When we arrived at school this morning, I slathered Charlotte in sunscreen before I walked her to the morning care room. Drop off was hard for her today. She’s been a little clingy and hesitant at drop off every morning, but this was the first time there were tears. I think knowing how stoic she’s been every other morning made her tears especially hard for me to see today.
Now, I am sitting here with my legs crossed. I need to pee. I have had a lot of coffee. It’s not optional at this point. It’s just that walking into the restroom means washing my hands, which means that the smell of her sunscreen will be gone.
That’s weird, right? I mean, I probably need to get a grip. It’s just that the sunscreen smell is so her these days. She is always outside, so there is always sunscreen. The smell makes me feel like we’re just moments from taking those first steps into the pool together.
My little summer sunshine girl… it’s all moving just a bit too fast right now.
By Friday last week, I had reached my breaking point. I wish I could properly explain it, but basically, I had spent the entire week wound up so tightly that I was incapable of functioning. Especially at work. Even my body was feeling the effects. I was tired and sore and so, so, tense. I’ve had a new jaw-clenching/teeth grinding thing lately, and my jaw was killing me.
Friday morning, I was up just early enough that I had time to sit on the patio with Catch and drink a cup of coffee. We talked and I tried to explain how I was feeling. I told her how desperately I needed to go into work and WORK. She said the right things and helped to get me in a better mental place before I walked into my office. I killed it on Friday. I worked so hard, and I felt so accomplished and organized when I walked out of there at the end of the day. It was a turning point.
On Saturday, we put Charlotte down for her nap and I walked over to the Y. As I walked, I downloaded a C25k app on my phone. At the Y, I hopped on a treadmill and completed Day 1. It felt amazing. I have missed running so much. It was incredibly hard, painful, and a bit depressing because I had to work so hard to accomplish what was probably a warm-up 3 years ago, but I did it again on Sunday and it felt even better.
On Monday and Tuesday, I was able to harness that energy and put it to work for me. I had a couple of non-stop days and kicked some serious ass at work. It felt great.
The sun rose this morning and I felt it from the minute I opened my eyes. I was done, but the day hadn’t even started. All that momentum I’d been building came to a crashing halt. Today has been a struggle. Two steps forward, one step back.
Those few clear-headed days are taunting me now. I want them back. Instead, I am going to put on my strongest mom face and pretend that I do not have a crippling anxiety disorder while I attempt to act like a normal human being at Charlotte’s school picnic tonight.
Fake it til you make it. The slogan of struggling moms everywhere.
I thought I might be having a breakthrough on the anxiety front when I managed to pull off Charlotte’s birthday party while my in-laws were staying with us without completely losing my mind. In hindsight, I think maybe I was feeling better because I was off work for 10 days.
My staycation ended as Charlotte’s first week of full time school began, and I am a wreck. I have basically been mentally curled into a fetal position all day at work for the last 4 days. I am trying SO HARD to get my shit together, but it’s just not happening. I have zero ability to focus. I am sitting here silently reprimanding myself and willing myself to do something—anything—and it’s basically getting me nowhere. This cannot be normal.
Fortunately, I had a check-in phone call scheduled with my doctor for this afternoon. I told her what’s up, and she suggested we go ahead and double my dose. With any luck, that’s going to do the trick. She asked me to check in with her again in a few weeks and mentioned that there are other drugs we can try, but she’s hoping we’ll find my sweet spot on Zoloft because in her words, “it’s usually particularly effective for young women.” Young women. Hah. I thanked her for calling me young and she told me we’re the same age (36), so young women it is.
I’ve really been struggling to understand why Charlotte being in school all day has created so much chaos in my brain when it’s actually going pretty well. I do not need to be stressing about this. I’m not saying the transition has been perfect for her, but there is absolutely no need for my brain to be in panic mode. She is being cared for by the nicest people in a wonderful facility that is total nirvana for my kid. Animals, sunshine, swimming, dirt, music—I mean seriously, if I could have designed a custom school for Charlotte, this would have been my design. I have NOTHING to worry about. I can say with 100% confidence that once we work through the minor kinks that have arisen, everything is going to be totally wonderful. So it would be great if I could just chill. Seriously.
This shit is hard, folks.