Have you ever been so stressed out that suddenly you just… weren’t?
Last week I was clinging to the end of my rope by a very frayed thread. Tuesday morning, I woke up extra early. The windows were open, the ceiling fan was on, the birds were chirping, and it was the perfect temperature in the house. It was just perfect. For about two minutes. As soon as I noticed myself thinking about how lovely everything felt, my brain fell apart. It’s not even that I was having coherent anxious thoughts — there were no thoughts, it was all chaotic swirling of overwhelming feelings. It was suffocating and I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I mean it felt like there was literally not enough oxygen in the air.
The noise in my brain had been building for a couple of weeks. One small illness after another and an insanely busy workload had sent my brain into the red. I was convinced I was dying of everything. As the birthday party and preeclampsia anniversaries loomed nearer the more on edge I felt.
Then our hot water heater died. I don’t remember the last time I cried out of pure stress. Tuesday night found me curled up on my bed crying because everything sucked so much. All these small things were going wrong and it was the anniversary of the day everything went to hell in my pregnancy with Rowan. I was just waiting for the next shoe to drop. Even something like trying to enjoy a peaceful moment was ruined by the feeling that Rowan was going to wake up at any second, or waiting for the cat to meow, or or or…. I was just so tightly wound that I was simply incapable of relaxing. I took an expired Ativan just hoping to keep all my pieces together.
I left work early on Wednesday because I thought I might crack apart.
Thursday I woke up with red, itchy eyes. I had run out of allergy meds on Monday and forgotten to get more. The hot water heater guy came and couldn’t fix it — we had to order a part. So no hot water for the party.
Friday my eyes were still itchy and suddenly I was convinced I had pink eye. Lorelei said her throat was itchy and I was sure she had strep. Rowan rubbed his eye and I assumed he also had pink eye. Every tiny thing was making me terrified of having to cancel the birthday party. Then Zach went to mow and was almost done with the front yard when the mower died.
This was the point when I ran out of fucks to give.
This morning dawned blue and warm. Nobody was sick. My eyes responded well to allergy drops. I took a shower in the hotel room my sister-in-law and her family had gotten for the night. I watched a baby giraffe being born in the Dollar Tree parking lot. I mean, the giraffe wasn’t in the … you know what I mean.
Then it was party time. Not everything that I wanted to get done got done. The birthday egg hunt didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. The cake cracked.
Despite everything going on in my life at the moment, the party was what I needed. I had been reluctant in planning it but as usual, it was awesome. So many friends from so many parts of my life and Lorelei’s life all coming together to hang out on a hot spring day. The kids ran and played and sometimes cried. Nobody shunned me for my box-mix cake or my canned icing. Nobody cared that I didn’t put out as much food as usual.
I had the perfect amount of fun today.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings. And next week. I doubt this spike in anxiety has just magically vanished but it was really nice to get a little break.