I’m not an anxious person by nature. I mean I do worry about things but I don’t SUFFER from anxiety naturally. It’s actually a side effect of my antidepressant which…I’m pretty sure I can’t live without. So. I just deal with the unfortunate side effect of random anxiety.
It doesn’t come every day. In fact most days I don’t have it at all. But when I do, it’s horrible. Today is one of those days. It made me think I had an upset stomach at first. But then the guilt started creeping up on me and that’s when I realized that this horribly unsettled feeling I have is the anxiety monster. Again.
The guilt, always with the guilt… It overwhelms me and I feel so awful. I don’t know what to do with myself.
All I can think about is lost time and missed opportunities and things that will never be again and I just want to cry except I can’t because my kids are here and it would upset them. And considering that every ounce of guilt in my pounding heart is about my failings as a mother, the last thing I want to do is upset my kids.
Why? WHY do I dwell on these things? My rational self knows it’s just the anxiety talking and it also knows that regret is a useless emotion, that what’s done is done. Nonetheless, all I can do is think about how my kids aren’t babies anymore and all the times I didn’t play dolls with my daughter (because I really hate playing dolls) and how now she likes to go in her room and read or draw. With the door closed. And it’s like a sign to my crazy anxious heart that she is slipping away from me and I want to cry for all the times I missed playing with the little girl that she is no more. And I know it’s absurd. I know I have done plenty of memorable, wonderful things with her but I can’t think about that. All I can think about are the reasons I should feel horrible; all the ways in which I’ve failed.
My son is 4 now and while I feel so shitty and anxious that I just want to roll up in a little ball and sleep forever, that I WANT to do that is just one more example of how I am failing him. Why am I not outside with him. Why are we in the house? And then I think of all the reasons we’re not outside and goddammit. I’m just full of excuses, aren’t I? So I pledge that tomorrow will be different even though I’m pretty sure it won’t be. I know myself. And I fail again.
So I give in and I take the Xanax. I never want to but it works and soon all of this will seem silly and maybe even comical—but you know what? I’m going to publish it anyway. Because this is the truth.