Saturday, February 25, 2017
An Hour for an Anxiety Ridden, Recovering Alcoholic Special Needs Mom: The Hell in My Head
"What's anxiety like?"
For me, sometimes it starts as a thought. Then it's a terrible feeling. Then it's the thought playing over and over again, churning that feeling. Other bits and pieces of today and yesterday are thrown in, churned in. The feeling is growing. It's one that suffocates you, it makes you feel like all the air is sucked out of the room when you're not even standing inside. I can see it happening, I can feel it happening, but I can't stop it.
It's like death chasing you with his frigid hands, you can feel it a block away. You have the urge to get as far away as possible from something that can't be seen, while everyone around you stares at you like there is something wrong with you, or worse yet, tells you to "get over it".
For example: Sometimes I get an awful thought in the car that plays itself over and over again several times before I can get it to stop. Like a car hitting mine and my head smashing into the steering wheel. Or a stray bullet coming through the window and hitting my temple. I don't know why it's there or where it comes from, but there it is, and it's terrible.
Sometimes there is no particular thought, but more like a racing of unconnected thoughts. It raises my heart rate and makes me faint. It makes my heart palpitate and my chest hurts. I need to get out from where ever I am. I think to myself that I need to stop putting so much on my plate. I'm always trying to figure out a cause for the anxiety so I can work the problem, not the worry. It's not always that simple though.
I've driven my kids ten hours to the beach for a "vacation" before because I felt like I was suffocating in my home. I had to be so far away from it all that I could honestly say that I was too far away to care if something went wrong. I came back breathing just fine. My chest didn't hurt anymore, but I can't always run away when anxiety raps on my chamber door.
Those thoughts and feelings that actually bothered me that I had in a moment; yesterday, the day before, last month and didn't realize I had them are now coming back with a vengeance to make me feel it right now. I don't always have the luxury of running. It doesn't mean I don't think about it though.
In a matter of one hour , what happened, along with the thoughts in my head:
I'm standing on a playground filled with kids and other parents, forcing myself to only pay attention to my kids because I don't want small talk. I do want small talk, but my anxiety says no.
It asks about the guy who followed me around the play ground. Good looking guy and definitely married. What does he want? If I talk to him does that make me look like I'm just trying to pick up dudes at the playground? I worry it'll look like I am. So I don't talk to him.
One person I know is there talking to her friend from church. I don't go to church, I'm Taoist. I'm briefly introduced. I listen to their conversation for a moment. My anxiety tells me I don't have anything fitting to add. So I don't.
I watch my youngest play and my oldest is clinging to me like no other kids are to their parents because he wants me to walk him around the play ground. He's non verbal. This is his way of saying he's having fun with me.
No one gets it but me. No one gets me. No one. There I was, standing around a huge group of people, and I felt like it was just myself and my kids.
I go home, exhausted, and get the kids ready to go to bed after dinner. My husband says he's going out with his friend after work on Saturday. To a bar. I don't drink anymore. I can't. I have a problem.
I don't give him any shit for going out with his friends. He can handle his alcohol, I can't. I remind myself that I'm not the one drinking.
I hope he takes a taxi home. I hope he has fun. I hope I don't say anything that makes him feel bad for wanting to have fun.
Maybe that's why I don't go out anymore? No one invites me out because I don't drink anymore.
I don't think about it much, I guess, because I'm home busy with the kids a lot.
People can't relate to me because I don't drink. They can't relate to me because I have special needs kids. They can't relate to me because I don't belong to a church. They can't relate to me.
It's not my fault. I'll just work. I have things to do that are important. I always do. I'll just keep working.
Society revolves it's social interactions around alcohol and I don't drink. I hope my kids don't have an issue with addiction when they get older. It's inherited you know.
My kids are already different. They don't need that too.
I need a vacation.