That’s how it starts

I’m feeling overwhelmed at work.  Completely normal stress that everyone else feels.  I’m feeling a little bit bogged down by my anxiety/depression medication, so I reduce the dose by 1/3 in order to be more motivated during the day (and in hopes that the low dose will be enough).

I take a couple simple steps to show that I can make some improvements at work before my concerts.

I have an extraordinarily good weekend with M. I put off writing about it because I’m afraid of looking like a cheeseball, somehow putting him off, or putting myself into some sort of vulnerable position.  I believe that how I felt this weekend is how things are, that he’s really that delightful and we are so cute and fun together…but I should wait a bit to make sure I’m not making an idiot of myself, find the right words.

My daughter gets sick.  Not just sick, but the sickest she’s ever been, and the scenario is one of my anxiety’s top “wake up with butterflies and worry about” items.  She’s vomiting, and I have no help at all.  I have to deal with it.

I beat myself up for leaving the room two of the four times.  I make myself stay in for the fifth, and I rub her back while I’m having a panic attack.  I pat myself on the back.  I worry about her.  I worry about me getting it, and how I’ll parent or do my concerts while vomiting, and then I’m ashamed for thinking about myself so much. I go bed repeating in my head “this isn’t going to last forever, this is going to be over” while I wait for the Xanax to kick in.

I’m completely isolated in this situation for three days. Being alone and the anxiety start to mess with my head.  She doesn’t pick her head up off of the pillow for two days; I start listening to her heart and checking to see if she’s breathing.  Once I take her to the doctor and see she is okay, it’s not the 0.00001% chance that something is actually wrong, I have another panic attack.

I miss a few doses this week.

She starts to get better.  I’m able to think of other things. Suddenly, things with M look completely different.  I said on here that I was so happy last weekend, he didn’t happen to mention anything specifically along those lines, that’s bad.  We joked about something silly that I did after I had taken my sleeping pill, but the fifth time it came up, it meant he thinks I’m gross.  I tell him how I feel at 6 am, and he’s reassuring even though he’s been up all night and needs to sleep.

I go back to work.  I keep chugging.  I feel more assurance that the only consequences for my absence and shitty concerts are that I’ll know I didn’t do as well as I should and I’ve failed the kids.  I can treat January as a fresh start and do better.

Didn’t get to the email that I meant to write M to purge any lingering thoughts about our talk that morning.  I get wound up, because the shortest version of my share of the failure of my marriage is that I failed to adequately deal with and address my anxiety. I learned that if I don’t hide it, I’ll be abandoned.  I also hope that there will be a “fake it until you make it” effect.  I’m not hiding it from M (I had nothing left to lose after he broke it off in August)–overall, I’m mostly glad, but at the moment I’m feeling that it’s messing things up.

I hear, “what if he has a girlfriend?  You haven’t met his friends, and he doesn’t share anything personal on social media.”

I counter with,”that’s ridiculous.  We’re in touch all the time, and he’s told me that there isn’t anyone else.”

I hear,”people do this all of the time.  V did.  Your girlfriend’s married love interest did. He has a lot of female friends.”

I come back with, “And how exactly would he account for gaps in communication when he’s with me?”

I hear, “You guys are on your phones some when you’re together.  He has friends thousands of miles away.  Maybe that’s why he wants to move to New Zealand.  There’s no way to know that that’s not the case.”

I go to bed and sleep without interruption, but I wake up around 5:00 am from a kind of sad dream feeling all adrenaline-y. Realize I never got a “good night” from him.  Being awake and having to deal with my worries for a whole day feels overwhelming, I get weepy.  He’s up, I blab, he tells me there isn’t anyone else, but gets a little irritated that I don’t trust him. Wants to know where I got this.

This is where I got this.  This is the downside of me not holding back.

I think that we’re just learning about each other, because there has been drama standing in the way of us actually relating to each other in any kind of relationship way.  I wonder if I’m foolish for feeling that it’s okay that we are still learning how to deal with each other’s quirks–me having anxiety that sucks for me, and him having feelings that suck for him in reaction to my anxiety.

I go back to the dose I’m supposed to be taking today.

I plan a hot bath and coloring book, or maybe even risking seeing if a girlfriend is available for that night so I’m not alone.

I remind myself that this is a bad few days, and that phase could end Monday, or tomorrow, or later this afternoon. I mentally congratulate myself for getting through one of my biggest fears even though it’s a normal part of parenting.

I wipe everything down with bleach for the 4,000th time.  I hug my daughter and kiss her on the top of the head because she may be still shedding the virus.

I wonder if I need to apologize to him. I doubt I’m worth the trouble.

I go to therapy.


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