When I spent time thinking about some horrible moments of my life, and tried to narrow it down to one specific moment to write about – I couldn’t pick just one. The worst moment of my life is something I can’t really define.
I was always loud, bubbly, confident and sociable. I can’t remember a particular moment when that changed – but it did. Fun loving and bubbly me turned into panic stricken and paranoid me. The me who would never miss a party or gathering turned into the me who never wanted to leave the house or socialize with anyone.
So what happened? What changed? I’m not sure. I didn’t notice me changing, others did. Maybe it was a the three pregnancies, weight gain, my sons autism diagnosis, lack of sleep, or the yucky memories from my past? Could of been any one of them that triggered my anxiety or a torturous cocktail of all of the above.
I hated myself, looking in the mirror repulsed me. If that’s how I felt surely other people did too. I didn’t want anyone to see me or look at me so I stopped socializing and if I did socialize I’d be the first to point out I looked terrible or I was ugly etc, because in my head anyone I was with must be thinking it anyway.
So if you’re not happy change it, right? Gained weight? Then lose it. So I did I lost all the extra weight plus a few extra lbs. So why did I still feel the same? Why was I sweating and shaking any time I had to leave the house? Why when I wasn’t at home was I filled with absolute dread that we weren’t safe and were in some kind of danger? This isn’t right? I’m supposed to feel better, not worse. I drew into myself, shut off from people.
To start with I didn’t realize what was wrong with me. I remember being in the car one time- it was winter, dark outside my then partner was driving. We had been at my sons very first consultation to have him assesd by a specialist. It had been a long, long fight to get anyone to listen to me. I wont spend too much time on that subject-thats for another blog. Anyway in the car i was just thinking of everything that had been said earlier in the day, when all of a sudden a strange feeling washed over me, out of nowhere i had a horrible feeling we were going to crash. I suddenly realized that protecting my kids was out with my control. I wasn’t driving , and there was so many other cars around that anyone of them could hit the car. I begged for us to just forget going out for dinner and just get home. I just wanted home. As soon as I walked through the front door I felt my body completley relax what the hell was that? I’d never ever experienced that sense of dread before. I had a chat with a friend that night and described what happened and she told me it sounded like a panic attack. Surely not? They always were palpitations right or chest pain, right?
That wasn’t the only time I ever felt like that. Infact it was the start of a downward spiral, and things got worse. I became so panicked at some points I’d lose balance because I’d be over thinking how to walk. That sounds ridiculous, I know but it was true. Id get so panicked speaking to someone outwith my comfort zone I’d struggle and stutter and not be able to word what I was saying. For someone who was a top performer in telesales and was told often I had “the gift of the gab” the stuttering, stammering mess I’d become was probably for me the most drastic change in my personality . I was thinking too much about what i was doing. I over analyzed everything and i mean everything. I felt ridiculous that’s honestly the only word I can think of and thought everyone was superior, and everyone I spoke to looked at me like I was stupid.
Another severe attack I had was during a lazy day in the house watching movies witht he kids. All of a sudden i felt almost detactched like i wasn’t in control of anything I was doing. Almost like I was watching myself. I panicked, called my sister in tears and all I could say was “I feel weird”. Of course she wasn’t sure what I meant and comforted me as best she could. Advised I ran a bath and lay in it a while. I got off the phone and cried and cried locked in the bathroom. Why was I crying? I don’t know I felt helpless, and not in control of my own thoughts, feelings, body or anything round about. I felt like everyone was beginning to think I was crazy.
I’d go shopping and just want to go home because I felt so disgusting, so horrificly ugly that I thought everyone who looked at me was looking at me in disgust. In reality nobody was bothering their ass with me. I hated leaving the house, I hated being around people it became so much of an issue I just stopped going out. Friends would be annoyed because I canceled pre arranged dates, or nights out and eventually just stopped asking me to do things. That should be a blessing right? No, it wasn’t see I wanted to do everyday normal things I wanted to be included but I couldn’t be. It’s like being trapped in a prison made by yourself. It’s honestly horrible.
Then there was the break down of my relationship. My middle son has autism and he doesn’t sleep much, and when he does sleep he usually ends up beside me. I would be up doing night feeds with my daughter who was a few weeks maybe months old at the time. My son would be awake watching toy story on repeat and that would be my night time. I’d maybe nap on the couch sometimes if the little man got tired, but most of the time I was up all night. While my partner slept, I started to resent him. I felt like I was doing a lot by myself and he just wasn’t helping enough. Little did I know he was resenting me too. We hadn’t slept in the same bed for months. All we did was argue. Then I found out he cheated, the woman messaged me on Facebook, telling me everything. I remember looking in disgust at the profile picture of the woman and wondering wtf he was thinking. I was in complete shock, the woman was much older, severely overweight and just…. Well ugly, not like “oh she’s kind of pretty I can see why he was attracted to her, but I’ll still say she’s ugly” type way that most females are guilty of. Horrendously unattractive. To start I laughed about it, I laughed at how unattractive she was. Then something clicked- if she’s that bad, what does that say about me? Whatever confidence I had left at that point, was knocked out of me completely.
Now adding being a single parent, on top of everything else just made it a recipe for disaster. I stopped socializing completely, wouldn’t leave the house, would hardly respond to messages, i just shut off. I hated myself, so everyone else probably does too. On top of that, being in the house is the only time I felt in control of anything. I stopped talking with friends, with family, with everybody and just focused on my kids.
The only problem with focusing on your kids is for a night, sometimes two a week they would be at dads. I’d be left at home with my thoughts. So I’d drink till I passed out. I developed a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms – using alcohol to numb me is one.
I still have my anxiety and depression, I still don’t like myself very much, I still would rather not be out in public and will avoid gatherings if I can, but I’m trying. I’m working on it. I have slips, not good ones either my mind gets pretty screwed up at times and I often convince myself that everyone including my babies would be better off without me. I know that’s not true but when I’m at my lowest I don’t see it like that. So much stigma involved with anxiety, and depression especially for us mothers. So many people think its wrong or bad to say “Hey I’m struggling right now” or too scared to say it in case someone judges them. It’s more common than we think. Something I’ve recently learned, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. My attitude is: “It won’t win, I got this!”
So there we go, I guess I can round this up by saying that: The Worst Moment Of My Life- was the day I fell out of love with myself.