Dealing with anxiety

Yesterday Ah Ma received an email from authorities that set out a few tasks to be completed within a short timeframe. It meant more paperwork, dealing with various authorities and lots of shuttling back and forth. Mind you, it was a positive email because it meant our application was moving forward. But as I read the email and thought about all the upcoming appointments to arrange and forms to fill, the familiar tension and stress which had gradually subsided during the holiday came rushing back. It was completely selfish but at that moment I thought ‘my holiday is over’. It didn’t help that the scanner broke down and we couldn’t scan some documents that were required. It brought me back to the horrendous day that I was rushing to get documents for Saitaomei’s passport and both printers at home stopped working. I broke down that day, thumped my fists on the desk and yelled out loud. I called my sister sobbing and howling ‘I am so tired’. I probably terrified the poor thing 😓.

Anyway, yesterday I convinced myself to stop stressing and complete each task step by step. Don’t procrastinate and make a mountain out of a molehill, just breathe in and out and get organised. This pep talk helped and we were able to tick off a couple of things from the to do list. We also bought a new scanner haha. Today I am going to email the authority to ask for an extension to the deadline. No point stressing and killing ourselves over impossible timelines, it’s not unreasonable to get an extension and I know we will be given one.

In the end I felt much better and was able to enjoy a shared froyo with Saitaoha after dinner. The slow pace of Kuching and the comfort of being in my family home has done wonders for the heightened anxiety that I have been experiencing since Saitaomei’s arrival. If I have to be completely honest, I was already very stressed and probably on the brink of a meltdown during my difficult pregnancy. It was tough going through hour by hour fearing the worst but trying so hard to keep negativity at bay. It didn’t help that we were facing a major upheaval at work during that time. Everything in my life felt fraught with uncertainty and negativity.

I sometimes wonder whether Saitaomei is a high needs baby or whether I’m just not coping as well because I’m struggling with my inner demons that were built pre pregnancy which makes everything feel extra hard. I suspect it’s a bit of both.

I really am thankful that despite all the difficulties to leave the country, I was able to have this holiday. Deep down I know the likelihood of being able to stay at the family home in the future is next to nil. I have enjoyed telling people that I don’t know my return date because we haven’t bought tickets yet. Being at home, I have been able to look at things in a more positive light and get some much needed clarity. I feel rested. I enjoy my kids and my parents and treasure my time with them. I love holding Saitaoha’s hand and walking down the stairs with her ‘slow slow’ I remind her, ‘slow slow’ she repeats after me.

So I am dealing with my anxiety. I think the first step was admitting that I was struggling to family and friends. I hope to go back to Australia recharged and refreshed. I have to remind myself to take things ‘slow slow’ and step by step.

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