This blog post is a bit of me opening up to you about my peak in anxiety recently. I’m not expecting anything in return, in fact I’d feel uncomfortable reading kinds words that I can’t bring myself to believe that I deserve. I’ll try to pick up the pace and end on a high note, I usually do, but a conversation on Twitter today with a super-lovely blogger reminded me that I’m not the only one feeling low, writing about it may help (it often does) and passing on that feeling of ‘you are not alone’ may help someone else.

I’m ashamed to say that half term for us was not filled with walks in the park, enjoying the beautiful autumn sunshine or taking the time to meet with friends. It was spent cooped up at home. No! we were not ill….well, not Bethany and Lewis anyway.

I was the one who was ill last week, and the week before that (hence my technique of 1,2, miss a few 99,100 when it comes to weekly posts!)…

…I’m back! You’ll be unaware but there was over 5 minutes of deep sighs, wringing my hands and mile-long stares just now, this is what I do at the moment. I’ll be mid-conversation and my next word is gone, erased forever, not like one of those conversations when you go ‘Oh what’s the word, it’s on the tip of my tongue’…this is total mind deletion button. It’s incredibly embarrassing but thankfully it’s only happened two or three times in front of my mum and sister recently. This is my ‘close to the edge’ anxiety warning sign. That sounds rather dramatic, I’m not sure what the edge looks like or what’s beyond it (padded cell maybe) but I take the mind-delete button to be my STOP, breathe, listen early warning sign. The listening being me listening to my body. What’s tense? My shoulders, my jaw, my chest, my legs? are my toes curled? Do my fingers look like claws?

I spent two days last week on my bed, the children entertained themselves, Beth got out a couple of times to meet with friends, Lewis was happy to become absorbed in his world of Xbox. I was wracked with guilt the whole time, this made my symptoms worse which in turn made my body more tired, insanely tired. I went back to napping, because when I was asleep I thought less.

Our extension has been going on for 10 weeks, there have been glitches and workman letdowns and grumpy neighbours. The daylight has been sapped from the house, everything is gloomy at the moment and my beautiful garden is obscured by blockwork, scaffolding and piles of materials. They’ve not even broken through yet and I’m dreading the day. My kitchen’s never been so clean, my OCD set to red alert…why oh why would you scrub a kitchen that’s about to be ripped out?…madness!

Today is Monday, first day back at school for my two. Anxiety levels are high. Lewis was nervous this morning but it’s 1:38 and no phone call…could be a good thing, or the school are trying their very best to keep Lewis in today? I worry about him all the time, how is he? how is he coping? does he feel anxious like me? He’s got Autism….it was my 40th birthday party at my mum and dads this weekend (was supposed to be at our house with the new extension which we originally thought would start at the end of July) I had a couple of wine spritzers, I’m not a drinker, it upsets my tummy so I got a little merry, plus it was a great way to shed my anxiety shackles and pretend to be okay. Anyway, Lewis was confused to see his mum chatty, laughing and spontaneously dancing and he ended up on my parents garage roof. You can always guarantee when Lewis bolts, he’ll go under something or climb out of reach.

We coaxed him down and Lewis and I sat in the downstairs toilet for a few minutes. I’m not sure what possessed me but I asked him ‘Do you feel different to other people’? Lewis replied ‘I feel like an alien and no one makes sense’….

….I’m back again!….just had another mile-long stare.

I think an over whelming feeling I have at the moment is helplessness. I can’t wave a magic wand and re-wire Lewis’ neurology, I can’t kick start Bethany’s pancreas into re-creating beta cells and produce insulin once more. I can’t rid Bethany of her Coeliac’s Disease, I can’t rid myself of these intolerance’s, I can’t build an extension! Soon, I won’t even be able to bake! I-am-not-in-control.

What’s the answer? Just keep swimming? I’ve learnt that when I’m like this it’s got to be dolly steps. Keep to a routine as much as physically possible and don’t set yourself endless chores each day. Today was shopping once the children were at school and then I promised myself I’d write, I have so much to show you, so many bakes, so many reviews and most of them are stuck in my sieve of a brain so I need to get them out, save them, pass them on. Today’s plan seems to be working, as I type, I’m starting to be less hard on myself for not writing for so long. The words aren’t quite flowing like they usually do, more of a tap with a dodgy washer but it’s progress.

Diary of an Intolerant Mum, this week focuses on anxiety

This is me beginning to write my blog in the middle of the day with hardly any natural light, I feel like a Hobbit! Notice my Costa Tassimo coffee though with gingerbread syrup and Oat Cream! My nails are black for Halloween, it’s not a normal look for me!

I’m glad I managed the shopping, I found the cream to go in my gingerbread latte in the picture above. I think someone posted the new Oatly Cream in a Coeliac’s Facebook group, I forget now. I had to go to Tesco for a change because I was super excited to see that Jus-Roll had brought out their very own pre-rolled puff pastry so I’m pleased to say I’ve a roll in my fridge waiting to be baked. I got a bit carried away when I saw the dairy free section but I can confirm the oat single cream is very genuine tasting.

From left to right: Dairy free Vanilla Custard made with oats, Coconut Cream and Single Cream made with oats...wondering if I can lace these with a little brandy for Christmas to make brandy cream?

From left to right: Dairy free Vanilla Custard made with oats by Oatly, Coconut Cream and Single Cream made with oats…wondering if I can lace these with a little brandy for Christmas to make brandy cream?

I’ve also been hunting and gathering baking products from smaller companies that I was less aware of, or to be perfectly honest, never heard of! I’m yet to try all of these products but my aim is to try, review and try again with a different recipe. No deadline for this, it’ll be done when it’s done.

Naturbit have an array of baking basics that I've never heard of before, their mixes seem quite unique and I'm excited to try the pastry mix as a batter for vegan, gluten free pancakes. I have made a Pumpkin Pie using the pastry's 5 Stars from me but the reviews still in my head so again, be patient.

Naturbit have an array of baking basics that I’ve never heard of before, their mixes seem quite unique and I’m excited to try the pastry mix as a batter for vegan, gluten free pancakes. I have made a Pumpkin Pie using the pastry mix…it’s 5 Stars from me but the reviews still in my head so again, be patient.


Foodamentalists free from baking products; Diary of an intolerant mum, Week eight and anxiety

These I’ve had before and the Doughnut Mix is to die for, we devoured the doughnuts in no time at all and they tasted just like the ones you get from the fresh stalls. Again, the review is in the pipeline! I buy my Foodamentalist products from Foods You Can, they’ve unbeatable customer service and they care about you the individual.

There! I said it would end on a high note! And yes, I do feel better for talking to you. Okay my jaw is still clenched and I’m grinding my teeth a little, so anxiety still wins but maybe this is a mini win for me; and now? A sneaky snack and a red bush tea to celebrate the end of the stand off with my blog. You’ll be hearing from me again soon.