Posts Tagged: anxiety

DIARY

Those Pesky Pandemic Habits

Yesterday, my therapist asked me what I've been doing for self-care lately.

"...I ordered a new bed?" I said.

And - according to my therapist, anyway - that's great! The bed is essentially an oversized hospital bed - it goes up, it goes down, it vibrates at different speeds (!) - and it's a gift to myself that will theoretically have a positive and long-lasting impact on my physical and mental health. Which: Hooray.

DIARY

The Quietening

Read all my posts about divorce here

On Valentine's Day afternoon, I took a nap with my kitten (pictured above having mixed feelings about this choice). I sat on a patio in the valley with my friend Margo, and ate some good sushi. I Facetimed with the kids, who were spending the weekend with their dad. I asked him to handle their Valentine's Day presents, and didn't beat myself up about opting out of this particular task. I fell asleep again only a few hours after I'd awoken from my nap, then woke up at 11PM, watched some bad TV, and went back to bed. Everything I did all day long - from the breakfast I ate to the midnight show that I watched - was my choice.

At some point during the day I posted this picture to Instagram, and thought about how happy I was when it was taken. I thought about what a difference a decade makes. I thought about how happy I am now...except I'm not even sure I'd call this feeling "happiness" - it's easier to define it as the absence of sadness. I think it's the kind of feeling I've spent my entire life both searching for and running away from.

Anxiety

Blinded

On Thursday evening - four days ago - I got in a car crash. It was bad. It was also my fault.

I was driving through the middle of nowhere, headed North along the coast, on my way to be with a friend in crisis. The sun was at that point just above the horizon when it's blazing directly into your eyes, and you have to flick the visor from side to side to side with one hand while you steer with the other just to see the pavement ahead of you.

I didn't expect a stop sign anywhere along that particular stretch of road, empty as it seemed. I wasn't looking out for one, but even if I had been I was blinded, and I wouldn't have spotted it. So when one suddenly appeared, I drove straight through it at 40 miles per hour. A man turning from the opposite lane hit me directly on the driver's side door (it's called a "T-bone"; I know terms like this now) and my car and I went flying off the road into a field, where we crashed through wheat and dirt and narrowly missed telephone poles, and finally came to a stop.

DIARY

Not The Same (Or: Me And My Puzzles)

Marty is so helpful

The bloom has, shall we say, fallen off the shelter-in-place rose.

I am enormously privileged during this time of COVID-19; that fact does not escape me. My parents are in New York City, which is frightening, but they are being careful, and are healthy. I have friends who have fallen sick, but all have recovered. I have a porch where my children can grow a garden and breathe the ocean air. I have the ability to teach them - not nearly at the rate requested by their teachers, of course, but I also have the sense to know that we are all doing the best we can, and that is enough. I am an introvert, vastly prefer my couch to a bar stool, and have worked from home for most of my adult life, so puttering around my house for most of every day honestly feels like more of the same.

DIARY

The Crash

I am exhausted.

I most definitely should not be: I'm sleeping literally more than I  ever have, and doing oh my god, so much less - on the work side, at least; the parenting side is obviously, ah...intense. But even on the days when Kendrick has the kids, it's like I can barely keep my eyes open. I sleep for 10 hours, at least. Nap for two hours, at least. A walk around the block feels like the equivalent of running a marathon: I cannot do it, which is fine, because I also do not want to do it.

Lest all this sound like perhaps somebody has come down with a case of The Depressions, though: I really don't think so. I'm anxious about money and the health of my family and, you know, THE STATE OF THE WORLD, for sure. But I'm also smiling more easily, and more often.

DIARY

This Is How It Always Is

emotional labor and divorce

If we're being honest, I don't think it was my marriage that broke me. It was all the marriages.

I just finished reading this book, Fleishman Is In Trouble. It's about divorce - and specifically about a woman who, one day, simply disappears - abandons her marriage and her job and her children while her husband holds up the fort, so to speak. It involves major twists that I won't spoil for you because you really should read it - but I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you what I took away from it. Which is that this book explained my own story to me in a way I hadn't fully comprehended before.

At the crux of the issue is the plight of the working mother. I shy away from this topic because in our present culture there is such (completely valid) sensitivity to the different ways women approach parenting. There is a danger, when you identify yourself as a "working mother," of creating distance between yourself and the other kind of mother - the one who "doesn't work." But who does! Of course she does! She does the hardest job

DIARY

The Shame

I’ve been writing and talking a lot these past few weeks about vulnerability. Authenticity. And the realizations I’ve had about myself as a result of all this writing and talking have been pretty fucking humbling.

So. Because I cannot write or talk about anything else, I'm going to tell you what happened.

Listen to the podcast interview in which I discuss what I learned from this here.

DIARY

The Weekday Parent

At my son's open house last night, we were given a checklist with the different projects on display, so we could make sure to see them all. There was a wall where the kids had written about their favorite part of first grade (my son wrote "getting to eat breakfast in school," because he has his priorities straight), and a wall displaying illustrated book reports of their favorite Dr. Seuss story. The last project on the checklist was "My Home." There were little spaces where the kids filled in various facts about their home - how many pets they have, that kind of thing.

In my home, there are 3 pets, my son wrote. There is 1 adult and 2 kids.

I scanned the other kids' projects, doing the now-familiar hunt for Another Divorced Person (I look for them everywhere - at drop-offs and playgrounds and amusement parks; they're not usually hard to spot). Two of his classmates had 6 people living in their home (4 adults and 2 kids). The majority of them had 4 (2 adults and 2 kids). But - national statistics be damned - nobody else had "1 adult."


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