I stood in a crowd of people fighting back tears this afternoon, trying to hide my embarrassment and upset from my dear, sensitive boy. It was over such a silly thing, not really worth noting, a ticking off from a WI member at an event my mum had organised over a piece of cake.
That wasn’t the problem it was my reaction. Recently something is bothering me. Emotions are close to the surface and I am easily scratched. Easily upset, prone to snapping, over reacting. Something is bubbling in my chest, taking my breath away, stopping me from being able to be still or quiet.
I know it well, a constant companion for most of my adult life.
And suddenly, during this long and dull drive home from Cornwall it occurs to me that I know what this is, and why I feel this way.
Ten months ago I started taking anti depressants for Postnatal Depression. In the last month I have finished taking them. In the main I was ready for this. I think that the PND has passed, and that it was the right thing to do.
But now I am left with me. And suddenly it seems clear to me that it wasn’t just my PND that those tablets were helping. I remember remarking at the first meeting of my PND support that I had found it easier to turn up than I usually would have because my usual anxiety wasn’t as bad as normal.
And that’s where I am now. Back to me. Low level anxiety pervades me and our life and makes everything so much harder, so much more effort. I’d forgotten what this was like and I don’t like it at all. At all.
I don’t know what to do. Do I go back to the doctor, back to taking those tablets? If I do will I ever be brave enough to stop taking them again? If this is normal for me how can I?
I lived with this for so many years without realising that it could be different. And now I know there’s an alternative I don’t want to go back.
I’m a little bit lost, and very scared.
What do you do when you realise your normal isn’t that normal after all?