Homeward bound, finally.
Let me tell you something about this week.
This week has, more than any other thing, made me realize that I am living as close to normal a life as I can, thank to the right meds.
He’s been gone a week. I had not instance of anxiety. Not one moment of worry. Not a single what if. When you have an acute anxiety disorder, your life is generally full of irrational fear that takes over all rational thought in your brain. That’s how I’ve lived since time remembered. I have lived with the anxiety, worry and what ifs. I have lived in constant fear that the worst possible thing was happening at every single moment. So whenever Todd was away, those thoughts would consume me. If I didn’t hear from him in a certain amount of time, I would start freaking out that something bad happened to him. Accidents. Earthquakes. Kidnappings. Murder. Alien abduction. My head would swim with the possibilities of what could have gone wrong. I’d spend hours trying to talk myself down from a ledge all the while the irrational part of my brain was talking me closer to that same edge. I battled with myself constantly about whether to panic or stay calm. Calm never won.
I think about how this week went. How I never worried. How I knew when I didn’t hear from him it was because of the time difference and the heavy load of meetings he had over there. I went about my day, my night. I made plans, I wrote, I worked, I lived, I slept. Not a single, solitary moment of panic or fear or what ifs. I did not sleep with my phone clutched in my hand just in case he called. In fact, I went to the store one day and left my phone home. Instead of turning around in a panic to go home and get the phone because what if I miss an email or phone call from him, I just went to the store thinking, if I miss his call, he’ll call back later. You have no idea what a foreign concept that has been to me up until now.
I think about how I lived before this. I don’t know how I did that without having a mental breakdown, all that chatter in my head, all the irrationality, all the worst case scenarios, the anxiety, the abject fear that everything I know and love is going to disappear any second.
Then I also think about earlier today, standing in a room crowded with people, giving direction, being social, talking to strangers. Doing all that for hours was an impossibility for me before now. And while it’s something that exhausts me, it’s now something I can do.
This right now is as close as I’ve ever been to being a rational person. To being sane. To having a clear, rational thinking process.
That I have been able to manage the Sacks for Sandy business, go to work, do my writing work, keep up with day to living and be stress free this week without ever once wanting to get under the covers and stay there says a lot about how this medication is working out for me.
I know it’s still there. I know this does not make my anxiety disorder go away. It does not make the bipolar disorder go away. They are there, they will always be there. But they are manageable now. They don’t own me. I own them. I still have fear. I still have anxiety. I still get manic. I still get depressed. But I can manage those things and wrestle them away now.
I’m looking at the flight tracker not because I’m afraid his plane is tumbling into the sea somewhere or being hijacked or making an emergency landing. I glance at it every once in while just because I’m glad he’s coming home.
I’m as close to “normal” as I’ll ever be. It’s a good place.