The Worst Thing About My Disability

Youngcare team at their Strategic Planning Day January, 2019

“What’s the worst thing about my disability? Not being able to go to the toilet when I need to go away from home…

From a young age, I have experienced acute anxiety as a result of this. Unfortunately, for me this tends to manifest itself with stomach pain, often making it difficult for me to ascertain whether I actually need to go to the toilet, or whether it’s ‘just the anxiety’.

Usually, the worst of the anxiety occurs on a work day. Today marks 4 years for me as a Youngcare Australia employee, so it also marks the 4-year anniversary of my personal care routine. This was crucial to ensuring that I could perform at my best at the office, and elsewhere.

I get up really early. I have a shower. I have my phone with me, and I turn on a podcast. And I sit. And I sit. And I sit. For anywhere between 90 minutes and two hours.

I have a number of markers that I use to determine whether I have completed my task to my satisfaction. 99% of the time I am perfectly fine, but I live in fear of that 1%.

The fear, causes panic attacks. Often there are several per morning, in between the time where I leave my apartment, and when I arrive at my office door. In between, that hour long trip is by far the worst part of my week. I used to read my Kindle, to drown the negative voices in my head, which keep telling me that my worst fear will come true. But that only worked infrequently.

‘You are nowhere near a toilet and you will make a fool of yourself. Everyone will know. You’re not 36 anymore. You are that four-year-old boy who couldn’t articulate that you needed help and made a giant mess, which someone else had to clean up.’

Understandably, when I restarted my counselling last year this is the largest issue I wanted to tackle. Two months ago, I came to the conclusion that taking my Kindle to work was not working for me. Instead I bought myself a very expensive pair of headphones with the intent of drowning out the negative voices, into more productive voices that discuss things like the NBA, the Oscars, or the 2020 election. On particularly bad days sometimes I need to ditch the podcast altogether, and just turn up music to full volume.

Anxiety takes many forms, sometimes you can see it, more often than not you cannot. My particular brand will be with me every time I exit my house. I am sure I am not alone in this. If you see me on the train know that I may seem OK on the outside, but on the inside I’m telling myself that today my stomach pain is just anxiety… I hope.

If you have a similar brand of anxiety, this is to show you that you are not alone.” – Todd

News you might like:
30 August 2016 National not-for-profit organisation Youngcare today announced the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan. Mr ...
Bernard Fanning is back and he can't wait for the Youngcare Benefit Concert 2015! Below he shares his fond memories of the past and some of his plans ...
7 November 2016 Share a slice of Youngcake this Christmas For a young person with high care needs, the loss of choice and independence is one of ...
We want you to be the first to know! Youngcare is thrilled to announce the return of one of Brisbane’s best nights of Australian music: the ...
Dear Mr Scott Morrison, I’m writing to you as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia because I want to know how you’re planning on improving the ...
This article was originally published in The Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin. 8 January 2016 Young people in aged care – an Australian ...
5 May 2016 CEO message The new season is an exciting time for Youngcare as we start to focus on bringing our latest apartments at Albany Creek, ...
2 August 2017 Youngcare explores options as NSW project ends Youngcare’s partnership with St. Vincent’s Australia to deliver high care housing ...
5 May 2016 WHAT’S ON!   28 APRIL - 8 MAY Simpson Desert Challenge Support the trekkers by donating and follow the trek with our regular ...
24 July 2017 A message from our partners at Vincents At VINCENTS one of our core values is to actively build a company environment that contributes ...

Are you a young person seeking help?

What we do


Get Help


Contact Us


A huge thanks to our supporters 

Media Merchants
Select AV
Cutting Edge
Brighton Homes
Spot Productinons
McCabe Curwood
LAS logo
ALS Global
Women's Weekly
Audio Visual Elements
IOR Petroleum
Just Photography
Rivergum Homes
CV Services
Bruce Lynton
MMO Interiors
Eureka Landscaping
National Storage
Tattersalls Club
Hand Heart Pocket
Just Cause Bunch
AWIC - Awesome Women In Construction
MGD Private
Braggs Signs
Canvas Art Factory
Clark Real Estate
Cakes & Sh!t
One Harvest - love beats
Flight Centre Foundation
Birdsville Social Club
Queensland Rail
The Co Group
Aurora Adventures
Broncos Charity Fund
Vertica Capital
Doug Hall Foundation
Network First
Hopgood Ganim
Shine Lawyers
J W Bell & Associates
Channel Nine
Collins Food
Birdsville Roadhouse
Queensland Government
Care Tech
Motorola Solutions
De Luca Corp
MS Queensland
Story Bride Hotel
Vantage Performance
Tatts Group
Wolff Group
Birdsville Hotel
Forte Catering
Une Parkinson Foundation
Brisbane Airport
Betta Home Living
Knight Frank
Taylor Byrne
Skip to content