One of the reasons I haven’t been blogging lately is I feel as though were I to say half of the things on my mind, you’d think I was nuts.
But here’s the truth: some days I’m too much in my own head to write. Some days, anxiety chokes me until I can’t breathe, until I want to throw up. It makes my skin hot and crawly, and steals my voice. On those days all I can do is power through, be the best parent I can under the circumstances, and hope to ride it out.
And yes, I take medication, but some days it’s not enough.
To stop the shakiness and nausea I clean. I can’t sit still. I wander from room to room, picking up toys and shoes and balls of lint, things that on normal days would be invisible to me. I scrub the floorboards in the kitchen and scan the ceilings for cobwebs. I let the kids watch too much TV and help themselves to snacks.
I first began to suffer this debilitating anxiety when I discovered the lump in my breast. Getting a clean bill of health, getting a prescription, starting a new routine of exercise and yoga and meditation all helped. But as life went on, those things went by the wayside. Slowly, old habits and fears crept back in — I started smoking again. I worried that a chest pain was a heart attack, a hemorrhoid was cancer. Since Mitzi’s diagnosis I’ve been too focused on what to do for her to think about how I felt about it all.
So here I am today. Hands shaking, heart thumping. Phantom worries swirl around me and I have to remind myself to breathe. The only thing that keeps me from crawling into a dark closet is my children. For them, I’ll stand up and breathe and help them make play dough and splash them in pool and do the best I can, all the while hoping that tomorrow will bring rain, and peace.