Honestly, I almost titled this post “For Example: Shut Up,” but then I would have felt compelled to begin with an apology… because grandma and mom taught me never to say shut up to anyone… because shut up isn’t nice…. I suppose shut the fuck up makes it all the worse.
I’ve said both variations and maybe even a few relatives to that phrase. And once again, I need to tell my depression and anxiety to shut up and fuck off.
Last Thursday, they didn’t listen.
It was the Christmas “concert” for my 4 1/2 year old daughter — Cora — at her preschool. John, the kids, and I all funneled in to the auditorium at the church where she attends school to watch all of the preschooler sing Christmas carols. We found some seats, sat ourselves down, and then it started. Not the concert.
If you have experienced a depression and anxiety cocktail, then what I am about to describe might resonate. If not, then I hope this makes sense.
Imagine a home with an open concept space where the boundaries between the kitchen, dining room, and family/living room all blend together. With the tv blaring, three children screaming or even just talking loudly & running around, a husband corralling the children, and the meal being prepared in the kitchen, I can only just function as I try to grab a cup of water & navigate the enormous room. The tv is like the drumbeat for the entire scene. Sometimes manic, sometimes selling, sometimes talk, talk, talking. Music screaming with each commercials’ jingle. The talking never stops. Oh, there are two dogs running around and barking at their shadows.
Imagine this happening inside your head when you are out in public. When it does, my mind suddenly tells me that I need to run because the moms, the teachers, and even the principal, for heaven’s sake, are snubbing me and my family. Some of them very well may be.
(You know the type — Facebook perfect both on social media and out in public.) And there is the one mom who prances about as if she owns the preschool. She’s thinking I don’t belong there and that I look a wreck.
But whether this is actually happening or not, I can’t tell. What’s worse, is that I realize I’m not thinking right. It dawns on me that I’m out in my small, rural town and I am blind and I can’t hear. And I might shame myself and my family.
This isn’t good, I think to myself. I don’t belong here, but I can’t lose my cool. I’ve got to man up and take my lumps. My children cannot see me retreat inside myself (weeping eventually follows) – my typical coping mechanism when a full blown panic attack is about to take over.
And let me just say, it might not seem possible to retreat inside and disappear in plain sight when one is nearly 5 feet, 10 inches tall (or 1.778 meters), but I can say from experience — it is.
Even with medicine and therapy, these moments still happen on a regular basis. But with medicine and therapy, I have new ways to cope.
It’s been 2 weeks since I saw Dr. Jasmine — we’re seeing if we can meet every 2 weeks rather than every week.
I’m not ready for this. I still need to meet every week. But at least I can say I didn’t completely flake out last week.
At least I can say I handled it better than I would have in August this year.
[In response to the Daily Prompt: Protest.]