Have you guys seen Ariana Grande’s brain scan? The one showing the PTSD she has after the Manchester Bombing? Yeah I think I should scan my brain too. No joke, seriously.
It all started 4 or 5 years ago. See I just have one cousin my age growing up. She and I were born 1 month apart. We grew up together, went to playdates and birthdays together, and went to elementary school together. Later on we did grow apart a bit as she went to a different high school and university and we both had different groups of friends.
But then we got closer again as we got older. She actually set me up with my husband as he went to the same high school as hers. We got married months apart then life and kids happened .. and we weren’t as close as before though we tried to keep in contact as much as we can.
Fast forward a couple of years later .. got the shocking news: my cousin, who just had twin babies, has leukemia.
I think I blocked those days from my brain but now that I am writing this, I’m starting to remember the day. I was living at my moms with the kids as my husband was doing his 9 months masters course abroad. I remember it was before 8 am, I just came back from school drop off when I saw my uncle walking around in circles in front of my mom’s gate. When he saw me he hurried off. I didn’t know why but now I know he didn’t want to face people. Now I know .. he was devastated.
After that I don’t remember exactly what happened, as I said I blocked a lot of things from my brain. But I do remember clearly my uncle telling my mom: after our mom (my grandmother) passed away, you’re the only person I have left in this world that can give me strength so please help me .. I don’t know what to do. From that day us three girls knew we had to be strong for our mom, just like she had to be strong for her brother.
Looking back now, there’s a lot of things I don’t remember. I don’t remember who told me she passed away. I don’t remember that date she did. I don’t remember if I was pregnant with my 3rd or not (why cant I remember?)
But I do remember her birthday, Nov 4. And I do remember her first crush and the code name she gave him. And I do remember us trying to fake injury and go to the school nurse together to get out of class.
I also remember that I did not cry in her funeral when everyone else was crying. I remember thinking: what’s wrong with me? Why am I not crying?! It took me an entire month to break down, alone in my room.
And to be honest, I still don’t think I dealt with all my emotions. Being a wife and trying to be the person your significant other needs, having a household and trying to juggle all the responsibilities, raising 4 kids to the best of your abilities .. you just cant breakdown and deal with your emotions.
This is why we moms have perfected the “I’m fine” syndrome. Just sweep everything under the rug and deal with it later because no worries .. of course I’m fine.
But then .. anxiety started to creep in.
Ten year ago, they found a polyp in my colon that was just the type that could’ve turned into cancer. I was very lucky and I did the needed follow up after it. I’m due to have a check up soon. Oh my God .. what if it came back? And already grew into cancer? It’s called the silent killer for a reason! My God .. what will happen to my kids?
I felt a bump in my breast. I’m breastfeeding but still went to have it checked. The ultrasound showed that it doesn’t look cancerous and the doctor said she would rather wait till I finish breastfeeding because it was close to a milk gland and they’d rather not prick it .. especially when it’s looking so reassuring.
But what if the Dr. is wrong? What if the ultrasound technician missed something and was wrong too? What if I had breast cancer?! Would my husband remarry and go off with his new wife forgetting our kids (just like her husband did?) My God .. what will happen to my kids?
My arm hurt the other day and I had a tingly feeling in my hand. It must be that the breast cancer spread to my lymph nodes and cause this tingling. Forget that I slept on the rocking chair holding my 10 kg baby .. no it must be cancer.
Then my shoulder hurt for a while. OMG how didn’t I see it. It’s a symptom of lung cancer, along with a recurring cough, which I did have throughout the year. My kids .. my four beautiful kids .. what will happen to them if I die??
Think it would be best for me to go to a doctor. But if I do go to one and ask for a colonoscopy because I believe I have colon cancer, a mammograph because I just know its breast cancer, and a chest x-ray because yes I do, I think I have lung cancer too. You know what, just throw in a brain scan in there too because it wont take me much time to diagnose myself with brain cancer.
I think most probably, this doctor will refer me to a psychologist .. which yes by now I know I really should go see someone professional about this.
The first time I had a full on anxiety attack, it was 9 pm .. sitting on a rocking chair with my baby. My older 3 sleeping soundly in their beds. I was going through my phone and saw a video of a little girl who was being abducted by a predator.
My heart started beating very fast, I started sweating, I couldn’t breathe properly and felt dizzy. I put my baby down and started breathing long deep breaths. I had to talk to myself and reassure myself over and over again: it’s ok .. my kids are safe .. it’s ok .. my kids are at home with me .. sleeping in their beds.
After I calmed down, I went to each of my kids and kissed them on their foreheads. Then I saw how crazy this all was. The incident in the video was in another country, in a place that we never visited. But deep down, I’ll always have the “what if”” .. “you never know” .. “it just takes a sec” .. “it can happen to anyone”.. that I just cant seem to shake off.
So yes .. I believe I suffer from anxiety. And yes .. It is getting worse by the day. And yes .. I am very worried I might transfer my anxiety to my kids (which is making me even more anxious). And yes .. I know I know .. I really need to go see a professional and get the help I desperately need.
But for now .. I’ll take my antibiotics for my throat infection while giving my son his dose of Ventolin on the nebulizer and while I just remembered that my 3 year old needs to wear clothes from a different country tomorrow to preschool and did my daughter remember to put her homework in her school bag?
I promise one day I will get the help I need but for now .. I’ll just sweep my anxiety under the rug and smile .. and always reply I’m fine .. absolutely 100% fine.