Thursday, 9 August 2012

I'm an ambassador don'tcha know

A few weeks ago I went to the Britmum's Live conference and whilst I was there I got chatting to a very lovely girl from Butlins

She asked if I would be interested in entering my details for the chance to be chosen as a Butlins Ambassador - meaning a free holiday in return for some blog posts - and I said yes (because, well, obviously) but thought it was just a form filling exercise so I could be sent their press releases/updates/offers etc - never for one moment thinking I might actually be chosen.

Only I *was* chosen.

Last week I was playing on twitter at work (sorry - I mean WORKING VERY HARD) and I happened to be looking right at the time that Katie from Butlins tweeted that she was just about to announce the chosen bloggers. 

I toyed with the idea of tweeting back saying something along the lines of #fantasisingaboutbeingchosen - then realised what a loser that would make me seem, and instead went back to my desk and did some actual work. 

The next time I looked at my phone the first thing I saw was a twitter notification from @TheBoyAndMe congratulating me - and I had to have a real think what for, then looked more closely and there - in a list of people whose blogs I LOVE - was my name, on a list that wasn't, as I'd initially thought, a #FF, but a list of people chosen as ambassadors! 

Well, first I felt like a dimwit for a minute - then it sunk in - I'd been chosen! Out of goodness knows how many people who had filled in that form, most thinking, as I had, that they would never be picked, 40 bloggers have been given the title of Butlins Ambassador for 12 months. Including me!

Now I get to pick a holiday! 

We have never had a proper, actual holiday as a family - we have never been away for more than a fleeting (and stressful) visit to family and we are very, very excited about a proper holiday - about relaxing, taking advantage of the activities and such on site, about going to a real resort - eeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

So thank you Butlins for picking us - bring on the hi-de-hi!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

So who have I failed?

I posted a little while ago about the impending doooooooooooooom feeling that has been smothering me of late. 

A little while after having Midget Gem I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. I know that all parents feel anxiety to some extent, and that we all worry about silly things from time to time. 

GAD is much more than that, and is debilitating anxiety where the sufferer obsessively worries about things that are beyond their control, tries to control everything, avoids social situations and doesn’t leave their home in case something bad happens. 

Some also have hallucinations and ‘see’ horrific accidents or traumas happening to friends and family. 

I was given anti-anxiety medication when I was diagnosed and over a period of months I overcame my anxiety and no longer envisaged my children being dragged under busses, snatched by passers by from their pushchair or eaten by cats. I then reduced my dose and weaned myself off my tablets. 

For around six months now I haven’t had any medication – and it’s been great. I’ve felt elation, joy, hilarity – those are things I also lost when I lost the anxiety. 

Recently though, with longer hours at work, taking on other jobs around my full time position, financial worries and having two small humans it’s come creeping back. 

The problem with anxiety is that it’s worse when you’re tired, because you can’t shut that little voice up so well. Then that little voice keeps you awake. So you’re more tired. So you’re more anxious. Then you feel sick all the time.

Then you picture horrific car accidents at every bend in the road. Then you think perhaps you should just deliberately crash, head on, into that lorry, just to get it over with so you can stop worrying about it. 

Then you think perhaps this is going a little too far, and you need to do something about it, before you really do hit that lorry. It would be a waste of an excellent fringe. 

That's pretty much where I got - so I went to speak with my lovely doctor, who agreed that maybe, just for a while, I should pop myself back on the tablets. 

I know that this anxiety is, in part, caused by a hormonal imbalance, something I can't entirely control. I know that it is something that the tablets can, will, quickly fix, by evening out that imbalance. 

I know that if it were a different hormonal imbalance - say insulin, for example - there would be no problems or stigma in taking the medication. 

I know that if I had physical pain I would merrily swallow down some ibruprofen.

I know that if anyone I know has problems with anxiety or depression and is given those little tablets I feel no critical or judgemental feelings - it's something medical, and they are taking the medication, and feeling better. 

So why don't I feel like that when I am handed that prescription? Why do I feel like I've failed at everything when I take the tablets? 

I feel like I have failed as a Mum. As a working Mum. As a wife, a parent, a colleague, a woman, a human. I feel like I should be able to do it all without help. I feel like I should be able to do ALL things. I should never struggle, I should never need assistance, I should never need or ask for support...hold on...that's all going a bit mental, isn't it? 

The thing is - we can't all do, or be, it all. We can't all switch ourselves to the on position and keep going and going and going, like some kind of manic duracell bunny, endlessly. 

So who have I failed? By admitting I was running low on fuel, and that things were getting on top of me a bit? After the few weeks I've had, who have I failed if I say 'but I'm tired now'? Well...nobody? 

If I pretend I can do it, and get more anxious, more angry, more unstable? Who have I failed then? Well, everyone. Everyone who has to be around me, not quite functioning, dropping the ball, struggling. 

This way isn't failing, is it. This way - asking for, taking, help - this is what the grown ups do. Because asking for help - that's what makes you strong. Not trying to do it all. 

So there. I don't fail. Give me that tablet, I need a nap. I have things to do later!