Alone, a single parent. I was afraid and overwhelmed and this wasn’t how I imagined my family would turn out!
The first few months after my ex left were a nightmare.
My daughter was going into her second year of primary school, and my son was just starting. I had no job, not a lot of money and I was supposed to do this myself when I struggled to even get out of bed!
I knew I had to get a job, anything would do, but I knew I needed to pay bills and keep a roof over our heads.
I had a friend who lived next door and came in every morning to just check I was out my bed, and the kids were getting to school with their packed lunch. I managed the basics, but it was a struggle and I will forever be grateful for her empathy and kindness. I wouldn’t have got through that if not for her. (You know who you are)
I got a part time job working 18 hours a week, and again, managed the basics. I got there, did what I needed to do and left to go and pick the kids up. That was about as much as I could cope with. Some days it even felt like too much. (I have to say that 11 years on I am still there and I love my job).
My friend suggested I go to the doctor, who gave me medication for depression and anxiety. I didn’t ask any questions, I just took the meds. Anything to get through the day.
I think my anxiety got worse over a few months, but it lasted years. I was ok when I was home. I wasn’t jumping for joy, but I was able to do daily tasks, and I re-decorated the house a few times. Home was my safe space. The thought of leaving it would sometimes send me into mini panic attacks, although I could usually bring myself back before it was full blown. It did mean that I stayed indoors a whole lot though.
I continued to go to and from work. I got the kids to school, but it was a huge struggle. I missed some school events because I couldn’t physically get in the building. I went nowhere else.
For someone who had travelled all over the country with work, flown in aeroplanes, gone on trains, this was sad. I just couldn’t do it. I began to hate myself for being so rubbish.
I went to the doctors what felt like a million times because I was sure I was dying, having a heart attack, got cancer, something completely fatal. Doctors tried to reassure me, and I would be ok for a couple of days, then off I would go again. The anxiety dictating my life.
Anxiety is not logical. You can’t just make it go away. There is a reason for it, some subconscious perceived danger. As the years went by, I just adapted and some things got a bit better, but I knew I wasn’t living my life, not fully. Was I just going to accept this? I wanted things to be different, but was I even strong enough to heal myself and deal with whatever came up?
Could I change my life, would this ever go away or improve enough that it wouldn’t affect my day to day life.
To be continued tomorrow….