I’ve been having a hard time lately on the anxiety-front. First, let me try and explain something because this world is a hard one to understand if you’re just glancing in now and again. I’m not always in crisis mode – actually, I almost never, ever am. I’m not always panicking. Every day, I continue to take my kids (all 6) to school and Dawn’s. I go to work and I solve problems there, help organize things, talk to people, attend lunch meetings, etc. Every day, I am able to pick up the kids from school, ask how things went, what they had for lunch, who they played with, how many refocuses (oops) were given and what they want for dinner. I shuttle to violin or dance or cross country and usually I have a meeting in the evening. I do laundry (I mean…sometimes), clean up, start the bedtime routine and get ready for round 2 the next day. My point is that I’m able to do all that and there isn’t anyone who would be able to look at me and see that sometimes inside, I feel like I keep getting knocked down by waves. They aren’t huge waves and they aren’t constant. Usually they’re small, but big enough that it’s a little hard to catch my footing. I’m lucky that I always do, though. Catch my footing, that is.
And just when I’m able to take a few steps and climb on shore where I imagine everyone is sun bathing and building sand castles and having the best time, a wave hits me that I’m not expecting. And people on shore look at what’s happening and don’t understand because that wave that just hit me? It was little. They could walk right through it as if it was nothing. And even though I can walk through it, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it very gracefully. I feel like I look messy and unsure and like I’m stumbling.
These things that make me panic? That trigger OCD and have me obsessing? They’re little. They don’t make sense and it frustrates people because it’s easy for them to shrug it off or let it go in one ear and out the other and to see me questioning people, situations, reactions…it’s exhausting. I’ve had friendships suffer because of it and because of things that have happened in the past regarding friendships, I’m hesitant. I don’t share a lot, I’m not a “let’s hang out every second we’re free”type of girlfriend and in a close friendship (I know the difference between fun acquaintances and friends and those who you share a lot of your life with) I expect authenticity and a friendship that goes beyond Snapchat and Instagram. That’s more than a lot of people want to give and I’m okay with that…and quite frankly I’m thankful for it, too. The casual and easy friendships are fun and important.
Most recently, I feel like what I say gets taken out of context and my sarcasm isn’t understood (I’m so sarcastic) and I hurt feelings. Whether or not that’s true, I assume it is and a tiny wave hits me. I’ll tell someone I like their hair and I’ll go home later and freak out that perhaps they thought what I was really saying was that their hair looked awful before and now, finally, it looks good. Which isn’t even a tiny bit what I meant but, oh, this is anxiety. It doesn’t make sense and it makes you feel incapable of normal interactions. Luckily, the person I complimented took it as a compliment and had probably forgotten 2 minutes later.
Sometimes I’m able to quietly let all these things happen. Lie down and let the waves hit me and wait for the calm, because that always comes. And it usually lasts a nice long while.
And what is it about kids? My kids are almost like a pause button. When it comes to them, I’m able to hit pause on everything else moving in my life and I continue with them as if none of this is going on in the background. I’m anxious and nervous but all of a sudden, when I’m with the kids…PAUSE. I like that. Even though it’s go, go, go. And I think that’s why I’m so busy.
[I think it’s important to share who you are with the world. I think that it’s important for people to see that I love life. I love my kids and I love Danny and I love my friends. I have fun and I love my family and I am, 100% undeniably SO HAPPY. That’s the God-honest truth and I know that by reading what I wrote, you might find that to be hard to believe, but it’s true. Anxiety is strange. It’s hard and it’s a struggle, but it works differently than depression. It doesn’t make me sad, it makes me frustrated. It makes my brain work all the time and that can be tiring. There are times when life is really hard. And this is true for everyone, but in different ways. I don’t think people like to talk about how hard life can be sometimes especially when it’s hard to control. So when you don’t see people you know, people you like, people who seem to have it all together, talking about the hard parts, it sometimes makes you feel alone and like you’re the only one. Don’t worry, you’re not.]