Collecting my son from school has become an even more important part of my daily routine. It has always been something that I really loved. Waving him off and some mornings I get a secret kiss and cuddle has always been the best part of my day. He has reached that age where kissing and hugging his mummy in front of his wee friends has become a little bit embarrassing, so I steal it whenever it’s freely available to me. Not only do I take him to a safe place where he is being educated but he has also become my reason to leave the house everyday even if its just for a few short minutes.
A few weeks ago whilst sitting in my car waiting for him to to leave school I started thinking what a privilege it is for me to be able to take him to school, but also what an amazing reason he is the leave the house and to focus on getting to a better place with my mental health. His happy smile when he comes running to the car has given me a renewed sense of purpose and reminds me each day how imperative it is for me to get my anxiety and depression under control. He is still so young and has absolutely no idea what an inspiration he is to me. Whilst drifting away on a cloud of my thoughts I didn’t realise that he got into the car until he greeted me with the usual to cool for school ‘ hi mum’. He is such a happy soul and was genuinely so excited to see me and his little brother. It made my heart skip at beat. So he asked me to play a game of would you rather while driving instead of the usual I-spy.
So today I sat thinking about the game would you rather and I asked myself would you rathe have anxiety or depression? ( I have been diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depression). After pondering on the question for a few minutes I came to the conclusion that if I could choose I would take depression over anxiety any day. This begs the question why would anyone choose between the two as these are conditions people would rather not have at all. Well for me the answer is quite simple. I say simple because I have learnt through talking therapy with my therapist that I can talk myself out of depression. Most depressive days I have long conversations with myself. In a way I try to reason with myself. looking in the mirror I ask myself if what I am feeling is actually reasonable or if I am just being too hard on myself and expecting way to much. I am like many women very hard on myself and by talking through it with myself I am able to talk myself out of my depressive thoughts and feelings. I can most days reason with myself.
Anxiety on the other hand is a very different ball game for me. My reasoning abilities evaporate. When anxiety strikes, it’s sudden and unexpected. My limbs become so heavy I can barely move. my skin feels strange and no matter what the weather I start to perspire like someone sitting in a hot sauna. My heart starts to race. It would beat so hard against my chest it feels as if I am being punched from the inside. I struggle to breathe and the panic sets in. Rational thinking and any form of reasoning goes out the preverbal window. Fear takes over. The only way to deal with my panic attacks is to lay down and hope it passes quickly. The feeling that something and is going to happen, that I am not going to make it stays with me even after the panic attack has passed. Anxiety is the biggest monster I am currently dealing with. It stops me in my tracks. It steals my joy and it takes away my ability to deal with even the most routine daily tasks. So now to deal with it I have set myself a few simple daily tasks such as getting out of bed, having a shower and opening my window blinds. Each goal achieved is a small victory for me. To me it means I am getting better even if I have setbacks. One a day keeps my therapist and myself happy.
To some this may just be a load of nonsense, but this is my reality and in my game of would you rather I choose depression over anxiety over and over! I am able to admit to myself that each day is a battle, but I am more determined to win the war raging inside me. My hope is that one day soon I will be able to say I have defeated the monsters inside me. So next time I play would you rather with myself, I would so say I’d rather be without either.