Ugh. Does it ever get any easier? I feel like I’ve just about developed the coping skills I needed to survive as the human I was about 25 years ago. So I guess I’ll be 65 before I have the mental coping skills for adult life (assuming a linear
progression), by which point I won’t be able to deal as well with the physical demands. In fact, my body seems barely capable of keeping up with daily stresses right now.
I was surprised to learn that stress and anxiety are causative factors in what I thought was the purely physical condition I developed a day ago: costochondritis. It’s an inflammation of the chest wall that feels not unlike having some form of heart-attack. It’s amusing that all symptoms that mimic heart issues are exacerbated by stress and anxiety. And who wouldn’t have stress and anxiety in the face of heart symptoms!
Anyway, that’s a tiny little blip on the screen of life worry that’s going on right now. And this is life being good. I mean, sure the boys have chickenpox – but that’s not a life-threatening illness. Sure work is busy – but I know what I’m doing and I (mostly) have the capability to do it. We’ve loads of expenses incoming, especially with regards to new house stuff, but we (mostly) have the capability to deal with it.
So why do I feel so worried and underprepared about everything in my life? Why does that amazing upcoming trip to see Hamilton in London feel like a step beyond my capabilities of preparation?
There’s probably no real answer. I’ve just feel like I’ve spent all the “cope” I had in reserve and each morning I wake up I’m already on empty. I feel like I’m getting through the days on fumes and sugar.
And I don’t like how much sugar I’m consuming. I don’t like how it makes me feel. And I don’t like what it suggests, no not just suggest, but actively says about my relationship to my emotions and about my level of awareness of and engagement in my own life.
Also, it’s still (yes, even now, even 10+ months later) sometimes sugar v alcohol. I’ve found I’ve been thinking about it a little more frequently recently. That insidious little voice seems currently more prevalent than it even was back last April. Last April my resolve was firm. I was expecting internal resistance, I was expecting cravings, I was expecting social awkwardness. I guess I thought it would be all better for now.
Hmm.. I’m not sure I expected it to be all better by now from all the way back there, but then I had that blissful time round about six months in when I couldn’t even remember why I had even wanted alcohol in my life in the first place. But now …
I’ve forgotten that feeling. It seems like really bloody valid stress relief. I have no desire to drink with dinner, or on holidays or out with friends. I don’t want to relieve stupid social anxiety and get drunk and share deep and meaningfuls. What I want – and it strikes me that this is the worst of it, this is the worst thing to want from alcohol – what I want is to block out my daily life a bit.
I want to take a holiday from the constant feeling of responsibility and things to do. I know, I know, it won’t be “real”, I know the responsibilities will still be there as a constant backdrop, but … wouldn’t it be a relief to have it moved to backdrop status just for a while? Just for a night?
There is another way. There is a better way. Ah, well there must be.
Do the work? From this position I can’t conceive of “doing the work”. It’s too much to have another responsibility. Look, I know. I know that I’d be better and more able to cope if I did it, and I will, okay? I promise I will.
It’s just so much work to even feel myself within the cascade of noise and clutter and work and guilt and overwhelm. My therapist would say to pause, to take a breath. I just feel lost – like where would I even find the space to take that breath?
Maybe I don’t exactly see it from here, but I’d better figure it out because otherwise I’m going to suffocate.
And if I do that, then none of the stuff I feel guilty and responsible about will get done. That is sure.