Suffering, as I do, from panic/anxiety disorder is a very lonely thing. First of all, it has taken me almost two years to admit publicly that I am a sufferer.
Hi. I’m Jane. And I have …….
It’s so hard to say. Because the name means nothing to me. Okay. That’s a lie. I can’t say it because the label is so loaded in my mind.
There. My deep dark secret is out. Now, why don’t I feel better?
My panic and anxiety makes me feel weak, crazy, unlovable, a burden. Never one to ask for help before, it’s even more difficult now. And while it would also be a lie to say that I don’t already have a support team, I can say it isn’t enough.
I am suffering. I am struggling. And I dream of 24/7 support.
A nurse. To check my vitals and tell me I’m okay when I’m freaking out. But she has to be knowledgeable of Eastern Medicine and be on board with the methods I’m trying (both Western and Eastern) under my husband’s care (a doctor of Oriental Medicine) and my Western Medicine doctor.
A dietitian who doubles as an amazing chef. To feed me when I can’t bare to make the food myself. To make sure I’m eating well. To make amazing meals for my family that don’t come from the freezer or a take-out box.
A yoga instructor. To guide me in my workout and take away the anxiety I feel that I’m going to pass out every time I exercise.
An assistant. To mail my daughter’s Valentine’s care package (Yes. It’s still sitting on the counter) because I’m afraid to drive a car.
A housekeeper. To pick up the slack. I don’t mind the housework. In fact, sometimes it helps to do repetitive chores. But other times, I’m in the middle of something, I find it hard to concentrate so I move onto something else. My home is then filled with half-done projects. Or I spray Windex on the dining table or leave the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the hall, forgetting where I left off. (Don’t judge. You can’t see those pretty vacuum lines on Berber carpet.)
The perfect sleep husband. A man who doesn’t snore when I’m sleeping so lightly already. Someone who is cheerful and wide awake when I need comfort at 3am because I’ve just woken up in terror.
But most of all, I want someone to inhabit my body and take over so I can morph into the old me when my kids are around. I want to make them breakfast and listen to their joys and troubles without a pained expression on my face while I try desperately to keep it together. I want focus to be able to play a board game or read to them or have the energy to play catch. I want to be the mom I was meant to be, not this blob who shuffles through, doing the bare minimum.
Don’t get me wrong. My husband is more than understanding. His medical knowledge invaluable. The closest friend that I’ve felt comfortable sharing this struggle with picked me and the boys up when I had a panic attack out on the highway and couldn’t drive another inch.
In desperate times, people come through.
I just want 24/7 support so I never have to get to the desperate point.
Because all those times in between are such a struggle.
And oh, so lonely.