Tomorrow my just turned two year old little boy is off to pre-school for the very first time, he is super excited but I am feeling so very nervous. I know that he will love it as he has been desperate to go since his older sister started last year, but to me he is still so very young - he only turned two a couple of weeks ago. I should be looking forward to having a few child free hours four mornings a week, something I have not had at all in over three years. I should be looking forward to being able to drink a hot drink in peace, having an uninterrupted shower and having time to tidy the house again.
But I am not looking forward to these things at all, instead I am feeling sick with nerves and terrified that something bad will happen to him. You see I suffer from anxiety, it is not something that I ever really talk about. I did not even realise that I was suffering from it for such a long time as I have always been a worrier, I just thought that it was normal to feel like this. It is not normal to feel like this, I know that now.As a child I would always worry about silly things, really silly things like leaving the washing on the line when we went out. I drove my parents crazy. Then as I got older I grew out of it and was happy and carefree. Then my mum died in a freak accident when I was 21 and all the worry came flooding back, I witnessed first hand how one wrong step can literally result in death. I became convinced something bad would happen to my then two year old daughter or my loved ones.
I very much wrapped my eldest up in cotton wool, I was so scared something bad would happen to her. I remember when she started swimming lessons at school, I was terrified and would feel sick all day long thinking she would somehow drown - even though it was in a shallow supervised pool. I constantly have bad thoughts of things that could happen running though my mind, I often feel sick to my stomach with worry for no real reason. I can never relax and just enjoy myself as I am always on edge expecting something bad to happen to my children.
I feel so sick at the thought of Jacob starting pre-school tomorrow, I know the staff are wonderful and will look after him, I know the setting is safe and he will love it but I can't stop worrying. I have got it into my head that he will somehow escape and we will lose him for good somehow. I know I am being silly as the nursery has a safety gate on the room and then a door that he would have to get through and vigilant staff. I can't stop worrying though as I know what a little escape artist he is, he runs off at any chance and has no concept of danger yet.
When change happens it certainly makes my anxiety a lot worse, while I always worry about little things when change happens or my children are not in my care I worry a lot more then normal. I become withdrawn and a bit grumpy, I feel sick and struggle to concentrate and sleep. I am not entirely sure what the point in my writing this post is if I am honest, I never intended to write it but this is how I am feeling right now.
Nobody really understands how I feel, my partner is always telling me to relax and stop worrying. But I can't, I really do wish I could but I just can't no matter how hard I try.
Anxiety is so hard to explain to someone who does not suffer from it, I guess the best way to describe it is that I am always worrying. I almost always have a knot in my stomach, especially when we are out or the children are not with me. If we are doing something or going somewhere I think of bad things that could happen and then I replay them over and over in my mind the whole time, I can't relax at all as I am convinced they will come true. It is normally really silly things too, trivial things or things that are really unlikely to happen but which I convince myself are going to happen.
I know that it is not normal to feel like this, but that a lot of us parents do suffer from anxiety. I don't want to feel like this anymore, I am tired of always worrying and having bad thoughts. I want to just enjoy life, I wish I was feeling excited about him starting pre-school and looking forward to a rare few hours child free. Most importantly of all I don't want to pass my worry on to my children, I want them to have the most wonderful and carefree childhood possible. I guess it is time that I got some help with my anxiety so that I stop worrying so much and can enjoy life more.
If you have any tips on dealing with anxiety then please let me know in the comments below, as I think I need all the help I can get.