Let it be

In case anyone is wondering, yes this post is named after that wonderful song by The Beatles. Why? Simply because when I was having a hard time this week, this song came on the radio and I realized that to keep moving on I had to put the past behind me. I had to stop thinking about what I could have done differently and “Let it be”. I had to get past the guilt and put it behind me. After all you can’t change the past.

Now you are probably wondering what I did that was so terrible, what I did that makes me feel guilty. Well here it goes… I feel guilty that my anxiety led to me quitting my job. There I said it. I had a great job, my employers were two of the nicest people you could ever meet and I looked after their children, who I loved to bits. I was happy and had never felt anxious at work, actually my work distracted me from that. But then it happened… I started feeling dizzy, sick and shaky. It could strike at any time, at home, at work or in public. I had suffered from anxiety for years but nothing to this extent, attacks were getting more frequent and in the next couple of weeks I ended up having a few days off sick because I woke up with my anxiety sky high. I couldn’t understand what had changed and then things got even worse. I took one of the children in my care to soft play as the other one was at school and while we were there I had a bad panic attack. I started shaking and went really dizzy, I nearly hit the floor! A first-aider was called over, I had to call the child’s mother to come and get him and my mam to come and get me. It was horrific, I was so embarrassed but the worst thing was the way the child looked at me while all of this was going on. He looked scared and unsure of what was happening. I had scared him, it was my fault.

I went to the doctors the next day and was put on sick leave for two weeks. At then end of that the doctor told me to take another six weeks off. Through all of this my employers were fantastic, they were really understanding and sent me a Get Well card and present. This made me feel guiltier about letting them down. They didn’t know that it was anxiety that I was suffering from, I didn’t know how to tell them, so they thought it was still undiagnosed dizziness. During my time off I kept thinking that I wasn’t capable of looking after young children anymore, I kept thinking of how scared the boy I was looking after had been. What if I had another panic attack and something happened to one of the children while I was wrapped up in myself? So when my employer emailed me to see when I was coming back to work, I resigned and explained that I didn’t want to let them down anymore and that I had to focus on my health. They were very kind and wished me well. My parents were horrified, they thought that I had thrown away the best job I would ever have.

Since then (almost a year ago) I have made a lot of progress. When I left my job I was a mess, I had lost a lot of weight, I was gaunt, drawn and constantly nervous. I am doing so much better now but this is where I hit a brick wall. Because I can’t let go of my guilt. The family I worked for live in the area, I regularly drive past their house to get to the shops and sometimes I will bump into one of the parents when I am out and about. Then all the memories and guilt come flooding back, especially when I am told that the children still ask about me. I feel awful but I know I haven’t really done anything wrong. I know I have to let it go so that I can keep moving forward. The question is how? I am working on a couple of techniques and will report back once I’ve tried them out. Have you ever gone through something like this? How did you put it behind you? Please comment below =)

Hopefully soon I can find a way to “Let it be” and move on. Fingers crossed!

Hayley x

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7 thoughts on “Let it be

  1. ((Hugs)) I can’t imagine how hard that was, but it seems they truly understood. This isn’t something that can be helped, only managed to hope you don’t have a similar situation again.

    Keep looking forward, though I understand the need to look back and understand the past. Or try to. You were honest and did what was right at the time instead of panicking further and putting yourself into a worse situation.

    More ((hugs)) to you, my friend.

  2. The timing of this post couldn’t be better for me – so let me please say thank you first and foremost. I too struggle with my past and I believe it is a major factor in my mental health problems… but hey, enough about me, this is meant to be about you! 🙂

    It is a great blog, written from the heart and with sincerity. I actually believe if you went and spoke to your old employers they would completely understand and you’d feel better about the whole thing. As for the kid, honestly, yes it would have been scary for the little dude because he didn’t understand – but chances are he spoke to his parents and they told him you felt sick. I know this is the really hard part for you to let go, but you didn’t let anyone down and you did everything right. Nothing is more important than your own health.

    Just an idea but perhaps you should visit the family again, so the boy can see you’re well and so you can move on from this. This weekend could be ideal, grab them a couple of Easter Eggs… and one for you! 😀

  3. Dear Hayley,
    When you feel the guilt, unhappiness, anxiety or whatever emotion come up, try to feel your body. At first you will feel overwhelmed because your mind is taking over your body. But keep at it. Breathe in and breathe out a couple of times. Try to have some space within yourself. Don’t judge, just be. In this way, you are allowing the universe to love you and take care of you. Namaste.

  4. Pingback: Calm Kitchen – Let it be | The Official Blog For Mental Health Project

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience Hayley, I’ve had smaller experiences with milder anxiety attacks, but my word I would not wish even the tiddly anxiety attacks on anyone. I still struggle with guilt and “self-punishment” as a result. Where I think people must really hate me for being anxious, or think I’m slacking in my work. But it isn’t true. So one thing that helps me is when I realise that I don’t deserve the self-punishment. I mean, it’s a big step to get there, so I have been given this exercise by my therapist to write out how I feel, and compare it with a list of types of thought distortions, and see how I am misguided with my guilt. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

    I wish you all the best in your journey!

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