Kicking Anxieties Arse!


Last night was a big night for me, let me explain. Following my post last week about anxiety and my worries of passing it on to Emily, I decided that something needed to change. I text my best friend, because if I was going to do this, if I was going to leave Emily for a couple of hours, she was the person I wanted to be with. She has been my best friend since I was 4, and if anyone can keep me grounded and calm it’s her. When everything went wrong in my life, she was my rock. When I got into a depressed state, hit rock bottom and tried to take my own life, she was there. When I got out of a messy relationship – she was there, when I had Emily, she was supportive, spoilt my daughter and became her godmother. She really is the best friend anyone could ask for, and I am so grateful to have her.

Our text went something like this:
Me – what are you doing next Monday?
Toni – nothing I don’t think
Me – want to go see Bridget Jones baby? Or have you already seen it
Toni – I haven’t seen it but yeah can do
Me – I’m going to leave Emily with Sam. I’m anxious as hell and he doesn’t yet know it, but I just need to do it
Toni – yeah you definitely do, you’ll be fine, and we can always go home if it’s too much.

Now I know going to the cinema may be something small, but if you are a regular reader you will know that I have never left Emily. So this was a big step for me. That message, is what a best friend does, she was willing to pay £9.40 to see a film and leave half way through - if I needed too. Well I’m happy to say I did it. I managed to get through the whole film. I was anxious as hell, and there were a few times I felt like saying can we just go home, but I didn’t. I stuck it out, and guess what – Emily was fine. She didn’t wake up needing me, she didn’t cry because she didn’t know I was gone. She did ask for me a few times while she was awake, but Sam simply told her I was asleep and that was enough for her. It was literally all in my head, and I built it up to be something much worse than it was. Sure I was super anxious, and there was one point during the film that I felt my chest tighten, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack but I reined it in, remembered why I was doing this, and took a few breaths. In no time I was ok again.

My gorgeous girl, fast asleep completely unaware I wasn't there.

The thing is, Postnatal depressions is a life robbing illness, it takes you to a place where you just wait in limbo for the world to end, and be sucked into the darkness that is currently surrounding your mind. It feels like turning up to work dressed in your pyjama’s and everyone else is in a suit. For as long as I can remember I have struggled to be away from Emily, I was filled with a massive amount of dread and anxiety when I even thought about it. So I never did it. I never tried to leave her.

When Emily was born, I didn’t want to go out, and I didn’t want to share my baby, I didn’t want people to come to me either. That is where it is hard for family and friends who don’t understand as they take it personally and these ties can be lost forever. I was ashamed of how I looked, and thought that people were disgusted by how I looked, or were judging me. I was so out of touch with reality. I have never looked at any friends, relative or strangers and thought they were disgusting post baby, so why did I think people would look at me that way? As a result of my feelings, I just found no joy in anything, I was isolated and agitated. It took me a long time to come to terms with how I was feeling, and that it was beyond my control. I had an illness, which made me feel this way. I couldn’t help it. I was told to ‘snap out of it’, I was also told to just ‘leave my baby with a friend or relative’ but that didn’t help. Those comments actually made everything worse and put so much pressure onto me. Pressure that I didn’t need and didn’t know how to cope with.

I have been fighting this war with PND for longer than I can remember, it’s been 2 years, and I’m only just starting to come out of the haze. It isn’t just a simple thing, you can’t just snap out of it or flick a switch and bam its gone. Leaving Emily was something that was so magnified for me and at the centre of everything. It was one of the biggest hurdles that I needed to get over, and I have finally started to get there.

I guess it all comes down to trust and control. It isn’t that I don’t trust someone to look after Emily, but I must have some issues else I wouldn’t find it this hard. It really all comes down to control, that I don’t want to relinquish t to anyone else because I know MY little girl, I know what she likes, I know how to comfort her, I know exactly what she needs at any moment of time during the day, and let’s face it – no one can duplicate the bond that me and Emily have. The mother instinct completely goes against the idea of leaving her behind. My job as Emily’s mother is to care for her, and protect her for life. How can I do that if she is with someone else?

The thing is, she also needs room to grow, to find her own feet and gain her own independence. I have recently started to come to terms with this. She is so ready to be away from me, even if it is just four hours like today. Today was the first step, and I’m proud that I managed to take that step. I would never have been able to do it without the support, love and guidance by Sam and Toni.

Please just remember, if you’re feeling this way too. it's ok to ask for help or just chat to someone. Just look at me, I’m finally taking the steps that I should have taken ages ago, I’ve done it at my pace, and It feels good to be making those steps. 

P.S the film was really good, but Bridget should have picked Jack. Spoilers!

9 comments

  1. Well done!! It can be so hard to leave your baby but you did so well. Its amazing what a bit of mummy time can do as well. x

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  2. You rock, mama. You should be so proud of you. Anxiety is an absolute bitch but it sounds like you are well on the way to improving your life. :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootstepsxx

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  3. Well done! That's a massive step. You should be very proud of yourself xx

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  4. Well done lovely, It's a huge step out of your comfort zone and you've made the first move. Good film choice too, I loved it! x

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  5. You are such an amazing mummy Steph. Some mums would wish for a night off. So good for you for pushing yourself to face your fears I am genuinely so proud of you for doing it. And what a lovely supportive friend you have. You are so very lucky. xx

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  6. Honestly you are doing just fine. It's normal to feel that way and I know a lot of people who do. I felt that way with my first born too the first couple of months but its the complete opposite now since I have two children. Just basically get out of the house with no kids and be able to breathe.

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  7. You are amazing hun! Well done, thats something big and you did it - You should feel completely proud of yourself.
    Take control of your life and keep that beautiful head up :D
    Wonderful post
    Charlotte x

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  8. I live with generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder so i totally get just how scary this must have been for you, but you should be SO proud of yourself. It may only seem like a small step, but it's a step in the right decision and that's a really big deal! Well done you xx

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  9. Well done you, just take little steps forward and your only going to find it a little easier. But if you don't it doesn't matter, just try again another time. Lots of hugs for you x

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