Put simply it is a bugger.
When I was ill with anxiety anything could send me spiralling into the pits of despair. For me, it wasn’t Type 1 fears; I have had great support over the years with Type 1 and my mindset is fully dialled to the positive.
Talk to me about pensions and I can spiral downwards quicker than the descent of a rollercoaster.
I am a single parent, of three children, all with different medical needs, luckily none serious on a day to day basis.
(I am not negating the seriousness of Type 1 – but we live life alongside it.)
However, some months we go to hospital appointments weekly, plus the time spent on prescriptions, challenges that come alongside those conditions and so on and so on.
I’m self-employed because of the above.
So non surprisingly, over the 15 years, putting away for my future wasn’t really a focus – my kids were, and working around them has been my priority.
When my anxiety hit, a few years ago, it was a massive slap in the face for who is going to look after you when you are older? how will you afford to live, why the f~@k didn’t you sort a pension…
I spiralled and anything could trigger me – ask my poor friends and family, a simple “how are you?” would send me swirling downwards until I simply sat and cried.
Has it gone?
Not entirely, because like Type 1 Diabetes remains a constant in my life, so does the fact that right now, I am not looking forward to hanging my boots up at 55 and settling into a life or cruises.
(Am not entirely sure that even appeals!)
So I can be triggered, just like I am sure any of you reading this with anxiety about the future with a child with Type 1 diabetes can be triggered.
When I am “triggered”; it’s awful. The breathlessness, the adrenalin, the worry, the sadness.
It is not a space I want to live in.
So I take myself away..
Because when I worry, the kids worry, and that’s a space I refuse to live in.
I do not want the kids to grow up in an anxious household, as I am sure you don’t either.
Because anxiety is bloody destructive, it removes your sense of self, living in fear of the what if, destroys the right now…
I will do everything I can to not modify my life to feed my anxiety about my financial future and not show it in front of my kids…
Or for Type 1
I will do everything I can to live a full life and encourage my child to live a full life whilst working with Type 1, but I will stop looking anxious or changing our lives entirely.
What I know now, is spiralling is bloody pointless; and I’ve lost months to it, which in all honesty, pisses me right off.
If right now, you are thinking that maybe not doing that playdate because of Type 1, or not letting other people help you because if Type 1 understanding. Think about the adult you are growing, how will they feel for missing out because of their medical condition.
They are not poorly, they are kids with a burden that we can help ease, and let them learn to live the best, happiest, fun-filled life with.
That’s more important to me than any pension….
When you spiral,
Stop the narrative.
I find answering it helps…
“Ah, the anxiousness is here, thanks for popping along, but I am all good right now, I’ve done all I can, am doing all I can, so lets not worry today.”
(And yes, I am fully aware of how stupid I look when I do this in Aldi after seeing a leaflet for financial services with Pensions slapped all over it – but I would take looking a prat in Aldi over a two-day spiralling session!)
Then breathe – something you can control.
Sit, for one minute, two minutes, count the breathe in and then release.
Then, go to your fear…
Example: no pension. at retirement age
So I work longer, I’ve set up businesses, created income streams in areas I didn’t know existed – I also love working, helping parents cope with T1 diagnosis literally bursts my heart, I could do this forever.
If I can’t work, then hello kids, mummy is moving back in – I’ll look after my future grandchildren..
and so on and so on.
For Type 1…
I know this fear well.
A horrific hypo,
Something going wrong when they are not with me…
The fear that if anything goes wrong when they aren’t with me – then it is directly my fault…
What would I do in any of these situations…
I’d manage it, I would cure the hypo, call the parent, I have plans and processes set up to prevent these things, but if Type 1 throws us a curveball then me and my friend Adrenalin are going to respond in force.
If I have to use the big massive orange pen in my fridge (Glucagen to those who like the medical term) then I will.
(we have never used this in 9 years – except for on my non Type 1 daughter in a hospital environment for an entirely other reason; and she is pretty perfect)
So, when I start to spiral, I already know I am equipped to cope, if I have to, and until then – life goes on – and I want a bloody good life for my children and for me.
Need more help with your mindset?
For 60 minutes mindset coaching and a chance to work/speak with a small group of other Type 1 parents – don’t live a life filled with negative, every day is a gift – lets learn how to live that way…