This is a post I never thought I’d write. My anxiety had got worse and worse, and then remained consistently debilitating for so long that I thought that was it. It was so much a part of me that I didn’t know who I was without it. So let me tell you a little story;
When I started agility training with TiLi 3 years ago I had panic attacks before even going to the lessons. I skipped so many lessons because I just couldn’t do it due to my anxiety. I sat in the car, in their car park, crying because I was unable to get out of the car to take part in lessons. I tried and failed to take part in one of their private competitions with just the people who attend agility. I felt so guilty for holding TiLi back, for letting her down, for not being able to do something she loved so much with her.
But last weekend my baby girl, TiLi, and I went to our very first agility competition with the group I train with.
My parents came too, because we were all concerned that my anxiety would get so bad in the few days before travel (the competition was in the UK) that I’d cancel, and it was too much money to risk. So many times before I had felt OK to do something & then been unable to because of my anxiety when the time came.
But I went! And yes I was nervous, anxious even, but I managed the anxiety attacks when they came. And they were so few and so mild (for me) that I was able to enjoy the weekend, even though it was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster!
TiLi & I got TWO 2nd place rosettes!!!
I am so proud of her for doing so well, and so proud of me for being able to do it.
I’m crying writing this as I realise how far I’ve come! Next time I go my parents wont be coming. It’ll just be me, TiLi & the gang I train with!
I still struggle with mental illness. My anxiety is still higher than the average persons, and I still live with BPD traits and the fear of my next depressive episode, but after some fabulous therapy, here I am, able to take my baby girl to the UK to give her the opportunity to show off her skills and have some fun. Able to run the courses with her, not have a panic attack when something goes wrong, or when nothing goes wrong, and able to socialise with strangers and friends with relative ease.
I used to find people’s stories of mental illness recovery so disheartening. That would never be me. I could never achieve that kind of recovery. I could never learn to live with it well enough to actually live and not just exist. Turns out I was wrong! I can, and I am.
Also published on Medium.