While Z was driving home this morning we spoke on the phone so he could say good morning to the boys. About two minutes into the call quite unexpectedly I began to weep uncontrollably. Z reminded me he was, in fact, on his way home. That wasn’t the issue. I mean, it was. But it wasn’t. I told him I was overwhelmed. He was coming home, but there was still so much to get through. Bills, I haven’t done the taxes yet, money problems, the 20 page paper for my class, my class in general, being room mother for T on Wednesday, Z traveling again for this show in April, Z going to Japan for a month mid May to June, my stomach still not being right after being sick, the meds I’m taking making me more anxious rather than less, no break in sight.
Because of course it doesn’t end! It’s life! I am participating in life! Occasionally you have a shit weekend. When you are a grown up you don’t qualify for a vacation to recover from a stomach bug! This goddamned anxiety disorder strips me of the ability to be a functioning adult.
This weekend while I was having a nervous breakdown via status update on FB I noticed one of my oldest friends was taking a weekend trip to LA. His wife, who I’ve been lucky enough to also become friends with, was back home with the kids. The four kids. Four. There wasn’t a peep of frustration or desperation or even annoyance from her. I know it doesn’t do to compare yourself to others, but my lack of ability to gracefully cope with unpleasant situations is one of the worst parts of rockin’ an anxiety disorder.
I have two options. 1. Either completely withdraw from the world, which is what would be most natural for me. Just stay at home and go to the safe places, drop off for T’s school, the grocery, Target, my therapist’s, the pediatrician. Have people come over here to hang out, but decline all invitations outside the home. Hell, it’s basically the way I lived for the first several years we were here. I could get by and feel safe, but I realized I was missing out on a part of the boy’s lives. And I was denying them opportunities by not being able to take them places. Or 2. I can participate in life. Open myself up to the really good stuff-taking classes, going to the houses of friends, seeing my boys have a great time at the zoo or the park. Participating in life is also terrifying and painful and exhausting and requires a lifetime supply of Imodium It’s the equivalent of locking my anxiety in a cage and poking it with a sharp stick until it is bloody and enraged.
So while my husband was on his way home, my husband who has told me I can split the minute he gets home from work and have the night to myself, the husband who is on my side, I lost it all over him. I fell apart and ensured he will dread his homecoming. Because who wants to deal with a crazy wife after working all weekend?
Yesterday I had a moment of lucidity concerning that husband of mine. We got engaged when I was 22 and he was 26. We were kids, especially me. His group of friends were older-I was too young for them to take seriously. More than one of them took him aside and encouraged him to break the engagement (kind of understandable-every time someone I know gets married at 23 I want to scream, “What the fuck are you thinking?” I mean, it is dumb luck that Z and I were able to work things out after getting married so young). Days before the wedding he was told it would be ok to call it off by another party. A short few years into the marriage itself I had a spectacular breakdown. Friends told him there was nothing he could do for me, he should save himself and get out. He wanted to, he told me he didn’t want to be married anymore. But he didn’t just leave, he fought and we did the work and found our way back to each other. Every time he chose me. Even when I was literally out of my mind he choose me. June 14th marks the 15th anniversary of our first kiss. The anxiety still makes me question what the hell he is doing with me. The truth is he has chosen us over and over again. I need to stop trying to figure out why and accept how lucky I am to have him.
The anxiety tries to convince me I’m worthless and unlovable. She succeeds a lot of days. But enough is enough. The anxiety can also go fuck herself. Z loves me. He is one of the most loyal souls I have ever met. He has chosen to be with me and he keeps on choosing to be here. That is the reality.
T was pretending to sneeze and suddenly C was doing it as well. I had to prompt him here, but it is still pretty cute.
And, um, I sort of didn’t bother to comb his hair over the weekend. We got it sorted before school this morning. I promise.