Sunday, 14 September 2014

On Being Eyam

I always remember from school the story of the brave little village in Derbyshire that stopped the plague from spreading by having a 'lockdown' and allowing the plague to 'do its worst.'

It makes me think back to my family history: I know my grandpa, Ivan, suffered terribly from anxiety. As well he might have: after his father died, his mother - a successful music hall singer - suffered such terrible depression that she 'drank herself to death' according to family lore.

I don't know a lot about my grandpa, who died when I was only 11, but I do know, also, that the poor man died from anxiety.  He was so anxious when diagnosed with cancer that he missed several crucial doctors' appointments - who knows if he could have been saved, but he was only in his early 60s when he died, and his initial cancer was prostate cancer, which is one of the more treatable forms of this horrible disease.

My dad, also, suffers from anxiety and although I won't share much on here because I know he wouldn't want me to, it has blighted his life. It also blighted my childhood - his moods as a result of the anxiety, and some of the things I saw and heard made me into a nervous child, and an anxious adult.

I'm not saying there is no genetic predisposition towards anxiety - in fact, I'm pretty sure there is.  But these things can stay dormant if not 'activated' by exterior circumstances.

Anyway, I've had a few rumblings of anxiety this week - and I'd be na├»ve to think that this wasn't going to happen.  I've simply got to let my body know that these 'signals' are wrong, and it will stop sending them. Before they were partially blocked by medication.  Now they are getting through - of course they are - and I simply need to calm my system down. These feelings are no longer needed.

Which is where Eyam comes in.

Because, the buck stops here.

As far as it is in my power,  I will confront this tendency within myself and not expose my children to the toxic environment that generates this kind of emotion.  That's not to say they won't ever have any anxiety, but they certainly won't learn it from me - I am determined. It dies out here.

I won't write a lot more about the 'A' word, as focusing on it gives it power.

And I don't blame my dad for potentially causing or "activating" my anxiety any more than I blame my grandpa (and who knows who else beforehand) for causing his... But we know so much more about mental health these days, that I do feel that I would be responsible if I passed it on to my children.

So the buck stops here.

Just call me Eyam.


As for the kiddies - Evie has started to have adventures.  She is often crawling off to the playroom, and, when I peek around the corner, is having the time of her life, playing with everything from pens to Joe's forbidden cars. And she knows full well what she's doing - as you can tell from her smile when she's "caught out."
Joe has finally started to say a few more words, and join in more with the others.

And Lily is exhausted after her first 5 day week at school... poor little bean.

Talking of beans, the little embie is causing nothing but trouble... sickness, tiredness, moodiness - mind you, what will I be able to blame those things on once he's born? :)

Timmy has become really "poo aware" and recently came running up to me on the beach with a handful of his "leavings", throwing them at me joyfully...

"Is that caca?" I asked (French for poo poo).
"Yes!" he said, delightedly, hurling it onto the picnic mat.

The little monkey.

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