Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I don't normally write about personal issues here. But I feel like maybe other people struggle the way I do and maybe it's helpful to know you're not the only one.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I also suffer from depression. It's all part of the same chemical imbalance in my brain which I normally take medication for. I've been stepping down my medication because of being pregnant. Pregnancy hormones + heightened anxiety symptoms = hard times, lots of tears and a not much sleep.

This is a pretty good simple description of GAD:
GAD is a particularly difficult disorder to live with as it is constantly on the sufferer's mind – there is no respite as the anxiety is not tied to a specific situation or event (it is for me ie. to do with family members, friends or stressful situations). It can cause problems with sleep, ability to maintain a job as well as impact close relationships.  
GAD is a difficult thing to explain. People think I'm unreasonable or causing drama and I've been called crazy. I've been asked "what's your problem?! why do you care?!!!!". I don't want to care about the irrational things I worry about. But I can't seem to help it. I think there have been times when my dear, sweet, gentle, kind husband has wanted to shake me. Some of my worries can start out normal. But they escalate. Worries start out small but can get huge and life consuming to the point I can not escape the intrusive thoughts. There can be a constant stream of thoughts causing me to suffer from physical symptoms. At one point recently I actually pounded my head with my fists begging the thoughts to stop. That was the worst it has ever been. I can be besieged by thoughts that do not feel like my own. My attempts to deal with those thoughts impact those around me.

I worry about future events mostly. The "what ifs". They kill me.

The other side of the disorder is that I find things that could normally be a bit stressful INCREDIBLY stressful! Like packing to go away...that's a bad one for me. British driving lessons...I quit because I got so frustrated with myself. Dealing with bills...ooooh man. I had to avoid the supermarket for a while at one point because people not obeying my rules of personal space and shopping etiquette was too overwhelming - I've worked on that one, it's ok again - so don't you worry!

It can be really tough. I'm very, very lucky to have a loving and caring husband & patient friends who see passed my anxiety and don't take it personally even when it is personal.
I've just been through a very, very bad patch that lasted a couple of months. It is a huge relief  to be on the other side. I'm trying my best to learn to relax for my little Rosebud's sake. Mr Woo and I have had a lovely few nights in lately which have included lots of laughter. A very good medicine you know. I think I will have a bubble bath tonight and do some knitting. I've been thinking about maybe making my own cot bumper, maybe a patchwork one, so maybe I'll start sorting through my fabrics tonight too. That all sounds a lovely way to relax to me.

My Dad used to say "Let go and let God". It was sort of his mantra. I am trying to learn to let go. To release the thoughts that lead to anxiety. I am learning to release. I am learning to have empty hands. One day I'm going to be great at it. Until then I must do my best.


  1. I was afraid I was the only one.... Thank you so much for posting this.

  2. hi felicia..finally i can post. i had a problem with my computer and with blogger. first i'm sooo happy you're expecting a baby:)
    this is the best period in a woman's life. sometimes anxiety can happen. i couldn't sleep during both my pregnancies..try not to think to sad things..create create and create new stuffs for your baby..

  3. This is exactly why I decided to post Jessica, I wanted others to know they're not the only person struggling. We try so hard to project perfection, we put pressure on ourselves to be and do all to the highest standard. But that's not real. It's not what life is like. Life can be mucky and hard. The difficulties are part of the beauty of a full life. Beauty isn't shiny glossy, it's REAL. Thank you for your reply. Thank you for letting me know my words were an encouragement. Really, thank you.

    Katia! I am so happy to have you back!!! I've missed you! I do hope that you're adventure is working out well and that you're very happy, your sweet girls too!
    We have some catching up to do! Love x

  4. You're very welcome. I know it took courage to post this...because people who haven't had to deal with these issues have no idea how to relate. One of the worst things I've had to deal with is the misunderstanding of even close friends. They don't understand why you can't just "suck it up" and "get over it".
    Anyway...thank you again.


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