I recall a time when I was sitting in my former home after the loss of my husband and both parents. I was now a widow, with two children who are living with Autism. I was a stay-at-home mom, living in a home that had been flooded three times, including this moment I’m recalling. I was sitting in the living room, thankful for the fact that the water did not come up to the first floor and smelling that all too familiar musty smell. I was miserable, lonely and felt very defeated. I vividly remember thinking about how lucky I was that I was allergic to mold as well…LOL.
Fast forward several years and here I sit in what was formerly my parent’s home. I now own it, albeit with a mortgage, but it’s nice to check “own” when you are filling out paperwork. My life can still feel somewhat uncertain when I think about finances, the future and other such everyday worries, but I don’t that’s anything out of the ordinary that many people feel. For me though, that is the anxiety inside, always worrying about things. The overwhelming anxiety I sometimes experience, truly unexplainable to others, leaves me retreating in desperation for silence and solitude, leaving those around me angry and at a loss as to why I’m so desperate for some quiet to process everything in my head.
Constantly having to be grateful for what you have can be draining to someone living with debilitating anxiety. Being happy and trying to always say the “right” thing or “feel” the right way about something can be mentally exhausting. Being chastised for being in a bad mood or always having to explain the need to be quiet and being yelled at is something I’ve been quite used to during many times in my life. Through many years of therapy, I’ve talked until I’m blue in the face about why sometimes I feel like wearing a shirt that lists the things I’m dealing with that day, whether it be anxiety, depression or the extreme pain I live in.
So, to sit here in a beautiful home that is clean and roomy, with plenty of food, a quality vehicle I can count on and people who love me should have my cup running over, and believe me, it does, quite often in fact. It can be easy though for me to experience crushing guilt when I don’t feel like participating in conversation or I just want to have some time to be quiet and deal with the rushing thoughts. When the pursuit of others to engage me in conversation that I just can’t handle is too difficult to explain and people going on about what a mean person I am or why am I the way I am. There are days I just want to run away and just sit somewhere and stare out at nothing to somehow refuel myself.
I recall recently one of my children asking me why wouldn’t I talk to them? Why was I acting the way I was? Why, why why? I have ran through this house before, locking myself in my room and then the bathroom within in order to have some peace when I couldn’t leave them. There is no way for me to force people to understand me, but sometimes I wish there was a manual that could. Being complicated and full of emotion is not the easiest of things. Now that I “have” the things I always wanted, the fact that I’m free from my vicious late husband and all the terrible moments he brought down on me, still doesn’t erase the need for me to sometimes be quiet. It may seem that retreat makes me a bad person, but I’m truly not. I’m just tired…more tired than I’ve been in a very long time.
Yeah, it’s a “woman quote”, but I’m talking about myself today so I feel it’s OK. I know that men deal with the same issues…so, anyway, this quote is pretty mind-blowing for me. What I think people don’t realize is that just because certain period of time has passed, doesn’t make the feeling any less real. Sometimes, something that happened 40 years ago can slap me in the face and sting like it just happened. Maybe I’m damaged beyond repair?
I spent some time this week thinking about the possibility of trying to stop taking the very small dose of anti-anxiety medication I take. Oh, how I would love to not “need” it to help me sleep, to stop the nausea, the worrying I do about things that have no place in my thoughts, the rumination that seems endless and just be able to relax and enjoy things, but I don’t.
I listen to this song more often than I realize. While I of course miss the amazing talent that was Chester Bennington, the words in this song, well, I think Chester understood a lot more than he let on.