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Anxiety and Brain Surgery

19th December 2017

I read this today on a friend’s Facebook wall …

“You never really recover from depression.
Or maybe I should say you recover, yes, but you never really forget it. How could you? It's like being out on 'day release' knowing you're being executed later that evening when everyone else goes home for supper.
It's like being able to hear the rumble of bombers overhead, knowing they've come to destroy everything. And everyone else is queuing for lattes.”

I can so relate to this in my past ... primarily with the sheer terror last year of knowing I had to have brain surgery. Lose the last bit of control I was desperately hanging on to. Everyone else seemingly acting like all was normal, while feeling like I was waiting to be shot instead. Trying to keep calm and not go insane…

But then with more memories it brings back all the times in the past when I felt nothing but sheer panic with a little bit of depression thrown in. No one seemed to notice I was anything other than angry, a seeming control freak who didn’t want others to get drunk or complained about whatever problem was making me feel worse. What I couldn’t cope with, but was seemingly not an issue to them. But have you ever been totally terrified and feeling you will lose control and wanting someone to support you- yet they are not able to be there for you? To hold or calm you, or drive you home, or even react properly as have had too much alcohol and are not ‘getting it’. The energy used to ‘keep going’ and drive yourself (and your precious family) home is simply exhausting. It feels even more of the world is heaped on your shoulders. And the fear transforms into anger and hate.

I coped with various levels of these feelings for years, and no one really seemed to be able to help or even understand. No I didn’t live with an alcoholic, but even one day a week of him going out and having a few pints and the panic and exhaustion that followed took me a week to recover from. I must have spent well over 20 years (yes years, not months) with various forms of this, then the last 5 or so on a much lower scale as I had finally managed to address the issues and my inner demons using various alternative energy medicine tools to support myself.

Then I had the time stopping diagnosis that I had a brain tumour. The world was even more fuzzy and distorted for a few weeks than I ever thought possible. It beat the time when I was 17 and finding out my boyfriend had just drowned, several times over…

But I’d never worried about that one happening?! Apart from my Nan’s comment when I was a child about cutting off  my red curls if I had a brain tumour, I don't think the thought had even really crossed my mind. I found it almost quite ironic that it was probably the one thing I’d not worried over yet it happened anyway.

I feel one of the things that helped me most , yet also what upset me most, was when I knew I was having brain surgery others seemed to think it was ‘OK’ to be scared - panic- terrified... It was sort of understandable (even if I felt it a little dismissed about the severity of my panic, especially with the doctors) … No one tried to talk me out of crying, tell me it was my fault... friends sent healing and support, offers of help, my husband just held me.

Yet the 1000's of times in the past when I had a similar level or sheer terror or panic I tried to keep silent, as I know when I expressed it I was either silenced or ignored or dismissed. Told that I needed to not think that way and ruin things, nor upset myself (or others) … This terror I had dealt with for years.


A brain tumour made it understandable - acceptable - OK - I was allowed to feel whatever emotion I needed. Justified. Yet managing similar feelings for years - alone - made the silent internal panic easier to cope with. Both with  the numbness before (I had dealt with far more severe panic attacks than this and survived) and after the surgery - when I was totally dizzy for 3 or so weeks after. Actually dizzy doesn’t do it justice-  it was like sitting on a spinning teacup ride at the fair while starting to feel a little nauseous if you tried to do anything than just go with it. Having to eat there, walk to the toilet on there, be able to think enough and talk so it made sense - still on the ride.   

Just knowing others were there and understanding my terror helped. They couldn't do much - but they were there, trying to do what they could and help. After all I was allowed to feel what I was feeling with a brain tumour. It was acceptable. Plus everyone said it would stop in a few months maximum. It had a time limit.

I think I cried several times a day for about 6 months, deep from my soul tears, enormous emotions - released all my fears, anger, bottled up feelings from 40+ years ... plus I felt a strange gratitude, a love of even simple things, something small would make me cry tears of joy. It might be happy-  but to me it was still another emotion you are not ‘allowed’ to express…

My internal prison was worse than brain surgery!

Although I will add - it's like having the tumour and brain surgery burst the bubble. I felt if I could survive that then I could survive far more than I ever gave myself credit for. I found out I am far stronger than I ever thought possible.

Most of the fear, anxiety and depression has melted away ... 💕 Combined with a little bit of CBT for deep issues  I knew I needed help to get rid of. But now I understood them. I could even challenge ‘myself’ to address them and take steps I wouldn’t have dared to before.

How much was from the fight or flight reflex – which is supposed to stem from your cerebellum (the area where my tumour was) - I don't know? But over 18 months later and it's definitely a case of living through hell to see heaven 💗

Yes you never really forget it ... X

Quote above from Tom Morley at https://medium.com/@vibenavigator    

Next - “Alcohol wishes…”