I had to travel for work this week and felt a lot better about the anxiety. But it’s waning. I still needed some help now and then and I don’t quite know what all the triggers are, or how to control them. I found myself in the mall looking for a sports bra and suddenly feeling my chest aching and overwhelmmed. The odd thing is if it’s not in my head and I’m feeling calm up there, it’s in my chest. Like a sharp, electrical shock, or gas bubble wanting to come out and it can’t get through. I always thought people were kidding when they said their nerves were frayed. But I think that’s actually what’s going on. I envision split ends along these synaptic patterns of short circuited nerve endings trying to repair themselves. I think that’s what’s happening with me. I can almost hear the welding torches at work. I am relieved because even the worst episode is fairly tame compared to that first week. I thought I was absolutely losing my mind for good. And it was the beginning of the end. I thank the Lord that it happened over the holiday break, so I had a chance to hole up in a corner and not lose my job. I was doing better and then he bulldozed into the house and I was back again.
Right now I’m feeling very jittery and ruminating like a worry wart on what should be and is a good thing. Something that only yesterday I was deliriously excited about. I think I got a shot of adrenaline in the airport that threw me off and into this. I went to my gate and saw that it was delayed. I went down the hall to a sushi place, ordered my sushi, saw on my app that the plane was now delayed an hour. I went back to the gate and everyone was gone. Nothing on the sign. I started to panic that I somehow read the sign wrong and it took off without me. This is what I get for trying to relax when I think everything is under control. There goes my trip to LV, and my ski trip to Seattle with a friend. How was I going to explain this to my boss? Flights were sold out for weeks now because of this show. I know that because I couldn’t change my ticket to anything
As I stared at the empty seats a worker came up to me and said, what are you looking for? I said where’s my flight? He said Las Vegas? I said yes. It was moved to gate 74 (we were standing at 135) so I had to hightail it over there. The whole time I was eating sushi I thought good, I’m close to the gate, I’ll hop over in a few. But these are the normal things that happen at a busy airport. I need to roll with these things. What would have happened? I would have gone home. Or gotten car service, or gotten on stand by and maybe got out later that day or the next day. I would have found an attendant that might have helped me. I’d call my company travel service and tell them what happened. I’d tell my boss what happened and she’d say oh well, get the next flight out that you can. Maybe she’d think I was a dolt, maybe not. But she’d forgive me. I need to stop letting these things work me up into a lather.
I’d had a few other bumps that day that didn’t help. I was being proactive and called my realtor asking her when the showing was on my house. She said they’d already been there and didn’t like the yard. She didn’t mention a second one. My driver was making me a little nuts. He called me very early in the morning and I couldn’t understand a word he said, but it sounded like he was there waiting for me. But he was supposed to be there at 1 pm. I finally got it straight with him that he was to come at 1. He was just calling to confirm before he drove up to Podunk. Then I squeezed in a pedicure and raced back home to pack. I knew I had until 1. He called me at 12;30 to tell me he was outside the house. Thanks for stressing me out, knowing that the man was waiting there. What he didn’t tell me is he took off and went touring the neighborhood and went for a slice of pizza. That would have made me feel better and not so rushed. Then I got a ring at the doorbell at 12:45. I said, what is with this driver? I told him I wouldn’t be ready until 1. I get there and there’s a boat load of people and the realtor is handing me his card. We have an apt to see the place? I said, you do? I called and they said you came already. Nope we didn’t. OK, well please excuse me while I race around the house and try to stuff my underwear in my suitcase. So I had people roaming my house, which I really probably can’t handle right now. It’s just another reminder of the divorce and the mess that is my life. Yes, don’t mind me packing my snazzy suitcase while the walls are coming down because of the leak in the roof thanks to a once in a lifetime hurricane that had to hit when I was trying to keep the house in one piece.
So I raced around and tried not to invade these’s strangers privacy and let them pick apart what was once my home, in their minds. Put the fishfeeder in the fish tank that M. wanted so bad and now I take care of. Make sure the cats have food and the black one doesn’t get outside. Then of course I raced outside to discover my driver missing. I panicked that he was somewhere on the other side of the world somehow thinking he was sitting in my driveway. Then of course the house hunters came out and said hi and asked me what the deal was with the great wall of P. Ah, well that’s what started my divorce I wanted to say. But I didn’t. Told them the elevator pitch, how much it would cost to fix, how it got a bit out of control but can be fixed. I stood there in my driveway with these strangers apologizing to them for the state of my home, even though I didn’t know they existed a hour before. I felt I needed to apologize to them now. I wanted to apologize for having no make up on, for not having my driver there so I could get away, for not having known they were coming, for not having my bags packed, equioment charged, files downloaded and ready to roll. I had planned on downloading the stuff I needed and then the phone rang and the doorbell rang and the world came crashing in.
But in the end my driver came, who I still couldn’t understand but was certainly a chatty Cathy. The strangers left and will melt back into the black pool of home buyers never to be heard from again.
I’m sitting on the plane now. I stressed over my gate moving, the car at security repeating relentlessly to take out even the lint from your pocket, I stressed over where to sit at the sushi place, where my fellow flyers went, why there was a guy sitting in my seat (he was in 25A not 26A). Stressed that they charged me extra because my bag was seven pounds over but I couldn’t schlep anymore on board, my back was already breaking from my bag with my laptop, stressed over the power in my phone and the files only half downloaded on my ipad that I should have done days ago. But in the end. I’m in the air, my stuff is here. I’m on my way, I’ll get through the evening. If there’s one thing I change this year it’s getting better at rolling with things. Sometimes I’m really good at it and I’m cool under pressure. Sometimes I’m a wreck. Lately my mind seems to choose to be the wreck version of me. Have to figure out why that is. But if I can stop myself mid spiral and say—so what, you might have missed your flight. There’s no war going on. There’s no meteor hurtling toward earth, everyone’s fairly healthy. Chill for God’s sake.
If I can do that I’ll be half in the bag.