Chris has gone away. It’s not permanent, we’ve not split up and it was a decision that we made together. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not been hard. Really hard. In fact, I couldn’t ever have imagined how hard it would be. Perhaps it was the uncertainty about whether it was going to happen, perhaps it was the speed in which it did happen; or perhaps I’ve changed somehow. I don’t really know. The only thing I do know is that at times in the past few weeks, I have been at the edge; of my sanity, of reason, of my ability to cope.
In honesty I can only admit that I have been a mess. I have cried. I have raged, to myself and to others and then it culminated in an anxiety attack. I was sitting at my desk at work, with a ton of urgent things to do and I could just feel this feeling; it was like a fluttering that kept getting stronger. A feeling that I had to get away. It just got more and more urgent until I couldn’t ignore it any more. And so I got up and I walked out. I went to wash my face, hoping that the cold water would soothe me in a way that I was unable to soothe myself.
It helped. A little. Enough to get me back to my desk to attempt to carry on. But I couldn’t. The feeling built again and like a child who is overwhelmed I couldn’t hold back the tide of emotion and I fell apart. It started slowly. I could feel silent tears start to drop from my face; then my body started to silently shudder until I couldn’t control it any more and I began to sob. Uncontrollable, violent sobs that baffled me and scared me.
You see I don’t do falling apart. Well I do, but not in a public way. At home. Alone maybe. Not at work. Not spectacularly.
But maybe now I do. Because it keeps happening. Nothing is really wrong but nothing is really right either. I have every reason to be happy and for the most part I am. I have my dream job, house, husband and 3 gorgeous children as well as friends and family who have rallied around me; holding me up. But then randomly, I’ll wake up with this pit of anxiety in the bottom of my chest. And the feeling will build and nothing that I do can calm it down. The pique of adrenaline that you get when someone startles you, only it just doesn’t go.
And the thing is, it’s like it’s catching. The anxiety I’m feeling; I’m passing it on; to Chris who thinks I’m having a breakdown; to my children who can’t understand what is going on.
And it’s so difficult to understand, how could they possibly do so; I don’t understand myself. On a cognitive level I’m fine. I’m happy with life, I have a job I love, family and friends who have surrounded me with love and support. A husband who loves me and is trying his best to show it from 1000 miles and a different time zone away and yet emotionally I feel different. My emotions don’t match my cognition. In a split second I go from absolutely fine to full blown out of control; for no particular reason.
And so I’m scared. And I don’t really know how to stop it. some days I don’t want to leave the house, or speak to anyone; but I do, because sometimes going through the motions is all I can do to remain sane. I’m looking for coping strategies, trying to work my way through it.
So I’m sharing it, because I know others feel like this too and maybe they aren’t as lucky as me. Maybe they don’t have the support network and maybe they just need to know, like I do, that sometimes it’s ok to be a bit broken. So far I have a 100% record of getting through this, and I’ll get through it again.