Showing posts with label Anxiety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anxiety. Show all posts

Monday, 27 August 2018

How I Cope With Stress And Anxiety

Good evening, groovers and shakers! I trust you are feeling fabulous and full of joie de vivre. If you're not that's okay too. I'm here to help.

Life can tend to have a way of cruising along in a satisfactory manner for a period. Until it doesn't. Instead it's suddenly sucky and stressful. Fortunately I've managed to develop a few coping strategies to assist in these testing times.

So I figured I may as well as share them in the ubiquitous random list form. If nothing else, writing lists gives me the illusion that I've got my shit together.

So here goes:


  • Exercise. Sadly I dislike gyms and running. On the other hand I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't mind working out at home alone. YouTube videos and a bit of strength training are my go to choice. It hasn't exactly translated to peak physical fitness, but that's not really my goal here. It's my mental state I wish to improve. Worrying about what I look like in active wear won't help me at all. So I don't. That's just me. Next...
  •  Calming activities such as word fill-ins or word searches and colouring in. Preferably with pretty glitter pens. Nice. 
  • Writing everything down. Either like this in list form, or spewing forth a hideous word vomit of everything that is bothering me. Privately. No one needs to read that. 
  • Having a schedule or routine. This takes a certain element of decision making away. Instead of thinking about what I need to do, how to prioritise things and consequently becoming more stressed and overwhelmed, I know what's next. Admittedly sticking with routines is still a bit of a work in progress for me, but a flexible routine does help. 
  • Down time. It's important for me to schedule down time in my flexible routine. 
  • Green smoothies. Typically I would just eat all the cakies, but in the past week I began having a green smoothie everyday. Of course I still have a sneaky cupcake here and there when my mum is kind enough to bring some. It's about balance, people.
  • Therapy. I see a good psychologist on a regular basis. It's hard, but really helps in the long run. 
  • Waiting it out. Sucky feelings pass just like a thunderstorm. And sometimes there's even a rainbow at the end. I know. First I'm mentioning green smoothies now I'm getting all inspirational on you. I don't even know who I am anymore...
  • Recognising the difference between good stress and bad stress. This is something my psychologist reminded me of recently. Some stress is necessary in life, and even beneficial. I'm currently trying to make some changes and it's challenging but will be worth it in the end. So it's good stress. I think. I hope. 😲
  • Recognising that avoidance of sucky feelings will make it worse in the long term. Unfortunately I have had to learn this lesson the incredibly hard way, then learn it again the even harder way. And again, the incredibly, extremely hardest of hard ways. Sigh.
  • Taking things one day at a time.
  • Using mindfulness and techniques from ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), such as diffusion, thanking your mind etc.
  • Naming my anxiety Agnes and giving her the middle finger when applicable. She deserves it. The b$!&h. 
  • Listening to music.
  • Reading. I really don't know why I didn't put this at the top of my list. Reading is THE BEST. 
  • Practising self-compassion. Another work in progress. But I'm getting better at this. 
End of random list.

And if all of the above fails an occasional bottle of wine and a funnel can be helpful too. Hmmmm. Shame I don't have either! HMPH. 

How do you cope with stress and anxiety?

Monday, 21 May 2018

My Biggest Fear Is Fear Itself

Fears and phobias are a funny old thing. Using 'funny' in the sense of horrific and absurd. Some folks are mortally afraid of moths. For others it's clowns. Neither bother me. Cockroaches, on the other hand: EEEEEEEEK!!!

I've blogged about my fears and phobias before. They're all fairly generic: heights, public speaking, the dentist, and of course, cockroaches. Shudders. I know I'm not alone here. Many people fear these things.

These days, I would have to say, my BIGGEST fear is something happening to my children. A close second is getting cancer again and not being around for my children. But even after saying this and knowing it to be true. I truly fear these things. I realise there's a bigger everyday fear that's always lurking.

Fear itself.

Yep. I have an anxiety disorder. My biggest fear is fear itself. This is tremendous fun. Said no one ever.

The thing is, even though I once had a pathological fear of childbirth, I faced it. Hearing that you have a cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the most frightening things ever. But I got through it.

Now I am left with the fear of it happening again. Even though my current reality is that I'm cancer free and well, the fear still intrudes.

Anxiety is so strange. At times you can pinpoint the triggering thoughts, other times it just pounces out of nowhere. Of course I've learnt all about the fight or flight instinct and how anxiety is necessary for human survival.

Additionally, my understanding is that being autistic means I am wired to be more prone to or predisposed to anxiety. So I decided to  name it Agnes and make an uneasy truce with her. I don't like her, but I understand why she exists.

There's a theory I've heard of that says fear can either mean Fear Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Don't you just love inspirational quotes? Yeah, me neither. But I have to admit, when I first began having panic attacks many years ago I often did the former. Until I realised: I don't run.

I avoid my fears and problems, sure. But running is stupid.

Seriously though, now I can say I (mostly) do the latter and face things. Sort of. Kind of. Sometimes.

What I mean is, the fear doesn't evaporate but I let Agnes tag along and I tell her what to do not vice versa. Occasionally she still manages to get the better of me. She's a freaking bitch so I expect that. Dammit.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of this true crime stuff which seems to be the thing these days. This is veering slightly off-topic, but I have a point so bear with me. It seems like an odd thing to be interested in, given my anxiety and self-confessed aversion to blood, guts and gore.

However, it's not that part of it that intrigues me. It's the psychology behind the crime or behaviour. How one individual can come from a tragic background and become a criminal, while another rises above it. The other day I heard a psychologist explaining what a sociopath is like. Supposedly they not only lack empathy but it goes further into complete callousness. According to this psychologist, sociopaths also don't experience stress or anxiety like others do.

In a weird way, understanding this helps me accept the things I dislike about myself. I don't like my anxiety, aka Agnes, but if I never felt it whatsoever, then I'd be a sociopath. Or something. Does that make sense?

I mean, obviously I'm just a little self absorbed or I wouldn't have a blog all about myself (ahem), but I'm not a sociopath. 

So yeah, my biggest fear is fear itself. And I'm okay with it. 

But anyone who's okay with cockroaches? PSYCHOPATHS. All of them. I don't need a psychologist to tell me that. 


What is your biggest fear?

Monday, 9 October 2017

No More Regrets

Well howdy doody and how are you? Can you believe I said 'howdy doody'? I don't even know what it means! Never mind.

I am  here to talk about regrets. I have blogged about this before and came up with a whole list which you can read here.

The thing is, I re-read the list and thought about it some more. Because I love to over think things. And I began to wonder.  The root cause at the crux of some of these regrets is my ongoing battle with anxiety.

The question I'm asking myself is this: is anxiety something you regret? I mean, if you have an anxiety disorder it's not really your fault, though it is your responsibility. Fault/blame and responsibility are two different things to my mind. You can't be blamed for struggling with such a thing, but you are responsible for managing it.

Considering that my anxiety is clearly linked to the fact that I'm autistic and that is to do with the way my  brain is wired, saying I regret certain things where anxiety is at play is almost like regretting my entire existence.

I guess I'm not making much sense. Bear with me. I mean, looking at that old list I made a lot decisions based on fear and not being able to manage negative emotions. But at the time, I didn't understand that. Perhaps I didn't have the maturity or the knowledge. I mean, I didn't even know that I'm autistic until I was 40!

And even when I knew that I had an anxiety disorder, I didn't really accept it truly and properly. When anxiety in the form of panic attacks first tapped me on the shoulder many years ago, I thought of it as something more like a broken arm or a virus. Eventually it would clear off and that would be the end of it. But as anyone who struggles with this beast knows, it simply doesn't work that way.

It's only through accepting it about yourself and taking responsibility for managing it can you move forward and live a decent life. And honestly, looking back on it, I wasn't even given adequate treatment at first. It was only through my own perseverance that I kept going and trying things. Nobody ever even suggested that I see some one or pursue any help. It's almost like you're not taken seriously with these things if you're a woman... Especially one like me who has been a stay at home parent for many years. Anyway, I was trying to make a point but as usual I am rambling!

I'm just wondering about the futility of regretting things in life when you're an autistic human who has an anxiety disorder. I can say that I regret anxiety taking over my life, but at the same time, I was never given the correct tools to address it.  Somehow it seems that I've had to be very resourceful in trying to help myself and come to terms with it.

I've had six years to digest my diagnonsense and it still seems like there are often things I have to figure out and try to come to terms with.

I'm not organised. I am not a happy bubbly type. I don't know how to put it into words without sounding really negative. I am not really the person who would ever take off and go trekking by myself or do big gutsy brave things. I am not loud or opinionated or ballsy. And while I admire people who are, I can only be myself.  I am stuck being myself. A lot of times I think I should be things like confident and positive and I'm just not.

It's like if some people work out something they want to do they seem to know exactly what to do and the steps to take and then sustain it. I'm not like that. I can do certain things at times for periods of time, but not sustain it long-term. I can do one thing really well for a while. I can't do all the things.

Having anxiety and being autistic and introverted and all those things takes up a great deal of energy. I am who I am. And it is what it is.

It sounds odd, but I've realised I have to forgive myself for a lot of my perceived regrets or mistakes I made.

Ultimately I have wonderful parents, Mickey Blue Eyes and the boys and a small circle of family and friends who care about me and mean the world to me. And I want to concentrate on that. I did make some good decisions in life. Not that I want to bang on about cancer all the time, but having a brush with it certainly makes you realise you don't want to waste energy on a bunch of regrets.

But I do regret the 'howdy doody' thing. That was pretty dumb.

What about you?

What is your attitude towards regrets? 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

An Enemy Named Agnes

Today I was determined to move my body. Thirty minutes into my workout, my arch nemesis arrives. Agnes taps on my shoulder, snarling. I call her that only because it's a name that starts with an A and ends with an S (although Y would work here too). And it's not one of my favourite names, to be honest. Apologies to any Agnes's out there. I'm sure you're lovely.

My Agnes isn't. I don't really like her at all, but I've more or less accepted her presence in my life. I knew she'd turn up.

For the past week I've marvelled at my equilibrium. It felt so good not to have Agnes around. But she's a sneaky one. It's like she just has to remind you of her evil existence.

"Don't get too contented!" she will snap. I never try to reason with Agnes these days. I just wait her out. Eventually she lopes away, tail between her legs.

I was able to get on with my day. Later, I turned on the television (apparently I'm a masochist - daytime TV SUCKS), to be greeted with the news that actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart sank.

Recently I received the all clear for the second year, which is a huge relief. But whenever these things happen - Olivia Newton John's recent recurrence after 25 years, for example - I am reminded of all the uncertainty I am left with.

No matter how many years go by with the all clear I can never truly be at ease and think I am untouchable and immune. Of course Agnes simply loves to crow about this.

I remind myself that my cancer was found 'early'. But then I wonder... Is the whole 'early detection' thing somewhat flawed? I say this because it was completely random that mine was found when it was. I went to the doctor for another reason (my smear), and luckily my GP is very thorough so she always does a breast exam as well. But what if my smear hadn't been due then, or I put it off the way so many women do? 

How long would it have taken for me to notice there were any changes, that I had a lump? By the time I did notice I'm sure it wouldn't have been 'early'. I am just not sure that 'early detection' is as easy and straight forward as we think. 

Having said that, I urge every one of you to have a good look and feel of your girls. At the moment it seems that early detection is all we've got until a cure is found. 

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to stay in the present moment and tell myself I am OK. I am a survivor. That I was lucky in an odd sort of way. 

No matter what Agnes thinks. 

Do you have a visitor like Agnes? 

Do you have your regular check-ups? Do it! 

Monday, 21 November 2016

News I Will Never Forget

Every now and again I emerge blinking and bewildered from my bubble. The little cocoon of obliviousness I have concocted in order to mosey along in this mad, mad world. 

Mostly (I'm ashamed to admit), I don't watch the news. It's a self-preservation thing. You see, I'm a bit wobbly. Beneath my placid exterior, lurks my familiar nemesis. That evil bitch known as anxiety. 

Unlike the skinny bitch inside me screaming to get out, whom I usually shut up with chocolate (BOOM, TISH), Anxiety Bitch is bit harder to tame. She screams. She lashes out. Pokes, prods and makes her evil presence known. I hate her. I'm still learning to let her rage on and not pay as much attention. It's working. Sorta, kinda.

Anyway, my point is, the news isn't my thing. For some reason it's all bad. Go figure. 

But there are certain things over the last 20 years or so that have busted into my bubble.

I do remember hearing about these things...

The Port Arthur Massacre

This was made even more horrific by the fact that Mickey Blue Eyes and I had been there just months prior while on our honeymoon. It could very easily have been us. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. We visited again five years ago with the boys. It was already an eerie place, given it's history. Now it's unspeakably sad and sinister.  

The death of Princess Diana 

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar... 

No wait. That's an 80's song. Things get confusing when you're in and out of a bubble.

I was working in call centre for NRMA at the time. I was taking a call from a customer. Because that's what you do in that job, oddly enough. Which explains why I don't do it anymore. But I digress...

The woman on the phone was very distraught and informed me that the news of Princess Diana's death had just been reported on the news. Pretty soon everyone was talking about in it the office.  The mood was sombre. 


I was in 'Mother Of A Newborn Zombie Land' when this happened. I'd crashed early and managed to get some precious sleep. Mickey Blue Eyes came into the bedroom and woke me up beside himself. He said something about planes crashing into the World Trade Centre. I was just SO PISSED that he woke me. I failed to grasp the enormity of what was happening in my sleep deprived daze. Eventually I stumbled out to the living room. I watched the images on the screen in horror. 

The thought that echoed through my mind: What kind of a crazy arsed, fucked up world have I brought my beautiful, innocent baby into? 

Those were the things that pierced through my bubble. 

And of course recently there was the whole US election thing. I've never paid much attention in previous years, but it was kind of hard to miss it this time around. But I'm not saying another word about that. Nope. No way.

With the way 2016 has gone it won't be long until the next bit of batshit crazy news. There's still another week of November and the whole of December to get through... GULP.

If anyone needs me I'll be in my bubble. 

Linking up for Life This Week and Open Slather.

What news will you never forget? 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Micro Confessions Of A Cry Baby

Welcome to another glorious Monday, the most dreaded day of the week! I have a few little things to get off my chest. The first one is this:

I hate everyone and everything in the whole World EVER. Thank you, PMS. No, FUCK you, PMS! When I say everyone, I mean everyone. Yes, even myself. ESPECIALLY myself!

Why? Because I'm a big cry baby sook who's too scared to go to the dentist. On Thursday, one of my bottom teeth broke. I have to go and have it fixed this morning. I'm dreading it. As you are reading this I'm probably trapped in that descending chair, the ominous sound of the drill reverberating through my skull. SAVE ME!

Or slap me in the face and tell me to get on with it like a grown up!

I just arrived home from wandering around the shops with Mr 11 for a few hours. While there, I spotted Michelle Bridges signing books. I felt like punching her, but have you seen the biceps on that woman? Look, I have nothing against Michelle Bridges, really. I even have one of her books and a couple of her DVDs. I just feel like punching everyone lately.

On Monday week Mickey Blue Eyes has to have another knee operation. For those of you who don't know, he injured his knee playing soccer some months ago. Surgery was required to place some sort of wire inside to get it moving again. Then came months of physiotherapy.  Now he has to have the wire taken back out. Fun times.

Additionally, school holidays commence in this same week. So I'll have Mick hobbling around and the kids home from school. AWESOME. Yes, I'm a horrific bitch from PMS Hell at the moment. Deal with it.

I'm also suffering from THIS:

Image from

In fact, this seems to be the story of my life. Can you hear the weepy violin music?

Don't you just hate people who whinge and complain about stuff in their life but never seem to do anything about it? Seriously. I mean, why haven't I just COME OUT OF MY SHELL by now?

I just keep on whinging and whining about wanting alone time but I haven't actually plotted to murder my family as yet. What am I like?

WHAT a whinger. How hard could it be? I could just poison them or something. Surprisingly, my cooking has failed to do so thus far. I mean, it's the quiet ones you've gotta watch, right?

I've never quite understood that expression. Watch doing what exactly? Reading a book? Scrolling through Facebook. Sure, watch me if you want, but it won't be very interesting. Unlike this blog, which is RIVETING. Plus, it might a little creepy. Watching quiet people, that is. We're just being our silent little selves, minding our own business, not saying a word; while you're rudely staring. Who's the weird one now?? Just saying.

Interestingly, when I Googled Little Miss Quiet I discovered that she doesn't exist. There is only a MR Quiet. Meanwhile, there is a Little Miss Chatterbox, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Fun and a Little Miss Giggles.Where is Little Miss Premenstrual And Moody?

A funny thing happened yesterday when I was at my Tafe course. I realised I was stuck to the chair. It transpired that I had chewing gum stuck on my pants. Thankfully it was the same colour as my pants. You have to be grateful for the little things.

I'm just trying to think of as much crap as possible to distract myself from thinking about my visit to the dentist. It sort of works a bit.

My mind will go:

Butterflies. Rainbows. DENTIST!

Cake. Carpenters. DENTIST!

Puppies. Chocolate. DENTIST!

Books. Unicorns. DENTIST!



That's the sound of my Anxiety Monsters laughing their evil, mocking laugh at me.

The stupid thing is, I was never scared of the dentist when I was younger. I had several teeth yanked out before I had braces. I had it done awake in the chair without sedation. What happened to that girl? Why I am a such a head case in middle age? Furthermore, why am boring you with my whining? Because I can, I presume. So ner.

I've decided that I'm definitely coming back as a man. I'm over all the moods and pain. I simply can't wait for the cluster fuck that will be menopause. Coming soon to a psychotic bitch near you.

In other news, I spent the afternoon going over Mr 13's homework and assessments with him earlier. Amongst all his paperwork he had a sheet listing medieval crimes and punishment. Punishments included: The Rack,Water Torture, Rat Torture, Foot Roasting and Burning at the Stake.

These seemed like quite reasonable punishments to me in my pleasantly premenstrual state.

Oh well, that's my cheery little existence at the moment. Upon reflection I'm thinking that I have such an intense dental phobia that I'm considering exposure therapy instead of just turning up for the appointment. But they might think that I'm some crazy person who likes lurking around the dentist waiting rooms while attempting to get used to the idea and the smell and the noise...... Gulps. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Don't you just love my rambling posts? What else can I confess?

Oh, I've lost around 8 kilos so far on Weight Witches.Which isn't much really, considering I've been going for several months. However, I decided at the beginning that I'm happy with losing a small amount of weight and keeping it off long term, rather than a huge amount of weight which I just end up putting back on, plus extra. Because, let's face it, I'll never be a skinny bitch. I love cake too much.

And with that, I can't think of a suitable ending to this clunky post, so I'll just back out of blogger awkwardly the same way I back out of rooms awkwardly. I'm awkward as fuck in person, so I may as well be authentic online as well. Cheers.

Linking up for I Must Confess.

How is Monday treating you?

PS: After getting all worked up in anticipation for my visit to the dentist they have rescheduled my appointment for Wednesday. I'm not sure if this is a reprieve or a further 48 hours of fretting. Sigh.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Buried Hopes Of A Bogan (Or Something)

It's hard to believe that I could have any regrets. I mean, just look at my life. I'm a 42 year old unemployable, overweight bogan living in a fibro box in Boganville. It doesn't get any better than that, right? However the truth is, my life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes now. That's a sentence I once read in a book and I say it over to comfort myself in these times that try the soul. Not really. The first part about the buried hopes, anyway. I've just always wanted to use that line out of Anne Of Green Gables. Ahem.

Anyway, onto my regrets. Deep regretful sigh. SIGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Surprisingly I do have  a few. I think it would probably be a good thing to confess to them and let them go. I'll feel so much better and move forward free from regrets, a huge weight finally lifted from my shoulders. That, or I'll just add this post to the list. Who knows? Only one way to find out. In no particular order I present my list of bogan regrets:

  • I regret decorating the living room of my parents house with a texta pen when I was around three years old. Sorry Mum!
  • I regret kicking that boy in the shins at school when he tried to comfort me because I was peeved about not getting to go home early one day when my brother did. Even though I don't remember exactly who you were. Sorry, dude.
  • I regret reading my Enid Blyton books under the desk at school. (Actually, no I don't. Honestly, what 10 year old book worm could put those books down and concentrate on their long division just when George and Timmy the dog were about to catch those nasty smugglers? None, right? The thing was impossible.)
  • I regret cutting off my long hair when I was 14.
  • I regret then thinking that a mullet perm was a good idea. Or any perm.
  • I regret wasting so much energy thinking I was 'fat' when I was younger.
  • I regret turning down that lucrative modelling contract when I was younger because I thought I was 'fat'.
  • Okay, there was no contract. I just made that last point up to see if you were paying attention. As if you would believe that anyway. Did you? Don't answer that.
  • I regret making that up, okay?! (Not really, I have to get your attention somehow. Ahem.)
  • I regret saving up a sizeable chunk of money when I was young, ostensibly so I could go overseas and then just getting married and putting it into a mortgage and never going, because now that will never happen. An even deeper regretful sigh. SIGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
  • I regret perceiving being such a quiet person as extremely negative trait and not seeing it as a possible strength in having a library career.
  • I regret the consequence of the above perception. This resulted in me 'burning my bridges' in almost every job I had. I ended up leaving because I believed it was only a matter of time before I was fired. I have since learnt that this is common thing that Aspie's do.
  • Sometimes I regret not knowing that I am Aspie sooner than age 40. Unsure if it would have made any difference so I don't spend too much time on this regret.
  • I regret turning down Brad Pitt's proposal because then he went and married that bloody pouty Angelina Jolie biatch.
  • Okay, you caught me making up stuff again. I admit, it was a bit obvious that time. As if anyone would turn me down for Angelina. Unthinkable, right? Pfffffffffffffft.
  • I regret replacing my exercise addiction with a cakie one because now I'm struggling to reverse that.
  • I regret going to Weight Watchers a few years ago and doing so well, losing weight, only to fall off the wagon spectacularly and regain. See above point.
  • I really regret that anxiety has become such a presence in my life and is something I struggle with constantly. Enormous regretful sigh containing all the sorrows of the ages. SIGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Having now confessed to such a long list of regrets I must add that I am (slowly) learning to accept myself and the way things are right now, rather than focusing on 'could have beens' and 'shoulds' and 'what ifs' and all that maudlin stuff that can be quite draining and a waste of energy. After all, I haven't listed any murders, have I? Oh wait. I accidentally murdered my dog. Oops. Long story. I do deeply and profoundly regret that. Sorry Betsy!

Right. That's it. Nothing else. I've never been arrested, been caught naked or done drugs or anything illegal. Damn. I'm actually frightfully boring. Maybe I better go and get arrested just so I can add something interesting to my list. I regret being boring. On second thought, being boring is what I do best. Especially with this blog. You're welcome.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

   What are your regrets? Or do you have more of an Edith Piaf approach to life and have no regrets?

Friday, 23 November 2012

T'is The Season To Be Jolly...Worried Part Two Plus Further Tales of Woe

I have been asked how I coped with everything at the time, when Micky Blue Eyes had Cancer. I can never really come up with an answer.

When you really have no choice but to cope, somehow you do. That's the best I can come up with. Sometimes it seems as if I cope on automatic pilot at the time then fall to pieces later. That does seem to be my tendency.

As I mentioned, Mick had to have chemo which would be ongoing for six months. 

Then we found out his brother had Cancer. Only for him, it seemed it was an even more extreme situation. The cancer was in a bad position and quite advanced.

So began a three year battle for him that ended when he passed away on May 13th, 2008. 

Previous to this we found out that the Cancer was, in fact, hereditary. It was caused by something called HNPCC which is short for Hereditary NonPolyposis Colorectal Cancer. This means the person (ie Mick) already has genes that would predispose them to certain cancers. 

We also found out that I was pregnant again. Something we hadn't really expected, but were thrilled.

Until, at the routine 19 weeks scan, they were unable to find any heart beat. The pregnancy was too advanced so I would have to deliver the baby.

Once again we were having to experience the unthinkable. I delivered our stillborn son, Daniel, on 24th August, 2007. The cord had wrapped around his neck.

I have to admit I've struggled rather a lot in the following years. Paranoia pervaded my every thought and I became fearful and anxious waiting for the next terrible thing to happen.

I was convinced we were cursed or jinxed. I tried to remember if I'd ever broken a mirror or a black cat had crossed my path. And I'm not usually superstitious. But suddenly I was.

Which wasn't extremely helpful because I was pregnant again. But of course this time all went well.

A blessing after a lot of heartache on November 2, 2008

After a shaky start (I was horribly sick for the first trimester) and a dramatic finish (emergency cesarean)  Mr 4 was born on November 2, 2008.  I'm assuming we just don't have girls for whatever reason. But that's fine, all I wanted was a healthy, living, breathing baby.

I love having boys. 

However, I am still trying to cure my paranoia after yet another family member now has Cancer. 

I'll also be holding my breath until December 14th, when Micky Blue Eyes has his colonoscopy.  Hoping to be boring.

"It's all very boring," the doctor informed us a year or two ago after the procedure.  Immediately we decided that we love nothing more than being boring. Boring is the best.

Bring on boring. 

Have you ever felt cursed or jinxed?  Are you superstitious?

T'is The Season To Be Jolly...Worried

A recent trip to the shops reminded me that Christmas is coming all to soon. The garish decorations everywhere and Mariah Carey belting out All I Want For Christmas were a bit of a give away.

All I've ever wanted for Christmas is Mariah Carey to shut up, but you get that.

Anyway,T'isThe Season to be Jolly and The Most Wonderful Time of The Year and all that. Apparently. Supposedly.

 I know I should really be happy and enjoy Christmas, especially having young children.

 Yet this time of year comes around and the normal low-level anxiety that seems to frequently linger around me is replaced by nail biting, heart gripping anxiety. No, it's not the fear of A Very Bogan Christmas. Although that will probably happen.

Every year, in December, just before Christmas, Micky Blue Eyes has his annual colonoscopy. He seems rather blase about it. I worry. Endlessly.

My reaction to hearing Mariah Carey for the
the millionth time is similar to this. Oh and thinking
about Mick's check up..

Normally, I forget every little thing on a daily basis. Where I put my glasses five minutes ago, what day it is, but the events of October 14th, 2004 are permanently etched into my brain. The day Micky Blue Eyes was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Master 11 was Master 3 and Master 8 was only 7 months old. 

We had just returned from a holiday in Cairns.  One night Mick fainted in the bathroom. I urged him to go the doctors as it didn't seem normal to faint for no reason. So he did.

They found nothing wrong and all seemed well, until one afternoon about a week or so later he had a sudden attack of the runs with rather a lot of blood. Enough to be alarmed.

Back to the doctors. Blood tests revealed he was anaemic.  He was sent to hospital.

"It's probably an ulcer," the doctor informed him "it won't kill you."

They took him to theatre.

Then I got the news the doctor was coming around in the morning to meet with us. My stomach turned. This couldn't be good.

He got straight to the point.

"There is a growth," he said "there is absolutely no doubt that it's Cancer."

He had to have a blood transfusion immediately.

Dr Hack* called into the room to inform us how he intended to hack Mick apart and operate.

The surgery was being scheduled for Monday.

Meanwhile, he could go home for the weekend and relax.

Um, what?

I don't think I've relaxed since that day.

At home, Mick was not particularly relaxed either. Funny about that.

A family friend rang after my mother had spoken to her and told her the grim news.

Being a nurse, she was familiar with the surgeon who was planning to hack Mick apart on Monday.

She advised us to go to another specialist surgeon.

If he went through with the procedure on Monday, with Dr Hack "You'll be crooker than Rookwood**." Her words.

Frantic phone calls were made.

The doctor oozed condescension when I called to tell him of our intention of switching surgeons. I didn't care. All I cared about was Mick.

The surgery was scheduled for November 1st and went well. Then came the unwelcome news. He would have to have chemo-therapy. For six months. 

We were a month into that nightmare when the next bombshell came.

Mick's brother was also diagnosed with Cancer.

More about that next time.

Yes, all I really want for Christmas is for Micky Blue Eyes to have the all clear. And I still want Mariah Carey shut up.

What stresses you about Christmas?  Or is it only a happy time for you?

*Not his real name.
**Rookwood is a cemetery