Anxiety Overload

You know that feeling when you’re underwater but you can see the surface? Like you are sitting at the bottom of a pool and can see all of the feet dangling in the water, the people walking around the edges, kids raring up to jump right on top of you. And you start to feel the icy edge burn in your lungs just enough to let a tiny bubble escape. But once that bubble escapes, another begs to be let go, and your brain starts to calculate the number of bubbles you can release per second to maximize the duration of your pool bottom hang out? And then your brain hits the panic button and suddenly you vomit all the rest of the bubbles as you desperately flail to get to the surface a whopping 2 feet above your head and you feel kinda silly for panicking so quickly but man does it feel good to breathe again.

Just me then?

I’m getting better at talking myself down from the tiny ledges. Things are (molasses up a steep hill) slowly starting to click into place at work. At least to the point where I no longer feel like my only option is to quit before I get fired. I can speak eloquently enough to make people comfortable and then work twice as hard behind the scenes to make sure I live up to the expectations I’ve put forward. It’s exhausting, but no longer overwhelming. And pretty soon it won’t be as exhausting. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel whereas a month ago I couldn’t even see the walls of the tunnel.

I’m by no means close to my ideal weight. BUT. I have lost 25 pounds since November. I often slip into thoughts like still 20 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight and 30 pounds from ideal weight  and the worst yet 40 pounds from wedding weight and that makes me what to give up and eat a tube of ritz with a side of cake. But when that negativity starts to creep in, I battle it with a few crunches or cat cow bows or Hannah lifts and remind myself that I have lost 25 pounds. And really – that’s 11 pounds in 8 weeks which admittedly isn’t great (at that rate I can look forward to having a beach ready bod by mid September) but it averages to about a pound a week, which is healthy, which is consistent, which is better then gaining. I see muscle tone coming back in my arms and legs. I can zip up more of my old clothes, a fact I focus on more than the amount of belly that spills over the waist band. I can keep doing this.

So my anxiety has decided to surround my child. I can only imagine the amount of crippling fear my own mother experienced…experiences…with her five children. I hope it is nothing like this or she deserves so much more than a bouquet of fruit on Mother’s Day because man. I can’t turn it off. I’m not concerned with big things out of my control, like cancer or car crashes. I am terrified of the things that are supposed to be in my control. I keep having “visions”. I do not expect these things to happen, it’s just a flicker of an image that gets caught on the edge of my brain and creeps in and then plays over and over and over again. It mostly has to do with heights. My own fear of heights coupled with my own fear of my clumsiness and how those two things can come together in terrifically terrible ways. I have dreams of dropping Hannah out of windows. Dropping knives off the counter into her tiny soft spot. Watching her crawl over the edge of the waterfall the Hahn family likes to explore every summer. I keep seeing me slipping at the top of the stairs and reflexively dropping her to save myself. These thoughts don’t stop. As she gets more mobile, if anything they are getting worse. It is paralyzing.

I’ve expressed this particular brand of crazy to Shelby and he is being kind of awesome about it. Probably because he has been so close to all of my crazy of late. It would be so easy for him to tease me or stand too close to a window with a sarcastic grin. I told him I don’t want Hannah near the waterfall on this visit, not for a long time. He agreed that if we go this year, Hannah can stay with her grandparents who will smother her with love and kisses. If he found it weird that I’m even thinking about that 3 months in advance, he didn’t let on. I have no reason to believe anything will happen to her, but it helps to be able to express these feelings to someone who doesn’t immediately jump to the witty remark and easy laugh.

Occasionally I start to get the flutters about packing and pumping and travel and car feeding and and and. But I remind myself that packing with a kid is not going to be any different than packing for myself. You think about what you need, take what you can remember, and if you absolutely have to have something forgotten, you can go to the store. It’s not like she’s getting married in a Yurt in the middle of the desert. There will be a Wal*Mart nearby.

So that’s where we are now. Borderline lunacy that is being redirected through wedding projects and professional workload. Fingers crossed that my stop is coming up and I can get off this crazy train.

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