“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” – Søren Kierkegaard

9 years on and Pieta House’s flagship awareness walk “Darkness into Light” took place in 150 locations across Ireland and all over the world this year. This unique event begins in darkness around 4am, as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while the dawn is breaking. They said 130,000 people woke up early to walk or run from the darkness into the light – incredible right? This was Dubai’s 2nd year doing the walk and judging by how many people it grew by in the space of 12months I imagine it will only get better.

After seeing the photo’s of so many people taking part all over the world. It made me want to chalk down my own feelings. It is no secret that I get anxious. I have wrote about  my own anxiety in previous posts and I am such a worrier at the best of times. I let my emotions get the better of me so often and I second guess so many things I do or say. But basically, although I’m usually dealing with sickening worry inside, you would never really know unless I told you. It is called “high-functioning” anxiety. I am not proud of it and I wish It wasn’t there but it is. It hits me every now and then with a bang and every time it does, I realise that anxiety and I have co-existed for such a long time.

Anxiety can impact the ability to interact socially but my anxiety thankfully, has never hindered my ability to do the things that I really must do. It’s the simple every day things like getting the kids to school, heading to work (where I have to be over the top happy), keeping my house 100% perfect (incase people call), mammy meet ups – These simple tasks sometimes over power me and in turn make me feel like I am doing an Awful job.

Once we had our Little’s, new worries entered my body. I guess when we become parents  we feel (and know) we have so much more to lose.

I assume most parents feel anxious or worried occasionally when it comes to their Little’s but when you are a parent with anxiety, the little worries are intense, they become overwhelming.

Leaving the house with them…

When you have little’s, it is a daily ordeal to leave the house. Getting everyone dressed, packing their bits up (it doesn’t stop after the baby stage). Trying to time yourself right (my husband kills me for my lack of time management). These are pretty basic everyday struggles and worries. But my mind wanders off and the issues turn into… What if I lose something or someone? What if they are kidnapped? In my head – the world is mental at the moment and even though we live in a lovely Dubai bubble – I am still thinking about the worst case scenario. My mind convinces me that these things are going to happen.

Leaving them with other people…

I won’t leave my little’s with just anyone . Even though I know they are somewhere safe, most date nights (rare date nights), my mind convinces me and wanders off again to a not so nice place.

Sleep…

Lets face it, parent’s rarely get a good night’s sleep. I don’t think I have had a good night’s sleep for the past nine years. I end up thinking that terrible things can happen in the hour’s from night until morning. Don’t get me started on holiday sleep. If we are some where foreign and I do manage to fall asleep, it is nightmare after nightmare. What if they needed me? I have to be able to hear them, so I don’t let myself sleep too deeply. Thankfully good coffee and chocolate literally keep me going during the day and I am thankful they exist!

Passing away and the Little’s being left alone…

My biggest worry! I worry about leaving my kids too soon even more than I worry about them leaving me. What would happen to them? I know they’d have loving people to care for them, but how would they cope? Would people understand every little part of them. Nurture every part of them. This fear only heightens every time we travel. Aeroplanes and me, do NOT see eye to eye!

Long story short, I guess I always felt slightly insane to talk about these fears and struggles but lately I have been chatting to a friend about all these thoughts. I talked about my anxiety in large crowds. The irrational thoughts that overwhelm me and the fact that I always think of the worst case scenario first. I become obsessive and I second guess myself. Half the time I know I am thinking irrational thoughts but my brain won’t allow me not to.

This post wasn’t intended to be a, woe is me – life is tough post. I am well aware that my life is not tough and that I am blessed and thankful. This post is to point out that there are so many people dealing with struggles in secret. That anxiety and depression should not be kept hidden. People that are hiding behind their fears need to know that they can talk to friends and family with no stigmas attached. As you can probably guess from this post. I have not got it all together and struggle to offer out advice in this department. I can only share my own feelings in a hope people will talk if they need.

SO!

To the Mammy’s reading this post. Talk to friends. Talk to family. Do not let your worries or fears develop. If you are looking for help you can contact Out of the Blues or Light House Arabia in Dubai and Pieta House in Ireland or Beyond the Blue in Australia. Just know there is always someone to talk to and always a fresh day ahead…

Try to remember that our blessings are bigger than whatever it is that stresses us out and taking care of your whole self is nothing to be ashamed of!

Love, Helly x

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