Wednesday, 16 April 2008


I'm stressed.

I didn't realise how much stress I was under during Marie's anxiety sufferers' tour until I got home. I was totally exhausted. I did enjoy the few days away, but all the time I was away, I was worrying, consciously or subconsciously. Worries like...

  • Will Marie feel comfortable to stay here?
  • Will our overnight accommodation be suitable?
  • Where's the nearest toilet that Marie will be able to access?
  • Where can we find somewhere to eat?
  • Where can I park the car?
...And similar issues.

Most of the time we're out, I'm monitoring Marie's mood. Is she getting anxious? Will we have to leave here? It's hard to relax since I'm on a constant state of alert.

Marie really enjoyed her trip; but she too was exhausted by the time we returned home. All that time away from her safest place had taken its toll.

Collette & fiancé Neil
In addition, we have anticipatory anxiety at the moment. My daughter Collette is getting married tomorrow (Thursday). Marie and I have visited the wedding venue. We have planned where she will sit. And where she will sit if she gets too anxious to remain in her first choice place. We have planned how to get there separately, since I have to accompany my daughter. How the children will get there, and who will keep an eye on them until I arrive (Marie can't, for example, take them to the toilet). We have planned where our two cars will be parked (one at each end of the building). How she will get to the toilets. Who will look after the children if I have to help her to go somewhere. And, if the worst happens, how she will get away from the wedding and who she will stay with then, since I cannot leave until the wedding reception is over.

So as you can see, I won't be able to relax at my daughter's wedding, either - unless Marie is having a good day.

It's most likely that the wedding will pass off smoothly and without Marie having a panic attack. But until then, anticipatory anxiety rules. It's not easy for Marie.

And I stay stressed.


Anonymous said...

Your doing a great job Robert but be carefull you don't get burnout yourself i think thats what happened to me! take it easy my friend

Tashi said...

Fair enough. I wish you good luck for today and a bit of quiet time for yourself afterwards. All the best to Collette and Neil!

I very much liked your quote yesterday :-)

Robert said...

Gary - you know, it took you to point out the obvious to me! I can cope until the wedding is over tomorrow, and then it's a long rest for me!

Robert said...

Thanks for the comment, tashi. I'll pass on your best wishes to the happy couple.

maz said...

Aw Robert (((Hugs))) stress seems to be the by word of the Carer!
I hope thigns are going well and you ALL have a good day!

maz x

Robert said...

Thanks maz,

I'm sure that it'll all go ok tomorrow....I think! By this time tomorrow, all the important bits will be over and I'll be able to have a beer.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog as I was browsing the internet for, I think, EFT and agoraphobia.
You seem like a very compassionate man, and obviously love your wife very much.
I am 26, and have experienced panic attacks since I was 10 - only when I was 22 did I experience agoraphobia. (I am careful now not to say - I HAVE it, or this is mine, I am it etc..)
I am by no way cured completely, but I have a much greater understanding of why I personally, and why people in general, have these problems.
I just get this overwhelming sense that Marie is a victim to it, and you are her enabler. I know this is something you touched on in the past, and I don't want to tread on anyone's toes by any means - it's just she's not going to get better by doing nothing. It doesn't wear off. You don't wake up one day and it's gone. In fact, it waxes and wanes, but can get worse. I'm sure you know a lot of this, but I don't believe that any of us need to be this way forever - there's no cure-all or easy answer (would you believe I'm watching a repeat of that Casualty 1907 programme on BBC1 and they just told a woman with 'hysteria' all she needed was a massage!) but whatever treatment there is can't be forced upon anyone, they must seek it actively themselves and to an extent, allowing someone's problem is exacerbating it.
I wish you, and your family, all the very best.

Coffeecup said...

Pre-wedding nerves are inevitable. You won't be the only ones getting jittery and stressed for sure. I know this doesn't lessen your concerns or change all the logistical planning but sometimes I find it useful to imagine what others are going through too. One more day then feet up for a well earned chill out!

Marie is making the effort to go! Brilliant! She's not stopping home and missing out. If she's capable of this, then please see that in reality has the ability to make the few short steps required once in there. It'll be fantastic, I really hope you all enjoy it, and the happy day is one to be proud of.

Good luck with the day, and all the very best to Neil and Collette!Wishing them a long and happy future together xxx

SarahC♥ said...

Hope you had a wonderful time :)


Robert said...

Dear sarah & steph,

Thanks for the kind wishes. We did, in fact, have a great time and the whole event passed off as well as I could have hoped. More about the wedding soon!

Robert said...

Hi anonymous...

Marie and I have been talking about this very subject! I shall be posting about it in the near future.