Anxiety

I just remembered yesterday, that I hadn’t posted anything about my (sometimes public) meltdowns when I was pregnant.

The truth is, your body feels on loan and your hormones are ensuring you feel like you are losing the plot 90% of the time. This results in feelings of anxiety, desperation and often sheer panic. Having anxiety attacks and finding it hard to sleep are totally normal (as are having vivid and awful nightmares)

Luckily most of my meltdowns were confined to the home. They occurred early morning or late evening, when Jack was screaming and I felt sore, tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. Sometimes there was no specific trigger, other times looking at a pile of laundry or stack of dirty dishes would send me off. Sometimes a ridiculous thing like realising we only had two eggs left or my husband ate the last cookie (so what???!!)

There is nothing anyone can do except sit and listen, or pat your back, or give you a hug. There is no advice or lecture or anything, you simply have to ride it out. And you do, and it feels like sunshine. As quick as ten minutes later I would be looking back thinking ‘who the hell was that?!’ It really is strange and isolating.

Two major meltdowns happened in public. One walking from the bus stop home, and the second on Hampstead High Street on a busy Saturday. Both times I felt my chest was about to explode and I couldn’t breath. I hyperventilated and had to sit down. Uncontrollable crying, gasping for air and bending over forwards. Luckily my husband was there both times to simply hold me up-right, tightly, and repeatedly tell me I was superwoman and he loved me. If you are alone, find a bench and focus on your breathing. It will pass, often quite quickly, but you have to let it happen or you will explode with your guts flying everywhere.

Sometimes I wish I had spoken to a doctor about my nightmares, panic attacks and feelings of isloation. A friend of mine recently told me she is on meds to help her sleep and that means she feels human in the mornings (she is 8 months pregnant) Do what needs to be done and don’t feel bad. Celebrities and the media make pregnancy look like heaven on a stick, and for some it is, but for the rest of us, it’s a mixed bag of emotional highs and lows.

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