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Putting my "face" on again...

Community Member

Hi All,

This is my first time posting on BB and would like to start by saying thank you to all the other brave people who have posted and have given me the confidence to do so.

I have always had some form of anxiety even as a small child. This did not effect me too much until the past few years. The switch was flipped when my Dad pasted away after a long battle with Hep C, my brother in law came out and left my sister, my work circumstances changed, which left me feeling isolated and I moved out into a place by myself creating more isolation and financial difficulties.

During the past few months I have had to take leave without pay and move home with my Mum, whom I love dearly, but am having difficulties living with her. I have finally revealed my "true self" the one that is not always bright and bubbly and happy with what is happening but with this has come major issues. My sister has basically stopped talking to me about anything but surface comments and my Mum has become my "fixer" and has been forcing changes and pushing me into situations to the point of actually triggering a major panic attack in a social situation.

I thought that letting my guard down and letting everyone in would make it easier for me but all it has done is withdraw more form my family and put my "happy face" back on creating MASSIVE anxiety to the point that I can now feel my breathing is shallow and my mind is racing.

I don't know what to do anymore as I have lived the past 20 years putting on my "happy face" so that everyone around me can feel better but I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. Will I always have to play "happy me"?

Thanks for reading.

1 Reply 1

Just Sara
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Welcome Emmy;

Your 1st post eh? Well done! You sound as though you've come to the right place (space) It takes courage and strength to open up. Kudos!

Your life sounds a bit chaotic to say the least. Do you have support from your GP and psychologist? If not, your GP will be able to refer you. If you're in a major city or large regional area, there are mental health teams at most hospitals to assist with referrals and support. Lifeline can be a treasure.

Are there friends you can talk with? You sister sounds like she's got issues of her own too. With your mum, she isn't trained in how to help you. She's probably supporting you the only way she knows how; fixing you is a way to take the pressure off herself and her helplessness in watching you go through your pain. It'd be ideal if you could take your mask off and ask her for what you truly need from her. For instance, listening to you without trying to give advice or judge you, research depression and its affects or go with you to see your doctor. (As an observer)

If you show people how chirpy you are, how will they know how to support you? It takes so much courage and strength to 'come out of your shell' and be true to yourself, but the benefits are great. It was only last year I turned up on my mothers doorstep in my dressing gown at 7 am crying and hugging her saying; "I need my mother" I was 55! Please don't leave things till you're my age to ask for help.

In saying that, I do know how isolated you feel. All of us on BB understand. Isolation is part of feeling 'different' and not fitting in. You're young and still have many life events to go through to give experience and wisdom. If your mum is trying to force you to make changes, the pressure of not letting her know it's hurting you, could be worse than speaking up. Taking a 'risk' in supporting yourself by being 'real' I'm sure will pay off in some positive way. Recovery is a slow process in the beginning. Tell your mum (and yourself) too much too fast can cause more harm than good.

Good luck with everything. Let me know how things go. I'm here to listen if you feel you can't open up to your family.

Kind thoughts...Dizzy x