My anxiety is on the fritz. Like when when your children act up in public, my anxiety is not something I love to acknowledge. But we alllll know it’s happening (or it feels that way anyway). My not sure what my trigger was this time around but whatever it was – it’s been sticking around and I am not a fan. I’m leaning towards stress. I’m trying to focus on the things I can control and take it one task at a time. Yeah, I said task. I’m not even on the day level. Baby steps.
I don’t talk about my anxiety for a variety of reasons. Mainly because people give you this phony look like you are making the whole thing up, like it’s all in your head. And as much as I would love to play along – I don’t have time for bull shit.
Anxiety is very real for lots of people. And everyone is different so therefore their anxiety is too.
In the past – my anxiety has taken on many shapes and forms. In high school, it was panic attacks that would send my heart heart well above 180 and require a trip to the ER. My mother – a doctor herself – was of the “it’s all in your head” tribe and couldn’t possibly understand how her daughter – a girl brought up in a well off, Christian home – could possibly have this problem. She did nothing but throw Bible versus at me and essentially told me to get out of my own head and not embarrass the family with my “foolishness.”
In college, my anxiety decided to party hard (even though I didn’t) sending me into panic attacks so taxing that I would black out (sometimes hurting myself in the process), wake up so confused and not know who/what/where I was for a solid 20+ minutes. It was terrifying. My best friend at the time, Katie, would constantly write her name and number on my hand in Sharpie so that when I woke up confused I knew to call her and she would explain.
When I was pregnant I was SO WORRIED about having panic attacks and depriving the baby of oxygen. I had sleepless nights my first trimester. Then when I got over that hump – I obsessively cleaned, cooked and nested to keep busy. And I was an emotional disaster. Countless times Mike caught me crying over nothing – brushing my teeth, baking cookies, folding laundry. Sometimes happy tears, sometimes sad, sometimes tears for no reason at all. I attribute that phase to angst about entering motherhood. I mean it’s not like they give you this magical guide to not fucking up your kid when you push them out at the hospital. You know?
At the present, my anxiety is a bit unpredictable but far more tame. I thank Mike for that. He grounded me and while all of the anxiety didn’t go away – the scary stuff did. Your partner should always bring out the good in you, help you grow, heal, flourish. Mike helped wipe away a lot of my fears and worries, kept me calm and encouraged me. And certainly didn’t mock my pain and anxiousness. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better. I’m so lucky. Not all spouses get it.
But for now – it appears my anxiety is here to stay. So it’s one task at a time. I just have to stay focused and
just keep swimming, just keep swimming…