Confused

I haven’t written for some time. It’s been a difficult week. I have got very confused as to what I am actually feeling and what is happening.

My daughter has finally got to see someone at school. One year ago I have applied for counselling for her and only just now she has been given the opportunity to see someone. Part of me thought was it worth going over the things when she has managed to cope with it in herself. But if I didn’t use the chance maybe she would cope with it in a completely wrong way like I have coped with my childhood. I want her to have better life. Better emotional and psychological life.

When speaking with the counselor I discovered few things. She brought up few good points, she understood where I come from. I was a bit afraid she’d say I only waste her time as there are people with real problems out there. I’m not sure if it is such a good thing to actually be considered as “real” problem. But nevertheless I felt understood and listen to.

But during the discussion I was told that I probably was misdiagnosed with GAD (I’m not sure about that one. An hour chat is not really enough to establish that) but I have PTSD. I have felt I had PTSD for a while now. the name for it is “complexed emotional trauma”. I was told to get my GP to do a proper mental health assessment to get a correct treatment.

I have tried to call GP but you can’t really get anywhere with them on Friday. I doubt I get far on Monday too.

I have been doing a lot of self-analysis which I am personally a bit sock of now. I have also tried to join Facebook PTSD groups. I have read a lot online about PTSD… as you do. When I read about it online I do have all the symptomps. The flashbacks, nightmares and constant fear and “alert” state are the worst. Well that’s what PTSD mainly is. But when I read about other people experiences on the Facebook groups… I don’t quite fit there.

On top of it I think I might have lost another friend. It really amazes me how much people cannot take other people’s pain. I don’t know why it only come out now. We were talking about things from last year. Maybe they felt they couldn’t say anything last year as I was “suffering” and now when things got back to normal – they can tell me how much I’ve hurt them. Actually it is a good thing in a way. As by no means I wanted to hurt anyone. but it just shows who your real friends are. Things never go back to normal after things like that. There is no normal. normal has gone! and the new “now” is difficult to cope with. I need to learn what to do and how to do it. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who stood by my side. I said it before and I’d say it again – I would have never done it without my friends. But I’m not fully back to being myself. I don’t focus on others now. There isn’t enough me to make sure everyone knows how grateful I am. There is not enough me to be a good friend possibly. I don’t know how long the healing process will take.

I still feel scared of evenings at home. I feel scared of letting Graham go – in case something will trigger a seizure. I know it is silly. I’m still working on myself and I start to believe it is a matter of time. I’ll get there and I’ll be happy again. I asked today everyone at the table to tell one positive thing which happened today. I didn’t give them any warning about it – but I think I keep doing it.

I also need to re-wind and go back to basics. I need to learn what’s mine and what is someone else’s pain/emotion/fear/worry/hurt. It is theirs. Not mine. I think it will be difficult to change the mindset. but hopefully not impossible 🙂

What if

The “what if” thinking is very automatic. I was driving at the weekend and wondering if there is a parking space when I get there. “What if there will be nowhere to park?” I was thinking. And then I realised…. again – imagining the worst case scenario before it even happened.

The constant questioning your own thoughts is very tiring. I do get moments when I actually doubt if what I’m doing does make any sense. I’ve been practicing the Headspace and I like the metaphor they used there. Imagine a blue spotless sky. We walking underneath such sky through life. But there will be some clouds, like our feelings, emotions, thoughts and experiences. They will be fluffy white clouds. And there will be some grey clouds too and sometimes rain and thunder. And sometimes they grey rain is so overwhelming that we forget there is a blue sky behind it. But we need to remember that the blue sky is there. We don’t need to create it – it already exists.

I’ve been thinking today that the last six months had also some positive outcomes, not only negative. Things like that makes you revaluate your life. What is important? If not the negative experiences I wouldn’t ever had a trip into the past my childhood and learnt so much about myself. I do feel the changes I’m making in my way of thinking are good. I feel it’s all going in the right direction now. We also grew closer as a family. It is special that someone chose you to stay with them in the moments when they are the most weak.

But I still have the “what if” it all collapses if something bad happens again. It’s a very very fragile line I’m stepping on. And I also understand that the positiveness and strength depends only on me. My anxiety at the evenings settled. But I’m not optimistic, I’m realistic. Or am I just giving in old way of thinking… it’s easier to change it in a little things, but I don’t want to be disappointed with what’s important. And it’s also hard to believe for me that something might have actually worked. After good few months of trying to find a solution.

In the meantime…. I was enjoying the 32C IMG_6487

Too much

I decided to write few things as I’ve noticed something interesting. I joined (of course!) another Facebook group (apart from already joined depression, epilepsy and hamsters) I joined GAD group. I do admit I haven’t been particularly an active member of the group but I read one post where someone was basically saying that her and her husband are anxious and both of their children have an anxiety disorders. I can’t remember what exactly it was and what actually she was asking but from the tone of the answers and the question I drew a conclusion people were seeking an advice outside (diagnosis, hereditary) but not really inside themselves. So I actually as a part of my therapy I decided to give myself a pat on the back. I actually identified I have GAD and I’m working on it and I’ll do my best NOT to teach my children same habits as I have.

So the journey has started. The week just gone was difficult. I was fine and then Sunday evening my anxiety went completely over the roof. I felt awful. I knew that I didn’t want to feel like that. I realised that it’s not the situation it must be me, the fear is inside. Part of GAD is feeling uncomfortable with your especially negative emotions and trying to get rid of them asap. I wish  I could just click my hands and the problems would disappear. A magic wand.

I started thinking, searching and of course discussing things and my counselling sessions. I think counselling has been the most beneficial but it’s was good to dig dipper for more answers.

I need to learn to allow myself the emotions I feel. It’s ok to feel what you feel. I shouldn’t feel guilty or telling myself off for what I feel. I feel upset, I feel angry, I feel tired, I feel anxious – that’s OK 🙂 That’s what I feel. No judgement. Nothing. Acknowledge the thought or feeling and let it go.

The root for most if not all anxiety is uncertainty. And that’s an interesting issue – I have no tolerance to uncertainty. It is the UNCERTAINTY of the situation which makes me anxious. I have always reacted the same way to problems but they have never been as big and never lasted that long! So because the uncertainty is bigger then usual and lasts longer, my anxiety is much bigger then usual. And it become an obstacle to my life.

Well, if we feel uncomfortable about something being uncertain…. what do we do? try to increase the certainty of the situation. In my mind, the best way to do it is imagine possible outcomes. But focusing on the negative as if I can make myself prepared for the negative I’ll be ready when it happens. So I’m imagining the seizures and trying to be prepared when they happen. But when I start imagine it carries on, each thoughts produces more thoughts and the picture gets out of hand. And it gets more and more negative and more and more scary. So does it help? does it make the situation more certain?

No.

But it’s a habit. I still think, that I can cheat my mind and make myself prepared for the worst.

So, the advice is to go the other way. If I can’t make the situation certain…. maybe it would be worth working on making my tolerance to uncertainty bigger.

And it should be a small step at the time as it’s a huge task. Start small. I can’t tackle the biggest problems but start small from small thoughts. I have started and making a diary of how it makes me feel to change the habit and what do I think etc. I have no answers yet if it works but I believe it will. That’s why I’m doing it.

I started Tuesday but yesterday I felt so overwhelmed…. I literally had a mixture of emotions and thought it my head. I didn’t know what I should or shouldn’t feel. It’s not even should it’s…. changing the automatic habit of 37 years…. it’s TIRING. Its unsettling. It requires concentration. It’s a constant questioning your mind. It’s testing it. It’s challenging it.

I also started meditation. I’ve never been a believer of that sort of stuff. But I started with Headspace. I’ve done so far 3 lessons 3min long each… I actually really like it! it connects with what I said above. With acknowledging the thoughts and letting them go.

I do admit last night I felt like I wouldn’t cope. But today I decided to add also at least one positive which happened each day. Today I think it was my hard work. The fact I’m trying. I’m so used to thinking bad about myself and putting myself down. But no, I’m working hard on this, I want change and I want my girls to avoid the problems I have. And that’s a good thing 🙂

Confused

I have to say I’m extremely confused. The last six months were the most confusing, emotional, difficult and extremely hard period I’ve ever had to deal with…. it was not only dealing with serious health conditions and new diagnosis but mostly dealing with myself and discovering truth about my personality. It’s been a long and exhausting journey inside myself which I now find so tiring and literally with no energy to live. Not in a very pessimistic way, like I’m going to give up but more in a way that all my energy went into explorating my personality and going into the reasons for the way I feel that I have, that I have no energy left to deal with anything else. I feel constantly, constantly tired.

I’ve learnt that I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Which means that the most probably why I couldn’t get to the bottom of my fear of seizures was that… it wasn’t really fear of them but they were a trigger for my anxiety.

I’ve always been surrounded by negativity. My father was an alcoholic. Not a big deal you say. And most Polish drink so it’s unfortunately a childhood most of us Polish people experienced. And sadly not only Polish. But my dad was hiding that he was drinking and I knew all the places he was hiding vodka. He was lying denying he drunk even though we all could clearly see he has. My earliest memory of childhood is my mum putting me to bed, when I saw on the corridor dad crawling from the toilet to his bedroom. So I asked what was wrong, why he was doing it and my mum answer “daddy is not feeling well”. He promised me every Christmas he would stay sober and he never did. He was driving drunk, sometimes with me in the car. I hated him. I wanted him to die. It was a constant embarrassment, I couldn’t invite anybody home, I didn’t want my friends to see him like that. I was ashamed. And if you add to it that Poland isn’t a very tolerant (or wasn’t very tolerant at the time) country – and me being on the chubby side, I was laughed at on the street by kids and adults. I had a very very very low self esteem. I didn’t believe I was pretty, I didn’t believe anybody would love me. I didn’t believe I was good at anything. I thought that the reason for all bad in the house was dad. Because dad drunk.

But he stopped and we actually managed to have a little bit of nice time together. After a period when I was adjusting to actually seeing him sober. But anyway he passed away 10 years after he stopped drinking. Not from a liver disease, funny enough, but from COPD. His lungs given up on him. And that slowly changed everything. I was already in England, so the process separating from home and his death made me discovered new truth, the truth I’m discovering till today.

If you think about a child with huge complexes who’s one parent is unavailable to talk to be a role model, the child would turn into the other parent for support. I thought I was very close to my mum. But it was a strange relationship. I don’t want to accuse my mum of anything. I’m sure she did the best she believed at the time. And she was shaped by her parents and circumstances. Quite possibly her mum did to her what she did to me. Completely unintentionally. And I’m sure if I ever was in a need she’d give her last clothes and food so I would be warm and fed. But what she didn’t do is she has never taught me coping strategies to deal with problems. She is very negative. She’s very neurotic and anxious person. She was using a lot of emotional blackmail. I never believed in my opinion, I always took hers as the right one. She told me to put other people first and many times called me egoistic if I didn’t put others (mainly her) first.

Only just now I realised how much I was influenced by her. Not by dad. Maybe dad taught me what a lie is and what an addict can do to you and your family. That is probably why I’ve never smoked or drunk too much, which overall isn’t a bad thing. I might have missed some fun in my teenage years, but I had too many complexes anyway to do it properly.

But mum gave me GAD and the problems I have now. And I’ve only just realised how big and long journey it is in front of me to make it all straight. And probably I’ll never completely get rid of it as it’s my personality. This is my coping strategy to problems. GAD and avoidance. Or running away. It’s a long way ahead of me.