First of all, apologies as I haven’t written a blog for a while. It’s down to a few reasons, work family also, I have been reading a few blogs and social media (tweets, Facebook posts) .
Everybody has their own unique way of writing and telling their stories which is amazing, it’s really helpful and takes some bottle to really open up and tell all, I have total respect to you all and thank you.
While reading them, I can see myself in most but also get why there is this stigma (which is bollocks). I tried to read from a neutral point of view and read every word as though I’d never struggled with anxiety attacks and mental health issues due to them. The words , the sentences they seem fictional!! Even though I know that they are 100% true, a ‘normal’ person reading them will think that we are lying. But why would people make things up? I write not to scare sufferers, I do not lie, I just want to let people know that it is ok, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!! I’m willing to tell you what goes on in my head and my life to try and help if you want to talk about or read it.
The help is great, can’t fault the blogs, however I’m going to talk about an incident, one like no other has made me think about people and my mental illness.
Do you think that some people bring the stigma on by trying to be hero’s instead of keeping it calm and trying to make inexperienced people know about it?
Ill give you an example:
Since speaking out about my experiences a friend read the blog where I wet myself. To him it was absolutely ridiculous, a conversation started with ‘is that a joke mate? a 31 year old man just sitting watching tv , having a bad spell of anxiety attacks and then wetting himself due to the pure fright….? NO buddy, it does not seem real, but it happened. I can see how and why it seemed unreal to him, but having explained what goes on and how it feels he automatically said ‘wow, I didn’t realise, sorry to hear that’my reply was simple, ‘Dont be sorry, your not the guy wetting himself in peoples houses!!! :).
And now, because there was no bullshit, no self pity, it was explained and understood in a maximum of ten minutes of conversation, he doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with it at all and has removed the negativity from the situation.
Anyway, Sunday evening, A feeling hit me like no panic attack has ever done before. I can’t even write down the exact word to explain this but I’ll describe it as best I can. I was sat on my bed with my fiancée and son, we were watching a film. Just a normal Sunday evening and then I felt the anxiety creep up very slowly half way through…
during the years I’ve developed some kind of twitch and I’ll reach out for stuff or change my seating position every so often….. Just to try and mix things up. What I didn’t know is that my very attentive 3 year old son had clocked me in mid flow……
A question followed ‘Daddy, why are you doing that?’
Boom!!! Heart sank!!!
No answer for that other than ‘doing what boy?’
He copied every twitch that I had made and reproduced it right in front of me!!
I was absolutely gutted! The anxiety vanished I went red in the face and was absolutely and positively fucking stumped!!! I felt like crying! Devastated!
He had been watching his father all along trying to fight this bout of anxiety and did he did not like it. I hated it!!
I said to my fiancée ‘ that’s it, he’s seen it!’ Do I hide it from him? Shall I take him to his bed?
Her reply was simple:
‘Don’t you dare. No matter what you do in life, you will always be that boys superhero, so you have to realise this. His love for you is unconditional no matter what!’.
I was having none of it. What if he twitches? what if he wonders what it is? and quizzes me on it, WHAT IF HE HAS ANXIETY ATTACKS ?! It’s not what you want for anyone! So my son would be the worst case.
I took five and gathered my thoughts, My boy was still wanting an answer.. His eyes fixed on me like a hawk!! In the end I said that ‘Daddy was cold’. That was it. No more looks, no more questions and a little boy cuddled into his hero.
My gosh, a huge sigh of relief came upon me and then what my fiancée had said to me slid in to my thoughts…
No matter what is happening to us! We will always have special people in our lives who think the world of us! And that boys instincts were protective ones. His Daddy was struggling, he didn’t know how or why but he knew that he had to ask what was happening so that he was assured of his fathers well being.
You may see it differently, you all may come up with different opinions, but I do not! And i will explain to him one day in full, when he understands life more.
If people’s words or actions offend/hurt you, try and keep positive. Their intentions may be of a kind nature and they just want to know what’s going on, as it is unusual to them.
Questions from a three year old is better than reading some shit quote saying that ‘we have gotta fight against this stigma!’ We are alone! People hate us! Lets stick together etc….
Bollocks, it’s not a popularity contest, yes it needs to stop i will agree on that, because we may look fit and healthy on the outside, but inside there is this mind full of nonsense trying to beat us up. Lets reach out!! This is life. One we get!! Make it positive and educate people. Do we fight? or become better people by talking? I’ll go for chatting all day long, it’s fascinating and you meet good people along the way.
I could have easily taken my son to his room and put him to bed with a story and no answers, but no, his intentions were well meant and I’m still his superhero !!! With a mental illness 🙂