Friday, 23 January 2015

the year of no fear




We were lying on the sofa last week, wrapped in blankets and coughing into our lemsips, when the Husband and I started talking about travel, and where we'd love to take the kiddos. He said Japan, and I countered that I want to get back to New Zealand one day (I honestly can't think of a better place for children to visit; the history, the landscape, the general way of life...). Then we started talking about getting passports organised, and that's when a little knot of fear started to unravel in the pit of my stomach - one thing I've never really talked about on here is that I suffer from terrible anxiety; it doesn't necessarily stop me from doing things, but I do tend to get in a flap quite often.
This is a fairly comprehensive list of the things I worry about daily:

The Kiddos - particularly Ben, who is on the Autism spectrum, and struggles with social skills, concentration and focus at school. His behaviour is better than it used to be, thanks to his paediatrician and the local speech therapy service, but he has so many quirks that make him stand apart from his peers; he used to have an acute phobia of buttons, which I thought was fairly odd, but according to this survey from Benenden, there are a whole world of strange fears that haunt people (bellybuttons! Cotton wool! Beards!).

My Parents - my dad has Alzheimers, which is worrying enough; on bad days he doesn't know who we are, and thinks his home is where he works (he retired a few years ago), and he seems to have developed an odd form of narcolepsy as well. I worry that the stress is too much for my mum, who also has her own health problems. *Wrings hands*

Travelling - I haven't been all over the world, but I have been to the other side of the world, and a few places in between; New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Venice, France, Wales and, err, Dorset. I'm desperate to take the Kiddos to see the world, experience new things and other cultures, but by heck, the thought of spending hours on a multitude of buses, trains and planes, and then days or weeks in a strange place makes me proper nervous.

They say that actually, fear is good for you, because it drives you to experience things and push your boundaries, but I guess I've just let my nerves get the better of me. I've stopped living a bit lately, and just resorted to existing - and this is something I want to change this year. I started the other day by finally getting hold of the forms for our passports, and I found a few great blogs about travelling with kids (and in particular those with Autism) - and if anyone has any tips, they'd be gratefully received! I'm always going to worry about my family, and ultimately, I think I'm lucky to have such a wonderful one to fret about, but I want this year to be lived as fully as possible - I want 2015 to be the year with no fear.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

This is a collaborative post. 



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14 comments

  1. Just wanted to send you big love and give you a little cheer for this post. Your anxiety list seems very natural to me, I fear both conditions you mention and I think you set a fabulous example on how to cope, not how not to. x

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  2. Don't beat yourself up too much for worrying, I am very much the same and you do have quite a bit on your plate right now. I also know what you mean about just existing - it's easy to fall into that pattern when you have kids and you're permanently knackered. It won't be like this forever. Good on you for making the first step with the passport forms - keep going! x

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  3. I used to suffer terribly from anxiety.. somehow having kids has made me more chilled out!

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  4. Sorry to hear about your worries...it's only natural to be so fearful for those you love, it makes you a human with a big heart. I really do hope that you get to experience some great things with your family this year and I can't wait to hear all about them here...take care xx

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  5. I suffer with anxiety also, but my list is much, much longer! Hurrah for fighting it and taking control, looking forward to reading about your adventures. x

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased to hear from others in the same situation - something about anxiety can be incredibly isolating; I always sort of thought it was just me!

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  6. I am the same and worry about travelling with the children, there are so many 'what ifs' in my head. We don't go as far a field as we used to before children. But on the other hand we have discovered some pretty amazing places in the UK when we travel round in our campervan. This works so well for the children and is also really relaxing for us as they are enjoying themselves.

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  7. Oh I've got all the same anxieties ! I'd be interested in the websites about travelling with a child on the autistic spectrum. I want to live too and not just exist , sometimes I feel like I'm going through the motions and life is passing me by . Time to take things by the horns !! Easier said than done xx

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    Replies
    1. The one I've spent most time on is Autistic Globetrotting, and my non-Autistic favourite is The Family without Borders - enjoy!

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  8. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I feel for you! (I'm at my worst just as we embark on the trip, the bit between in the car is the pits.) You know you have anxiety and you control it, it's not controlling you. And that's great!

    I don't have kids so can't help on the travelling-with-kids-with-autism front, I'm afraid.

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  9. I also suffer from anxiety, I go through phases of thinking about dying ALL THE TIME, it's so full on and takes over everything, I hate it! x

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  10. Oh sweetheart I know exactly where you're coming from.....we live on the spectrum too. It does stop us exploring very far, we travelled a lot before the girls came along. I really believe travel is good for children, but HOW do you do this, when anything even slightly different causes such overwhelming stress and anxiety? I really don't know how to get around this and I feel guilty, really guilty we aren't preparing our daughter for the world out there. I feel guilty that our younger daughter hasn't experienced things because of my fears. And then I feel guilty that I can no longer earn money due to my MS, even if we could, I'm not sure we could afford it! Blinking 'eck, that's a lot of guilt! Good luck, and I hope you are able to travel xxx

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  11. I hope you do get to travel this year. I totally empathise with how you feel though, I suffered a lot with anxiety and used to take a fair bit of medication for it. Weirdly having Wilf did cure it quite a lot, which probably sounds odd. Of course I have the general parenting fears but it also gave me a clarity and perspective I didn't have before. I found getting rid of TV helped a lot with my general outlook on life too, so much fear mongering on there! x

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