From SBB….”One day, desperate to quite the voice in my head, i took a spiral notebook and began having a conversation with myself on the paper. Everything I was worried about just spilled out in a rapid stream of consciousness. What I was doing was not so much recording the events in my life as much as eliminating the mental minutiae that was depleting my creative energy and driving me crazy. I was then able to let go and get on with my day…Try writing a daily dialogue as an experiment for twenty-one days…Neither the time of day nor the amount you write seems to matter as much as the repetition. Stressed souls need the reassuring rhythm of self-nurturing rituals…You can’t moan about a situation for months and not decide to do something about it. You’ll get tired of the sound of your own nagging and be inspired to get moving.”
As I was listening to an NPR podcast on my way home from work on Friday – I believe it was fresh air and an interview from 2013 with an author talking about motherhood and how the exhaustion affects parents three different ways…and you can’t anticipate which of the three you’ll be until it happens…functioning exhausted, functioning but barely, or a complete shit show (my words…not the author’s). This got me thinking about the pull of this project within my life and one of the reasons that I wanted to embark on it in the first place.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for a long time. I only really became aware of it in college but I’m sure it was there before then. What I’ve found is that my anxiety has been tied to being in situations where I’m not happy – both what what is going on around me as well as the person I’ve become. And the anxiety compounds as I’m not recognizing what is going on…my unhappiness and not getting out of it…and I cycled…for a very long time. That culminated in taking 80 mg of prozac a day…for a number of years. And that medicine was great. It worked. It was what I needed (or what I thought) for that point in time. I didn’t have the skills or ability to make the changes….or desire at that point…to fix things. To change my situation to get rid of the anxiety.
And what came with that high amount of drugs was a numbness…a numbness that allowed me to survive…as well as a numbness that made things good enough to keep moving forward…and a numbness to not be able to see that meerly going forward wasn’t good enough…or what I wanted for myself.
Thankfully things changed. My situation changed – my then partner literally imploded and had the first of a few self-destructions that literally rocked our worlds and got me out of there. Yes, I didn’t initiate that first step out of there….but when I saw an opening….I was able to get out. It took another year and a half of things being stable, calm and livable for me to taper completely off the prozac. I slowly but surely got down to the the smallest amount at my disposal…and in April 2014 – I made the jump. I’ve been without it for almost 9 months…and I thing the lingering effects of the drug….of the numbness are almost gone.
Probably not surprising was the profound effect that this had on my ability to feel pleasure – in the most carnal, necessary form of the word….and I feel like there is just one thread left….one tie that binds. And it is almost free…almost gone…and once that double orgasm comes….I will be free.
So back to where I was initially going…anxiety. One of my biggest fear is of what motherhood – pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum and all of those hormones and feelings – will do to my anxiety. I don’t want to tailspin. I’m committed to not having this implosion…to figuring out how to identify, address and move on from the gripping cloak of a fully body weight of fear, tears, self-doubt, and pain….and be successful in managing it.
And I want to figure out how to do that from within myself. I am incredibly lucky that I have a supportive, loving, understanding husband who I know will be there with me every step of the way…and help me through this. But this issue, this cloud, this burden…this thing that has destroyed and very nearly destroyed the two women before me…I have to not let that happen to me….not want it to…and figure out how to lessen the impact on my children. Figure out how to model this good behavior…good practice…and possibly avoid or weaken how this is passed on to them.
And it all starts with words…with acknowledging my my fears, my troubles, my anxiety…getting it out of my head…and onto paper…and figuring out how to move forward.
Now is the time to build that foundation…and I have a year to grow it…well, 11/12 of a year.
I may have slacked on my daily commitment to this project but the principles are ones that I have been thinking of for quite a while….and I have continued to think of them this month. It’s with these last few prompts of the month that SBB is finally giving words and tasks to some of these things that I’ve been doing all along. Score on being ahead of the curve…and affirming in that I’ve already identified the right path to go down…now it’s time to put on some comfortable, yet fashionable shoes, grab a basket of magazines and continue onward…and upward.