Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

Opening Up

Monday, February 13th, 2012

I finally scheduled a doctor’s appointment to get referrals – one for the scary mole on the back of my arm and one for the scary shouting I can’t seem to control. The appointment was at 9 am on a Thursday at the military healthcare building. On Wednesday, I realized my car didn’t have updated stickers and I couldn’t get on base without stickers.

I went to get new stickers.

I couldn’t get stickers because my ID had just expired, so the guy gave me a temporary pass to get to the ID office.

I went to get my ID.

I couldn’t get a new ID because my sponsor – my husband – has to be with me OR I needed a power of attorney OR he needed to come in and fill out a form.

I called my husband.

No, he couldn’t come. No, he had to be at work. No, he couldn’t do it on his lunch break. No, he couldn’t do it tonight. No, there is no way it could be done before my appointment tomorrow.

I started to cry.

“FINE!” I screamed into the phone, “I hope your job is REAL HAPPY when your wife goes FUCKING CRAZY because you couldn’t take TWO MINUTES to come sign a piece of paper. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.” I hung up.

No stickers, no ID, no form, no appointment. No no no no no no no no no.

I watched the kids run back and forth in the grass outside the building and wondered if I was just imagining going crazy or if it was something that was actually happening. It was 55 degrees in January, after all. Maybe this wasn’t real life.

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 The next day I was really embarrassed about my temper tantrum, just like I always am. I calmly rescheduled my appointment and couldn’t figure out why it had felt SO URGENT only a few hours before. I should just stop overreacting and calm down. There’s no reason to be so angry. Good mothers don’t shout so much. I told myself I just suck at everything and need to get over it. Just like I said the time before, and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that… I kept my appointment.

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I talked to my doctor for a long time on Tuesday and filled out her questionnaires as honestly as possible. She said it sounded like anxiety – which I was just calling OVERREACTING TO ALL THE THINGS – with mild depression. I don’t know if it’s technically postpartum anything but when the doctor said “It’s OK, you’re not imagining things, I can help” I felt better than I have in months.

I took my first tiny Zoloft pill last Tuesday. I am still not sure how I feel about it. I am still not sure that it’s working. But I AM sure talking to my doctor was the right thing to do. I can’t believe I waited so long. I can’t believe I still feel so reluctant to share this. In my online life I know so many women who have dealt with or are fighting  or have overcome postpartum depression or anxiety or OCD or some other form of baby-related hormonal brain disease. Some days I wondered if I was crazy for NOT having postpartum depression. And then when things started to feel out of control I wondered if I was just exaggerating so I could fit in. Oh look, another mommy blogger on medication. What a cliche. Doesn’t she know Dooce already did that? It’s so 2009. Besides, my “baby” is 13 months old – didn’t my ticket to postpartum mental disorder town expire in December?

Although I know the internet is FULL of support, in my real life things like this are Not Talked About. The only person I’ve ever heard mention PPD was the sad, weepy, exhausted mom at breastfeeding support group who was so obviously depressed I wanted to bundle her into my car and drive her to a therapist myself. I’ve never felt like that. No one has ever said “You look like you’re struggling.” My husband has never taken the baby away from me and suggested I talk to someone.  I think my family is going to be really surprised to read this. I’m worried what they’re going to think. But hopefully soon, I won’t have to worry so much about what I think.

Abnormal, maybe

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Today I present a list of stuff that makes me anxious:

1. Wondering if I do every day things the “normal” way. Brushing my teeth, putting on mascara, folding laundry, sweeping, taking off my socks…do other people have better ways of doing these things?

2. Thinking about whether or not houses in commercials are ACTUAL HOUSES or just SETS MADE TO LOOK AT HOUSES. I think it’s probably about a 50/50 split but which ones are which??

3. The part of tv or radio interviews right at the end when the interviewer is wrapping it up and transitioning to the next part of the show. I always worry on behalf of both parties that something awkward will happen and they’ll end up talking over each other or the interviewee won’t get a chance to say “thanks for having me” in a gracious way. I actually SIGH WITH RELIEF when interviews end smoothly.

4. Parking. I have been a licensed driver for almost 13 years and yet I still get nervous EVERY TIME I have to park anywhere near another car. Also, I would rather park two miles away than turn right into a parking spot.

5. Wearing shorts. No explanation needed.

6. Watching movies/tv shows where all the characters (usually involving lots of men) look the same or reading books where all the names start with the same letter (Example movie: Lord of the Rings). Instead of just NOT WATCHING/READING them I get all sweaty palmed and confused and asking people around me “wait, who is that person related to? didn’t he just kill that other guy? or was that whats-his-name?”

7. Coming up with three more things for this list so I can have an even 10 because who does a “Top 7” list? That’s not even a thing! How can I publish a list with ONLY SEVEN THINGS?  But thinking about the first six items is giving me heart palpitations so I’m quitting now.

TUESDAY MORNING EDIT: I thought of more stuff! Because why read a nice book at 11 pm when you can instead anxiously make lists of more things that make you anxious and then worry so much you will forget them in the morning you can’t sleep?

8. Anything involving a telephone (answering calls, ordering food, calling the doctor’s office, making appointments, even calling my friends), but ESPECIALLY checking my voicemail. I get sort of nervous as soon as the phone starts to ring but the thought of letting the person calling leave a message that I then have to CHECK and maybe even RETURN THE CALL is just ridiculous. I would prefer all interaction take place over the internet.

9. Remembering specific incidents I handled badly at the time but later thought of just the thing I SHOULD have done/said. These are not usually recent incidents, but instead stuff that happened years ago, maybe in college or in high school. Something reminds me of that moment in my past and I spend ALL DAY replaying it in my head and worrying about whether or not the entire course of my life would be different if I had just said the RIGHT THING.