Mental Health Stigma

So I haven’t blogged for a while & seeing as it is Mental Health Awareness week, this seemed a good time to do a post.

The stigma associated with Mental Health seriously needs to go straight into the ‘Fuck It’ list. It needs to go there because I worry (we’ll get onto that later!) for our children & for all of the people who are being consumed by guilt & shame over something they cannot control.

Fuck that. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Speak out, shout out. Chances are the person sat next to you has, or is feeling the same.

My main MH issue is anxiety. We are due to have a lovely break in the next few days. However I have already imagined carnage & brutal death in a million crazy scenarios. Anxiety is something I have dealt with all of my life. I was that child that sat sobbing all night over the deaths of my family. I worried over & planned situations that were unlikely to ever happen. Did I grow out of it? No. It got fucking worse. 

I had my lovely children & fear has been my constant companion. And counting. Counting is an absolute bloody blessing. Every night in bed the overwhelming thoughts of hideous death & engulfing grief fill me. To the point of not being able to breath & I count.  I count like that crazy fucking Count on Sesame Street because that is the ONLY thing that will drown the thoughts. 

I have always known that I am overly anxious. My brain reminds me of it a million times a day. But I can’t change it. I can’t rationalise the fears or just ‘let it go’. No, a hypnotist won’t fucking help with my fear of flying & I don’t want to not be afraid because if I’m not afraid then we all die. Obviously I know that is irrational but that’s the beauty of anxiety. The anxiety keeps me safe in it’s twisted, controlling world. Because through the fear; I feel safe. And if I am safe I can protect those I love.

However what I do is suffocate those I love. I knew about 3 years ago that it was extreme, when my Daughter (who is an absolute diamond) had gone out. She usually texts me at every pit stop & when she arrives, leaves etc. This one time her phone had ran out of charge. I text. No answer. Rang. No answer. I searched for who she had gone out with on Facebook & messaged them hysterical. This was about 30 minutes in total. I had gone into full blown panic attack. Crying, sobbing & I couldn’t breath. How could I live without my beautiful girl? What would I do. I would never cope without her. What would I do? What would I do? WHAT WOULD I FUCKING DO!? He messaged back to say they were there safe. Of course. 

If she goes out I don’t sleep because I am petrified of being woken up to the door knocking or the phone ringing. And let’s not go there with my 13 y/o. He was the baby that went blue in my arms. Twice. And I have wanted to feed him only liquefied food since. Thanks for that kiddo.

This. Is. All. Irrational. I know it. But I can’t change it. Even talking about my anxiety is making me feel anxious. 

I feel as though it is just a part of me & that in some weird fucked up way it has kept us all safe. I think I have developed an almost Stockholm type Syndrome with my anxiety. I hate it but I can’t seem to live without it either. 

So, stigma about anxiety can go right in the ‘Fuck It’ list. Because currently I am thinking of a million tragic scenarios for my 3 days away, that I am just too busy to care a shit about people thinking I’m crazy 😉

Tara xx

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