Ugh. I can barely look at that picture (see above). It is pretty confronting to post it here for the world to see but I think it’s important for me to be honest about who Andrea Lucy really is.
This is a photo of myself on one of the worst days I’ve ever had. Sharing an image of myself on a broken down, raw, exhausted day is not something I do lightly.
Starting up a fashion business isn’t all shoulder pads and glamour (a la Forrester Fashions… for all my B&B fans out there)
This week I had an appointment scheduled with my GP. Just a boring old Pap Test. The morning of the appointment I was feeling pretty unstable. There are a lot of things going on my life and I just thought that maybe the pressure of Christmas and my upcoming holiday were starting to get to me.
Whilst sitting in the waiting area at the Doctors office, I could feel my chest tightening. Panic ensued.
‘No. No. No. Please don’t do this to me now. Not in public. Keep it together crazy woman. Nobody wants to watch you lose your shit’
I just kept chanting it over and over in my head. Eventually my name was called and it took all of 2 minutes before I was hyperventilating all over the place. Having a panic attack in my GP’s office was kind of perfect.
My very kind Doctor calmly explained that I was hyperventilating and that I needed to take a breath, wait 7 seconds and take another. I could hear what he was saying but my whole body was convulsing and I could barely focus on him long enough to realise what I had to actually do.
You see, panic attacks are a somewhat recent thing for me. This was only my fourth time having one. In my eyes, I didn’t really think it was that much of a big deal. Sometimes I get so upset, I forget how to breathe. No biggie right?
THE ANXIETY MONSTER
Dr Kindness gently starts to explain to me that I am suffering from Anxiety.
Huh? ME? Nahhh.
I mean, I know what Anxiety IS and sometimes I feel a bit anxious but I just thought it was normal. Looking back at it now, I realise that it’s absolutely NOT normal to overthink every little detail about everyday life, like my daily school drop off dilemma.
Where I’m going to park the car at school drop off? I left at precisely 8:32am, there should be spots, WHY AREN’T THERE SPOTS? Should I take an umbrella? It might rain. If nobody else has an umbrella, I’m going to look like an idiot. Put umbrella back. No grab it. What does the BOM radar say? Oh shit, where is my phone? Breathe. Don’t cry. Shit. Here comes one of the School Mums, bury your misery and craziness. QUICK! Put a smile on your face and get over yourself. Save your crying and your nonsense for the shower. Where is that bloody phone? Fuck.
Oh great, some kid has hit Elijah on the way to class and now he’s having a full blown meltdown. Don’t get upset, it will make him worse. I know you want to cry, just don’t. Everybody is staring. Shit, I just yelled at that kid and now HE’S crying. I’m the worst person in the world. I hate myself for making a child cry. I’m sorry kid, I didn’t mean to yell! I’m just having a really bad morning.
Please stop crying Elijah. I don’t have time to have you at home all day. Oh good, his teacher is an angel and she’s set him right. Thank gosh. Will he be okay? Should I get him? I’m the worst mother ever. He’s going to have a bad day. I know it. He had that look on his face. They will call me if I need to get him. Should I get him now? Will this day be one of those days that he remembers for all his life and hates me for it?
What’s that?!?! Fucking hell. It’s raining, I’m parked miles away from the school and I have no umbrella. DON’T YOU DARE CRY. Smile.
It may seem a bit dramatic but that’s really what it is like inside my head. I told you guys I was a mess, don’t be surprised. Creative people are allowed to be a bit nuts.
MENTAL HEALTH PLAN
As most other parents do, I leave everything concerning my health LAST. My son Elijah was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 and I was all over that shit like a rash. Read every book, watched doco’s, listened to podcasts… the works. His world was so important, I would do anything and everything to make sure I did my best to understand him and help him.
When it came to MY diagnosis, it was quite the opposite. Dr Kindness started talking about MY mental health plan and how I will need to start seeing someone to ‘talk about my issues’. It has taken me some time to accept this and I’m still a bit funny about it to be honest. Having the diagnosis has helped me to understand myself though. I’m starting to see how I exhaust myself (and everyone around me) with my pedantic ways. Life could be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry about the minutiae.
Being the good little girl that I am, I have already booked an appointment to see a psychologist (who is not available until February) and to be honest, I’m looking forward to having a whinge to someone who will actually listen. I’m sure the psych will give me all the tools to help put a lid on my crazy and that’s totally fine by me.
Well, it’s time for me to go and pack for this holiday of mine so enjoy your celebrations in this crazy season and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Andrea Lucy x