This morning I’m suffering of a build up of what I call “inner stress”.
Everyday for the last 2 weeks, the transition of school drop off has been really hard for kiddo. Once he is there he loves it! But he finds most transitions extremely stressful. Over the years I have learnt how to cover up my own anxiety about it all. If he sees me worrying, that really won’t help him relax. So after much practice I appear on the outside to be pretty cool and calm.
Sometimes I’m actually too good at this. I put on such a good show that I even manage to convince myself that I’m not stressed when I actually am. The stress starts showing itself in other ways. Back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, tiredness. It’s only when I start noticing these signs that I stop and really evaluate how I am feeling.
So many times i have gotten to the point of complete exhaustion and had a chronic fatigue relapse, and i haven’t been able to understand why. Physically I haven’t overdone it all! Then I look back through my diary. Phone calls, meetings, emails, to do lists, complaints, appeals. They all make me feel stressed. Sometimes when I finish a complaint letter, I feel as though physically I have walked about 10 miles. That mental stress we as carers hold has just as much impact as the physical stress from lack of sleep, physical attacks and keeping our children physically safe.
Drop offs at school have really taken their toll on me mentally recently. I wait for the screaming to start in the morning, question whether I’m a good mum, whether I’m going the right thing. I wait for kiddo to get in the car without force. I plan a million different scenarios such as transition activities, transition objects, how I use language to prevent his anxiety from spiralling. I get kicked in the face but I don’t react. The stress from all that has to go somewhere.
Last night my digestive system went into spasm and I keeled over. It is so painful I can’t tell you. I’ve been tested in A&E for numerous things but it comes down to stress and exhaustion. My hips gave way earlier in the week too. The mental stress is coming out.
This morning on the way home from drop off I cried. I stopped to get petrol and used every ounce of my self control not to buy the entire confectionary aisle whilst waiting to pay. There are so many detrimental ways that I can release my inner stress. Binge eating is one of them, shopping is another.
Today is all about surrounding myself with activities that help me release the inner stress, and deal with it positively. A hot bath, essential oils, writing and maybe a movie. Nothing else matters today. If I don’t do this regularly I lose the ability to appear calm on the outside and then kiddo is the one who suffers. That can’t happen.
Never underestimate the effect that mental or inner stress has on you. It’s just as damaging as physical exertion.
Thanks for reading,