He noticed the tears and I told him it was just allergies. He’s carefully printing me a Get Well Mommy card right now with his Crayola markers.
It was, partially. Stupid sinuses.
The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful August day, but I can’t see it. Not really, anyway. Other families are probably packing lunches for the beach or rounding up towels for the pool. Maybe going to the park or just playing in the backyard.
Our windows are still closed and the kids are watching too much TV while I cradle a huge mug of tea and try to shake my trance. They are happy and they have no idea I’m being a crap mother today.
I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed. I’m sad. I’m anxious. I’m irritated. I don’t know if I want to run out the door and never come back, or find the nearest closet and barricade myself inside.
I fight with my husband before he leaves. It’s the continuation of yesterday’s squabbles, mostly, with some new stuff thrown in for kicks. The gross leftovers he never took out of the fridge. The heap of cardboard he’s been building next to the recycling bins. The fact that he’s skipping breakfast. He can do nothing right and I hate myself but it’s just what my brain is telling me.
I may have missed a Zoloft or two in the camping chaos, but even if I did, I don’t know if that makes a difference. Was it enough to shift something in my brain? Sometimes these days hit, whether I take my meds or not. They’re not the worst days — no, far from it. They’re the annoying in-between days when I remember how bad it can get without actually getting there.
I force myself to make scrambled eggs because I know they are good for me, when really I want a huge bowl of the Froot Loops we have leftover from camping. Starting the day with that much sugar would be a terrible idea. It would send me racing for the kids’ Halloween candy from Fake Campground Halloween. It would leave me crankier.
I force myself to get dressed in my Zumba clothes so I get to the 5:30 class tonight. It feels like an eternity away, but when I catch a glimpse of the bright colours in the mirror I feel a tiny boost. I know it will be good for me to go.
I force myself to sit down at the desk and work. The panic of putting off work is much worse than sitting down and just doing it, with every ping of a new email feeling like an ice-cold water balloon between my shoulder blades. I know checking off tasks and sending in assignments will help to calm me down.
I force myself not to care that the kids will be watching TV or playing computer games while I work, because I couldn’t bring myself to get them to morning day camp. I used to spend my summers watching Days of Our Lives and the OJ trial. Surely a bit of Super Why is better than that.
In a few hours, it might be a lot better. Or maybe not — today could be a write-off. Tomorrow, though, I might wake up feeling a million times better. I know that and it’s what keeps me going. I know this is a blip and that all I can do it fight my way through it.
And so I do.