This morning there was a story about the screenwriter of the movie Hoosiers on NPR. I listen to the radio when I shower and if that shower takes place in the 7 o’clock hour on Saturday morning the weekly sports show Only A Game is on. I know, it makes me sad, too. So they play a clip from the movie, which I’ve never seen. Which I don’t even know is a basketball movie. They play a clip where the coach is rallying the team by having them measure the height of the basketball net and reminding them it is the same height as the net back home. And I am just getting out of the shower dripping wet, standing there frozen listening to Gene Hackman inspire a group of high school boys and I am weeping. Um, did I mention that I don’t give a shit about basketball and I’ve never seen the movie? I am very tired. And perhaps a wee bit emotional. Which means I’ve found myself crying a lot over the last few days.
There was a sweet spot from my late teens through becoming a parent when I slept easily and well. No longer scared at night, no pesky kids to wake me. All that went out the window when T was born. Now I am scared again at night, scared to be responsible for another human, scared to realize I’m the grown up, scared something terrible is going to happen because we have so much to lose now. And the bleeding. I’m scared of bleeding. Since the Colposcopy I have been a wreck. I’m not getting a hell of a lot of sleep. Instead I lie in bed, my stomach clenched tight, cold sweat on my forehead and I wait for that terrible feeling of a huge blood clot slowly snaking its way out of me. The dark feels menacing. The fear is suffocating. And I am exhausted but I can’t relax enough to sleep. Instead I’m up and running to the bathroom just to check there is no blood over and over and over.
For the record there haven’t been any blood clots. I think I’m healing as I should be, the only things exiting my body are those magnificent coffee grounds at this point. And that should wind down by about Wednesday. Just in time for my period. I’m worried I’ll be too scared to get a good night’s sleep for another week and a half. I just want this whole business to be over.
When my high school friend visited the night of Halloween she wondered out loud if my crazy was really that bad. Z looked at her and laughed a little wildly. When he calmed down he assured her it was. The thing is I’ve always been able to act normal. Even during the worst of the breakdown if I managed to show up in public I’d put what another friend called my “game face” on. It didn’t end up doing me any favors. I just seemed like a giant flake. I still don’t leave the house if I can’t pretend that I am perfectly fine. I can confess the worst parts of myself on the internet, but I can’t bear to be anything other than composed in public. It’s ridiculous and hypocritical and frankly incredibly exhausting.
Instead I have days like yesterday. Where I drop T at school, go to the bank and run some errands, go to Target, pick T up, take T back to school for a party to celebrate the school’s renovation. All that time in public I am normal as normal can be. I seem relaxed and calm. Inside I’m just trying to get through it all without having explosive diarrhea or embarrassing myself in some other way. And then at night, when I feel completely alone, it all goes to hell. Anxiety disorders are stupid. Also, I need a nap.