Friday, January 20, 2012

Peaches

I remember the first time I became aware of the difficulty I have when things seem to be going smoothly. See? I just did it right there. I typed "seem to be" instead of "are." Things can't go well. They don't. IF they are it just means that something bad is going to happen. The other shoe will drop. And then somehow, impossibly, I should have known better. I should have done something differently which might have prevented or held off the shoe dropping.

The whole time something is going well I'm largely unable to enjoy and relax because I'm internally tensing and preparing and worrying about when things will cease to go well. It's life, all of it, and for some reason I think that if I just do everything perfectly enough, I won't have to... but I'm not perfect. This is not new news. And yet I still strive to be. To do "IT" right. THE right way. There are SO many right ways to do things, I really have no idea why I obsess about the right way to do laundry. Or eat. Or brush my teeth or parent or wash dishes. Good enough CAN BE enough. I am human.

I'm mildly frustrated at my inability to get past this already because dontcha know that anxiety is Doing It Wrong.

I find it ironic that I fail to apply to this area of my life the motto I have so embraced and been okay with, for parenting. That motto is: "Do what works until it doesn't work any more. Then do something else." Whatever works for you. Sleeping through the night? Great! Glad it works for you! Not sleeping through the night but you don't mind getting up to nurse twice? Great! Glad it works for you! Not right. Not wrong. Everybody's different. And that's okay.

Both depression and anxiety take the person suffering these conditions out of the present moment. They're unable to be all there. Physically present and mentally elsewhere. Certainly not very emotionally present. I've rarely lived in the present moment. I find it to be just too terrifying most of the time. Sometimes I risk it, in the moments that seem to be safe.

Fulfilling life is about being present. Thankful and humbly accepting what comes. Riding through moments as they come, and then letting them go. Good ones and bad ones. Happy and sad ones. All kinds of feelings and moments will come and continue to come until we're dead. We can't control it or decide it even if we are convinced we can. (And if we are convinced we can, we'll eventually be proven wrong; I speak from experience.) Control is such a tempting illusion. As is perfection.


Some people self-medicate. I've tried. Oh how I've wished I could just eat more when I'm anxious, as that would solve two problems at once! I think I'm reaching the point where plain old medication is the answer, for now. I've been wondering that since September and trying many other alternative solutions without much relief. Still haven't called Kaiser to follow through, which makes me wonder if I'm trying to be perfectly in control here, too. If you're anxious about going on anti-anxiety meds does that mean you need them all the more? Probably. It certainly means you need SOMEthing.

Two things, through this, have remained completely awesome. My God and my husband. Both love me without condition and though one does so imperfectly, he has held me and supported me and I am so grateful for his physical presence and comfort.

I started this post thinking I was going to write about eating peaches and laughing around the table with my girls and husband almost two years ago. That was the moment I first became aware of how uneasy I was, at the core, and that's when I first wanted to know why. I thought some more about it and realized it was because I felt I didn't deserve that lovely moment. Surely it would be ruined or taken from me. I had to be ready and I had to protect myself because I hate it when I hurt. Something was preventing me from enjoying the abundance of gifts in my life.

I was preventing me. I hate it when I steal my own joy. I do it quite frequently and I'm really getting tired of it. This isn't working for me any more. I hope I find something that does work, soon. I'll try again, tomorrow.

(P.S. I was depressed much of the time before having kids. Now I'm anxious. I would MUCH rather be depressed. Can't control it, I know... just saying. IF I could pick... =))

3 comments:

  1. I have anxiety issues too and they're worse now...does it just come with motherhood? I'm annoyed with myself for having taken so much for granted without realizing it and definitely not living in the moment (but knowing I'm not which just makes me more stressed...)

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    1. I think motherhood provides a tricky framework of control. So much of the time we DO and CAN control/direct very successfully and to the benefit of everyone! It's hard to balance that with the times that despite our very best effort, crappy stuff still happens and that's okay and not our fault.

      MISS YOU! Remember here? Sitting under the tree they've probably cut down by now? Conversing with the ducks? =) http://www.classrooms.uci.edu/gac/PSLH.html

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    2. Yes! Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago! I definitely didn't appreciate it at the time as much as I should have. Miss you, the ducks, even some of the classes! I took Sophia for a walk in Aldrich park when she was probably about 3 months old. It all seemed so familiar but of course there were new buildings, less empty spaces and less empty lots around campus (new apartments and dorms). It was a Saturday and there weren't many people around. The park in the middle was pretty much empty and I stopped to nurse a hungry baby and all of a sudden, the cover blew away, she unlatched and a tour group walked by!

      We want to move to Irvine eventually. I like how there are nice parks everywhere within walking distance! I want to take Sophia back there soon and watch her chase the bunnies and ducks (we saw some again last time) now that she's walking (she's 13 months now!). I will keep my shirt on this time.

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