What anxiety is to me

So…. I’ve been thinking again while listening to “The Worry Trick” audiobook by David A. Carbonell PhD. I got this book accidentally – I was browsing Facebook as you do and on my news feed it came up with a free trial of Audible application. It came up with that book as an offer so I tried it.

The book definitely has some good points. I’ve been bookmarking the most important bits and I’m going to listen to it again and write it all down. But I think it described perfectly well how anxiety feels. And it feels strange. I’ve been trying to think when my anxiety started. The author suggests we are born with genetic predisposition or even in-born anxiety. And it is more likely to show itself if one of the parents have anxiety. I think I’ve always been somehow anxious but I thought it was shyness. I had many complexes too so put it towards that. I was always scared of things, like driving for example. I was petrified of driving. But some of the things I overcame.

The difference between a bit of stress and anxiety is how it feels. It paralyses you. It starts with a thought (usually with the “what if”. or something like that) and then it follows with a scenario. The problem is that the scenario seems very realistic. It in facts FEELS realistic. In fact, to me it feels like prediction. For most of my life I actually believed I had the ability to intuitively predict bad events. Now… did I really? Or did I have the feelings of anxiety (without realising what it was) and then I believed it was a prediction? intuition?

If we follow with an example. I get anxious about many things – mainly the seizures which seemed to be the biggest trigger for me ever. They freaked me out. The whole situation went out of control completely. So sometimes I get the feeling that what if Graham has a seizure? And then any justification follows: as it happened before at this time, in the evening, on Sunday etc etc. Then I’d try to argue with myself and say but it’s been such a long time, there was a trigger (chemo) or malnutrition after the surgery, blah blah blah, but the anxiety always wins with two answers: either: the first seizure happened before the chemo OR just because nothing is happening now does not mean it won’t happen again. So, after the little silly conversation with myslef in my head I get more and more scared. I then can SEE and FEEL it happening. In fact, the feelings are soooooooo strong that I can literally be almost 100% that the next thing will happen is the seizure. I can literally feel it happening. I can’t find words which would describe how REAL the feeling is. And the more I think the more I’m scared and then it can lead to a panic.

I don’t particularly like talking about it or even imagine it. But another suggestion in the book was that you can’t “unlearn” anxiety when it’s not there. So in a way – it’s like watching horror movie. The more you watch it – the less scary it becomes….

Yes, have used the word “unlearn” as I don’t agree with fighting with anxiety. Or even overcoming. I now after reading a bit of the book start thinking that it’s something my brain learnt.

It’s not just seizures which trigger me. That’s the biggest trigger. But even before it all happen I can clearly recall the evenings when I had a feeling that something bad is about to happen. That’s’ such a common feeling to me. I actually have to say that writing this has completely unsettled me. I feel very anxious at the moment and scared that I’m going to bring the bad thinking to happen by talking about them. But anyway, the prediction of bad thing. I can’t tell you what exactly bad is supposed to happen but I know it is bad.

And that leads directly to feeling dark, and gloom and depressed. And lonely. I feel sooo lovely when I’m anxious. Everybody’s life seems so perfect. Happy. And full. But not mine. I can’t relax since last year, even when things are fine they are not fully fine – at the back of my head the anxiety is awake. I think that what has mainly changed since the seizures, cancer and chemo. That the anxiety does not go to sleep. It sometimes is more silent and sometimes it screams but it is awake at the back of my head all the time.

But I am determined to find a way to make it sleep again. To unlearn the patterns. I just thought I’d explore first what I am standing against before I tackle it. I started from a suggestion in the book to get a pack of Tic Tac (or anything like that which is countable) and each time a “what if”thought comes to your mind – eat (or throw away) one of the sweets. This is to teach yourself to notice how many times the thoughts happen. I only say that I bought 18g packet of TicTacs with 37 sweets in it… and I just went to Tesco to get some more. I’m supposed to do this exercise for a week at least….. I started this afternoon (after school run) so let say 4pm and now is 9pm and I have 26 sweets left. 5 hours 10 thoughts. And I haven’t even counted the anxious feeling I had writing this post. And it can be anything. It can be even change of the place to sit. I usually sit on the sofa but I’m not sitting at the table and part of me keeps whispering in my head that maybe if I change the seat the seizure will happen. How ridiculous is that?? I can see it is ridiculous, I can be embarrassed it is ridiculous. But I’m still scared 😦 Among everything else – it is very tiring to feel anxious.

New Year

So here we are, completely brand New Year 2019.

I have never liked New Year or any new year resolutions. But I’m optimistic this year. So far 😉 I have made few resolutions. Actually 3 resolutions, two of which are pretty straight forward, while the third one is complicated. And I ‘m going to use this blog to help me achieve the 3rd resolution. Or possibly all of them. Actually I could think of couple more sub-resolutions, but apparently the longer the list is the more difficult to keep up.

  1. Loose weight
  2. Get rid of toxic relationships
  3. work on my anxiety
    1. finish college course
    2. finish all my crafts projects

I think that’s the updated current list of my resolutions. I might have had few others leading to this point but I decided to these. I am going to use this blog to make them happen. I think losing weight unfortunately is pretty straight forward but extremely difficult – eat less, move more.

Getting rid of toxic relationships….. not much more to dwell on either. I wish I could recognise them before they become toxic, that’s all.

ANXIETY though is a huuuuugggeeee subject. I’m so glad I started to write this blog as I can go back to what happen a year ago and kind of step by step follow my way to self-discovery. I never knew I was anxious. When I heard that on one of my therapies it suddenly made sense. I still haven’t been officially diagnosed, but I know that’s what I have – generalised anxiety disorder. And it’s hard to live with it. It is a bit better to live with it knowing what it is. But it is difficult to change your own mindset.

But its always been anxiety. Yes, I have been down and almost depressed. But I overcame that. Anxiety stayed. It is a very very uninvited guest. But I’m going to work on it. I started already but it hasn’t helped hugely. I did my CBT course, which helped but the more time goes on the more difficult it is to actually remember the techniques and it’s easier to slip into old ways of thinking. I tried mindfulness but I haven’t got time for it. I know I should make time but that itself causing anxiety! So, we’ll do it step by step. I made list of all the books I have to help me work on my anxiety. I will list them in a separate post so I can then see how am I doing with progress on reading them. There will be books I just want to read as well. And then I thought I’d make weekly reviews of my week and progress. Some of the books are daily positive quotes and to be fair it is difficult to remember it all, so I think reviewing it weekly and summarising what is the most important will help in progressing.

Side effects

I think whoever considers taking antidepressants should be told at the beginning not only about side effects but also about withdrawal symptoms. If I go back in time and the way I felt in February maybe I would have made the same decision. I don’t know. But I feel awful at present.

I’ve been meaning to write an entry for a long time. I’m not sure if writing this blog does make any sense as nobody is really reading it. It does help though when things get a bit too much of me to unload a bit. It’s a bit sad replacement of a motherly hug and somebody to tell me hey, it’s going to be all right.

I’ve been quite good over the last few months. Not perfect. I still cannot get back to me before the seizures appeared. I feel it was so careless then. It wasn’t at the time. But now it feels it was. I don’t know if my life will ever be again with the fear.

I feel horrible. You could tell that I haven’t written as things were all right. But if this gave me the push to keep writing that’s I suppose one good thing.

I’ve been desperate in February to start antidepressants to help me with the way I felt. As I mentioned before I first took Sertraline and it was horrible. I was suicidal after that. Then I started Venloflaxine and there was a week when I was unable to feel any “extremes”. I didn’t feel sad and I didn’t feel happy. I felt fine. But that wore off pretty soon and after that I felt normal. But I was told by my GP you have to continue to take antidepressants for at least 6 months after you felt better. The thing is that I don’t know if it was antidepressants which made me feel better or the psychotherapy I had? I tend to think it was the psychotherapy. 

I felt all right on the Venloflaxine apart from horrible night sweats at first (it was sorted by reducing the dose). Then libdo is non-existent which was a bit annoying to say the least. And I’ve had a very very VERY vivid dreams. Unfortunately about half of then were nightmares. I dreamt graveyards, my mum dying but I could never attend the funeral. There were many weird dreams, including a tortoise escaping from an aquarium and me chasing it. I dreamt lots of animals. But one time for example I had a dream that me and a group of other people were trapped by a murderer who was playing games with us, setting us tasks and whoever lost was first to be killed. I remember he broke my thumb in the dream and I asked to go to hospital but he replied there was no point as I would die soon anyway. 

So, not nice. I accepted it as a part of the course I suppose. A bit of different thing. I didn’t like the nightmares but it was interesting to be able to remember so many dreams. And then I had my last CBT 3-month review, I’m completely discharged from them by the way) and my therapist suggested that dreams like that do not help with anxiety and maybe I should speak with my GP about it. I think GP have enough to deal with that someone talking about dreams, but I have to say I didn’t think of how bad impact the dreams may have. And then I was thinking more about other things happening, I’ve noticed I was bruising a lot without any apparent reason. So I did call my GP last Wednesday and she told me to reduce my Venloflaxine to one tablet per day for three days and none at the weekend and she would call me back on Monday to discuss another antidepressant. 

Little I knew about withdrawal symptoms :((( horrible horrible thing!! I suppose me working night do not help. As on nights I’m emotional and existential wreck anyway. BUT last night was just horrible. Awful. I had headache and felt lightheaded at the same time. I felt dizzy a bit like vertigo – when the world spins for a short moment. I felt sick. Very sick. And I had brain zaps – I still actually have them. These are strange it’s like an electric shocks going through your brain. Hot flushes. And it comes in waves. So I felt like that then all of the sudden felt fine. And then after an hour or so felt very sick suddenly, brain zaps and lightheaded. And mood swings… felt so low. Not suicidal but so fed up and low with everything. With feeling like that and also thinking that nothing will ever change. As soon as I thought that I felt like crying. Tears were just coming to my eyes. I just felt it was all pointless, I have had enough of the fear of seizures and I do feel that it all will never end. I’ll never feel better. 

But actually I also feel very very upset and angry that this year has been so though and shit really. As it has been. I feel angry that my friend of 7 years just dumped me like that. How could she cross off 7 years of friendship just like that? I know I haven’t written about it here, I’ve tried to be subtle but… what’s the point. People don’t care about you, how you feel. People only care about themselves. She started her text message to me with words “my husband think I should talk to you and I gave it a thought and realised I don’t want to” – that hurt. I didn’t actually read the rest of the message too carefully as it was just a rambling. Just like that – I don’t want to talk to you anymore, goodbye and she had a cheek to “wish us happy future and to look after each other”. I do feel like say F*** Off. Yes, it has kind of resurfaced now because it hurts like hell. When you are accused of not being there for someone (even though I’ve tried my best) but to say it to me, knowing very well that me and Graham have been through hell this year – is just cruel and heartless.  

That actually reminds me of two quotations. My grandma used to say that what you throw behind you, you will find in front of you. Everything comes back, what you give is what you get returned. But also having friends like that you don’t really need enemies. 

So that’s me today. Not a very good come back to the blog but here I am again. 

Dark clouds on a blue sky

A little bit of time has passed again since I last wrote. I’m in a strange mood. Overall I’m fine. I’m not depressed and my anxiety definitely reduced. I have a plan what to do in a case of a set back. Not much is happening in life but that’s ok as I prefer when things are stable. I have enough of ups and downs for a while. I started diet again. I’m trying to be good Monday-Friday but allowing myself for a treat on Sunday. I eat what I want but measure the portions and calories. I know I should introduce more exercises and I used to exercise more but I don’t feel quite in a right set of mind just yet for it. Although I do know that exercise actually does help with feeling better.

But despite all of that…. life doesn’t feel like mine anymore. It’s a really strange thing to describe. It’s difficult to name in proper words. Everything is the same but at the same time it all changed. I think the recent events mainly did it but also I changed due to the events and due to the counselling. I suppose it all needs time. One more quote from the R. Brett book is “give time time” to work. It will take some time for the time to do it’s healing.

I live with a constant fear at the back of my mind that something bad will happen. The fear of a seizure is still there, but I can control it more or less. But so many bad news appeared during this year that I feel I have to be prepared for the worst. Yes, that’s an anxiety itself. I just realised. I prepare myself again to be prepared IN CASE things happen.  That just shows that sometimes writing or naming things helps to look at it from a different perspective.

I think that’s the main problem with an anxiety and depression. It’s being caught up in you own cycle of thoughts and not being able to look from outside. Until it’s starts to crack. Either by time or therapy or complete coincidence or a trauma. When it starts cracking there is a chance. But it’s difficult for it to crack. Throughout the therapy I was afraid that all my exercises and efforts will fail as one day I’ll just go back to the old ways of thinking… but now I realised that once you KNOW  what to do and that there is a different way – it is actually difficult to go back. You may be a long time – in between. Like me, suddenly caught up thinking old ways – but realising it. And after you realise you can do something.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about friendship. I decided to stop contacting people first and see who will contact me from their own will.. so far not many ha ha.

I don’t know who reads this blog. I doubt anybody does lol I don’t think the person I have in mind certainly does. But I have experience an end to a friendship. A very abrupt end. And I’ve never realised it’s like in a relationship – someone may decide one day it’s not for them for one reason or another and walk out. They may put the blame on you. I don’t feel guilty but I feel very upset it ended as I didn’t see it coming. I know I can’t do anything and need to give this person right to chose what they want. But I do feel upset they think it was my fault. Or maybe it was an excuse to finish the friendship anyway. I was told I didn’t do enough and it’s a very strong thing to say. And it’s a difficult thing to take on when I know I did all I could. I wasn’t given a chance to explain myself. I feel in peace though in my mind. I probably could have done things differently if I KNEW how this situation would turn out. BUT I didn’t know. And also I did what at the time felt right. I only did what I thought was right. I have never ever wanted to hurt my friend. That would have been the last thing on my mind and in fact it would probably never actually gone through my mind. I trusted her and I respected her. I miss her. I miss our friendship. I tend to talk and work through problems. But I have to respect not everybody does. I’m not perfect. I’m far from perfect but I still think even I deserve a second chance…

So that was a black cloud on my blue sky. This year’s events is still a shadow on it. Everyday-ness is still greyish but there are people in much worse situations which much happier attitudes. Time. I just need time and I do believe it all will fall into places.

I just have to keep going and never look back.

Life is too short for long pity parties

“Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living or get busy dying”.

That’s the most inspirational quote I’ve read recently. It’s been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. I was thinking of writing sooner but I needed a right moment to be able to summarise everything.

Things are different. I got to the stage late August when I had to switch off something as I felt really pulled in all directions. I needed to rest and re-charge batteries and think what’s important. What’s worth concentrating on. What actually caused me to react like that was someone saying to me “I thought it finished now”. It’s quite common I think for people to think: ok so you had a rough time and now it’s finished, chemo finished… it’s all fine then, right? Well… no, actually it’s not that simple. Yes, I’ve been waiting all year pretty much for this nightmare to finish. And it has and ok so now what? Life is never going to be the same. Cancer is something which changes you and your family forever. You can’t go back to before cancer. You KNOW about it now. You revaluate your life. Your life is different.

When my father passed away I noticed something which now applies to few other situations in life. When he died, people all of the sudden decided into those who KNOW and those who DON’T. People who get it as they have been there themselves and those who haven’t got an idea. It’s not to say that those who don’t know, cannot be at the same time very friendly, understanding and empathic. But they haven’t been through the same.

Things did built up at the end of chemo, but I didn’t crumble. I put myself first and realised what I need and I did it. I felt proud of myself. I started to stand up for myself and believe that I can be right. I started to believe in myself rather then others.

I havne’t been at work for 3 weeks, I switched off that completely. It helped to narrow the  things which were happening. We went on holidays and I drove first time on motorways and did few hundred miles there and back! I was sooooo proud of myself. I can do that! I even kind of liked driving on motorways. Something I didn’t expected.

When we got back and I returned to work I realised I actually got now something in a shape of coping strategies. I have never been able to use them before. I learnt to understand that feelings are not me. I have feelings and they are temporary. It’s ok to feel frustrated, it’s ok to feel angry and it’s ok to feel worried at times.

It wouldn’t be possible without the counselling I had. I have finished now my CBT therapy, I have a catch up meeting in 3 months time to decide if I can be discharged. I have had a break in counselling as well due to holidays but I’m still continuing that. But I also discovered Katie Piper. I discovered her before the Strictly Come Dancing actually. A very long time ago I saved some programmes I thought were interesting on my favourites on Channel 4 application. And she happened to present one of them. I then researched her story and starting reading her autobiography. And then she actually announced she was taking part in Strictly. I so wanted to write to her but it’s pointless now when she is in the TV show as I’m sure she gets lots of post anyway. But I do admire her not because she is inspirational and she went through hell (and she did, and she is inspirational) but my magnet was the way she cope with anxiety. The way she described how she felt was exactly what I was writing here. I have minor PTSD no doubt. And I realised that people fall and get up from much more difficult blows that life gives them. And that what happened to us wasn’t good but it is definitely possible to lift yourself up. It’s all in your mind and attitude. You have to work hard though, nothing come easy. I definitely felt confused and had many moments of this not working. But then slowly things started to fall back together.

I was also recommended a wonderful wonderful book by Regina Brett “God never blinks”. It’s 50 lessons for life and they are amazing. Out of 50 everybody can find the ones closer to their hearts but the one which stood up for me is the one opening this post. Life is too short for long pity parties.

Ok life isn’t perfect and I know the road is not yet complete. I still have little set backs. I still feel very very vulnerable. I still don’t know if the seizures will return and if they do how would I react. BUT I have now moments when I think they aren’t as scary as I kept thinking before. Only moments thought but it’s an improvement.

Going back to work is difficult as my older daughter developed separation anxiety and she shows classic signs of anxiety now. And I don’t want her to be like me but I don’t quite know yet how to deal with it. So, things aren’t as easy as it may seem but I decided to play the positivity card. Let’s get busy living, not dying.



Defying Gravity

We went to London to watch The Wicked. It was fabulous and very significant time from many different reasons… it feels like it’s been a very long time between me from last week and me from now.. but it’s only been a week.

First of all I really really loved the show. The cast, singing, the special effects – everything was just amazing! The voice the synchronisation between all the actors – it completely took my breath away 🙂 I really really enjoyed the show.

The one surprising thing for me – the very much “list” person is that I haven’t planned anything! and I felt good about it 😉 we only had the hotel booked but we didn’t even had the tickets for the show (we bought them an hour before) and it was all right. We didn’t plan where and what we eat. It was very nice not to plan actually and just enjoy the time together. We did 21 500 steps!!!! ok ok we lost the way few times and also we left rucksack on the train and had to run back to get it back. Left rucksack on the train in London!!!!!! ha ha ha. But it was good weekend.

My anxiety about seizures was different in different surrounding then home. As soon as I got back it came back in full blow. You can argue that in London I was very busy and quite tired. I finished a night shift on Saturday morning and didn’t sleep till that night after show. So I was shattered. And we had walked so much, Graham was late taking his pill. And yet nothing happened.

I feel strange these days. I felt similar when my father stopped drinking. As he did stop when I was 18. It’s a long story how it happened but mum basically made him ultimatum and almost left him homeless. He stopped. But instead of being happy…. it all went pants. As I didn’t know how to deal with him sober so we argued every day all the time. Similarly but  in a different context I feel at present. The last 7 months I was on high alert. I couldn’t stop even though I was down and fighting with it all but I kept going as Graham wasn’t strong enough to do things and I had to keep going. I did home and work. Yes, I had help and without the help I wouldn’t do it. But when chemo finished this one worry has gone… so everything should be better right? And it is overall… but inside me something gave up. I feel constantly tired and irritable. I feel pulled in so many direction at the same time and my battery gone low. It’s like finally my mind gave up and said I need rest. I can stop now.

It’s been a period of internal total transformation. And I need a rest now. I feel like I’m defying gravity. I need to think of myself first, ask myself what do I really need. I have to believe in myself and get rid of the old believes from my childhood which I haven’t revised.

On the positive I have a list of books to read. And I finally am the closest to finish my quilts as I have ever been.


I’ve been reading through the old posts on this blog and trying to correct all spelling mistakes. I don’t think I caught them all. But it definitely showed me how much things changed. It also showed me how negative I am. And also how big progress I made with my anxiety.  Things are actually okay at the moment. Graham still isn’t feeling 100% but towards the end of the tablets he does feel better and better. It will take months after chemo for him to properly be himself again. He has never ever made a fuss about himself and what’s been happening…. sometimes I think he dealt with the chemo much better then he ever dealt with a common flu. But is there anything worse then a man flu??

And yet I’m reluctant to just think everything will be okay. Anxiety has a reason. And my reason is to protect myself from negative emotions. Protect myself from being hurt and exposed to negative feelings. It’s my brain defensive mechanism. Completely similarly to when I was younger and my brother used to say NEVER tell anybody what’s happening at home. So I never talk about the most private feelings. And to put myself completely out there I’m going to post this blog. I don’t expect huge answer. The truth is that’s what is really important for me there is completely non meaningful for everybody else. It’s natural. But I will post the link on Facebook – something I’ve never done in my life. Talk about my real feelings. Not that I lied. But I just avoid talking about my deepest feelings.

Apart from the beginning of the year, when I was so desperate I was telling I was scared to anybody, completely random hoping that they would say something which would sort the situation out. Instantly. Of course it didn’t happen and I was more upset.

I’m definitely calmer. I start to believe that the worst is over. And yet I don’t want to believe it in case it isn’t. Time is the only answer and quite logical would be not to worry about it now as it cannot be changed either way. I think the way to go is to continue watch my thoughts, continue expose myself to uncertainty and continue with my hobbies so I can have moments to switch off.

It’s also good to have a moment to just let the thoughts go freely through your head. My counsellor asked me last week – if I sat down next to Graham for 20min doing nothing, would I think it was waste of time? yes I would. I need to do something. When I watch TV I do my paintings or playing a game. When I have time in the afternoon I sew or catch up with tidying. I never do nothing. I do like to go shopping and have a break to drink coffee but yet I’ve never sat down in the garden with a drink and just let myself BE. Maybe only on holidays. But never in everyday life. And it’s important to let your thoughts and emotions to settle. To feel them, named them acknowledge them and let them fall into right place. Maybe that’s why I feel anxious in the evenings as when I finally switch off and go to bed the process starts then.

It’s ok to like yourself. I’ve been talking about the quilt. I’ve got the idea when Emily was born and kept her favourite baby grows as I could’t part with them. But keeping baby clothes in the loft is pointless. So I thought I’d make a quilt from them so she has a memory of it and they are actually useful again. Unfortunately I never got round to do it and then Aurelia was born and I have to make two quilts like that. It took me 9 years to actually start the quilt. I have started now both and I’m half way through!!! But when I told about it to my counsellor she asked – who is judging me on the time?

Nobody. Just myself. And it’s me who set the rules and yet again I find it so strange that it’s also me who judge myself on them. And cannot change them. Nobody else is doing it to me. I’m my own best friend and worst enemy.

Perspective is really everything!


And me

I don’t quite know where I am at present in my mind. Sometimes I do feel trapped in my own thoughts. I thought the counselling was going well. I think overall I feel stronger. It amazes me how long the anxiety takes to reduce… but I suppose I was having it all my life so to change lifetime habits is difficult.

But I had absolutely amazing birthday. I received beautiful gifts but not only material. I decided to believe people when they say nice things to me and they actually said quite a few nice things. On Facebook wishes and also in email messages. When people say nice things about me I tend to deny and not take the credit. I don’t know why I don’t believe or maybe feel embarrassed to believe in it. Maybe because I was told as a child it’s not good to be egoistic and self-centered. I know some people have absolutely no problems in believing in themselves and it’s really great. Despite if we agree with them or not. I tend to think I have bad points maybe because I was always reminded of them in my childhood. So as a birthday day gift for myself I decided to actually believe the compliments.

Anxiety is strange. I’ve noticed my increases when I’m tired. I slept only 3 hours yesterday and I was completely in pieces. I was petrified something bad would happen. I cried because of the disagreement I had with my friends. I felt lonely, scared. I felt nothing good would never happen. I felt that all the bad things will approach me all at once. And then I slept 10.5 hours!!! Yes! and in the morning life was better again. Anxiety is really annoying. As at the time when the thought come they are so real. I need to remember that though are just thought. Emotions are only emotions. They aren’t reality. As Headspace said recently “We are NOT our thoughts. We are NOT our emotions. If we can learn to experience them in this way we are free”.

And I have few things I’m worried at the moment. Cancer. Chemotherapy. Seizures. Finance. Graham’s job. Graham not driving and the impact it has on the family. Children. Friends who sometimes decide to leave. And mum…..

mum has been recently diagnosed with brain tumour. Luckily non-malignant. She just needs to be under observations – every six months have a scan to make sure it doesn’t grow bigger. Mum also has AMD – eye disease and recently she had double vision. It all led to finding out that her neck arteries are blocked and she may need a surgery. She is at a very high risk of a stroke.

I’m worried about her. My relationship with mum have been difficult. As my dad was an alcoholic and wasn’t there really I turned to mum with everything. I did believe we were friends. But now going through my counselling I discovered it was always based on me doing what she wanted. My mum is really a wonderful person – she did and still does love us (me and my brother) and I have no doubts if I was in trouble and had a problem and needed a concrete solution she’d gave me her last clothes or piece of bread to make sure I am safe not her. But in less tragic situations it’s more difficult. Maybe it’s the age gap as she had me when she was 39 or maybe it’s just the way mum is… we have no deep relationship. Mum hasn’t got much common sense and to be honest is completely different that I am. And I have to say sometimes it hurts really badly when I think I don’t have a friend in her and that I can’t relay on her the way a child can relay on a parent. That there is nobody who can hug me and tell me it all would work out ok. Nobody to tell me they are proud of me and that I am strong and doing well. It may come from friends but when a parent say it it’s different. It’s like a hug itself. Its so difficult to explain to people when they ask me if I get on with my mum. Yes I do. But it’s not a deep relationship. I wish there was a mum for me who would cook me dinner, who would bake me a cake just because I like it and it is my favourite. Someone who cares about me and helps by just being there.

But there isn’t. And what I am trying to do is be that mum for my children. I want to be there when they need me and I want to be their friend. I want to be that warm mum they can laugh with and cry to and who is there with slice of cake or warm dinner on the table when they need it. And who has good advice or can be silent when needed.

But hey, that’s what I’m trying to do. And at the moment it’s another evening which I have to distract myself from my anxiety. My quilt is getting there – I’m awaiting some fabric from Ebay as I didn’t want to pay more for faster delivery. It’s UK stock but they can dispatch it within 15 working days…. 😦 I finished one diamond paiting and I got addicted to it. I bought more but most come from Honk kong so I have to wait lol But one arrived so may start on that. And my lovely brother in law got me my favourite game Professor Layton which is exactly what I need now – to concentrate on puzzles rather then keep thinking negatively.


We live in a sea of troubles

It has been few days since I’ve last written. It’s been busy. It’s been emotional. There have been good and bad news. And that’s life I suppose. I’ve said many times that I would have not be able to survive through the last most difficult times in my life without my friends. It’s been mainly counselling which helped me to deal with my mind but it were friends who didn’t let me to give up and go insane. And sometimes it’s very difficult to have misunderstandings with the people who helped you the most. It is difficult to know how to deal with things. When is the time to reach out and time to wait. I suppose as a part of my generalised anxiety disorder I tend to try and resolve things there and then. I will message and reach out and over explain things just to be certain of the outcome. But it isn’t always a good way. And it is difficult for me to be accused of something I haven’t done (or rather when my actions were interpreted in a way I haven’t even think they would be). It’s difficult not to reach out and try to explain what happened. But not all people think like me. Some of them need time. Also sometimes outcomes are unpredictable (yes, I wish I could predict all things in life or see them coming as then uncertainty would go). But I can’t predict everything. Or in fact, I can predict very little indeed.

But I made a small progress. I didn’t read a menu before going to a restaurant (yes, I’ve always pre-read menu so I knew what I was having!). I also did go out one evening for couple of hours with a friend (which is a success as I haven’t done it in 7 months). I haven’t made any plans about a picnic before a zoo trip and made last minute decisions! It’s many small steps for me. I know it may sound ridiculous to someone but for me it is actually quite important.

I also realised I have two many hobbies and too little time. I started learning Spanish but haven’t finished. Or continued. I started sewing my quilt (I don’t think I’ve written about the quilt? it may need a separate post). I also bought myself painting with diamonds kit and decided to go back to drawing flowers but increase my technique by actually using watercolours….. you can’t really do too many things. Best is to concentrate on one. I should definitely start from the quit as that’s the longest awaiting project.

And on top of everything I also found out that mum has some health problems and I cannot go to Poland now. She may have a surgery in nearest future and I will try to go then. But now with Graham chemo I simply cannot leave him with children.

We did try a night without someone else in the house. I was stressed. But it all went ok. I was more stressed for my daughter – as when I was little, maybe 12-13 my mum used to go on trips abroad and leave me with dad who was drinking. He wouldn’t go to work and drunk 7 days straight to the point when he was crawling on the floor as he couldn’t walk. He would ask me to check on him if he is still breathing. I suppose that could add to my fear of seizures. But I do remember how I hated her going. So when I see my daughter being scared to stay with Graham I can see my fear in her eyes. But Graham is ill and not doing it on purpose and life has to go on. So I have made some arrangements which would notify me if something happens. I am also considering getting her a mobile phone to use under certain conditions only, just to make her feel safe.

And there is last chemo in 3 days. LAST CHEMO!!! We haven’t had seizures now for 8 weeks which is the longest. They tend to happen every other cycle 1st, 3rd and 5th so we thought the 7th would be the one.. but it wasn’t. So it could be that the reduced dose of chemo is too low to cause them. It could be that the anti epileptic drug is working. OR the chemo may build up and maybe they will happen after the last cycle. I don’t know. I also don’t know if me feeling better is all the techniques I learnt or simply the time…. and how would I react if it does happen. Would I be really stronger by all the techniques I learnt? or would I have a major major set back?

I don’t know. But I’m hoping to enjoy the next two days, one of which happens to be my birthday. And I’m just going to remember is it the LAST chemo.