Thursday, 3 March 2016

Waking dreams

Anxiety saps the colour from life.

Feeling anxious about things that I can control makes me feel inadequate, as I fail to control them, or fail to control my own anxiety. Because if I were a worthwhile human being I would be able to take control of these things.

Feeling anxious about things I can't control induces panic and sleeplessness as I wonder how to escape from a trap with no functioning tools. Because if things are outside my control, then the most productive solution is to go over, and over, and over, and over things in my head, wondering which combination of ineffective things I should choose to do.

Feeling anxious about totally random stuff that I make up inside my head does all of the above and I've made it all up.

That's what I did last night.

To start with I had a monumentally irritating and stressful day at work, in which (as always) I had to leave on the spot of 5, no matter what I was in the middle of, as I had to collect LittleBear from nursery. Having no option to stay on a bit later, just to finish a task, manages to make tight deadlines and overwork even more stressful. And my boss is away so had delegated all his work to me, on top of my own. And I found a major lurking disaster waiting to trip us all up, and haven't found a way to fix it.

Once I got home, and had got LittleBear fed, played with, bathed, read to, tucked up and myself (and Big Bear) fed, I then had to tackle the World Book Day costume. No, I didn't leave it until the last minute. The costume was all done. Except LittleBear asked for a minor modification to it, and I, being the complete and utter moron devoted mother that I am, agreed. And naturally, this "minor modification" took several hours.

And then BigBear decided to sleep in the spare room, not because I'm a nightmare stress-bunny (which I am) but because he's pulled some major muscles in his back and getting comfortable enough to sleep is a challenge best accomplished without worrying about elbowing me in the face.

Once I finally went to bed, I was tired, stressed, cross and didn't even have a BigBear to reassure me. Once I'd been lying awake for an hour and had convinced myself (on the basis of no evidence whatsoever) that BigBear was going to have some kind of breakdown, leave me, refuse to parent LittleBear and my whole life would descend into a spiral of loneliness and despair, I was beyond the point of being able to escape from the anxiety-pit.

So there we are. Not only am I able to lie awake feeling anxious about things that happened years ago, or about neighbours I haven't met, or about making a simple phone call. It turns out I can also lie awake, in tears, feeling desperately anxious and upset about something that is entirely a figment of my fevered imagination. You wouldn't want to be me would you?

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