Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm terrified

From an earlier post and a favorite essay of mine from This I Believe: 'Friends, I would like to be more cheerful, but right now I am too terrified to be cheerful. So I will let you know when I am not terrified anymore.'

Maybe I AM depressed, maybe it's anxiety, it's probably both plus stress. All I know is that my daughter had a talk with me tonight. She is upset because she feels I've been edgy lately, and unhappy, and too hard on her. I am so grateful that she trusts me enough to talk to me about this. And she's right. And I am taking immediate (but painfully slow!) steps to remedy this muddled mess I find myself in. And I am terrified. It feels good just admitting it.

Meanwhile, I feel like I've disappointed the most important person in my life, and all I want to do right now is have a good cry...but I'm afraid she'll hear me. So I'm writing, hoping to work through it this way.

Why do I feel like I have to keep it together all the time? I can't do it all, I'm not perfect, and some real changes need to take place so that I can take better care of my emotional health. And I have to try to overcome the tendency to feel guilty, as I make hard decisions about things like money and time. But there it is. It just has to happen.

This really, really sucks. I had heard it sucks, hitting menopause and dealing with the emotional roller coaster. I mean, the hormone stuff has always been rough, so I figured how much worse could it get?! Ha, careful what you get smug about. There are days I feel like I'm barely ahead of completely falling apart. But I can't. Or at least, I can't at home. So I am going to do the next best thing, and find somewhere safe to fall apart. Hopefully it will help me to pull things back together.

Now I'm afraid I won't be able to sleep. The chatter gets worse when I turn out the light and try to sleep. And then my neighbor's poor dog starts crying, pitifully, for lack of attention and from the cold, and of course I feel horrible for her, and I feel angry at him. And then I'll wake up tomorrow exhausted and so weighed down I just want to stay under my covers and hide. But I won't. And I'll try to get through the day without revealing just how terrified I am. It doesn't always work well, since being terrified is not something I'm used to feeling and it manifests itself in other ways, usually impatience with people and situations around me. And then I'm ashamed.

Tomorrow night we are supposed to decorate for Christmas, and I hope by then I am past this current state of emotions, because my heart is just not up for it. I've got some work to do, and I will need help with that work. I've just taken a big step tonight, admitting I'm terrified, and I have Rebecca to thank for it. Wish me luck.


  1. Oh, good luck, best luck. What a difficult thing to face. If you need me I'm right here (literally around the corner). See my email for more.

  2. It's okay to acknowledge where we're at, even if it's not where we want to or think we 'should' be. Only then can we take the steps we need to heal ourselves. Please know that you are not alone--so many have been there and I am sharing many of the same emotions over the recent months. More recently, the anxiety seems to be getting worse. My drive to SC last week was so nerve-wracking that I'm scared to drive home. Eating better, and getting rest (gave in and took my Rx sleeping pill) has helped a lot. Today I picked up Bach's Rescue Remedy, a natural way to support emotional health.
    Love to you,

  3. The Fear - as Hunter Thompson liked to call it - hits me every now and then and it takes all of my will just to keep going. Well, sometimes keepin' goin' is curling up with a bunch of greasy food or ice cream and watching some cheesy tv show, but we do what we need to do to stave off the Fear. It's like it says in The Bad Girls Guide to Getting What You Want (which you should have on your bookshelf if you don't already), "If you're suffering from anxiety, you're not getting what you want." Something like that anyway. But I'm just going on and on and all I really meant to say was we've all been there. I've really been there. And yeah, acknowledging and reaching out and then taking care and trudging through it will eventually bring you back home. That, and waiting for the hormones to knock it off already.