How do I do this?

I’ve struggled with anxiety for many years. Sometimes I’ve got it completely under control. Sometimes it controls me. Its something I certainly have not missed whilst its been gone and its something ill be glad to see the back of when it takes leave again.

Something happened recently that I’m not fully prepared to talk about. I will in time but just now I’m still processing things. I’m still trying to come to terms with what happened, why and if there was any way at all I could have prevented it. If I could somehow have been more careful than I usually am. Either way recent events have caused me to fall of the edge of my world and I’m learning how to get back.

I haven’t had a panic attack in a long time, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had things under control to the point they were no longer an issue. Twelve days ago though I had one.

In public. Alone. On a train.

Heart racing, body shaking, mind closing, chest heaving, TV static appearing in front of my eyes and a sense of fear that has no form. I was crumbling, crying and in front of strangers. I fled the carriage trying to find a way out of the moving vessel only to come to the end of the train. I stood staring out the window trying to rationalise the situation and talk myself down before I drew further attention. I leapt off the train once we hit the station and fell onto a ledge where I sat and sobbed until the feeling passed. Then I got up, brushed off my skirt and got myself some water. I had no option, I had jury duty in 20 minuets time and didn’t have the £1000 fine to pay for not showing up.

Its a tough situation dealing with this at any given time, but how do I do this with a child? I want my girl to grow up with empathy and love, knowing that it’s okay to have feelings, that even strong people have tough days. However I don’t want her to see me in that state. I don’t want to crumble that way in front of my toddler. Just now she wont understand it and I cannot explain it in a way that she will. I cant hide in a room until the feeling passes, not if her dads not home. I cant just leave the house to walk it off or lock myself in the bathroom so I can sit in the shower till things pass over. I have her to think about. Her to care for.

My child is not the kind you can simply pop in front of the TV. She’s not one you can leave unattended for any period of time. She’s cunning, mischievous and curious. She will climb anything, pull it down if its possible and throw herself off something just to see what happens. She’s quick, devious and very much the adventure. So leaving her alone for the 10 – 30 minuets it may take me to get my mind together isn’t really something I can do. Not if I want a room that’s in tack and a child that’s unscathed.

So I’m having to work this out day at a time. Were having to find ways that keep me level and keep her entertained enough she wont notice. A fast walk to the park proved beneficial. Turning the TV up loud and singing along to YouTube helps. And dancing with her until I’m too exhausted to think was great until I had to move.

Toe at a time I’m getting there. I hope in time we find a solution that allows me to work through things quickly so i can get me back. Till then I’m going to try and be a little kinder to myself, have more patience with myself and im going to try and take my own advice.

Love and hugs,

Hayleigh xo

*All illustrations by @littleartthings on Instagram*

If you or anyone you know is suffering with mental health and needs to talk to anyone contact your local doctors surgery or talk to Samaritans – open to all 24/7.

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