On anxiety and engagements – aka things are not always what they seem

Those of you who know me a little bit (or a lot) know that I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and that my lovely man took me away to a very romantic place where he presented me with a gorgeous engagement ring that he designed and had made especially for me. You may also know that I have a job I love and that earlier this year I got to travel around SA for a month as a competition winner, and then got to go to the UK for a family wedding and reunion. To some it might sound like this is *my* year, a year full of wonderful and happy experiences. I have an amazing son, a wonderful family, awesome friends and a man who loves me more each day.

I should be so very happy and content.

But for the past 2 months I’ve been sucked back into a dark place I know only too well. A place filled with fear and nameless anxiety. A place where panic attacks come thick and fast day after day and where I feel like I’m drowning in them. I’ve been here before but it’s been a long, long time since things got this bad. Back in my early 20s in Israel it was this bad and I didn’t leave the apartment for weeks – I became agoraphobic. Since then I’ve had the odd battle, I’ve had a few weeks of bad panic and anxiety and I’ve been to my wonderful counsellor and she’s helped me get my groove back.

But today I sat and cried in her office, telling her that while I am so happy to be engaged to the man I’ve loved for 14 years, I can’t get past this round of panic – that none of the tools that usually work are working. That I feel robbed of the joy and excitement I want to be feeling now because all I can feel is this shadow over me.

G is so very good about it and he is more understanding and patient than I could be in his position but it’s not fair on him or on me or on R.

So finally I agreed that I need to get some medical help this time. It’s something I have fought against since I first started dealing with this curse back in 1989 when my sister died, but I cannot carry on like this. I have a wedding to plan! A life to live! I want to get my joy back and if that means a couple of months of meds then that’s what I have to do.

So I am seeing my GP at 5 today – who said when I called her ‘at last!’ cos she’s been trying to tell me this will help me for a long time. I know what kind of meds I WON’T take and I also know this is just to get me out of the place I’m in and then I’m getting off them and back to coping with natural things that have worked in the past. But for today the fight has gone out of me and I can’t carry on like this.

Why am I blogging this?

Because too many people keep quiet about mental health issues and that’s why so many of us feel alone, and like freaks. Someone else out there might read this and realise that no matter how together and happy another person seems, we all have our battles to fight.

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This entry was posted in anxiety, love, Me, myself & I and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to On anxiety and engagements – aka things are not always what they seem

  1. Rox says:

    I know that dark place all too well. Sometimes I think that when things feel like they *should* be going well, we are also more vulnerable because we feel like we don’t have a right to still reach that dark place. Perhaps also, there is more to lose when things are going well and more of a contrast between the place we want to be and the place we are.

    For some people, being calm and care-free is something that seems to come so easily, but for me it is something I have to work at to achieve. Just like work, fitness, health and everything else, I guess sometimes it takes a practical approach to keep doing whatever is needed to get back to the calm space.

    I hope that things start getting better soon, and thank you for posting such an honest, thought-inducing post!

  2. Cassey says:

    I hope that the help you’re getting helps you.
    Hugs

  3. groupiemom says:

    i cant imagine what you must be going through, and this is a big step you’ve taken. i know you know that you have our support, but its important that you really, really know it. and also, while you’re trying to control it, look into the the reasons behind it, and i dont mean your sister’s death, although that was a catalyst. and always remeber that your friends love your freakiness, as well your calm, your wisdom, your patience and your kindness. i think the only way to be truly mentally healthy is to have a little freakiness somewhere inside you. and ps, congratulations to you and your lovely man, its about bloody time. and i love your beautiful ring. and i love weddings. yay. (and if there’s anyone you dont want to share cake with, i’ll be wearing my trusty little .22 in a garter belt)

  4. Jolene says:

    What she said…

    “and always remeber that your friends love your freakiness, as well your calm, your wisdom, your patience and your kindness. i think the only way to be truly mentally healthy is to have a little freakiness somewhere inside you.”

  5. It’s the quirks that keep us humble, make us unique, and give us the sensitivity to delve deeper into everything in life. You are very brave and I love reading your story.

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