Anxiety and Me ❤

"It's OK,  I'm right here. Keep going, we're nearly there"... these were the words my husband said over and over again after he somehow convinced me climbing Croagh Patrick was a good idea. Beads of sweat gathered around my forehead, for the record at this point as I held on for dear life, shaking like a leaf and imagining all the worst outcomes possible - In my head I heard news bulletins "Air corp forced to rescue young woman from the top of Croagh Patrick after she shit herself and refused to climb back down".... No, I did not think this was a good idea, not even a little bit. There I was on my hands and knees trying to mask my crying by laughing, psychotic laughs involuntarily escaped my mouth ensuring the two unfortunate girls stuck directly behind us were in no doubt at this point that I was on day release from some kind of hospital and husband was my carer. This worried me, but honestly I did nothing to try convince them otherwise, I was far too busy trying not to inadvertently shit myself and well basically just keep my feet firmly on the actual mountain and not fall to my dramatic death. I mean looking back it was a very unlikely outcome I wasn't on Everest but you know what it's like, I was expecting at most an up hill treck, I was told repeatedly that people do this in their bare feet, there was even a couple gone ahead of us and I couldn't help but notice she was wearing Freddie jeans (her bum was giving me serious goals and probably got me up the first half of the dreaded mountain) but then we lost them and there I was, all I could see when I looked up was mountain, all I could see when I looked down was even more bastard mountain. Why couldn't husband be a lazy piss head?  We could use weekends away for sleeping til 2pm and drinking ourselves into oblivion, no, no I had to go and marry fucking bear grylls adventures galore for us... n'are a spa trip in sight, no no he'd rather use our free time for stuff like going surfing in the middle of January in sub zero temperatures, not only that but he ends up looking like one of the bastard Braxton brothers while I flap around looking like a penguin in the ridiculous get up that is a wet suit struggling to even stay sitting on the rebellious surf board and getting absolutely bet every which way from Sunday by thick, freezing Atlantic waves.

At one point I sit like a stubborn child on the unlevel stony ground of Croagh Patrick and just glare at him.  Reminiscing all of the ridiculous scenarios he's gotten us into over the years.  I make a quick mental note to never again allow him to organise our once a year weekend away trip.  In his defence if it was left up to me we'd probably go nowhere.  I still haven't got the separation anxiety any way under control. My separation anxiety that is... not the kids... no, they'd stay with either grandmother till Kingdom come... little shits. I mean its great we have two wonderful mothers who are far too generous with their nanny volunteering, making up for things I'm shit at, like baking chocolate brownies, feeding them unregulated amounts of sugar and basically not giving a shit when they want to play (aka destroy) with your make up pallets.  I can't help myself, the thoughts of planning anything away from them and mammy guilt hits hard and strong, playing havoc with my bowels and making me feel like a dizzy, failing mess. Don't get me wrong, it's only the planning stage that gets me, once we are there I'm great, I mean I'm great when I'm not on a mountain or struggling to stay afloat in the Atlantic.  I get it, it's lovely - we get to not have to worry about car seats, spare changes of clothing, laundry baskets, dogs, we can have day time naps and a 5pm glass of wine, we can get drunk and dance like two young wans, we can eat dinner in a fancy pants restaurant and hold a conversation that doesn't consist of "no, don't do that", "stop staring", "close your mouth", "don't spit it out there", "get out from under the table", "get your feet off the table", all whilst muttering ffs to eachother accompanied by 125,000 eye rolls.  So yes I am glad that husband understands my reluctancy to plan getaways and takes the reigns, but I think maybe it's time I grabbed my separation anxiety by the balls, manned up and booked a bloody spa retreat.  This idea came as a very welcome distraction at the time when I was what I can only describe as desperately clinging my way to the top trying not scream everytime the wind quickened and threatened to knock me on my arse.  Atleast I was giving the girls behind me a good laugh they were now skitting, having christened husband "your okay" as it would seem this was his only vocabulary for the last hour.

My pace quickened as we escalated closer and closer to the top, when we reached it we found shelter in the doors of the church (locked doors btw... ffs) collapsed on our bums and inhaled the freddo bars we had packed that morning... freddo bar? Is there a more sorry excuse for a bar of chocolate... I think not 😑 but anyway it was all we had at that point and I was grateful for the sheer seconds of pleasure it gave me.  We then stood at the sign... you know the "Croagh Patrick" sign for a pic to prove we've been there and for Instagram... guaranteed few likes 👍 and then we sort of just took it in.  The views were incredible, the skies were clear and blue and I don't think I'd ever seen anything so picturesque.  There's a calmness that comes over you. I felt, at that moment in time - happy. Complete happiness, I found myself silently thanking god for everything I've been blessed with, my beautiful family, my bear grylls husband and my sheer determination to "get through".

The way down was a much more pleasant experience, the girls who had been behind us on the way up were now behind us coming down and we laughed hard, snorts and all as husband desperately tried to stop the three of us from skidding down on top of eachother. We reached the bottom and I felt exhilarated, every nerve in my body was involuntarily jumping I had absolutely no control but I didn't care, I couldn't believe I had done it, I climbed a mountain, however disastrous I must have looked, I did it and it felt fucking great. Afterwards we ate like a king and queen, flirting outrageously with eachother whilst complementing eachother on our climbing techniques, husband started googling other Irish mountaineering adventures while I smiled and thought "dream on sunshine". Back at the hotel I ran the biggest, hottest bubble bath, made myself a cup of tea and lay there eating one of the "bar and a half" bars of dairy milk whilst husband delighted at being able to ly off at 2.30pm and watch a match on the telly.  I got out of the bath climbed into bed with the towel wrapped around my wet hair and slept a deep, content sleep until husband woke me at 6.30 wondering if we were going to dinner.

It was glorious, and it made me think.  About my anxiety and how it compares to climbing Croagh Patrick. Sounds crazy right? But bare with me.  Everyday, somedays worse than others my mind takes very simple everyday steps and forces me to overthink them into being completely impossible.  Some days my mind takes this world and makes it feel like a heavy trudge forcing down hard on my barely there shoulders.  Take getting dressed, something simple right? Not for me, some days getting dressed takes so much energy that afterwards I end up sitting on my bed fighting back the tears... why? I have no ffing idea. It's an energy thing... anxiety eats your energy, your exhausted from everyday simple tasks, you overthink every simple situation to the point you drive yourself and those closest to you absolutely bat shit crazy.  I know I've said this before - the mind is our most powerful tool. Croagh Patrick brought that home to me once again.  I thought about what I saw on the way up.  No question I was petrified on my hands and knees, my husband with his mind fully intact stood on his two feet behind me, encouraging me; pushing me to keep going, looking back on it now I see that it was simply a case of one foot in front of the other, at the time I couldn't see that.  I couldn't see that because I was consumed with fear and over thinking all the what if's? My mind was exhausting me, I was physically fine but I was mentally exhausted.  At the time I couldn't see that, at the time I thought it was a physical task I mean I was climbing a fecking mountain so I could be forgiven for thinking that. But it was my mind and the thoughts I allowed to consume it that made the climb 100 times harder than it ever needed to be.  I thought about the peace I had felt at the top, it's not unlike the way I feel when I'm looking after myself doing all that I need to do to keep my anxiety in check.  I thought about how much easier the descent down was, because the peace I had felt at the top ensured that on the way down I was present, my mind wasn't pulling me through the minefield of torture it had done on the way up, I remember thinking at one point on the way down - taking in every single point of the mountain - why had I found this so difficult on the way up?  Now I know it's because like so many other occasions in my life I wasn't in control, anxiety was.  I thought about my husbands voice of reason, ringing through the hazy force field occupying my brain... forever my voice of reason... forever there, whispering - "you can do this", "keep going", "don't give up".  I've taken back control this week, there's no point in trying to dress it up the blog posts been fairly quiet these last few weeks because I've just been busy and when I'm busy my self care slips by the way side. Putting everything else first.  But today's Friday which marks day 5 of me taking back my "me time".  Life is hectic and crazy and I wouldn't change it for a second but I do need to start making "me time" a priority again. No more ridiculous mammy guilt.  Coffee, alcohol, processed foods, late nights, lack of sleep and exercise all of these contribute hugely to my frame of mind... I know that, but sometimes I slip off the track and confuse everything in moderation to just everything all the time.  I'm not beating myself up over it, I'm learning all of the time. And this week has been a good week, not every week will be, but that's okay, I'll learn from it and in the words of my husband I'll "keep going" always.

Mind yourself ❤❤

Thanks for reading,
Claire xoxo

Mammysbrightside 💖

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