Dancing with the Queens, not the Black Dog
Anxiety is a nasty piece of work, certainly not welcome in our house, but thinks it can reside here & add additional drama & darkness to what is already a daily ticking bomb that sometimes goes off with no warning & sometimes can be diffused, but walking through a minefield with every step you take can be draining & exhausting.
Anxiety is common in people with autism, although autism isn’t a mental health condition,anxiety is a consequence of it.
Anxiety & depression are mental disorders that can manifest into physical symptoms that take over daily life. The destruction it causes can be catastrophic. A fantastic online resource is Sane
So after getting the official diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder for my daughter, it actually felt like a relief for both her & myself. I remember feeling like that with my son’s autism diagnosis. It’s not about having or wanting a label, it’s about being able to reach out & get support. If you go through life battling against yourself, the Black Dog will do it’s best to win. If you seek help, get the right support, mix with your tribe then you can cope so much better.
At a time where my daughter’s education is at the most stressful & important of her life so far & every moment in school counts, she fell deeply into a dark pit. Chest pains, dizziness, sickness & fear of leaving the house.(This, coupled with my son became highly destructive & both were triggered by each other’s condition. It’s no wonder it lead to a virus attacking us & knocking us off our feet, particularly me!) The anxiety had a tight hold & she didn’t go into school for two weeks.
There was a brief glimpse of happiness & mojo rising as during that time off she & her elder sister went to see All Time Low. Part of their Christmas & early birthday gifts with added bonus of ‘meet & greet’. Music has always been big in our house & the importance of it connecting with you, helping you through hard times is something I totally get & respect, so it’s natural to me to try & fulfill these dreams of meeting their idols & going to gigs and besides, focusing on something she was passionate about & got her out of the house, even out of her comfort zone was worth putting the effort in for. Such a shame the virus then gave her a set back & she had more time off school.
The time she was off she didn’t revise. She couldn’t face it. School were understanding & concerned. They were pleased she wanted support & were working on initiatives to help. She already has a mentor & there are some super outside agencies that work alongside the school to help students.
But what got her through this dark time? RuPaul’s Drag Race! Binge watching, totally absorbed & fell in love with some of the contestants & their inspiring stories of neglect, hate, struggles & hard times. Many things she felt she could relate to.
I am a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community (Pride bracelets available from my store & they help raise funds for Birmingham Out Central, a Youth Group for 11-19 year olds)
So it just happened that Klub Kids were doing a U.K Tour & their Twisted Circus Tour was coming to Birmingham. I contacted the organiser to see what deals were available & managed to get hold of ‘Mix & Mingle’ tickets.
To say this was the happiest I’ve seen my daughter in a while is an understatement, meeting such huge influencers & inspirational people meant so much to her. She felt a great need to tell them how they’d helped her overcome recent darkness. She was happy & content surrounded by people she felt were her tribe. When you surround yourself with like minded inspiring people, & are in your comfort zone, you feel free to be you. A person should not be defined by their disorder but that their disorder is something they manage, something that can often take over & be louder than anything else but with support, understanding, sticking together with those you feel comfortable with you can find strength & fall back on these moments to help steer you through stormy times. It doesn’t mean you can’t face fears & cross barriers out of your comfort zone, but learning techniques to get through is the key to control & it’s the emotional part of your brain that hi-jacks that control when anxiety kicks in hard. Learning to use your ‘thinking’ part of the brain to out smart the flood of stress hormones can reduce an attack quicker & restore calmness.
Anxiety & depression has the power to control you & try & determine who you are, but you are you & NOT your disorder.
Dancing with the Queens is far nicer than dancing with Black Dog.