I’m not going to start my story by the typical “hi my names Kimberly I suffer from anxiety and depression” well frankly because as much as it may be true I try my hardest not to look at it that way. I like to look at it as I BATTLE depression and anxiety because really that’s exactly what I do on a daily basis I battle with my own mind and body. As much as my brain likes to think I don’t win the battle well I’m still here, I’m alive and every day is a new day so thats got to mean something right??
I’d like to think my anxiety issues started after the birth of my second daughter nine years ago but I can always remember being quite an anxious child very shy, not that I would ever show it very often I always over compensated and acted out going and talked non bluddy stop to my family’s disappointment my nickname in fact was gift of the gab (a Scottish saying) not much has changed there haha! Although I think my anxiety and depression journey really finally came in and took over my life around nine years ago during the pregnancy and after giving birth to my second daughter.
During my pregnancy I had a couple of ‘panic attacks’ not that I actually knew what they were at time but believe me I was quick to learn now I have a much better idea. It was quite near the end of my pregnancy and I just thought maybe I had been over doing it I had quite the busy lifestyle and my body was telling me to slow down maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t I shall never actually know.
The main problems started when I had quite a traumatic birth with my daughter resulting in me losing a lot of blood as I haemorrhaged badly with my placenta coming away from the wall of my womb and having no pain relief through it all, having to give birth to her at only 6 cm dilation due to her heart rate dropping so suddenly once they got the bleeding under control the surgeons were close to taking me to theatre for a hysterectomy to save my life but it stopped and we talked about a blood transfusion but I decided not to probably not my best choice to be fair I would have felt much better.
Instead I was left a broken shaking mess heart racing, body shaking, mind in overdrive feeling panicked and really weak this is where it begins it just didn’t stop it didn’t come as a wave and disappear like it does now I didn’t sleep that day I was absolutely petrified my subconscious mind thought if I did at the thought Of even napping because I thought I would never wake up that was the end of my time on earth. So I thought the best option for me was to get home staying in the hospital wasn’t an option it was the place I nearly died I couldn’t relax I couldn’t stay there so seven hours after all this happened a very traumatised exhausted young terrified mother signed herself out of the hospital and went home thinking It would get better I’d relax and feel ok……I was wrong!!
Once home it didn’t switch off in fact every day it just got worse and worse I didn’t sleep I hardly ate anything I was basically skin and bone my partner at the time tried to help but we were young we both didn’t know what to do to help me I will say as much as he wasn’t there for me he really was the only time I could fall asleep was knowing he was holding on to me and he helped with the girls in his own way ok it was perfect or what I thought was perfect or my family (they loved to judge) but he tried and that’s all I could ask for.
I didn’t know what help I needed I was constantly in a state of panic sweating, heart racing, feeling faint, pins and needles all over, a wave of fear like actual full blown terrified fear every few minutes it just wouldn’t stop I couldn’t stop then the flu symptoms kicked in for 12 weeks solid I tried every flu remedy and pain relief nothing helped you’re lucky if I even got dressed I couldn’t function as a normal human being and I didn’t know what was happening to me I literally thought I was dying every second of every day.
Then came the agoraphobia I couldn’t do anything by myself I couldn’t even walk to the little shop which was metres away from my house I was stuck in this bubble of fear and didn’t know what to do to get out of it all while basically being a single mother to a four year old and a newborn baby. My partner working then trying to help with the kids and me being the way it was just didn’t work he left. I was alone my mother however had been through this 22 years before when I was born and saw the signs straight away and knew what she had to do (I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her) she literally picked me up from the floor got me dressed and drove me to my local GP who took a look at me and basically brushed me off as baby blues I knew that it wasn’t the case but at the time didn’t know what to do so just listened to everything I was told take these beta-blockers it’ll ease off I religiously took this medication every night nothing changed still daily living in hell considering EVERYTHING that I could do to get me out of it but for those split seconds my daughter would hug me or my newborn would make a face my heart would melt I couldn’t leave them without their mother I had to get through this so back to the doctors I went I lost count of how many different antidepressants they pumped into my body and as much as I wanted one of them to just be this miracle drug that would take all these feelings away and I’d be back to my normal self I eventually knew that wouldn’t happen I’d have to work at it basically starting my life as a new person so every day that’s what I did my mother would come pick us up in the morning and basically guided me through a normal daily routine of taking my eldest daughter to nursery meeting people outside my house going to our local cafe for tea and cakes and getting me back into the swing of being a mother and normal human behaviour and it started to work.
After a while I started to control the panic attacks I was able to go places with my mother and partner but not on my own not yet the medication began to work and the more I felt better the more I pushed myself to do get out the house on my own meet up with friends finally have friends round to the house and live my life as the months and years went by it got easier I got better but life has this way of waiting until you get better to swing back around and knock you down I lost a baby and had to give birth which was traumatic in itself but five months later I found out I had cancer and that’s just another story I got through all that and boom the anxiety came back home and I shut myself off from the world I don’t go out on my own I shut everything out cut friends off and I’m here now starting all over again now reading through what I just wrote I can see how far I came i know I’m able to get past this I can get better I just need to TRY and with family and friends behind me that’s just what I’m going to do I’m going to fight like I’ve never fought before because I deserve to live a happy life just like everyone else and I may live with a mental illness (bipolar) but it’s not just that which defines me I’m Kim I’m a kickass mother a great friend and a good human being I will do this and I know it’s not going to happen overnight but I will definitely get through it!!