Regression

Today was a rough one. And in six hours I have to be out the door on the way to a board meeting in which I am the key presenter.

My anxiety, insomnia, and poor communication skills have all conspired against me in one big clusterf$%@@ of ick. I haven’t slept in a while. Not really. I’ve spent a lot of time in bed, but my anxiety has started to become pretty constant. Tonight I slept almost 40 minutes before I woke up, heart pounding, with no hope of going back to sleep.

I’m not trying to make excuses for being a jerk. Apparently I’ve started becoming short and rude to people lately, more than usual. That’s on me. Being tired and anxious isn’t an excuse for shooting my mouth off. But truculence is that warm, cozy, familiar place I default to.

Some of the anxiety I chalk up to the IVF process which is a stressful thing all the way around. Some is work, where things have been pretty tough this last 8-10 months. But there’s an underlying amount of anxiety that I always carry with me that’s simply my baseline, which I make every effort to pound down below the surface. I’m sure it’s the OCD trying to rear its ugly head. The more tired I get, the more it bubbles to the surface.

About 8 years ago, I felt this way. That baseline got stronger and stronger until it overwhelmed me. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t break out of the obsessive cycles in my head, and eventually, it left me paralyzed.

I take anxiety medicine. I’m not super happy that I have to, but I take it nonetheless. I take absolutely as little as humanly possible because I hate the zombie side effects that most of them carry with them. I had “immersion therapy” about 5 years ago. That was fun. (not). But it was effective.

I’m not going back to where I was back then. I’m not afraid to leave the house, or even to strike out on activities and new adventures, and I know full well that letting that thought win is the surest route to total regression. I’m not afraid I’m going to have a panic attack that leaves me on the floor of a public restroom trying to call 911.

What I’m afraid of is that my anxiety is going to make me increasingly tired, irritable, and bearish. Just what my family needs from me right now as we attempt to add to our numbers.

I feel like a complete failure. I really thought I had it licked. But my pounding heart and heavy breathing that I’m feeling as I write this disagrees. And I’m letting my wife and kid down. That makes it so much worse.

I need to recharge somehow. I need to stop worrying that my life is too good and that somehow the cosmos is about to drop the hammer on me. I definitely feel that way right now. I’m sure the thought of maybe having a baby is driving a lot of that – fear that something terrible will happen, because something terrible happened back in 1998. As if random tragedies are somehow connected like some sort if sick version of Final Destination.

I probably shouldn’t have skipped church today.

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