Activate Release Response

Activate Release Response

It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post though I have shared things directly to my Facebook Page.

Things have been pretty hectic lately what with the daily grind of Mum Life and emotional overload. It’s been over this time that I’ve realised I have again been putting myself at the bottom of the priority list. My energy is spent on housework, the kids and hubby’s health drama’s. July is birthday month with 2 of the kids birthday’s a week apart but with an almost 5 year age gap.

With overexerting myself I ended up having a massive argument with Hubby which due to the overload of my emotions I had a panic/anxiety attack.

 

Normally, I recognise my signs of overload and take action to avoid exploding, however this time most likely due to exhaustion especially with worrying about Baby Girl I was unable to stem the tide of emotions that overwhelmed me.

 

My outlets are going for walks, writing and online shopping (of course) and I’ve neglected my walks unless they had a practical purpose to complete an errand, I think I’ve neglected my writing as I was trying to control my emotions instead of allowing them to be released in a healthy way.

 

I’m grateful for many things and one of those are family and friends that allow me to unload, even when it may be an annoyance or inconvenience. Its with some of them that I’ve been able to talk to in my moments of complete meltdown; even those who aren’t the closest of friends have been a sounding board. Some of those that I’ve talked to have let me know that what I’m feeling or certain things I’ve said are not abnormal and that if I didn’t get into ever argue with hubby that would be abnormal.

 

I’ve always tried to not allow people to see me in what I think are moments of weakness. I normally am someone who tries to keep my emotions in check but that’s not always possible and when I force those emotions down eventually everything comes rising to the surface and explodes if there has been no release.

 

There have been the odd occasion when I’m unable to stop myself before I explode and when I lose my temper, I hate myself for it and this leads to an even more intense panic/anxiety attack.

 

In retrospect I think part of the reason I’ve been a tad more stressed lately is because of Rylee’s Birthday Tea Party and my desire for it to be perfect which is probably unattainable as you can’t control every aspect. I know it won’t matter to her as she’s 2 years old and most likely wont remember it anyway but there are times when I want some semblance of control. When it comes to the boys’ birthday parties I’ve become a lot more relaxed but with baby girl its different and though I try to add reason to any expectation it’s like my own disappointments define my expectations for my girl’s parties.

 

I think I better sign off now as since its school holidays my boys like to get up early.

 

Anyway, one thing to remember is: Activate your release response before explosion is imminent.

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Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

You matter

I recently finished watching the second season of “13 Reasons Why” and it got me thinking about my own experiences with suicidal thoughts and the darkness that sometimes feels overwhelming. It’s the reason why this particular Netflix series was something I could not willingly binge-watch, the material in it were very heavy and due to losing my mother to suicide and the thoughts that I’ve had since a teenager hit me very hard.

It did get me thinking about why I never actually took my own life and the reason was that there was always at least one thing to hold on to; that seems to be what stopped me from carrying through with those enveloping destructive thoughts. As a teenager the reason why I didn’t was because of fear of disappointing others and that at the time I believed that suicide was a selfish act. When I became a mum the thing that stopped me was the fact that my children needed me and that I didn’t want them to go through what I went through – and still do some days – with my own mother.

 

There have been times when the fight was very hard, and the thoughts made it difficult to hold on to anything positive though eventually I would suppress those thoughts and now those times of wanting to end my life have become rare.

This is what has helped me to manage those moments, unfortunately though there are those who find the fight impossible to win through and their lives are taken because of suicide. These people may have been in such a downward spiral that NO-ONE may have been able to help. Even the encouraging, uplifting words of their friends or family may not have been able to break through the darkness. Its my opinion that having at LEAST one thing in your life to hold on to is important but it may not be positive words from others. As sometimes the negative thoughts are stronger.

May be another reason I am still here today is because of my belief in Jesus, but there have been times when even scriptures can be hard to believe in and can’t hold back those destructive thoughts and a person may feel that they are loved by God alone and only want to be with Him in heaven, because the truth is Satan will use anything to tear us down and rob us of our joy.

 

For me, I don’t believe that my faith in Jesus is a crutch as there have been times when I have tried to turn away from Him especially after losing my Mum and later on losing my first-born daughter, it was at these times that if I had been brain-washed the pain I felt from these losses would have broken it. I did change after the loss of my daughter, I became more of a realist and lost a lot of optimism – there were even times when I was quite pessimistic. The pessimism opened wider the path for anxiety to lead to depression and at times lead me down a very DARK path. It did not help that from a young age I had a need to please people and when I felt I had disappointed someone or that they didn’t like me caused me to turn down that path that I hate, it caused me to question the encouraging and positive words of those that loved and cared about me.You are you

 

I’m surmising that for some people it may take more than one reason to keep on fighting and only take one reason to give in; It is my opinion that suicide is not really giving up but more like giving in to those negative and destructive thoughts.

One of the hopes I have for my children is that they’ll always know that I love them no matter what, and will always be ready to listen to them even if I may not like what they have to say. I also want my children to be there for each other and to be there for their friends.

I also want my friends and family to know I am here to listen or even if all they need is a hug. I have experienced those negative and dark thoughts I understand that sometimes just having someone to listen can help as its not always easy to just choose life.

virtual hug

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Birthday party

Birthday Party Season for my kids has started and its made me think about my reaction to social situations.

As a kid, social situations seemed easier as I had my mum as a buffer. These days however there are times when I feel like I have to work at being social – especially when the kids are socially adept like their Dad, even my 19 month old daughter seems to have little issue. When Jason was little it sometimes took a while for him to warm up to new people, at Kindy he would mainly play with the same 3 kids. Alex seems to fit in anywhere and has a diverse range of friends.

Looking back to when I was a teenager I was socially awkward and felt out of place; being friendly was never an issue yet making close friends seemed to be. I felt like I was the square peg trying to fit in a round hole, I felt like I was one the edge of my “friends” group and never really a part of the group. Of course it could have been all in my imagination because of low self-esteem, like I was never good enough to fit anywhere.

social awkwardness

Being a mum means that I’m in social settings where I feel out of my comfort zone and there are times when I want to flee from that surrounding – especially when I’m in one of my negative moods. Sometimes it feels within me that I’m meant to act a certain way – yet don’t know what that way is.

 

I’ve always wanted my kids to thrive when it comes to life and that includes socially as well, so from babyhood would take them along to playgroups, music groups etc; even if I didn’t really want to be a part of it myself. It felt like a sacrifice which I’m finding is part of being a parent.

The boys especially seem to make friends easily and Jason will often ask to have a playdate at one friends’ place or another. If I myself feel comfortable around the other kid’s mum I don’t have any problem especially if I don’t need to be there. Yet if I’m unsure about the other kid’s mum I’m a bit hesitant to allow a playdate to occur.

I know I make mistakes socially, say things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. I will often beat myself up emotionally over what I deem or what I think the other parent things is faux pas in the social setting. Even if I feel like I have a god relationship with another person there will be times when I doubt whether the friendship is real or superficial. I know a lot of this comes from my struggle with self-esteem and often will try to bring myself back to a more positive frame of mind; however it doesn’t always work and the negative thoughts seem to cement themselves.

Most of the time I don’t allow this to bother me, there have been times though that I’ve allowed those thoughts to bother me, I just hope that none of my children ever have this issue.

Anxiety From the Beginning

Anxiety From the Beginning

Aargh, Insomnia at work again! This time it’s like I’m mulling over a hundred things at once; one of those things is my use of “underlying” in relation to my previous post concerning anxiety. Part of the reason is because I was reading a blog post someone had written about “How they cured their anxiety” and it got me thinking how even when things in my life seem to be going fine, the anxiety is still there niggling away under the surface ready to pounce at a moment of weakness.

One of my early memories of feeling anxious was when I was a kid and it we were running late for a church production rehearsal that I was involved in – a child worried about being late is a bit of an oxymoron; there may have been earlier times of worry. I also have memories when I was a childishly bossy in a true firstborn child manner.

I think the anxiety got stronger as I got older and life kept pounding me with curveballs and would knock me for a six (my hubby is a sports fanaticJ)

Anyway the earliest memory I can recall of having a panic attack was when I was 17, in my last year at High School and had pressure from numerous aspects of my life. Someone in my Home Room threw a paper ball at me – or something, and I just snapped and burst into tears. I ended up in the Sick Bay and while there the Deputy Principal (I think) gave me a glass of water to drink to try and calm me down, the glass had to be put down pretty rapidly  when I almost broke it because my teeth where chattering so much with the intensity of my emotions.

There have been other instances where I have had panic/anxiety attacks and it always seems to be after something small comes along to top things of and send me into a spiral. Most of the time I try to hold it together until I’m away from people, as I sometimes feel embarrassed to feel the way I do in those times and don’t want people’s pity. I don’t know why but I most of the time I feel like I have to be the strong one and the truth is that is tiring; I also don’t like being a burden to anyone and if I do feel like I’m being a burden it seems to make the anxiety/depression worse.

Well, that’s me for now.

T.

Anxiety, Epilepsy and Kids

Anxiety, Epilepsy and Kids

Epilepsy mindmapAnxiety plays an underlying role in my life, when it does affect me it can seem serious, most of the time I can manage it and not allow it to affect my daily life. The epilepsy that affects my husband Rob can be a daily occurrence especially during the night, medication is helping him to live but the quality could be better, the only option he has left is surgical which is what is hopefully in the works.

The other week Rob went up to Auckland for a consultation with a Neurosurgeon. Due to the limited availability of flights he had to fly up the day before. That night I was missing him which is weird as when he’s been away for longer I normally wouldn’t miss him until the next day or so. During the day the possibility of him having neurosurgery had me feeling torn between being with him away from our kids or being with our kids but not by his side.

Anxiety mindmap

I was playing the “what if” game in my head which allowed anxiety to rear its ugly head. Having a husband who has a serious medical condition makes keeping the anxiety under control a bit harder, as there are more situations to worry about – especially when you have young kids; there are times when both parties need me to be there and because I can’t be in 2 places at once I have to be there for the party that needs me the most.

 

Rob seems to have a gift for minimalising big issues and exaggerating the smaller issues, whereas I’m the opposite, there are times when small issues are important in the grander scheme of things and there are times when bigger issues need to work themselves out and there’s nothing you can do about them, so it doesn’t pay to worry. However because of anxiety sometime worry is just part and parcel of the situation; for me there’s the anxious side and then there’s the rational side. In some cases the rational side can suppress the anxiety, and at other times it is anxiety that suppresses all rationality.

With everything Rob has to deal with, what with the epilepsy, medication and physical limitations I’m glad to know that anxiety isn’t on his plate – other than trying to help me through the anxiety I sometimes have to deal with. He does try to help but sometimes the only thing that gets me though it is time. Anxiety is not something I can just get over, and it feels very real. I’m thankful for the support of family and friends as they play a big part in my fight with anxiety. Rob doesn’t really understand how hard it is to fight anxiety sometimes, just as I don’t know what it’s like to have epilepsy

It’s the same throughout humanity; unless we are dealing with exactly what someone else is dealing with – or dealt with we will never completely understand what that person’s going through. People deal with their stuff in different ways, and if someone is having a hard time with something that someone else might find inconsequential then that person needs support not judgment.

When Childhood Is A Struggle

When Childhood Is A Struggle

Coming from a broken family my childhood was anything but carefree, there were some fun times and carefree times but it wasn’t a constant. As a child I guess I felt confused about why my parents fought, I mean at the time I probably thought that only children fight, it was just a part of having siblings. Now as a parent myself I understand that everyone argues; sometimes it means that love has gone but other times it’s just a clash of differing expectations/opinions. When differing personalities are joined, there are sure to be disagreements just as there would be in area of life.

As a mother I try my best to give my children a stress-free childhood however due to situations beyond my control I’m not sure how feasible it is for my children to have a completely stress-free childhood. I love my children beyond the beyonds and would give my life to protect them; unfortunately life itself is not carefree. With my husband, their dad, having epilepsy they are learning about compassion for others and that not everyone is “normal”. For my kids living with someone who has epilepsy will give them an experience of people with epilepsy more than what their peers may experience.

I myself have to deal with anxiety issues and try my best to protect my children when the anxiety overwhelms me as I want my children to be children as long as possible. I don’t want my children to grow up too fast as I did. It’s not fair on children to put adult problems on their little shoulders, for our littlies to worry about us adults when being a child in the 21st century can be difficult enough

Children that grow up in households that are far from stress-free may grow in ways that other children with easier lives may not. Though of course this is all relative, having a stressful childhood can also have detrimental effects on some children, I think a lot is determined on the personality of the child and whether that child can break through the negativity that he/she has had to live with. Some children may build “walls” to protect themselves and never know to break through, yet others may build “walls” but eventually allow the “walls” to weaken.

Everyone has different experiences as children and often that may determine how we are as adults, then again there are times when adults need to adapt to the world around them and if they can’t, they may find that life is more stressful than life is for others.

Music Soothes The Beast

Music Soothes The Beast

Within music there are many different genres and sub-genres that appeal to different people, people from all different walks of life, there are those that are into hard rock, some that like classical and some that like pop music. There are probably those that like all genres. My preferred genres of music would most likely be contemporary country and pop; my husband on the other hand likes rock.

These genres do have a more melodic rhythm and when I’m feeling down it helps me as often it calms my anxious thoughts and helps me to think clearer. When even the positive and uplifting words of friends can be shrugged off, this genre of music speaks to my very soul. When I can’t find the words to express how I’m feeling certain songs express it for me.

However, when my temper gets the better of me and I need to release some anger I go for a drive with music by Pink blaring and that’s like a release valve and eventually my anger cools down. My favourite Christian artists would have to be Amy Grant and Twila Paris for when I need that softer touch. Amy Grant’s song “Don’t Try So Hard” is my favourite song at the moment as it is a reminder that God’s grace can’t be earned as it is freely given. There are also songs that I like to play when I’m missing my baby girl that we lost like Eric Clapton’s song “Tears In Heaven”, and it allows me to feel what I might otherwise keep pushed down.

I’m not a good singer but I love to sing along to songs that express how I feel but can’t get the words out myself, often I sing in the car or when I’m just around Hubby and the kids. When I was a kid I had another kid say to me “You know you can’t sing” which at the time was very hurtful and actually stopped me from singing at all for many years; but as I loved music too much in time I decided to not allow those careless words to stop me from doing something I love.

Music has always been like a security blanket for me. When I listen to music and sing along it opens me up more than anything else, I like to sit down and get lost in a good book but music is the one thing that helps keep negative thoughts at bay, or at least allows them to flow safely away without affecting my life.