What is it about Master X’s scream that sends my respiratory system into shut down mode. My flight or fight mode is instantly activated, and usually I am fighting the distinct urge, every time, to leave. And so after many attempts to calm him, I find that I am cycling constantly through the same actions:
Go Rush into the room where Master X is screaming
Step 2. Scramble to locate Master X’s position in the cot, whilst simultaneously searching for the pacifier
Step 3. Turn Master X on to his side/back/tummy/other side/back/back/right side
Step 4. Shush and pat Master X on the bottom/place two hands on him
Step 5. Recall to myself to breathe through the nose because this stage my mouth is wide open taking in short, sharp anxiety breaths
Step 6. Repeat Step 3-5 until I feel like I am going to lose my shit
Step 7. Realise that my anxiety is building, leave room. Recover. Recollect. Try new tactic- burping usually works. Or a dirty nappy.
Step 8. All else failing, start the cycle again until utterly frustrated and I need to leave the house for a breather. Start program again until next feed, and/or I get him up to ‘play’. Maybe push to sleep in the stroller around the living room. Usually by this stage my brain is wired.
I know the reason that we are no longer close friends is because you think that I parent wrong. Or that I’m weak. Or maybe you are just sick of me. Well, I’m sick of me too. Sick of this reactive state. Breathe, breathe.
I would NEVER wish anxiety on anyone. When I feel like I have this sorted, I have learnt a pathway, a strategy, when I even have it all written out in a page for me to refer to because when I get stuck on a cycle it is damn near impossible to control.
And this is not new for me, I have had this experience of anxiety cycles for a number of years. It is just that I am finding it difficult to navigate such a constant onslaught on my anxiety amidst everything else with which we are trying to cope.
And anxiety cycles just make me want to eat. Yeah, cause that helps my growing pubic synthesis pain and rising weight.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14