One thing that I don't talk about much is all of the anxiety that I have on a regular basis. I am constantly having to talk myself down from the ledge of a panic attack because, say, I become convinced that I have left the iron on and the house is going to burn down and kill all of our animals and the resulting trauma will be so devastating to our children that one is going to start selling crack, one is going to be a serial killer who wears people's skin like a dress and one is going to be a Katy Perry fan and get arrested for stalking her. All because of my negligence in failing to turn off an appliance.
Makes a lot of sense, right? I mean, for God's sake if my children are going to be fucked up, it is going to be because I parent inappropriately and because their mother is a therapist, not because I forgot to turn off the fucking iron. (And let's be honest, it is more likely to be a dryer fire because the iron does not get turned on all that often in this house...) However, at that exact moment I become firmly convinced of this dire outcome and my body starts to ready itself for fighting or flighting. It often takes all of my strength to talk myself down and to reassure myself that my outlandish beliefs are incredibly unlikely.
I am more successful at times than others. This Christmas season is a perfect example. I normally have most, if not all, of my Christmas shopping completed by Black Friday. I usually start shopping early in the year, looking for items that people would like and picking up stocking stuffers etc., as I go along. This year I decided for some unknown reason to ignore my crazy and to try shopping like normal people do.
WTF was I thinking? This must be the same force that makes people with diabetes stop taking their insulin, or people with alcohol dependence say "I can have just one..." My anxiety level has been THROUGH THE ROOF the past few weeks. I tried valiantly to tell myself Dec. 8. Charles and I are going shopping on Dec. 8. I tried to point out to myself that I did in fact have quite a few gifts. That I did get a lot on Black Friday. That I was ALMOST DONE buying stocking stuffers.
Nope. I became increasingly convinced that my children were going to have a horrible Christmas because I was not done shopping. That we are somehow going to face financial ruin because I was not done shopping (cause you know, all of the debt we are currently in plays NO ROLE at all...). That I was going to forget someone because I was not done shopping, ruin their Christmas as well, and create yet another serial killer by doing so.
I wish this was hyperbole; that I was exaggerating. It is not. Being unorganized and not having a plan or things together...add that to my list of things that the devil will torture me with when I get to hell, along with people walking around saying "I seen" and "You was". I was getting increasingly distressed because I was not done.
I caved. I placed an amazon.com order today and finished my shopping.
This, people, is my Christmas gift to you: If you ever feel as though you are losing it, come back and re-read this post. My crazy is sure to make you feel better about whatever you are facing.