Posted by: scoobydoo on Monday, October 02, 2006
Well, that question has a long story behind it. I was always a 'still waters run deep' kind of child, shy, sensitive, always thinking, but very quiet. I knew from a very early age I just wanted to be a good person, not get in anyone's way, never be involved in confrontation, never pick on anyone, etc etc.
When I was 7, my parents divorced. In a very ugly way. My mum gained a new partner, and we moved around. 10 schools in 10 years. Because I was quiet, I was teased at nearly every one, until I gradually made friends. Meanwhile, my parents were using us kids as pawns, and I always felt unreasonable guilt from each parent. Both my sister and I looked forward to our dreams of strong marriages, and children, to make up for what we had 'lost'.
My sister lost her dream when her beautiful husband died aged 34 from a sudden heart attack, leaving 3 young children. That made me even more determined to hang on to my dream. In 1999, in the space of 8 weeks, I got married, I had an operation, my husband almost died from anaphylactic shock at our son's first birthday party, and I had my first panic attack. We don't know what the allergen was, but he has almost died twice since then. He avoids peanuts, chicken, yellow colouring, fish and egg. Because I was always on edge watching him eat, I developed anxiety. This spilled over to watching myself to make sure I didn't die suddenly, and watching my son like a hawk. This constant tension just made the anxiety and panic worse. I couldn't lose my dream. I had to hang on to our perfect life. Bloody hard work!
If I knew then what I know now, I would never have accepted medication 6 years ago. I would have learnt to relax and be kind to myself. I can't believe how much my anxiety overlaps, I have a bit of each 'disorder', which is common. But I do not consider myself mentally ill. Emotionally unwell, neurotic, definitely. Because I am lazy, I need a crutch (medication), but I know it can be thrown away anytime. I have become engulfed in this bad habit of negative thinking. Just like nail biting, it can be stopped. It is VERY HARD WORK to stop a bad habit. But it will end. How soon is up to me.