Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Shall we discuss the ramifications of an anxiety disorder?

I’ve been sick for the last week. Thankfully the really bad days coincided with a rare 3 day weekend for Z, so he did the bulk of the child care and I tried to get better. I was on the mend Monday with a little hiccup yesterday- an inflamed eye and a quick trip to the doctors. This morning I thought I was pretty much in the clear.

Before T’s first nap I started to get nauseated and my belly was upset. I texted Z to find out if he was feeling poorly because we’d eaten the same stuff, but he was fine. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks just like it always does. I was having an anxiety attack.

My anxiety attacks tend to be really physical. Lightheadedness, nausea, upset stomach, tingling in my extremities, all pretty textbook stuff. And I get them frequently. But even though the symptoms are the same every time I’m always shocked when I realize what is going on. Pretty ironic for someone who thinks she is pretty self aware.

So as soon as I got T to sleep I took my chill pill and tried to sleep it off. But when T and I woke up the magic chill pill hadn’t worked. I wasn’t having an anxiety attack. I threw up. And panicked.

Thankfully Z was able to leave work and come home, and I rested all afternoon. But I’m still not sure what was wrong. Did the weird cold I have morph? Was it a touch of food poisoning? A bug? Could T get it? Will it affect my production of breast milk? Will I be OK tomorrow? If I’m not who will help me with T? Will I have an anxiety attack tomorrow? Will I have one later tonight? And the biggest question of all, will T suffer from anxiety when he grows up because of me?

Feeling out of control is just about my worst nightmare. It snowballs from the specific issue to encompass everything that could go wrong in life. The agoraphobia gets stronger. I worry about how precarious everything is. Accidents happen every day. There are so many dangerous things in this world. I’m suddenly scared when the phone rings because I just know it is going to be bad news. And what about T? I’m a mess, how am I going to be able to protect him? And what about when he gets older and I’m not around to protect him? Was it fair to become a mom in the first place when I knew I struggled with these problems?

The trick is pushing all those feelings to the edges of my mind so I can get on with life. The fear is being completely paralyzed and overwhelmed by the anxiety. The fear is having the depression come back. The fear is being so messed up I can’t care for T.

Fingers crossed tomorrow is better. I want to be well for T, for Z, and for me.

And I think an accidental rhyme is a good place to end for tonight.

1 comment:

  1. hang in there, karen! i hope tomorrow is a better day...