Monday, it’s another Monday. And Mondays are hard, aren’t they?
But this is not just any ol’ Monday. There’s a whole host of things that are different about this day, including, but not limited too:
- This is the Monday following the time shift here in the United States (well, most of them). Always a wonky day.
- This is the Monday before US Election Day – which is a whole ball of angst-producing wax alone.
- As it happens, my little Rebels have school today, and are off tomorrow, back for 2 days and off for Veterans Day on Friday. Add this to the time shift, and I’m in for a long week in the parenthood department.
- This is the Monday after the NYC Marathon, which I am proud to say my husband not only ran, but crushed. First marathon for a 47 year old dude, and he did it with an average mile of just under 10 minutes.
- My husband and I happen to have a date tonight, to go see Lee Child be interviewed by someone from Vogue at Random House. There’ll be yummies to nosh and wine, and all very lovely. I’m excited, I am… but…
- I have an emotional hangover. Why? Well, partially because of all the stuff I just listed. Mostly because as long as my husband’s day was yesterday, by the time he came home I felt like I’d run a marathon.
So what is an “emotional hangover?” I don’t even know if it’s a thing other people say, but for me, it’s the feeling of having been through the wringer, and just feeling worn out from all the feelings. Does that even make sense? I don’t know.
See, yesterday I had a plan, an expectation of how I could let kids do their thing in the morning while I did some work. Then we would go have frozen yogurt for lunch, watch their dad pass by and cheer for him in the marathon, and then we’d scoot back home, and frolic or something. Ok, I didn’t plan what we’d do, but I really did plan this fun “outing.” It would only take us around the block, but it was so much winning for all of us.
Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned. Lots of reasons, mostly irrelevant.
The relevant bit is that I found myself standing on the sideline, 3 people back from the fence, knowing my husband would never see my 5’2″ shortness where I was. My kids were trying to stay excited, but they couldn’t see any of the runners. My son started asking to go get fro-yo every 90 seconds. My daughter decided she didn’t want to sit in the stroller she insisted she needed, but she did want to stand ON it. I was getting the side-eye from some of the other spectators, and one woman decided to be outright confrontational.
I just wanted to see my husband. I wanted to hug him over the sideline fence, kiss him, maybe take a silly selfie, and send him on his way.
As my daughter teetered on the stroller that I held balanced with one hand, while trying to track his position on the race app, and my son whining and complaining and knocking the phone to the ground… My anxiety went through the roof.
I was shaking. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to grab the kids and leave, but I didn’t want to miss seeing my husband. I wanted my kids to see their daddy doing this amazing thing. I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed. Which included me.
So I hung on. I got angry. Because not having control and having to fake it pisses me off. Because the only way I can get back in control is to fight through the fight or flight response.
Once you’ve climbed on that roller coaster, it’s hard to make it stop.
I’m fighting for my life, I’m fighting to find my calm, I’m fighting mad, I’m fighting sleep, I’m fighting the need to crawl back into a hole. I’m fighting to find normal again.
For me, that’s the worst part of my anxiety. It makes me… mean. Which makes it worse, because I despise who I am when I’m freaking out. Even if I look perfectly normal.
It so fucking exhausting.
So today, I’m spent. Today, I cannot think clearly. I cannot focus. I cannot… I just can’t.
And you know what? I’m not gonna.
Today I will rejoice in feeding myself. I will revel in a quick shower. I will take care of the physical, and let the brain (try to) rest.