Heart racing, chest tightening, holy shit I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t fucking breathe I think I’m going to die panic.
My mornings have not been starting well.
I’m just so afraid that things will never get better, despite the meds and the therapy and the reassurances of my kick-ass therapist.
I’m afraid that when my husband says “I don’t want to live like this anymore” what he really means is “I don’t want you anymore, you miserable, barren bitter shell of the woman I married.”
Yesterday morning, I left the bathroom door open when I showered so the mirror wouldn’t get too foggy. As soon as the water hit my face, the sobs came. I wailed at the unfairness of it all, and because I’m not ready to rewrite the narrative of my life, but I can’t get better unless I do. I opened the door to find Hubby standing there, looking shocked and broken. “Were you crying in there?” he asked. “Yes Sherlock.” I said. I wonder if he’s figured it out now – that I go into the shower to let it all out, like somehow the hot water washing away the tears will wash away all the rest of it too. (Well shit I sure hope he has figured it out because it’s pretty damned obvious that laying on the couch does not make one filthy enough to warrant 4 showers a day.)
He’s made it clear in therapy that he wants the old me back. I’m afraid, though, that she is dead. Back then, I was so sure of myself, of my place in the world. I knew – I just knew – that I could accomplish anything. I could decide in a snap to move to the other side of the country, to a city where I knew no one and had no apartment or car and only a couple of hundred bucks, and the promise of an Americorps stipend, and make my life work. And it did work, even though I spent my first weeks living with an old crazy lady who pulled a gun on a man she thought tracked dirt onto her carpets (umm, it was me, and I found my own apartment two days later.)
I was happy when we met. I could make major life decisions with the assurance that I should trust my gut, that somehow my instincts would guide me. I could say “Yes, I’ll marry you!” to a man I had barely known for two weeks and not have a single doubt. I could plan my Elvis wedding without caring that my disregard for certain traditions would piss people off. I could trust that we were right for each other because we both wanted the same things – a bunch of babies, a chaotic family life filled with love and family dinners and tight budgets and each other.
But the truth is that I cannot accomplish anything. I cannot force this body of mine to work – just once, for crissakes, just once – like its supposed to. I cannot accept that, nor can I change it. It’s all tied in together now. I cannot make decisions because I’m just not sure about anything. Adoption? IVF? Say goodbye to this whole thing and go child-free? I love my husband to the depths of my soul and I want to stay with him for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing for him. I’m afraid to stay with him, afraid of how he’ll change because of my misery. But I’m afraid to go, to live without him, afraid that I am no longer capable of making my life work on my own.
And all of it together causes this panic to consume me. My doctors have adjusted my meds. I’ve started acupuncture again. I have therapy again next week (all of which makes me sound crazy. But if you’ve read this far, it’s pretty clear that I am).
I hope it works, but as I well know, hope is a dirty word. It’s what’s gotten me into this whole mess.