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ANXIETY IS AFFECTING ME AS A PARENT


From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, there were negatives, so many negatives. "What if's" I guess but they were negative "what if's." I guess that's the way the hospital does things. The realism is mostly negative, that way they haven't got to apologise if they're too optimistic and things go wrong.
Either way with a unicornuate uterus, they didn't hold back in telling me the "what if's" and all the things that could potentially go wrong. I was anxious and terrified. 

Anxiety in itself is something I've been dealing with for a long time. At Sixteen years of age I lost the use of the right side of my body. I couldn't write, cut my dinner, drink, I limped and went through 6 weeks of lumber punctures, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and other tests before they came to the conclusion that it was down to stress, depression and anxiety that had been the cause. I spent my Sixteenth birthday in the hospital.
That was scary. 

I then suffered an extremely dangerous kidney infection which then added to my anxiety surrounding illness.


Fast forward 5 years and I became a mother. Still suffering with anxiety. I don't believe that anxiety is ever something that really goes away. I can't let go, it's a part of me.
Anxiety is me, I am anxiety. Not everyone understands it, sadly no matter how hard I try to leave it behind, I can't. It's something that I struggle with everyday.
I bite my nails, I bite the skin around my nails till they bleed, that's an anxious thing.
I chew the inside of my mouth, my gums, until they have little dents in them, that's an anxious thing.
I stumble my words and get hot flushes as my heart palpitates, thats an anxious thing.
I cannot speak in public, I struggle with photography jobs, I find that I can find the courage to do things, but I have to constantly focus on my breathing and focus on the love I have for photography, why I'm there and the job in hand.

Anxiety is something that isn't just being nervous, or worrying. Thats a slight misconception. There are lots of different types of anxiety but with me it's paranoia, everyone hates me, everyone is judging me, everyone is against me. I feel low, I feel like my photography isn't good enough, I'm not good enough. It's really hard.


Being a parent with anxiety means that some nights I lay in bed and worry about my children. I worry they're poorly, something may happen to them. I watch the news and they mention terrorist attacks and I am terrified about going shopping in a big shopping mall, incase of an attack. I worry for my children's future, for the world we live in, their safety; like most parents, but to an over-the-top worry.

I worry that I'm not good enough, that I'm failing them. That people don't think I'm a good enough parent, that my children don't think I'm enough. It's so hard when I can't even explain to them, as they're too little to truly understand how much they mean to me, how much I love them and how I'll do everything I can for them and how everything I do is to ensure they grow up and say "We had the best childhood." Thats the only thing I could ever want.

I love taking my children to my happy place. Sitting by the shore, looking for shells, listening the sound of the waves crashing, the smell of the salty air, throwing stones into the water and finding little critters. It relaxes me. One day Brad and I will live near the shore.

I worry that my anxiousness will rub off on my littles, I worry that they'll end up as anxious as I am and they'll be sat here in 20+ years time feeling the way I do.
Anxiety is affecting me as a parent, it brings me mum guilt, fear, tears, panic attacks and one day I'll stop letting it affect me. I know that anxiety will always be with me, but I wont let it affect me as a parent.