What follows is mostly rambling and has nothing to do with books or writing, and I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about this before, but I needed to vent.
Does anyone else live in this state of being constantly worried about everything? I don’t mean now, after the U.S. election, when millions of people live in fear and uncertainty; I’m talking of being unable to have a peaceful night’s sleep in years.
Since I had my son, to be more specific.
I’ve said so repeatedly, but I don’t know how other parents survive parenthood. I’m on the verge of a panic attack 24/7. At night I worry about burglars and earthquakes, and during the day I freak out over careless drivers, allergens*, slippery tiles, sharp edges, and fucking gravity. And of course there are the viruses, and what if this cold isn’t a cold but pneumonia? Why isn’t he gaining weight? Why doesn’t he eat much? What if his blood tests show something bad? Something horrible? What if he needs surgery and doesn’t wake up from anesthesia?
And what if something happens to me, and he has to grow up without me?
I quit smoking, to get healthier. I was trying to eat better, but now Andrei lost his job (what if he doesn’t find a new one, and we run out of money, and I reach a point where I can’t afford to feed us or our dogs? Poor dogs—what if there’s war or famine, and the neighbors try to kill and eat my dogs???) I need to budget better. Last time I had a belly ultrasound, they saw fatty tissue around my liver and pancreas. What if that got worse, or the knot in my jaw isn’t TMJ but a tumor, and I have the big C, and I die… and will my son even remember me?
I have to tell myself to breathe, all day every day. More so after dark, when my pulse races and the air gets jammed in my lungs.
I need to breathe and remember we’ve been lucky this far. Healthy (this far). Plus, no self-respecting burglar would go through the trouble of breaking into our place. There’s nothing to take. Earthquakes are terrifying, but my staying up at night won’t stop them.
And there are actual problems in the world! Also [reason, logic, odds] but [fear—crippling fear].
I should try yoga. Then maybe some herbal remedy. Then hard liquor, though that’d be bad for the liver.
I’ll breathe, and I’ll get the kid and myself** tested, and then I’ll have to do something about my mental health. Because seriously, I used to be fucking fearless, and it felt immensely better.
And now I have a plan to get my shit mostly sorted, can we please do something about this world? (What if millions of people lose their freedom and/or civil rights? Progress goes backward? Evil wins? There’s a nuclear holocaust? What if my son survives childhood, but there’s no water to drink or no air to breathe?)
*Kid’s only allergic to strawberries, which aren’t even in season, but Sleeping Beauties parents thought they had all bases covered too!!!
**I don’t add My Love to my list of worries, because he’s a perfect physical specimen, who will outlive me and go on to be a very sexy octogenarian and the nursing home’s Casanova.