house had only increased my fear of what was out of my control. Everything started to become an issue.
The occasional night out I went on meant getting completely hammered so that I could lose the anxiety & worries. The next day I’d feel terrible, but often couldn’t remember it so it seemed easier than overanalysing it. I began to have panic attacks and without realising also developed adult onset asthma & had my first asthma attack in London where I was hospitalised for 2 days on oxygen.
Having to be away from the kids in a London hospital alone (hence the we miss you mum pics) only added to my fear of traveling anywhere with someone. I love to travel, just not alone. Along with so many bereavements, and unable to get access to the help I needed, even after self referral, life felt impossible. When I lost my best friend it just felt too hard to “live” life.
Although at times I’ve felt low I would always want to be there for my kids, but there’s no question that they’ve missed many social events due to me being unable to take them or attend. Some may think it’s the actions of a lazy mum, but I assure you there Have been many occasions, both the girls, my husband & I have been ready to go out, even just bowling & within minutes of stepping outside the front door being unable to breathe, worry of sweating, where do I park, what if I bump into soneone, have overwhelmed me so much, I’ve had to return home, sometimes with or without the family. My last minute cancellations are exactly that. When I booked it or even texted you 2 hours earlier, I had every intention of showing up. Something Judy changed & often it’s a panic about anything. That’s what generalised anxiety is. It isn’t specific and that’s what can be do frustrating. I’m anxious about everything, what I say & do, what others say & do, my kids, my friends, a reply to a text, a meal out, cooking a meal at home, a tram journey, a medical appointment, packing the kids for a school trip, waiting for a result… I could go on.
Sadly CBT wasn’t effective for me & I’m on the waiting list for DBT as I suffer with borderline personality disorder along with my anxiety. I was added to the list at the beginning of the year and due to start in January 2020, so of course this makes me anxious that I might not get help I need for another 18 months.
My brother-in-law, me & my husband Nigel, the best man
But I’m here, I have wonderful people around me, who support & love me & however frustrated they get, become more understanding every day. Some days are good, some days are bad, but whatever my life is it will never be smooth