Last night, my sister, Julie, and I took another late night drive to pick up, you guessed it…food. Pizza. Piza. Za. Last night we were team Mario and Luigi.

So, during our 20 minute wait, we started talking about life, and our crazy university days. And so we’re laughing from the pits of our bellies, and cruising around waiting for this dear old pizza, when we switch gears and get on the topic of some of the not so good times. The panic attacks.

And she tells me, you know, she says to me, some of the things that I write, unfortunately give her anxiety. She described her experience of being with me through some of my own panic attacks as having been for her, “secondhand panic attacks.” And so she finds it difficult to read some of my blogs. Those focused on mental health.

The impact of my own anxiety has, I’ve always known, been terribly hard on my sister. This girl is literally my other half, and so having seen me deal with some of this shit, meant that she had to deal with it too.

I mean she’s the one who often got me out of bed on days that I struggled to leave my bedroom. She’s been there too, as a victim of, well, she puts it best, of secondhand panic attacks.

To hear her describe it like that was so profound for me. Moving. Sad. She’s endured the secondhand trauma of anxiety. And so, conversations related to the same are triggering for her.

And, like everyone else, she’s had her own stuff to deal with too, her own curveballs, her own emotions. And she protects herself from reliving the things that I’m telling you guys all about.

Where talking about it and writing about it is cathartic for me. It can be upsetting for her, for other readers. And I respect that. Truly, I really do. Don’t carry anymore weight than you need to. And if reading any of this material is weighing you down, do what she does, stick to the positive or the funny stuff!

Xx

Mandy

 

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