I wake each morning to a pounding in my head: all the thoughts that congregated in my dreams overnight. There’s a pit in my stomach and a knot in my throat. It’s not that it’s difficult to breathe, it’s just that I’m so distracted by all the things that could go wrong today that I forget how to swallow the air I’ve captured.
As Mothra dances the Harlem Shake in my belly I convince myself to ignore the bad thoughts and get dressed. Failing that, I remind myself that the kid needs a roof over his head and food in his belly, and if at all possible, he’d like Devastator, the $100 toy my husband made the mistake of showing him and he hasn’t stopped talking about. This all requires money. More money than the hubby brings in so I just have to suck it up and get dressed. Best motivational speech ever!
During my 7 minute drive to work I plot through the things that could go wrong:
- Angry supervisor
- Angry manager
- Angry supervisor and manager
- Staff quitting
- Lay offs
- Zombie apocalypse
Yes, I worry about zombies. Yes, I do blame my husband for this one. Yes, I have mapped out several escape routes.
I have a few work friends. They came easily enough. I don’t trust it. I am not a person who makes friends easily. My filter is almost non-existent and I inadvertently offend people, rather easily, it would seem.
I am the girl who the cheerleaders shoved into lockers. I have, on more than one occasion, accidentally walked in on my girlfriends making fun of me behind my back:
- too many freckles
- gross hair
- hand-me-down wardrobe…
You name it, someone probably said it. So this next part seems like a very reasonable jump for me; although, my therapist says it’s just me carrying the old stuff with me.
I am super busy at work. So busy I probably shouldn’t take extra breaks but I do. My work friends like to take extra breaks. They’re smokers. I am not. But I go with them on nearly every break to the smoking section. They never come with me to the non-smoking section. I go in part because I want to be less socially awkward but also in part because my anxiety has convinced me that they will be trashing me if I’m not there.
I do my job, as well as the jobs of several people in my team, because I’m still the nerd who got stuck doing the group project while everyone else went to a party. Mostly, I’m scared that a team failure will result in a cleansing starting with management and ending with the team lead, me. As mentioned earlier, I have a kid and he’s getting expensive. I need the money.
On the drive to my mom’s to pick up the kid a truck stops suddenly and I veer off the road to miss it. Three guesses what the anxiety does next.
- I don’t have a will.
- What if the husband is also in an accident and the kid is left alone?
- We need a will.
- But isn’t that really just tempting fate?
- And who should we trust with our kid’s life.
When we finally get home there’s dinner to make, dishes to wash, lunches to pack, and the kid needs a bath. I start to convince myself that we aren’t spending enough time with him. I worry that the lack of time is permanently damaging him. Then I think about the overtime I’m in for and worry about even more time I’m missing with him.
Bedtime is easy enough; until I fall asleep. Pretty sure I’m a super tense sleeper because my body feels like I worked out when I wake up. I do not workout.