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No More Panic - Finn's story

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Hi all hereís my story from the beginning. I was seven when mum and dad split up and I went with dad to my auntyís house before us getting our own home, at the same time I developed psoriasis which covered me from head to foot and I ended up in hospital for 3 months with it, little did I know it would have a profound effect on my life afterwards. Mum and dad got back together and I began a battle with psoriasis that I have till this day. }

My teenage years were ok with me hiding my skin condition and back in hospital at 14 with no skin left on my body and in middle of exams but I coped hid it, had odd gf but could never completely relax with girls as was ashamed of skin.

Next phase began in my life with working drinking ,drink was great I could hide behind it become a confident outgoing boy but at a cost of getting into fights ,trouble with law and that was me all my twenties ,still at parents house and delving deeper into alcohol abuse and hangovers.

Life was drink doctors tablets and abstaining.

I had discovered the gym late 20s and would train like a demon ,got my own wee flat and life was becoming bearable with only the odd bender here and there.

Life for me was to change the day my drug addicted sister left her four children to run away with her bf, suddenly I had the two oldest living with me ,the boy was 11 and the girl around 12,I became there guardian and moved to a bigger house and to be honest life was good and looking after the kids changed me as a person as suddenly I became responsible a goal to get kids as far as I could and it was great

The lad and me played football every night the girl I became her best pal ,confidante and boy the school gossip was great with me right in the thick of it all leighanne went to new York ,Amsterdam with school Darren played for many local football teams I cooked cleaned washed and loved it all looking back I reveled in that role as I had two children that had no confidence at 11 and 12 and by 16 and 17 what a change, they were outgoing friendly respectful hard working at school and funny talented they were great life was good I was working ,training at gym and although had no girl friend I had decided that I would put all my efforts into kids as they needed me most at that time

Mum and dad helped me out and we all ploughed in together leighanne was getting top grades in all subjects Darren was doing well and talented in other areas and then life changed again

Social work moved my sister into a house half a mile away from us the kids were shocked so was I and family but were told she had changed was clean and trying to get her life back together.

Slowly she won round aunties uncles dad mum with her look at me ive lost everything approach but the kids still stated we donít want anything to do with her.

Darren now was nearly 16 and her coming back changed him as it would now he was coming in late disrespectful and after one argument her ran away yes to guess who and was rewarded with a gold bracelet and ring lol after 6 years aw well

Social work brought him home but was never the same again and eventually he wanted to stay with his mum because he knew he could do what he wanted so off he went leighanne still wanted nothing to do with her mum as she knew and I knew she was still using and kidding all on (it now transpires she was all the time)

During all of this I was starting to notice I had loads energy wasnít sleeping much and could not relax and had not a clue what was going on with me.

Anxiety had struck without me knowing much about it and then began endless trek to docs prescribed ssri,s and getting worse as they never helped and made me worse I felt doctors never understood what was wrong with me I came to nmp and posted a few time about it all but it got worse and worse. I was training morning and evening in that time running half marathons weightlifting coming home doing all house chores and going to mums 4 or 5 times a day and back to gym at night it was constant it got to stage I was only sleeping a hour at night could not sit down and family were all worried wondering whatís going on with Kevin

Eventually after a 7 month battle getting nowhere I hit the bottle and it gave me relief for a few days and then made it worse.

Next thing I knew after 2 weeks I was in hospital in a mental ward getting assessed and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I was looked at by a specialist who prescribed trazadone and I was able to start chilling out for first time in years leighanne was looked after my by sister who had came up from England.

I received counseling anxiety classes and there I met the love of my life who was in with depression imagine that.

We bonded immediately I had a soul mate who would listen would not judge me and I did the same with Mandy we were inseparable in there and when the day came to leave both in tears.

I got out Friday had a nice reunion with leighanne and by the Saturday Mandy came down to meet me and leighanne

By this time leighanne had left school with top grades was taking a year out before uni and had a job with customs and excise but I still feel I kinda let her down by meeting someone as me and leighanne has shared so much for 6 years and suddenly another Mandy was about. I still fell this even today as I could see leighanne never made a great effort with mandy and was jealous still I had a life now and leighanne I tried to make her realise this and eventually she did.

So life was good I was with Mandy still looking after leighanne to a degree then the world falls in again as Darren was assaulted in street in October by 2 youths and was left fighting for his life with serious brain injuries

The whole family rallied round as he nearly died twice and me and Mandy would go in every day with my sister as she never drove but I got a good chance to assess her and knew she was still taking drugs I could see it every day Darren made slow progress and was in for 6 months at age 16 and for him life would never be same again but at least he was alive and recovering slowly

One day I nipped out for a ciggie and when I came back was told by leighanne Iím going to stay with mum tnt as sheís no one and I feel sorry for her ,I was taken aback but said fine

leighanne was taken on same night to a druggies house and introduced to her son without me knowing nothing.

Darren got out hospital leighanne went to uni until I got told she was seeing this boy I phoned and said is this true to which leighanne couldnít reply but he was even staying at the uni with her and spending all her money so I backed away and said live your life leighanne ive had enough .She got pregnant left uni and Iíve seen her once since in nearly 3 years ,sheís still with boy and has a little girl now.

Sister I donít talk to now at all and I still see Darren once a week and make sure heís ok heís walking and has a limp and a little slow but ok ,heís still at sisters but Iím trying to get him supported accommodation physio and to attend a brain injury clinic as sister never bothered helping him to attend after her got out hospital

During all the time Darren was in hospital my dad got cancer and died he was my best friend working mate and we spent loads time together and I helped look after him at end it was all so quick and I cant really think about it to this day ,my gran also died at the grand old age of 96 she was some woman and so strong

My anxiety was not to bad during all of this the trazadone really helped and Mandy by my side, and I still had my old mum who I looked after and to this day Iím her sole carer but love every minute of it as we have a really good laugh.

Now were up to date Iím going to be a father in June and I cant wait my anxiety has came back this year but Iím in control of it and upped my medication and awaiting another anxiety class ,Darren stays once a week and although not perfect Iím happy enough and anxiety can be beaten and lived with.

in the dark days I did not think so but hereís my advice

tell friends and family how you feel

never be afraid to pester doctor its his job

make use of anxiety classed cds books

try and watch TV or read a book to take mind off it

relax in baths with candles and lovely bath salts

join a gym if you can manage if not try a walk once a day

concentrate on good moments every day and when your felling really bad think I had a good hour yesterday I will again soon

If you have a bad nights sleep think back to last good nights sleep and say I will sleep well again

and above all tell yourself you will get better and this is only a blip

and enjoy small things in life like a cup of tea with neighbour

a sunny day birds whistling and you will soon be having many more better days than bad ones

THAT IS MY STORY

FINN