Back on 2009, or aught-nine as I like to call it, because it makes me sound old and crotchety (which I totally am in spirit), I had a fun little bout with birth-control-induced depression and anxiety. And after awhile I quit taking the crazy pills (birth control) while simultaneously taking the anti-crazy pills (anti-depressants) and I got bettah. When I got pregnant with Jonah, I stopped taking the anti-depressants (Which? Weaning off of those while you’re already puking your guts out 24/7 anyway? NOT FUN!) altogether and I’ve never had to go back on them. Sure, the night before my period starts I get a little UMMMM “moody” (so maybe I hate everyone in the world, that’s normal, right?), but other than that I don’t have issues with depression.
I do, however, still have a few “leftovers” from that time period of the anxiety variety. And like most leftovers, they are unappealing. However, they are at least not worse than the original incarnation.
My anxieties are these: claustrophobia, mostly due still to the elevator incident , and the fear of crowds. The “elevator incident” occurred when I was in the midst of this depression-anxiety battle and well, it scarred me for life. I ride elevators when I have to but I am an inner mess the whole time. And despite trying to play it cool for my kids, Joshua has picked up on my anxiety. He’s not afraid of elevators but he is always all about getting in and out of them as quickly as possible. I hate that he knows something’s up when he’s in an elevator with me.
(Honestly, my heart is racing now because I am writing about being scared of elevators. I am scared of them.)
My BFF Luanne lives in a tall apartment building on the 6th floor. You have to enter a CODE to make the elevator work. Let me just say that each time I go to her house it is an act of bravery and an experience of fear. (She’s worth it).
On my recent trip to Toyota headquarters in California, I waited for the last elevator when the group was going up together so that there’d be fewer people in with me. I got out of an overly-full (by my standards) elevator more than once.
I’d love to get over this, to be cured of it or what have you, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I can’t un-experience being stuck in an elevator with 12 other people for 45 minutes, smashed against the wall, crouched on the floor, being hot, panicked, having to wait so long for help. I just have a bad feeling that I’ll always be this way. But if I could get a happy pill prescribed to me to only be taken right before I had to step on an elevator, I would totally do it!
Now on to my fear of crowds. I don’t know if this is it’s own thing or a morph of the claustrophobia. But I pretty much don’t want to be anywhere crowded, ever. I guess this really cuts my kids’ already-negligible chances of going to Disney World. When I take my kids to the park, I internally flip my lid if there are too many people there. I can’t relax and watch them play. I am hyper-vigilant and if I lose sight of them for a nano-second I freak. This usually ends in us having a pretty short park visit. If there are not too many people there, I am ok, but if it’s kiddos and parents and possible creepy perverts everywhere? I can’t take it. Same thing with anywhere indoors that we go – the kids and I have much more fun at the children’s museum if we wait til later afternoon when most day care or school field trips have cleared out.
My leftovers don’t incapacitate me, but they do inhibit me. They ruin parts of my day sometimes. They make me afraid. They make me less fun for my kiddos. They make me have this awful feeling in my chest just because I’m thinking about them while writing this. And they’re a part of who I am that I don’t like at all.
I’m not quite sure what I need to do, if anything, besides pray about my problems in this area. What do you think? Do you have any leftovers or main dishes that you struggle with?