The Chicklet and her anxiety and my own head space


I am so unbelievably tired.  And I’m in more pain than usual, because I have taken my one pain pill for today.  And slow release is rubbish.

The Chicklet is not well. She has gastro and we all know that’s not fun.  A lot of us auto-immuners have gastro pretty constantly anyway, so I’m sure there’s a lot of empathy out there for her.

But here’s the thing. She works herself into a frenzy about gastro. She always has. For some reason she thinks she’s dying and has developed a deep anxiety about all things tummy ache!

So I have to help her through the anxiety attacks, because of course anxiety can physically cause more gastro symptoms.  I have to talk her down, remind her to breathe.  Talk to her about all of the diseases she’s afraid she has and explain to her again that it’s only a bit of food poisoning, not the beginnings of diabetes or the bubonic plaque.  Remind her that its anxiety that’s taking control and she needs to get control of the anxiety. She asks me to stay close to her, and just keep talking to her. It calms her.  Reassures her. Gets her through the worst moments, and then she can calm herself.

“Please, just keep talking” she says.  “Your voice is calming me down.”

And I do, and the anxiety dissipates and she feels better.  For a while, until another stabbing pain comes, and the anxiety builds again, and we go through the breathing and the visualisations and the logic that there is nothing serious wrong with her, all over again.

But I am so damn tired. I just want to tell her to be quiet and go to bed and for gods sake stop making such a damn fuss!

Because I haven’t slept.  And I’m in pain.  And she IS fine, I know she is.

But she has anxiety. And I can’t be that cruel to her. When she’s in the grip of an anxiety attack, she needs help to work through the strategies that she has learned. She needs reminding, and if I stay with her, very soon she will relax, and go to her room, and have a nap.  She will be calm enough to sleep, and then I will go to sleep too.

But first I will work on my own head space as well. Because the Chicklet is an object lesson in how my own thoughts are making my own life harder right now too.  With my anger at the self-absorbed doctors with their flawed studies, that over ride my perfectly compliant patient record that they use to deny me pain relief.  I am furious.

But being angry just makes the pain worse.

I can get angry all I want, it’s not going to get me my pain medication.  All it does is make my muscles tense, ties my stomach in knots and makes me even more likely to snap at a poor kid who didn’t do anything wrong.

So.  Head reset.  There’s no way around this, just through it.  Same as the Chicklet.  Deep breaths.  It isn’t as bad as I think it is.  Don’t think about the next four days and how long the time ahead will be, just think about now. Right now. Just this moment.  Use the ice packs, have cold showers.  Get up and walk around, even though it hurts, because I need to keep my joints moving.  And try to think about something else. Play a mindless iPad game. I just bought a new phone and I’m a tech geek extraordinaire. I should be enjoying that. But I’m in too much pain to even open the box and plug it in.  I’m certainly not capable of making any more NDIS related phone calls.  I will tackle all of that when I have sufficient pain relief and sleep under my belt to be effective.

So for now, its keep checking on the Chicklet, and help her through. Helping her makes me feel better about myself.  And when she’s sleeping, I’ll find something on Netflix and veg out.

A positive attitude can’t make all the pain go away, but a negative attitude most definitely makes pain worse.


  1. Thanks Rochelle. I think sooner or later one or both of us are just going to fall asleep and there’ll be nothing we can do about it! It will pass. Best to you x


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