This weekend something funny happened. And by funny I mean “ha ha ha” but also not so much. I’m sure you understand.
As a family we decided to have a spontaneous outing and drove to the Waffle Window for waffles. I’m not known for my spontaneity so my kiddos and husband were probably pleasantly surprised to hear me grab my keys and head out to the car without any cajoling from them. On the way back I was chatting with them and I said something to the extent of “I’m sorry for being such a basket case lately. This querying my novel thing is pretty stressful.” To which 2 of my kids basically said “Really, we hadn’t noticed a difference.”
And by not noticing a difference, they didn’t mean “you’ve been your normal sweet-natured self, Mom.” Nope, they meant that I’m always a bit of a basket case. And they probably weren’t too far from the truth.
Honestly, I’m always a bit out there, whirling more elliptically than in a perfect circle, as if my gyroscope is broken in some important way. I suppose it is.
I’ve had PTSD for as long as I’ve had me. In other words, this is the only way I know I can be. I’m better today than at points along my way, but it is a big part of how I respond to the world, both good and bad. Then I developed PPD with all my pregnancies which added to my fun. Basically I’m a word salad of issues, an acronym-riddled-angsty-pants.
As I age, many aspects of both my PTSD and PPD are easing. However, I’m finding that I’m becoming more and more anxious over time. So anxious that the other day my heart was racing like I’d had several pots of coffee and straight shots of Hershey’s syrup while standing in front of the open refrigerator door. Which I hadn’t. I swear. Which makes me sad because coffee and chocolate overindulgence would at least have had a moment of fun involved. I can attest that an anxiety attack has no preceding moment of fun at all.
I get anxious over stuff that I hope happens or hope doesn’t happen. I get anxious over the parts that I can’t control. I get anxious because I’m so anxious that I’m missing out on stuff. I get anxious that the people who matter to me don’t know I think that about them. I get anxious because I’ve been too much of an angsty-pants that I was no fun to be around so people left me alone to wallow in my angst-pants-ness.
As an aspiring writer, the list of potential anxiety-inducing items gets longer and longer by the day. It wasn’t that long ago I was just a dreamer, plunking out 1000 words a night at my kitchen table. I dreamed for 76,000 words. I dreamed up three girls. I dreamed up their lives. I was just a dreamer.
And now I have to find a home for them so they can become real. The whole process of making that part of the dream happen gives me an anxiety attack as lickety-split as you can imagine.
So today I am aiming for staying in the present and not worry about yesterday or tomorrow. I’m aiming to push shut the door on all the past and future demons that sit just outside threatening to destroy me. I’m aiming for giving an extra hug to each of my kids. Aiming to hold hands with Mister Soandso so he remembers meeting me 22 years ago when I wasn’t so anxious.
I’m aiming to enjoy this glorious first day of my favorite month of the whole year, this start of my birthday month. I’m aiming to get outside and sniff the October air and see the leaves turning colors as if they are caught on fire against the perfect blue sky. I’m aiming for enjoying this part of being a dreamer.