Boogie Men, Personal Demons and Change
So, so messy.
And the Princess made her lunch this morning and managed to soak the bagels with some undetermined substance that is probably chicken soup, but might not be, so I sigh as I throw the bagel into the garbage can.
Did I mention that someone got into the garbage? Leftover hamburger fixings, frozen vegetable packages and coffee grounds lay strewn upon the kitchen floor. Littlebit squats down, prepared to finger paint in the grounds. I ask her to please not do that and the desperation in my voice must have been obvious, so she stopped.
Two months ago, I stopped taking my meds. Mild meds. Meds to control my anxiety which is NOT mild at all. Mild meds to control my panic attacks, which aren’t mild at all. The payoff is so big, but I didn’t want to be medicated to “cope” with my life. I didn’t want to be medicated to be able to tell the irrational Boogie Men Panic and Anxiety that they didn’t need to be here anymore. So, at Thanksgiving I forgot to take them for a few days and then I realized I felt fine without them. Maybe even better. I was so proud of myself.
But, as stress begins to mount from our upcoming changes (we’re moving out of state, ya’ll) and my irrational terror of making a wrong choice and the Boogie Men are hiding under the bed and in the closets again. I try ignoring them. I tell them to go away. I try begging, pleading, bargaining, cajoling, shaming and ordering them away. It doesn’t work.
Sunday night in the midst of another minor crisis my first full blown attack in some time happened when I was home alone with the girls. My Princess, my sweet, sweet Princess, who has lived through the worst of panic took control of the little people while I fought the attack back. It’s not real, I told myself over and over. It’s not real. The attack passed and left me shaky. For two whole days, like panic does.
Tuesday night before bed, I took out my bottle of mild meds and, with sadness, swallowed a pill. I woke up Wednesday morning feeling better. Panic and Anxiety are standing in the corner with their arms crossed. They’re irritated. They had such a good run here last time. They can’t believe the curtain is already falling.
What does this have to do with my nightmare of a kitchen? When my panic is bad, I have one option to control it. Constant mental focus elsewhere. I have to play games, do multiplication tables, focus mentally (reading doesn’t usually help, nor does watching t.v. or movies for that matter). Word games and math games are my only defense against a full blown, horrible attack. That means that the dishes and laundry fall to the wayside as there isn’t enough mental activity involved in those tasks to keep me focused away from my mounting panic.
It means we eat out more and the vacuum cleaner isn’t run.It means I cry to Big Daddy over my inability to just cope with it on my own and enjoy my wonderful life. It means I live in constant fear of the worst happening. I am paralyzed.
So I take my mild meds. I wait for the symptoms to ebb. I hope. I banish the boogie men, who depart reluctantly. Hopefully never to return