After Z explained to me how to get to University College on campus I ran upstairs to change. Threw on my nicest pair of jeans and started tearing through the closet. Put on a real live bra for about the 4th time since C was born. Fought really hard with myself in order to not strip naked and get onto the scale for the third time in 24 hours. Successfully resisted and instead tried a fancy blousey thing from one of those special Target collections that still has the tags on about two years after I bought it. No, wrong. Ripped it off. A tight camisole suddenly seemed like a great idea to suck in the extra fat, so that went on top of the bra. Pawed through my short sleeve shirt drawer and found a cream knit top with sleeves almost to the elbow that I wore to interviews back in my Whole Foods days. I stood in the middle of the room and felt like an idiot. Racked my brain for something else to wear. Something that would make me feel comfortable and not look like a cow. As I was getting ready to whip the too dressy top off I heard Z climb the stairs. He looked at me and knew exactly what was going on. “Don’t you dare take off that top. You look fine. You don’t look fat.” I started to argue and he cut me off. “Karen. Stop. Stop it. This isn’t a job interview. Pelase come downstairs. You. Look. Fine” I burst into tears.
If you want to take classes part time at SU you need to go through University College. Weeks ago Z forwarded me an email about an informational session hosted by the college and suggested we go. I thanked him for thinking of me and said I’d totally be into it and he asked me to arrange child care. Would it surprise you to hear I didn’t find a babysitter? Even after he reminded me at the beginning of the week and then again last night? I finally texted our sitter this morning, but of course she couldn’t do it at the last minute. Z told me he’d watch the boys and I could go by myself. I tried to get out of it. He told me we would all go-he’d drive me there and occupy the boys while I went in. That shamed me enough to tell him I’d do it alone.
He wasn’t trying to shame me. He was trying to help. He undertands that attending a minor little information session is like climbing Mount Everest for me. It is humiliating to admit that. I despise and resent how pathetic anxiety makes me. But miraculously, he doesn’t seem to. He just wants to help make things better. So I stopped crying, changed my shirt one last time, and went. Even though I hated myself and hated him and hated the world I went. Um, I was home about half an hour later with the information I needed in order to register for a class. I also had the business card of a carear counselor who told me to get in touch with any other questions. It couldn’t have been easier.
The blog entries that chronicle my mental illness are cyclical and dull. I’m doing poorly. I’m doing poorly. I’m doing poorly. Hey! I just realized there is a pattern and it’s that I’m doing poorly! I want to change. I want to change. Things are getting better. Things are getting better. I really want to change and things are better! Things are better, but I’m kind of doing poorly as well. Things are better, but I’m kind of doing poorly as well. I’m doing poorly. You get the picture. Yawn.
But. It is also some of the most honest and most uncomfortable stuff here. Do you have someone in your life who suffers from severe anxiety? This repetitive bullshit is what they are experiencing. It fucking blows. It takes years to figure out. And then sometimes you’ll be having a classic anxiety reaction and it will feel like the first time, even after 20+ years of anxiety attacks you will have no clue what is going on-you’ll think you are having a heart attack as your husband sadly shakes his head at the obviousness of your behavior. Or maybe that’s just me. But eventually you get there, you remember that it has all happened before and it will happen again.
It always gets worse when I’m trying to improve my situation. My anxiety doesn’t hate me, it wants to help me. When it tells me I am useless and fat, when my IBS flares up, when the lightheadedness makes me feel physically unable to drive the car my anxiety is trying to save me from getting hurt out there in the big bad world. It is confirming my fears that I can’t handle life by trying to keep me in my comfort zone. It wants to help, it is just really shitty at it.
I am trying, people. I am trying and that means two chill pills in one week for the first time since May. It means a lot of tears, a lot of feelings of worthlessness, a lot of anxiety attacks. But I’m getting better at this, in the middle of the anxiety I’m still fucking doing shit. Yesterday I was so worked up I thought I was going to explode. I spent the whole day just trying to make it until I put C down so I could have a chill pill. I also took the kids to a playground, contributed to my local NPR station, made some kick ass red beans and rice with pickled pork, and bought a domain name for this blog (more on that later). OK, so there is still a nasty voice in my head who whispers that these “accomplishments” are paltry and laughable. But I’m trying to ignore her. And if I catch her I’m going to kick her ass.
Oh and tonight? I’m going to get a drink with a girlfriend for the first time since we moved to Syracuse. So screw you, Anxiety disorder!
My picky eater had his 3 year old well visit at the doc’s yesterday. He told me he wanted to eat the lollipop, which shocked the hell out of me.
His reaction to it did not shock me. Because it isn’t a white refined carb.
Second kid to wear this awesome onesie. Thanks again Aunts Ellie and Kelsey!
Z knew I was having a hard time yesterday. And he needed to use his drill press. So he biked home in the middle of the day to hug me and do this. I happen to think he is rather sexy.