Feeling stressed

It’s been three days since I’ve written. Friday was good. I didn’t have any tightness in my neck, chest or stomach like I had off and on for a week. I practiced yoga, ate chicken, again, and generally took it easy.

Yesterday, Saturday, I did the same. 

Though I haven’t had an episode since Friday morning, and even then, it was much less than the anxiety attack that set my relapse in motion a week ago, I have muscle tightness today and a lot right now.

I’m angry and worried. Angry because I can’t stand it when the kids fight and cry and that happened while I was giving them a bath this afternoon. Worries because I don’t know how I’m going to handle going back to work tomorrow.

Yes, I have a babysitter coming at 6:30 am tomorrow to help me but it’s still going to be a struggle. And any little thing causes stress for me right now. I know as soon as my muscles tighten up and they tighten up quick. I know I can’t be in lotus pose 24/7 but that’s really what I need right now. It’s like I can’t control the muscle tightness and that leads to more uncontrollable, awful, terrifying anxiety symptoms.

I just dread the scene tomorrow morning as I did every morning getting the kids ready for school and daycare. There will lots of resistance and crying, and I will be patient at first, then exasperated and livid. And I will keep it all inside because that’s what I do. If I yell, my stress gets worse. I’ve tried everything to make them comply and not fight or argue. Every single damn thing is a struggle and it stresses me out completely. It’s not going to go away just because a babysitter is coming. Tomorrow I’ll have to go through it all on top of teaching and training her what to do, how to make E’s lunch, dress her, make her breakfast, and get her to school. And it’s going to doubly suck because E is going to be super tired and not wanting to get up or go to school. C is no help. She fights me on everything. I can’t get a break. To get to work on time, we need to be out the door by 7:45. I’m hoping the babysitter can eventually handle E on her own and I’ll take care of C. 

By the time I get to work, I’m frazzled. I’ll have to do my best to stay calm and practice yoga, and eat the foods that won’t cause a further episode. (More on that later.) Then, eventually, hopefully starting tomorrow, I’ll get the babysitter to pick up E and I’ll pick up C and then she’ll watch them until J gets home and I’ll go in my room and do more yoga.

And then we’ll do it all over again four more times that week and then I’ll dread the weekend because it will all be about trying to get as much me time as possible so I don’t get stressed out with the kids.

I just can’t handle the kids right now or I need a long break, like a looooong one. I wish I could go to some kind of anxiety rehab spa for a month. I love my kids so much and they make me laugh and I love holding them but I just don’t want to be around them for more than a few minutes each day right now lol. I’m in desperate need of me time.

Desperate.

I wish I could get someone to take my place for a bit or take big parts of my place like a live in nanny. J is good but it’s hard all on him too. I wish I had a live in nanny. I wish. I wish. I wish. Or just someone to watch and take care of my kids on weekends too. 

I just need a break. A long break. Long enough to make me excited to see my kids, not dread it.

I’m tired.

In the News:

1. The warning signs of mental illness

A good story in the Valley Morning Star about the warning signs of some mental illnesses, half of which start at age 14, 75% of which begin at age 24. My mental illness peaked at exactly both those ages interestingly. At 14, I fell into a deep depression and at 24 I developed panic disorder.

2. How one man turned his mental health struggles into a career inspiring others

A 26-year-old describes in this CBC story how he started to become depressed at age 14, how his parents took him to get an assessment, how meds helped but how important it is for the health care system to show people suffering from mental illness that they actually care about their patients doing well. He has a website, made a film, and speaks about his life. 

3. Sask. man petitions for a Ministry of Mental Health

Woah! Wouldn’t that be awesome! The man in this story says the idea came to him after he was sent home from the ER after he went there for help for depression. Makes total sense to me. Mental health needs to be addressed differently than physical health. Either grow a new section in health care and that means new treatment centres with beds completely separate from hospitals, but not like institutions, more like rehab and acute mental health hospitals, or create a separate Ministry of Mental Health. Here’s his op-ed.

4. Comedian Cathy Jones on overcoming stage fright, possible ADHD diagnosis and finding herself

At 61, Cathy Jones is going to get herself tested for ADHD. All this time, she’s been coping the best way she knows how. She says no two days are ever the same for her and it’s always been a struggle to write her script because her brain never worked in a linear way. Amazing to think of all those who struggled growing up when ADHD wasn’t well known. Thank god for more awareness today. Of course, lots more still needs to be done.

5. Biomarker that may predict depression in pregnancy identified

Getting close to a blood test for perinatal depression which is good news but opens up a whole host of other questions such as whether or not to take an antidepressant. But there are other forms of treatment as well. This is all good news to me.

6. Exploring mental wellness through art

Here’s a story from the television station I used to work at in my early twenties. I love mixing art and mental health. 

7. Disability tax credit not extended to those with mental illness

Don’t I know it Toronto Star...

8. I Still Struggle With My Mental Health As An Advocate

Here, here.

9. Malfunctioning part of ‘ADHD gene’ identified, clearing way for specialized medications

10. Canada Needs Comprehensive Child Mental Health Strategies

I have to say, after getting all of that off my chest, perhaps literally, I actually feel a bit better.

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