Diary of a 1st Time Anxious Mum

26th & 27th September

When you are a parent you worry a lot. When you are a parent and live with anxiety then the worrying doubles and triples. I would describe it as a constant attempt to prepare yourself for the worst possible scenario. It’s simple. You imagine the worst possible outcome you do everything to prevent it. It feels like your brain never stops. I like having things under control within limits. A tidy house gives me a sense of security & control. What I’m trying to say is that when you suffer from an anxiety disorder you need to look after yourself and satisfy those ‘ anxious’ cravings to a certain extent in order to manage anxiety itself.

Today, I had a conversation with a friend and she disclosed to me that she suffers from anxiety. In the past, she had phoned in sick few times because she needed a day off to manage physical symptoms of anxiety. She was brave enough to talk to her manager about it and was told that SHE NEEDS TO COME OUT OF HER COMFORT ZONE OTHERWISE SHE WILL NEVER GET BETTER. It makes me furious because that girl was brave enough to open herself up to her boss and her manager completely misunderstood her and treated her in a patronising way. She doesn’t slack off but suffers from anxiety which sometimes evolves into a nasty anxiety attack. Her manager has a sign in her office which says-‘ Well being, turn it around being- well. The office door is always open.’ It’s a false invitation from a person who has put it up to satisfy general national requirements but has no clue what mental health means. I strongly believe that managers should be offered a compulsory training in the field of mental health.

I manage my anxiety on my own. I have never spoken to my boss about it because I know that they wouldn’t understand it.

Papa John and I intend to raise our child to be aware of various aspects of mental health. We want P to feel confident and be able to openly express herself. We have already started our educational wellbeing journey by talking to her about different feelings by using books (sad, happy, angry, scared, excited etc.). I’m going to purchase wooden spoons and make ‘faces’ which we will use during play to talk about how we feel today. Making your child understand feelings and emotions is the first step in their education towards positive management of their wellbeing. The next step will be to learn how cope & express them. It’s a complex but very important process which will get them ready to face the world in their adulthood.

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