As you know I suffer with anxiety and have written about this before a few times on the blog and over at Instagram. Sometimes I get a niggle that people may think I’m over reacting or not fully understand anxiety and may think that I come across as a neurotic parent. To someone who has never experienced anxiety or been close to someone who has I can see how I could appear like a worrier or neurotic Mum.
My anxiety is mainly centered around things happening to my family and mainly the children. I always think of the worst case scenario and will stay fixated on this. Inside my head there is sometimes no positive outcome just the worst possible. For example if they have a mild illness I will be my own worst enemy and start googling symptoms, I will immediately read the complications of the illness and then this is all I can think of the whole time they are ill.
This can be exhausting to the point that my head will go totally fuzzy and at the end of the day when the little ones are in bed I will literally just collapse on the sofa and sleep the whole night through from 8pm.
From what I sometimes observe and from situations I have been in I get the impression people can sometimes expect you to apologise for being over-anxious. On the other hand I’ve been in situation where I have witnessed people apologising for their anxiety , I have also been one of these people apologising. This is mainly down to the stigma mental illnesses carry and the fact that a lot of people with mental illness are ashamed or embarrassed.
I used to be one of these people only recently admitted I have anxiety. This was such a hard thing to do as I did feel so ashamed , I also felt that people would view me differently or think I was bad Mum. Of course this is so wrong as I still have the same friends , nobody treats me any different or in fact thinks I’m a bad Mum.
If you have a cold or a sore throat you wouldn’t go around apologising to people for being ill. This should also be the case for a mental illness – it’s not your fault your mind is ill. This is exactly why I have made the conscious decision to never apologise for being anxious.
I will not apologise for taking my child to the doctors to get checked out because a cold has gone on longer than it should.
I also will not apologise for being that over-anxious Mum who checks and triple checks fine details with the teachers at school.
I will not apologise for not wanting to come out and socialise because sometimes I just want to stay indoors snuggle up and just have that quiet time.
I will not apologise for taking some time for self care , that shopping day trip alone or that day at the spa. Sometimes my brain needs a rest from the stresses and strains and the hectic 24/7 on the go Mum. Taking time out helps me to be a better Mum as I come back repaired and refreshed for my little ones.
I will not apologise for not letting my children do something that “everyone” is doing. If I don’t feel comfortable with something that’s my choice as a parent.
I will not apologise for being me , I am who I am and quite frankly I’m proud of the person I have become and the way I am tacking this illness head on.