I have anxiety disorder. I do a number of things to try and keep on top of it and not let it overwhelm me. One of these things is to try at all times to stay within my comfort zone. Whilst this keeps a lid on my fear-of-new-things anxiety, it does limit me considerably. Slowly I try and incorporate “new” experiences and things into my life, on a measured basis and always with lots of friends and support around me.
Today I launched myself far, far outside my comfort zone, and you know what? No one died, no one lost an eye. This girl done good.
Last year I had two spinal operations, they were moderately successful but I’m left with constant pain and I’m limited in what I can physically do. Looking after a lively young boy by myself can be challenging, it’s ok if we stick to the local highways and byways, as I know people can get to me within minutes if I get in trouble.
Today I launched myself off the deep end and we went on an adventure. One hour on the train by ourselves to Delamere Forest, three hours picnicking and frolicking, followed by another hour on the train by ourselves. Pah! That’s nothing, that’s regular parent stuff I hear you cry. But to me, a girl who can’t lift and carry her own child, who can’t chase after him when he goes AWOL, that’s a bloody big deal.
We coped. I didn’t lose my temper once. Eating painkillers meant I could almost keep up with him. He tried to help mummy and be good, as much as a three year old can try to help and be good.
I was heartily glad to get home, exhausted, to the bone exhausted. But we’d had a really lovely day. He’d really enjoyed having fun with mummy. Mummy who rarely joins in with much of the fun and games that other mummies get to do. It was in truth a truly special day.
Apart from really connecting and laughing with my son, the best thing for me is that’s it’s given me confidence to do more things with him, and it’s squashed some of that fear-of-new-things anxiety. Yes, I’ll take a big gulp before I dive right in again, but I know now that I’ll be alright and I can do things, even though the little voice in me tells me it’s too risky, or too hard, or I just can’t cope with it.
I looked fear and anxiety in the eye this morning. This afternoon I punched it on the nose and put it in its place. Today I’m winning.