This last 8 months have taught me something that I never thought possible.. I am strong enough to do pretty much everything I had feared for the last three years, ALONE.
January 2017 – I didn’t dare catch a bus on my own. Even going out was a struggle. I was petrified of HJ having a meltdown, or the bus breaking down, dying even. Or what if I got caught with not enough nappies? Or snacks? Or my card got declined at the checkout and my Jambear really needed something? It probably sounds daft to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t gone through the strain of anxiety. But to me, all these possibilities were 100% real and 99% going to happen in my head.
However, shortly after me and Hj’s dad broke up, I decided enough was enough, and the first time I had got on a bus in years, allowed me to meet my future husband to be.
Now I catch a bus regularly, and It doesn’t phase me. If it breaks down, then I know it’s a simple ‘get off and wait for the next one’. If my card declines I always carry my credit card, with a fair free balance on it. Get caught without enough nappies? Bob to the shop and buy some whilst i’m out. All these simple solutions that back then I wouldn’t have even logically been able to think of, let alone do.
So, back to today. My other half met me with my HJ at Tesco’s after work, and left us so he could go to work himself. No buggy. Just me, HJ, and our little legs. We wandered around Tesco’s – alone. Then, we decided SPONTANEOUSLY (yes.. I no longer have to plan everything 2048204820 month’s in front!) to go to the pub for tea. I nearly talked myself out of it. Stood at the bus stop, checked the times to go home.. 12 minute wait.
Then I looked down and saw my little man’s smile. Mummy and him were out together, and although it was a simple trip to tesco’s and a few treats, he was happy. I knew then, that I was strong enough to tackle whatever bad could happen.. I mean, what’s the worse that could happen? I was simply taking my boy for tea.
We ordered our food and drinks, sat down.. and that’s when the drama kicked in. HJ decided he wanted chicken nuggets. All was fine. Said nuggets came accompanied by chips and peas – his favourite! Or so I thought. The conversation went a little like this..
‘Mummy, I finished, I want grapes.’
Not one single bit of dinner touched. Not a tiny bite.
‘No H, Eat your dinner or there is no grapes.’
‘Aww mummy. I want icecream.’
‘Eat your dinner and you can have icecream.’
‘I DON’T WANT CHIPS’.
‘That’s fine son, eat your nuggets and peas’.
‘I DON’T LIKE PEAS’..
At this point I was starting to panic. HJ loves peas. Why was he being such a monster?
‘HJ eat your peas or there is no desert and mummy will take your goodies back!’
‘I DON’T LIKE IT. RAWRRRRRR I’M A LITTLE BIT SCARY MUMMY’.
And around..and around.. the conversation went. His dinner remaining untouched.
After half an hour, I decided enough was enough. The waitress came to collect our plates, and I got HJ ready to go home – cue full on toddler hissy.
‘I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME MUMMY, I WANT MY DINNER, MY MUMMY WON’T LET ME EAT MY DINNER WAHHHHHHH’.. all the way to the bus. All the way home. Until I decided to hum the pissing ‘banana’ song off of Bing the fucking bunny. That seemed to amuse him.
So, although dinner wasn’t exactly a raging success, and he didn’t touch a single thing on his plate.. I think today was quite an achievement. I mean, we actually went and sat out for something to eat, together, just me and my boy. And I didn’t have a full blown anxiety attack when he decided to have a full on toddler melt down in the middle of a busy pub. I even brushed off a few dirty looks from people who no doubt believed my crazy ass two year old’s accusations that ‘Mummy wouldn’t let him eat‘ – Anybody that knows my kids know they never stop eating – and given the 4 nappies i’ve had to change off my Jambear within the last hour.. I’d say he’s very.. erm.. healthy – and smelly.
Anxiety isn’t funny. It isn’t something you can simply ‘get over’. Its a real, mind fucking, soul destroying, debilitating illness. But today, I laughed in it’s face. And it feels fucking fabulous. So remember, when your darkest days are upon you, if I can sit through a meal with a *satan’s helper* darling toddler who insists his mother doesn’t allow him food, you too, can conquer your fears. Be patient with yourself. Much Love.
Onwards and Upwards.