I keep starting and stopping this post.
I’m filtering myself.
I will filter myself.
But I wanted to share with you that this Summer I thought I was losing my sanity.
And to gain it back I have, at times, taken off, barefoot in my driveway, running around, sometimes, dancing and jumping because lately the only time I don’t feel anxious is when my body is moving.
Anxiety has crumpled me up like a wad of paper and left me trashed.
About three weeks ago my good friend since junior high called me and was frank with me.
Said some things I needed to hear.
That and also just knowing. Knowing I was staring into a hole I never thought I’d ever be close to going down. Staring at it with fear, incredible fear. And also empathy. Empathy for those with mental illness and addictions.
I’ve been worried about my sanity.
I come from genetics that lend itself to losing yours.
I come from genetics that lend itself to addiction.
But three weeks ago I knew, I wanted away from that hole.
I also knew I wanted, had to, feel better.
The diagnosis of an SVT has made me feel paranoid about my health. I’ve been drinking too much wine, every night to combat my fear. I take Xanax during the day to combat my fear.
Yet, the fear was trickling in despite my self-medicating. Leaving me miserable.
Leaving me curled in a ball, afraid to get out of bed. Unable to respond to my kids.
So in the last month I have taken action.
I’ve given up caffeine, seen(seeing) a therapist, a psychiatrist, talking to friends, stopped drinking wine every night, I get a beer or two a week now and I’m moving. I’m moving so much that I’m sweating.
I saw my cardiologist and she held my icy, clammy hand and said, “Lindsay, you are OK. Your heart is doing great.” It helped to hear that.
I have also stopped reading the news.
I’m going to adhere to the motto think globally, act locally.
I know so many people who are anxious.
If I continue feeling this way I will go on medication but I’m feeling so much better.
I have been weening myself off the Xanax.
Despite days of thinking I couldn’t. That if I could crawl out of my skin and mind that would be best.
That I was losing my mind.
It’s not to say that Xanax and meds aren’t good and OK, they are fine. But drinking so much, reading news that was overwhelming me and not exercising were not OK.
I went to my acupuncture guy whom I haven’t seen in nearly a year and he said, “Summer is hard for you Lindsay. You were anxious last summer as well.”
I thought about that.
I know I’m lonely in the Summer, my close friends often travel and we haven’t yet due to three little ones. I’ve been in my mind too much.
I have been sharing with people and immediately felt better.
I almost called of the next ExMo but I know it will make me feel good.
I’m feeling so much better in these three short weeks I’m hopeful.
But God, I was miserable for awhile.
I would walk the grocery store and think, here I am this privileged blonde in my workout clothes and if I start to freak out I can just go home but what about someone else, what if the bagger has anxiety. What does she do? Just pack your bags and suck it up?
I am worrying too much and about the wrong things.
This week a woman, a very cute, smart woman, admitted to me her anxiety has been so bad that one night at midnight she woke up and had to run around her block a few times.
As we stood sharing our intimate feelings I felt better. Better that I wasn’t alone.
Better that meds are an OK option if I can’t control this.
Thankful she was cool enough to share with me.
I also felt overwhelmingly sad for those who have fallen down the hole I was teetering over. The hole of self-medicating.
So I reached out to someone I know in that hole. I cried for that person. I prayed for that person. I prayed for myself.
Life is incredibly challenging.
Perhaps this is my early mid-life crisis combined with periomenopause. Perhaps I’m scared I’m not as bleepable as I was when I was 22.
All I know is I’m hot as hell most of the time so now I’m drinking lots of ice cold water and running the air conditioning.
Coming off the wine and the Xanax scared the hell out of me.
I could barely sleep.
I’m sleeping so much better now and down to very little Xanax and even if I took it forever it would be OK.
I’m starting to filter.
You know how you remember certain things?
I remember a boy told me I was glowing one Fourth of July in Okoboji, Iowa. We were stone cold sober, I literally just was bronzed as the Iowa sunset sat. He turned out to be a photographer.
I remember also, that in 3rd grade my art teacher told me I had wonderful balance.
She referred to a pencil sketch I drew. I remember the table cloth and the pitcher. I was incredibly proud of the sketch and her compliment.
I have always prided myself on my balance.
To be tipped, tossed and shaken like that unnerved the hell out of me.
We did have a series of earthquakes at the beginning of Summer which scared me.
But I can’t live every moment scared.
I’m getting better, feeling so much better.
It’s still a struggle but I’m trying to tell myself I’m doing great.
And if you see a braless mom running barefoot in her driveway just know that she’s doing the best she can not to come un-hinged.
Thank you to all of the incredible, smart, great moms who have talked to me and admitted your own anxiety and told me about what meds you use to help you. Thank you to those of you who aren’t moms who have reached out to me and shared. I greatly appreciate it and my soul and sanity thank you and reach out in a big hug even if we aren’t physically close enough for me to be able to do it.