I have anxiety. We usually do a really good job of hiding it, even though we do not feel as if it is hidden. For us it seems like our mask is half way off our face and we are spending the majority of our time trying to hang it back on. This is the first time I have written anything for a public site as my anxiety usually gets the best of me and each time I go to write I feel sick to my stomach. It is really hard when you are thinking of all the possible scenarios that have not happened but could very well happen and they are on replay in your brain, like a broken record. How you begin to think that every one is judging you from behind a computer screen. It is the silent screams inside that we hide from all that scare us into believing that every one is talking badly about us, the things we write, the things we do, the things we say. I am still playing something that happened/said/did not say 5-10 years ago and trying to figure out another possible outcome, but even if I do figure one out it will never be just right because of the way it unfolded into my reality today. It is a vicious cycle and a daily struggle.
My phone is usually silent. I have no friends that check in on me, I do not have any friends to check in with, but still I sit with it day after day hoping that someone will care enough to check in. It never happens and makes me feel more isolated and alone. The feeling that no one cares enough to even ask you if you are okay slowly kills any self esteem you have left. Most days it feels like I am sitting on a window sill looking out and no one can see me sitting there. Some times I feel as if maybe I am asking too much of some people, that they can not offer the type of communication that I need, and that is not a bad thing, but some times most people are so wrapped up in their own life they fail to see that others are having troubles as well. Now that is not a bad thing, but it does make the world a little smaller. It also hurts to see someone you thought was a friend ignore you on a daily basis but see they you are the only one they are not texting.
I am usually a very private person. I do not like my business out in the open, where people can openly judge you. It is not for me, so putting all of this out there in the world is a whole new thing I am testing out. I know I am not the next “Baby Sideburns’ or anything like that, but maybe I will be able to help a few.
I have a hard time meeting friends and keeping them. Between my autoimmune disease and my anxiety and my depression I usually don’t leave the house, and I am pretty sure I don’t like people and they don’t like me. Not too many people can handle a snarky, tattooed, sarcastic, young mom like myself, and that’s okay, I am not a cup of tea. Take Facebook for example, I have a mere 36 people on my friends list, most are family, and there are a few girls from way back when on there and that is it. If you are not liking my shit or engaging in any type communication chances are I dropped you off the list. So it gets smaller as the years go by, and that does not help me make any friends, but neither does sitting at home all the time. Most people I know do not live near me, which makes things hard. I do not like to leave the house by myself, I am securely stitched to the side of my adoring husband. He usually goes every where with me, in fact over the years we have become best friends. Don’t get me wrong I love my husband, he is the very best, and is awesome at being every thing I need at any particular moment, but some times, I do wish I had at least one girlfriend, near me, that I could count on to pig out, drink, and watch Netflix all day while the kids rip apart the house. So here I sit hiding behind my computer screen trying to have a pity party for one while trying to relate to at least one other person in the world. Then there are the random friend requests you get, like ‘who are you’, ‘what do you want’, ‘I don’t think I can trust you seeing pictures of my kids’ and nine million other questions that fly through my dome piece before I hit the deny button. Social media for social anxiety is a recipe for disaster, makes you question every thing and every one you have ever known. I am in a constant battle with my self to feel acknowledged but at the same time ready to delete it cause no one ever does.
With all the things that are hard to do, parenting when you feel this way, is definitely interesting. I am an introvert, trying to get my 10 year old daughter to talk to me has proven more difficult than I thought. She is also an introvert, and I can see the anxiety start to present itself, and how much I wish it would have skipped her. It brings tears to my eyes to see her struggle socially at school when I know exactly what she went through and I could not take it. I ended up dropping out and it really did not do me any favors, except for me becoming a mother. So here I am trying to figure out a way to get her to open up and coming up with ideas that are failing to do their jobs. Where do I go from here? What can I try next? It is a battle, but I need to win this one, or else she will get farther and farther away and will not share anything with me, and I do not want that at all. At the same time it is so hard for me to open up to her about how I feel so it is like a vicious game of tug of war between our slinky little friends Anxious Annie. My 6 year old, has no problem expressing herself, thankfully, and she just makes her siblings her minions to do her evil bidding, and the 5 year old, well he wants to control every thing and cries and when it does not happen. Every day is a battle with my ‘trying to be’ defiant little ‘insert bad word’, as I know I will be shamed for calling them what ever word I choose.
So now that we have discussed the low parts, let’s get down to the fun bits. Like chewing your nails off after being able to grow them past the stubby stage, we all know how awesome our nails look. This usually happens in spurts, at one point you will have a nail, and they will look good, and next thing you know BAM! they are gone. Welcome to the dark side they seem to scream as you nervously bite your way through. Then there is the heart pounding sensation, that is a good one, practice for the upcoming Cardiac arrest you will most likely have while trying to survive the teenage years with 2 daughters and a son. If they are anything like me I know I am screwed, but if they are like their father, yup screwed x2. How about them sweats people, nothing like dripping while trying to smile. Always a great feeling. So during all of these fun times all you can think of is the 10 possible ways this situation you are in is going down. Most likely all of your scenarios will end is disaster as there is no up sides in these parts.
So back to parenting, I digress, which is easy to do with my brain, SQUIRREL!! I could go on and on and on, but let’s just say that it makes it harder than normal, oh wait, there is no normal, cause we are all just trying to hang on by a thread. I do hope I shed some light on my life as a spoonie, and hopefully there are others than can relate and I am not as crazy as I think I am. If you feel isolated and no one can ever guess what is going on, you will be surprised to know that we do exist, we may be hiding, lurking in the shadows, but we are here, most likely scrolling and judging silently asking why no one bothers to say hi or acknowledge you exist. We are here, trying to grasp a parenting manual that ceases to exist. Every day we face a new challenge or a new obstacle to get through, I personally just go around them, no use in trying to move something that does not want to move. Leave it in the dust, no point in making a mess considering you will be the one to clean it up.
So I am not sure where I was going with this and not sure how to end it, except for saying that I am in the trenches with you. Thank you for reading.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”