Sucker Punch Anxiety...

Anxiety, You know how everyone has an incident or something traumatic that happens that happens to them that they will never forget?

Well, mine was this day (see photo) 20th May 2013. Just short of a year of living within in the SEND world, I had just started to find my feet and get my bearings when I was knocked on my ass all over again.

This day in particular, Delilah had been requested by a top neurologist to be admitted into Newcastle RVI and onto a ward for a few day’s in order to run some tests. These tests may be something or nothing, we don’t know but will be worth trying - he said. He lied.

Not only did he lie, he forgot he requested we take her there, the room on the ward was booked, but he was elsewhere. Great! But that is not what stands out to me that day, not by a long shot.

At this moment in time the norovirus was ravaging people, left, right and centre EVERYONE seemed to be ill with it. That morning I did my usual superman routine, packed her bag three times, made sure we had extras, spares and everything in between. Medical notes, suction machine and medications. Everyone was dressed smart (this was the early days, now I rock up in whatever I can be bothered to shove on!), we were all set to go, except, I just didn’t feel right. “It’s nerves, it’s a full on day” my mam and dan had told me… but that couldn’t be true… I had been smashing it up until this point. I was the strong one, with all the faith, the one that spoke first and relayed all of Delilahs information to each and every doctor. We set off any ways.

The RVI is about 30 minutes, give or take from our home, sometimes longer in traffic. We were half way there when I felt it, out of nowhere I needed to vomit, I couldn’t hold it but tried…then not only did I need to vomit… I needed to ‘go’ and I needed to ‘go’ NOW. We frantically tried to pull off into somewhere that had a bathroom but nowhere was open. Dan offered to turn the car around but I was soo desperate for Delilah to get there and get answers I insisted we headed straight there.

Once we got onto the ward and into the room I locked myself in the toilet as dan relayed to the nurse our issue - my issue. She stated rightly “she can’t stay here, she has to leave” which we knew, of course. We had already arranged a lift for me. Off I headed back home, I unlocked the door as I reached our house, got to the top of the stairs and melted into a bundle of sobs and full wholehearted tears. I was devastated. I had to leave her behind, she didn’t have her mummy to answer all the questions, cuddle her when they poked and prodded her and tell her it was ok while she settled. I couldn’t be dans wing woman and that killed me. Just as I broke between sobs, my mam walked in. Told me to get in my pjs, take some paracetamol and come and lie on her sofa… she’d make me a cuppa. That is where I spent the rest of the day awaiting news of what they’d done to my 14 month old baby.

The trip, as you already know now, was a waste of space. After hours of hunting the dr down, nothing was done and they were sent home. We asked for a second opinion and never saw him again. But where does anxiety come into this? Well this day did lasting damage to me. I could never forgive myself for leaving her behind. The idea of leaving the house made me feel ill. What If I became sick again? And I couldn’t look after Delilahs needs? She needs me! From that moment on I wouldn’t go out. I would cancel appointments that I wanted to be at but couldn’t settle myself enough to go to, I feared travelling in the car longer than 10/15 minutes and felt sick at the thought of ever leaving Delilahs side. Anxiety ripped through me, my life and my families life like a hurricane. It lifted up the life I had and tore it to pieces. I was no longer a supermum, I was a mess. My kid’s missed out on soo much because mummy couldn’t go. I couldn’t take them out, spend days out or travel to caravan sites or go on holiday. I felt like I had ruined my children’s childhood. I felt useless to something I couldn’t see, I didn’t want to be here anymore. Then, in 2017 I started to slowly but surely venture further. I saw I wasn’t alone and got some great friends that helped me break my cycle of self destruction. By 2019 I felt ‘well’ enough to go speak to a specialist, a counsellor and finally get my shit together. For my kid’s, my husband and myself. I couldn’t torture myself any longer. I needed a win. It’s funny because, I had to feel better to seek help, mad isn’t it?

I read a quote recently that really resonated with me and it’s this ‘I am too well to be ill, but too ill to be well’. To me that sums me up. I am good when i’m good, but i’m always expecting to be bad at some point too.

And now I am here. It isn’t all rainbows, smiles and butterflies… but f*ck me is it better than it was. I work hard everyday some weeks to just keep my head above water. Sometimes I sink and sometimes I swim, but most of the time, i’m just here looking calm on the top while frantically paddling underneath.

If you are struggling seek help, there is no shame in it. There is only good that come from seeking help, but do it for you, when you are ready. Tracey


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