by Jodifur on October 5, 2011

Things are finally settling down around here.  Doug picked up the car yesterday, he has a job, Michael is doing wonderfully in 1st grade, I haven't seen an ant in weeks, and yet, I feel like I spend my days waiting for the other shoe to drop. Things can not be going ok.  It seems somehow impossible for me not to be managing a crises every minute.  The last 3 months, really longer, have been so crises orientated that every time the phone rings I expect some other mass casualty.

And yet, there isn't one.  But still, life feels, unsettled.  And maybe this is what being a grown up is. Always worried, always moving, never quite complete.  I'm not sure I can really explain the feeling, but it feels like the bottom is going to drop out of my life any minute.  

We went from this incredibly stressful and tense kindergarten year where every time the phone rang I jumped because I knew there was a problem, to a relaxing beginning of the summer.  I remember being honestly truly happy on vacation in July, and when we got home, Doug was laid off.  And now, I almost feel like I'm afraid to breath out.  Because every time I breath out, something else happens.

I had lunch with the wonderful Jean yesterday, and she said "it is like you have been in constant stress since Michael broke his hand," and I said "I often think about what life would be like if that one event didn't happen," like if I could dial back the clock and just stop that one thing from happening, it would stop and change the events that got us to here.  That that one event was the catalyst for everything else. Yes, it makes no sense, but I'm not sure anything else makes any more sense.

And then I think all I really need is a vacation.  Just to go somewhere and lay on a beach and drink a mojito and not think.  A real vacation where people wait on you and bring you drinks and I wouldn't check my email and I could sleep late and run on the beach.

I hear myself think these things and realize how good I have it.  I have a roof over my head and food to eat and my husband has a job, after only being unemployed for 10 weeks.  We are lucky!  Lucky!  Just read the paper.  The economy is terrible. People are losing their houses and starving.  Yet I'm whining about my lack of vacation time.

I sound like a brat.

I just don't feel very lucky. 


Kristina October 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

This made me cry. I SO understand how you’re feeling. My brother died 5 1/2 years ago, which was about a year after my husband and I got married. We hadn’t lived together before we got married, so we were still getting used to each other. In the five years since, we’ve dealt with my brother’s death, a difficult pregnancy, another pregnancy, near financial ruin, my husband’s injury at work, job changes, family crisis, and all the normal everyday life stuff.
We don’t know how to work in any mode but “crisis” and it’s taken its toll on our marriage, so much so that we’ve had to go to counseling, primarily to learn to be married to each other in what is now (hopefully, crossing fingers, PLEASE GOD DON’T LET ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN) our “normal” life. But I am CONSTANTLY in fear that something else is just around the corner. It sucks. Because, like you, I have SO much to be thankful for, but I fail sometimes to fully appreciate it because I’m constantly looking ahead to how I’m going to handle the next bad thing.
I need a beach vacation too.

Lydia October 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

Even when things settle down after an intensely stressful time, it’s hard to relax and let go of those anxious feelings. Especially with all the headlines these days…

Safire October 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

You are incredibly lucky. I wish I could be as lucky as you.

Roberta October 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I think you have PTSD from all the stressful events. Not kidding, really. You’ve been dealing with really stressful stuff on a daily basis for a long time – of course it’s hard for your to trust that everything will be fine. I hope that you *can* try to breathe, and try to trust that things are fine, and let the stress go. I also fully endorse mojitos and vacations.

Corey Feldman October 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I completely understand. Felt that way myself for the better part of 3 years. In my head I know I should feel grateful for what I have, but sometimes its hard to see the lucky forest through he crappy trees.

Mary October 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I know what you mean. I call that vague sense having a feeling of impending doom. I find that it ebbs and flows. It is hard to get your emotions in order after particularly difficult periods but time does help.

Kirsty October 7, 2011 at 11:59 am

I totally understand how you feel. I feel like I’ve been living with fear and panic and stress for as long as I can remember, and the crappy life events just keep on coming, no let-up. Yet I have a home, and two jobs, and two beautiful little girls, so life can’t really be all that bad.
Except… yes, I have a home, but both my bank accounts are overdrawn (private and professional), I have no savings, I have more debt than I can deal with, my ex is unstable and prone to assholery, I’m exhausted and just seem to be waiting for the next body blow.
I can’t relax, accept that things aren’t THAT bad (even though I suspect they probably are, I’m just adopting the ostrich approach).
It’s not easy to deal with stress, and I think PTSD could be a possibility – you’ve been through a lot in a relatively short period of time.
I hope you find peace (and nice new shoes), and that Michael continues to enjoy school (my girls are the one thing I KNOW I’ve done right – you can rely on Michael for the same feeling).

Amy B. October 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I used to worry when I didn’t have anything to worry about because I was afraid I was forgetting to worry about something important.
Yeah, I know.
Anyway, my grandmother finally told me something that helped. She said “Quit borrowing trouble.” Meaning, quit going out and looking for something bad to happen when there isn’t something bad right in front of you.
When I find myself doing that, I just repeat “Quit borrowing trouble” over and over until I realize how silly I am.

Hope October 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

If another shoe drops, I hope that it’s Kate Spade! ;)

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