and I don’t like it. I’ve been known to have bouts of depression, hell, look at my header. Hello?! This time, this time is different. My anxiety has been hitting all time highs. Generally it’s focused on my on-call work. I have absolutely no control on if and when I’ll get called to respond, and that’s the worst part. I make myself sick with the anxious anticipation. I try to let it go and just relax, and for a brief minute I’m free. Until I remember what I was stressing about, and then it kicks into higher gear and I feel even more on edge that my five minutes of bliss will cause the universe to punish me with a troublesome call.
It’s sickening and maddening all at the same time. This obsession with having to feel stressed about being on-call in hopes that my agony is enough for the cosmos to keep everyone else just sane enough that an evaluation from me is not warranted. There’s a constant fear of the unknown, that a call will come through and change my plans. A call I’ll respond to that will lead me to fighting with doctors about my decision, dealing with hospitals pleading my case, all leading me to second guess myself and deem my knowledge useless since I have only a Bachelor’s degree and am surrounded by Master’s level and higher. As if to say that my on the job experience is not enough to satisfy the egomaniacs and render my opinion useless. Yet, they will call upon me at 3 am because they have a “crazy” person who is a little depressed.
flow like a harpoon, daily and nightly
This weekend I hit an all-time low. I managed to stress myself out about being on-call Friday night and even more so for the FOLLOWING weekend. The topper to the stress was finding out my husband had made plans, with no regards to me or my plans, to be gone this coming weekend. Mind you, I was originally on-call the first weekend of this month, but kindly rearranged my schedule per my husband’s request upon returning from his 5 days. My anxiety in regards to on-call is at a steady 8 or 9. However, add to the fact that there is the potential of me having to wake my mother across town in the middle of the night to watch Embers so I can respond to a call, we’re moving upwards of 11 on a scale of 1-10. While I’m not upset at why my husband will be out of town, it’s the way he handled the whole situation. That is neither here nor there at this point. Let’s focus on my self-hatred with anxiety.
We had a gorgeous weekend, weather wise, and figured it was time to see how my new golf clubs worked. I had been feeling on the verge of tears all day for no good reason and was hoping a little sunshine and fresh air would chase it away. As we approached the golf course, we noticed there were people on almost every hole. I am not a great golfer, better with alcohol, but seeing as we’re now sober, I was back to being a complete amateur. My self-esteem issues on the front lines, I began to fret about the other golfers catching up to us, realizing I have a horrible swing and am unsure of how my new clubs handle. I freaked myself out on what others would be witnessing, or not because they were most likely enjoying the gorgeous day. But I, I was not. I was stuck in an anxiety riddled freak out that brought every emotion to the top of my very thin skin. Three swings in to our first hole and I declared myself to be over this outing. I was done. I couldn’t suck it up enough to enjoy the beauty of the day, our life, with my family. As I returned from picking up my ball and letting B finish out the hole, Emberly asked me if I was a “crybaby.” “Well, that’s apparently your dad’s impression of me.”
The tension rose and I cried my way home with Emberly joining in in the back seat. My tears from shame, her tears from being pulled away from a fun activity. Arriving home, B & E went upstairs to watch tv, while I pretended the laundry needed rotated. Instead, I bawled. I wept for ruining our afternoon, a perfect set up for great family memories. I wept for the new-found power this anxiety has on me. I wept for knowing that my husband and my daughter were ashamed of me, mad for letting my issues interfere with their good times.
My apologies were met with head nods and questions as to why we had to leave golfing early. My heart shattered into a million more pieces each time “crybaby” was spewed from a mouth that didn’t understand the true weight of its meaning. I spent the rest of the night ashamed that I was not as strong as I once thought I was. I was unable to control the anxiety beast that lives inside. I was weak.
Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know
Anxiety and mild mental instability seem to be hereditary in my family. I wish I could control my issues alone, with no medications. And until we either get pregnant and having a baby OR decide to give up on the roller coaster, I will be forced to fight this battle alone, unarmed. I want so badly to be able to switch my mind over to a glass half-full mode, and I think I can. It’s just a long, hard battle that I need to win. I need to conquer this, for myself, for my family, but most of all, for my daughter who deserves nothing but happiness and adventure from her loving mother.
Turn off the lights, and I’ll glow…my heart will fight this. The fire inside will lead the way.