I thought about death almost hourly. I knew in my heart that at any given moment I could lose my mum. I also understood that at any moment I could drop dead, and that isn't the nicest thought to have with your Weetabix.
You may be a dab-hand at all this and be taking it all in your stride - but for many parents helping their teenager settle in to a different school or simply a different class with the increased demands and expectations is totally new ground and the new rules can be baffling.
Every Wednesday lunchtime, for about a year, I sloped off from my office desk, alone. Away from the shiny soulless glass buildings of Canary Wharf, towards the fishy world of Billingsgate Market, and the little bobbing private narrowboats of the marina.
The physical pain I was in was nothing compared to the emotional pain that hit me like a train. I cried and cried and felt like a failure. I apologised to Paul who was with me the whole way through this traumatic experience. Of course he told me I had nothing at all to apologise for, which I now know is true. The doctors were really helpful and empathetic.
I just want people to understand why it can be helpful for some of us. Hopefully I explained it well enough, and if I didn't and people still argue with me, that's fine because I've got the sweet, sweet thought of death to comfort me. Lol.
Even when we do all the right things, like sleep eight hours a day, eat well and exercise regularly, sometimes we just get sick. We can't help it. When and how we get ill is not necessarily in our control, but how we deal with it is.
Often we bring presents to family gatherings, like the elephant in the room. This can lead to conflict or help avoid conflict. What strategies can help to cope well with family gatherings?
These days I'm hearing more and more about the stress and heartache redundancy brings, so I decided to write a very personal piece reflecting the gamut of emotions I experienced whilst going through this very same process.
OK, this isn't an in-depth account of how to beat all addiction, but it a brief exploration of how I have made sure I am not a slave to it's effects. I cannot avoid addiction entirely as my pain will remain with me for all my life, but I hope my experiences as a disabled person can help others.
I've spent the last couple of years getting to the bottom of my anxiety, finding the root causes of it, and developing a set of tools to handle it when it arises. Laughter is just one tool, but it's one of my favourites.