I might have shared this in some other capacity before. I can’t remember. But I wrote this over the summer. Enjoy.
“I just want to be bored.”
This is what I say to my husband as he helps me breathe through another panic attack. You know you’re wading in deep shit when boredom seems like Salvation.
He holds me close to him and gently reminds me that this is what happens when I try to numb a postnatal hormone fueled existential crisis moment with a cocktail of Facebook crazy talk and reruns of Supernatural.
He’s right and I tell him so.
He looks me in the eye and says, “You have to take better care of yourself.” I nod in agreement. “I will.”
“I’m serious. The world is full of bad stuff. Worrying yourself sick about it is not going to change that.”
This, of course, is something I already know but sometimes we need those reminders to interrupt anxiety.
I know that postpartum motherhood is a beautifully nuanced, delicate dance and I have to know the difference between necessary sacrifices and complete martyrdom.
I have to know that it’s one thing to keep up with laundry because I have a household to run even when I’m tired. But it’s a whole other thing to scrub the stove with an old toothbrush at six in the morning because I’ve lost my damn mind.
I have to be aware enough to call myself out on bizarre behaviors and unhealthy coping.
I have to be brave enough to face that sick feeling of dread that happens to people with anxiety disorders. Because I know that if I try to ignore or suppress that uncomfortable sensation, it will escalate into terror.
And sometimes it does that anyway.
But just like with labor contractions it’s always better if you don’t tense up.
Learn to anticipate the waves.
Sometimes you open your mouth to scream and you swallow sea water.
Sometimes you take that deep breath in before you go under and push through quickly.
It’s painful either way. It can be empowering either way too.
And I’ve survived it every damn time.
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