It looked like I had a stomach bug. After dinner I apologized and told Z I needed to lie down.
Lately I’ve developed a stupid little habit. I play solitaire until I win on my phone and then I go to sleep. There was only an hour and a bit until the boy’s bath time when I retreated to our room. I was nauseous, my bowels were in an uproar, I was achy and exhausted.
For 45 minutes I played the damn game of solitaire, losing over and over, drifting off to sleep mid move only to jerk awake moments later. Finally, finally I completed a game and immediately fell asleep for 20 minutes.
Why didn’t I just stop? It was stupid. It was pointless. In the light of day I realize that. Hell, I realized it while I was playing last night. But the voice in my head was louder, the voice of the anxiety. The bitch that tells me I am worthless. Last night she told me if I didn’t finish the game something catastrophic would happen. It was life and death. I was not allowed to escape the terror of the anxiety–because I don’t have a stomach bug, it was a particularly violent and sudden panic attack–by slipping into sleep until I won the damn game. Something terrible would happen if I just let myself sleep. I don’t even want to type the thoughts that went through my head. I don’t want to make them that real. So I followed the bizarre and arbitrary and always changing rules set up by my anxiety. I played until I won. I robbed myself of the relief of sleep for three quarters of an hour.
It was the worst panic attack I’ve had for a while.
Z left this morning for a trip to Maine. The last time he did a trip with this particular group the boys and I got a stomach bug. My class is ramping up and I have two large assignments due next week. But I’m solo with the boys until Sunday night so I’m worried about getting the stuff done. My parents arrive on Monday. The house is a mess. I don’t know how I’m going to spend any time with my folks if I need to do schoolwork. C’s first speech therapy session is this afternoon. In the messy house. Do they report you to child services if your kids live in filth? I have class today. I am trying to figure out how to go running while Z is out of town. I just signed up for a 5K.
It’s all regular stuff. I just need to plod through deal with life like every other person on this planet does. And I’ve got it better than the vast majority of people. Which is why I find the anxiety so humiliating. My life is pretty easy. Why can’t I hack it?
Life is better than it used to be. I figured out I was having a panic attack last night before Z pointed it out to me. I understand why it happened. When the anxiety tells me I’m getting a bit too big for my britches, when she tries to bring me down a peg by informing me there is no way in hell I can do a 5K or get my homework done or survive without Z for 4 days I now know it isn’t the truth. I know she is trying to sabotage me. Still, it’s hard not to believe her.
Five years ago this kind of anxiety would send me to bed for a full day. Ten years ago I’d be in a tailspin that might last for weeks or a month. These days I figure out what is going on within the hour. I feel angry and scared and frustrated and weak. And then I take the boys to school. I write for a bit. I tidy the house. I pick them up. I go to class. I tidy some more. I do the therapy session with C. I make dinner. I take the boys to the bakery for dessert. I write a pissy status update on FB. I put the boys to bed. I finish writing this. For the most part I’m meeting my obligations. Not with grace or willingness or awesome parenting. But I’m meeting them.
Had to delete a bunch of photos from my phone to make room for the new ios today. How about a little #TBT from when I first got my phone? Jesus, do I ever miss this little baby.
And this toddler. Back when we were potty training. I can tell because kid is naked.
This guy has stayed pretty much the same for the last year and a half. Sorry to get sappy, but I find him to be completely delicious.