Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The truth about holidays...

The Truth About Holidays.  My truth about holidays….

The real reason we haven’t been on many holidays over the years isn’t because of the ‘degree of difficulty’ involved with Ashlea (and now Murray), or even because of the cost. It’s because I find them highly anxiety-inducing.

See the thing is – I have an anxiety disorder. A pretty rampant one. The only reason most people don’t know about the severity of it is because I work SO HARD to cover it up. And mostly I can cover it up.

Until I am taken out of my own environment.

Cue the panic.

So here we are on holidays and I am feeling so anxious today I can hardly function. I don’t want to tell the kids what is going on as I don’t want to trigger Emma’s anxiety. I think what makes me even more anxious now is that I can’t rely on Murray to take over looking after the kids if I need a break – not all three of them anyway.

Emma was dying to catch a fish.  Fish count: Emma 0 Audrey 2.

We did manage to go fishing this morning before I lost it. I think that was part of the problem – I started feeling really hot and low blood sugary / low blood pressure-y in the heat and then the thought of being away from home and sick (GAH – WORST NIGHTMARE) kicked in. At the moment I told the girls I just need a rest and have sent Murray to the pool with Emma and Audrey while Ashlea and I are chilling in our ‘cottage’ (as she likes to call it). Well, Ashlea is chilling. I am spiraling into crazy territory.

How can I stay here another week? I want to pack up and flee. Maybe Aunty Carolin could come up and take over and I’ll go home and have a week at home alone (to a panicking introvert that sounds VERY appealing).

I don’t know what the solution is to my anxiety. I have tried meds and mostly the side effects are so unpleasant that I can’t persist with them. I’ve tried therapy but in the moment of an anxiety attack I can’t think straight to use the techniques I’ve been taught. I hate it when I am forced to realize just how much my anxiety hinders my life. So many things that we do (or don’t do as is usually the case) are because of my anxiety. I hate how much control it has. But after trying to gain control of it for the better part of 40 years I realize I have made very little – if any – progress.

I am beyond frustrated that God allows me to continue suffering from anxiety. I am in my forties now – surely I should be over this? Why can’t he just take it away? Why won’t it just go away?? Surely it’s all in my head and I should just be able to stop it anyway???

I try to pray when I’m anxious. I know God listens and could take it away in an instant…and yet He doesn’t. I am assuming that means that somehow it will be for my eternal good and for His glory for me to go through this in the here and now. It’s kind of hard to believe that sometimes though.

I have so little faith that God will actually help me when I’m anxious that I’m going to have to rely on the prayers of others – all of you. Please pray that this anxiety would go away (and not recur or pop up in Emma) and that our family can enjoy this holiday.

WOW. That was a bit revealing wasn’t it? After a year of thankful posts that didn’t really give away a lot about me I may have now gone too far in the other direction.   Who cares.   I need your prayers.


Caroline said...


Meredith said...

You poor love. My heart is aching. As soon as I have written this comment I am turning off my computer and praying for you. Right now.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone on the anxiety front. Praying in CT , USA

Antonia Reynolds said...

Hello… A lovely Christian friend of mine once put a link to your blog in her blog, and I've read yours ever since - silently. I've never commented before. But this post has broken my silence. I love your honesty - I love it. I have loved your thankfulness, which has always seemed sincere and never trite, and (though I don't know you so how can I judge this?!!) to me doesn't seem to cover over difficulties with schmaltz. Your thankfulness in tough situations has really raised my levels of gratitude in my life. And now, this wonderful, honest post also really touches me. I suffered from debilitating anxiety for some time, on and off, years ago, for many years, and cannot begin to imagine how appalling it would be to suffer from it when responsible for my three children. I love that you wrote exactly how you felt - though of course I wish so much that it wasn't this way for you. What strength to say what you said.

I'm sorry. I'm wittering - in public, on line, to a (I'm certain very lovely, strong, funny woman, but still, someone who is a) stranger! Stranger to stranger witterings - the stuff of good blogs!

I shall send this before I re-read and think better or such ramblings. Just felt a real tug to say hello - to say thank you - to say that my prayers, such as they are, are most definitely yours at the moment.

Antonia xx (UK)

smithsholidayroad said...

Alison, I hope your holiday gets somewhat easier for you xx what a massive step just going! Hang in there sending you much love , bron

Heda said...

Beta blockers work for me. But I'm careful about how often I use them. Take care.

Marc David Bonagura said...

I share your experience and can relate in a very heartfelt manner.

I have found Acupuncture done by a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine to be the best helper for reliving anxiety; mine was so bad I almost became disabled, but Acupuncture and, yes, a lot of prayer brought me back to the world.

It never goes away totally, and I do think there is a "gift" if you will in there somewhere, something useful for us, even from God, though I know that goes against what many might think about anxiety. I've even heard people say Christians aren't supposed to get anxiety!?

For me, anxiety makes me (almost) lust for being completely away and separated from the world and all my responsibilities, yet what I really crave is just more connection to everyone and everything at the same time, esp. to God and God's love within me. That's a strange paradox.

The "solution" is not something I can find on my own, and thankfully I realize in those awful moments that I am not alone. It's like I hear God's voice saying, I didn't bring you this far to leave you to die in this way. I'm here and I've always been here, so let these feelings pass--feelings are mostly just brain chemicals anyway.

At some point our bodies are like receiving devices for "energy" and I want to understand the messages there, hence I don't wish to look at anxiety as only an evil thing but as a teacher and a friend even of sorts.

Lastly, one thing I really learned from my anxiety is to try to help others and alleviate their anxiety if I can. That makes me feel the best. In my worst moments if I can help someone else feel love and safety, it makes me feel better and even less powerless, which ultimately is at the source of all anxiety, powerlessness--uncontrollable feelings--but we don't have to be in control of everything--we have a higher power to take that burden away.