I had a strange thing happen to me a couple of weeks ago. It was something that I had often read about but thankfully had never experienced before.
It all started at the end of the school holidays, when hubby was planning a trip back home to NSW, taking the kids for a family visit. It's a two day car trip, and we usually all go and make the most of hotel free wifi and bakery goodies at most rest stops. This time, however I had to stay home for work and it was the only time the kids could go before school started.
The week leading up to the trip was a busy one. I washed clothes, dug out suitcases from the cupboard and wrote lists of what they would need, Not because I'm a control freak but because of the time Hubby forgot his wallet only realising two hours into the trip......
(2 hours travelling + 2 hours drive back home to collect the wallet + 2 hours drive back to where we were when the shit hit the fan) = a frosty start to the holiday
The kids were excited to see family and go on another road trip. Usually
we drive inland through country towns across the border into NSW and it's quite a nice drive. This time however they decided they would take a different route and head into Sydney for the day, then drive on to our hometown.
So while the kids packed and made sure they had the essentials....ipods, iphones, dvd players, headphones, dvds, charging cords, car adaptors, stuffed animals, music cds, sunscreen, hats and good shoes (for walking across the Harbour Bridge), I thought about what I would do for my week alone, and I was kind of excited!
I could clean the house and have it EXACTLY the way it was in the afternoon as when I left for work in the morning!
All my washing would be up to date! No digging for clean socks this week thank you very much!
No cooking, that's right! NO COOKING! Just give me healthy frozen meals! I might grab a pizza one night and some noodles the next!
I could catch up on Game of Thrones, I only have 3 seasons to get through!
I could read all of my untouched house and home magazines and because the house was STILL clean and tidy, I wouldn't feel guilty!
I had my week planned out!
The night before they left I started to feel apprehensive, and I don't know why. I couldn't work out why I was feeling a bit down, the kids were excited and I knew they would have an amazing time!
We all woke early the next morning. The car was packed quickly, and I kissed and hugged them all goodbye. I watched them drive away with their arms out of the windows waving frantically. I waved too until I couldn't see them anymore. Before I had even walked back into the garage I had burst into tears.
I felt sick and lonely and lost.
It had been three minutes. I went back to bed and my daughter sent me a text from our front gate -
WE MISS YOU ALREADY
I don't know why I was feeling like this, worried and lonely - maybe it was because they were going to have a great time and I had to stay home? Or was it that I was worried about them travelling without me?
All I know is that for the rest of the first day, I was a tearful, nervous mess. I thought I'd keep busy by cleaning, and by midday I had cleaned out the fridge, tidied the linen closet and started to sort out the pantry.
It was then, while in the confines of the pantry that I started to feel unwell, I started to cry and I couldn't breathe. I thought the walls were closing in on me and my heart was racing. I ran outside and thought I was either having a panic attack or anxiety episode.
I have never suffered from anything like this before. Seriously I love my own time, I've travelled through America TWICE by myself and never once felt like I was losing control. I love going to the movies alone. When I was overseas, I was alone but I never felt lonely....I had a purpose, a reason to be there.
I was so anxious that I didn't know what to do. I knew I had a week until my family were home and I felt helpless. And confused (Michelle you're supposed to be having FUN!). Did I need medication to calm me down, or a good walk around the farm, or did I just need to relax and breathe?
That first night was hard, but made easier when the kids called and sent through photos of their travels, and the next day I started to feel better, I went to work and it was good to be with people. I went home to an empty house, watered the plants, fed the guinea fowl, and settled down in front of the tv to watch American Pickers, and flick through some magazines.
My routine over the next few days was basically the same, and I was starting to enjoy it! I'd get home from work, get some jobs done, and plant myself on the couch. I was still missing my family but I didn't feel as anxious as I did on the day they left, and I could count down the days until they would come home.
I was finally enjoying my own time and it was grand. After their week away they arrived safely home, but I still remember how I felt that first day, and I'm not really sure IF it was a panic attack or anxiety but I can only feel for those who suffer from these overwhelming conditions on a regular basis.
Farmers Wifey xo