Some wise person once said ‘Blogging is cheaper than therapy’ – so here goes…
– A feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
I’ve always been a bit of a worrier. But never about anything in particular – probably just the same general worries that a lot of us have. And more silly ones like ‘I know I really shouldn’t buy that dress because I’ll have to live on baked beans for a week’, you deliberate and worry and you buy it anyway. I then had children and the general worries were still there until Sofia got norovirus when she was six months old. It was horrendous but we got through it. Because, you just do.
But fast forward three years and the irrational fear and anxiety of experiencing it again came up out of nowhere, we didn’t have it – and we hadn’t ever experienced it since that first time but I suddenly became really aware of ‘the bug’, it started to make me not want to take the kids to ‘danger places’ such as certain groups where there are lots of toys to play with and the worst of all – softplay. I realised that it was starting to become a bit of a problem when I would dread going to a group a week in advance and sometimes think of ways to get out of going, I also got really paranoid about hygiene and handwashing. So I booked a doctors appointment.
I get particularly anxious around the time of big events (all I can put this down to is because when Sofia caught it that first time, it was the weekend before I was due to go back to work after my maternity leave), so around Christmas I was worried about it, we were due to go to Disney at the end of January and having birthday parties on every weekend leading up to this really got me sweating as well as the prospect of 4 days in a Disney hotel with a self serve buffet [a germ-phobic nightmare]. But we made it Disney unscathed and returned happy and exhausted on the Sunday.
On the Monday it happened. Sofia was at my mum and dad’s whilst I was at work and at lunch she threw up twice out of the blue, they didn’t think too much of it as she was fine immediately after. Later that night she was sick again and the next day she slept the day away. I went to pick her up on Tuesday evening in the car and the whole drive over I was literally dreading her coming home; I wanted to be there for her and cuddle her but I was in such a state I couldn’t think of anything more that I’d rather not do. Half way on the journey home she threw up everywhere in my car. Because she also had a high temperature and was complaining of a sore throat I called the doctors just for some reassurance that this was ‘normal’, they told me to go in immediately and after a quick pit stop and clothes change at home, we were at the doctor who diagnosed her with scarlet fever. Having a ‘diagnosis’ put me a little more at ease but instantly just having her back home set my heart racing and I struggled to concentrate on anything other than the sickness.
She perked up later in the week and then the Thursday night we were disturbed by the sounds of Arlo being sick in his cot. It was back. As pathetic as it sounds I spent the rest of the evening in tears. I phoned mum and dad to tell them and check that they were still OK and dad said he would come over the next day to take Sofia out so she didn’t ‘catch it’. After all, it was her birthday on the Saturday and her party on the Sunday. I spent the week confined to the house, no make up and pretty much a ball of worry. I had zero appetite and as a result I lost 12lb in one week. Usually I’d be jumping for joy at any weight loss but I would rather put on 12 stone than live the week I lived.
Since the ‘horror week’ I’ve been on edge. I wash my hands a thousand times a day that my hands now resemble that of a 89 year old woman. I thought getting ‘the bug’ would be great, tackle the problem head on and there’s no choice but to deal with it, I’ll realise it’s not that bad and laugh at all the previous worries I’d had and get over it. But, it hasn’t been that way. To know how horrendous, low and down I felt that week has scared me – that something so silly, so out of my control, could make me feel so anxious. I have the ‘constant dread’ feeling, especially on a Thursday and Friday when I am off work and the kids are with me. Wednesday is the day they are both at different nurseries (doubling the chances!) so if we get through Thursday I breathe a sigh of relief and then Friday evening we’re almost in the clear that if they were to have picked something up, by 48 hours they would have got it. And this is how the last three weeks have been.
I really feel like my sparkle has temporarily been dulled. I’m also finding that I’m more irritable with the kids and its because I’m in a constant worry, which then makes me feel guilty that I’ve just spent the day whinging and shouting at Sofia for not washing her hands/putting her hands on her face/just generally being a normal 4 year old.
I’ve tried to do the talking out loud“when they get it again, it’ll be OK, we’ll all get it but its really not the end of the world” but then the irrational thoughts come back again and the thoughts consume my mind. It’s like a cruel circle.
So, determined to get back to ‘the old me’ – it’s been four weeks and I miss me! – I’ve decided to take more care of myself, stop trying to be superwoman – taking the kids out, saying yes to things and take more time for me. I dont want to turn into a hippy or earth mother type by any means but I’ve decided to enrol on a meditation course and I’ve just started reading ‘Happy‘ by Ferne Cotton (with ‘Calm‘ waiting in the wings…) . All of this is while I await my CBT referral from the doctor – you can read all about that here
I just wanted to document my thoughts, it’s not been all prosecco fizz and vogues for me and I’m a big believer that it’s important to share the lows as well as the LOLS.