I have read many of your posts and I feel deeply for the suffering that you all have endured. I am a relatively happy 36 year old man with two beautiful children. I love them very much. I recently have begun an eight week paternity leave and have found it to be quite stressful.
How things began for me....
I would say that I am a bit of a worrier but have historically been someone very much in control...if that makes sense. I have been on my leave for the past three weeks and have dealt with very sick kids and all the little complications of being the 'one at home'. When we had my first child, I was super stressed about being left alone with her for only 1 hour. Imagine my discomfort of having a 3 year old and 1 year old for hours and hours a day. For most people, this would not be stressful, but for me, it is. Again, I love my girls more than anything and hate that this has become an axiety related situation. I digress...
So I have also not been following my work responsibilities very well and nearly missed a big conference date. I was called by my boss 60 minutes before the train departure time...Needless to say I went into a state of panic, but ended up making it to the conference. This is where things started to go bad. Upon returning a day later I found myself feeling extremely nausious the next day. My daughter had been complaining about stomach pains and I seem to have developed a bit of a phobia towards this, so my nausea could have been in my mind...dont know. For the next four days, I was a complete wreck. My nausea continued, so I did a Google...whoops!!!! LET ME SAY THIS NOW, GOOGLING IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA. Sorry for the caps, but it is true. I decided that I had either stomach cancer, throat cancer, colon cancer, bowel cancer, or something else that would be terminal. My anxiety went through the roof and my stomach went from bad to horrible.
I went to the doctor and explained my issues and she just looked at me. I was even explaining my stool to her and how that could result in colon cancer. She scheduled me for a sonogram, which was yesterday, and everything came back fine. Blood work was also good. She told me that it was based on stress and asked if I was under any pressure. It was crazy to be inside my own body at that moment. Where had all of this come from? I am a successful, educated, and relatively tough individual who had been reduced to being a prisoner within my own head.
This has all occurred within the last week. And even though I received good news from the doctor, I have not been able to shake off the anxiety. This morning I woke up with heavy anxiety and nausea and was unable to eat any breakfast. I am fully convinced that when I return to work everything will be fine again...but how did I get to this point? Why cant I just enjoy my time at home with my girls? My wife does not understand my sudden and extreme change of behaviour...neither can I.
However, I do understand what a lot of you are feeling...even though this is new to me.
There is history of depression, alcoholism, and agoraphobia in my family. I even moved across the world to get away from it, but it seems to have caught up to me.
Thank you for reading, supporting, and doing the best you can to feel better within your own bodies. I appreciate very much this forum and the opportunity to communicate with people in similar situations.