noun: fear; plural noun: fears
1.an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
synonyms: terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress.
When I got poorly the first and the second time, the thing that drove my illness and fed my illness was fear. My fear would come in the evening and build up to a crescendo of distress by the time it was bed time. Bed time was the thing I dreaded the most. The next morning was my second biggest fear.
In both cases there wasn’t really any perceivable threat. There was no bear to fight off during the night and my house wasn’t under attack. It just felt scary. Well perhaps not scary but there was a definite overwhelming feeling of dread and foreboding.
The first time round I was poorly and stressed from work. This had led to a feeling of being caught on a hamster wheel where the only possible solution I could find at the time was to go faster. Surely my distress with the constant deadlines and demands of meeting multiple clients’ needs would be to multitask more? To do more. Doing more and going faster would get me to that end goal and the world would be a better place. Right? Wrong….
The second time I was poorly the symptoms were identical. The way I reacted to my symptoms was the same too. This time though the clients – a dynamic duo born on a hot sweaty day, were even more demanding than the last lot! These guys didn’t know the meaning of clocking off and played me like a fiddle! With each feed taking an hour plus and winding and burping another 20 mins, by the time I had put one down the clock was ticking. I had an hour and a half before twin 1 needed more milk and I hadn’t even started on twin 2 yet. The demands of a busy advertising agency had nothing on these. These clients were the toughest yet and their little cries had a hotline to my heart.
Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm
This fear or THE FEAR as I now call it is remarkably clever. It sneaks in when you’re at your most vulnerable. For me it never escalated above agitation, insomnia and the odd panic attack. I’m well aware that for some dealing with anxiety, THE FEAR is terrifying. THE FEAR for some is constant, unwielding and very very frightening. Intrusive thoughts, psychosis, paranoia coupled with a foreceful desire for it to end. I know in some ways I got off lightly but it didn’t feel like that to me at the time.
THE FEAR unfortunately still lives on in me. It’s not always there but can tiptoe up to me and touch tackle me from time to time. It’s made a return for a couple of weeks again . It’s decided to take up residence in my mind for a short while. I know why it’s come back. It’s because I took my eye of the ball a bit. I forgot that in order to fight THE FEAR I needed to be fully armed and in cohoots with its arch-enemy Calmness and Confidence. Hey where did you guys go? Oh yes…. you ebbed away when I started doing too much again. I got cocky didn’t I and started to juggle too many balls again. Let me slap my wrists.
I need to ensure that I prioritise me as much as I can in a busy household where others’ needs seem far more pressing than my own. Cancel those unnecessary engagements, throw away that to-do list, baton down the hatches and let’s concentrate on me and my needs for a bit. It’s a matter of survival you see. THE FEAR according to a very clever counsellor can be combatted, in my case, by not going into battle with it. By sitting with it and acknowledging it and by being very very kind to myself. Wish me luck. See you on the other side.
If you need help with dealing with anxiety. please contact:
Poynton PANDAS (pre and postnatal depression and support)
Free drop-in group every Monday during term-time
St George’s Church Hall, Poynton