It really is amazing, kids, what I do to myself even when I’m looking forward to something. In case you can’t read that scrawl in the cartoon above, it reads, “able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!”
A week from Friday, we leave for the Shadow Lane weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this for months, feeling sad when I watched friends go to all the other big parties and eagerly awaiting our turn. Now it’s here, and I’m a wreck. Just like I am every single @#$%ing time. Sucks to be me, sometimes. I’m my own worst enemy.
I don’t do well with having too many things to do. And for me, “too many” is, like, more than two. I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I’m trying to coordinate work, shopping, preparations, etc., and every time something new is introduced, I panic. As much as I want and need work, I’m freaking out because everyone seems to need something from me next week. Whatever happened to end-of-summer slowdown?? Family will be in town this coming weekend and they want to see me on Monday. I would love to see my cousin, as I haven’t seen her in years, I’ve never met her guy, and I’m dying to meet her two-year-old son. But I don’t have time for this now! I have shopping to do, I need a haircut, I need a pedicure, I need to book the rental car, I need to pack, I need to do this, do that, blah blah blah. I need a lobotomy, is what I need. It’s all manageable stuff, but to me it feels Herculean.
This past Sunday, I had a fender scraper. Not even a fender bender; I just misjudged my distance backing out of John’s garage and tapped a car. I can’t believe I did that. I don’t DO stuff like that. I’m a very careful driver. I was incredibly lucky, though. The man couldn’t have been nicer. He was more worried about me than he was about his car; kept patting my arm, saying it was OK, that I needed to relax, it was just a car. “Maybe you should go get her some water; she’s shaking,” he said to John. When I pulled out my insurance card, he waved it away, saying he didn’t want to bother with that, that we could just give him some cash. It was just a little scrape, but on a very nice car; an Acura TL. I started to get out my checkbook, but before I could, John got out his money clip and peeled off $250 for him, which was the amount he’d agreed to. My hero… With badly shaking hands in 100-degree sun, I wrote up a little document stating what had happened, what we’d paid him and saying that neither one of us would make any further claims. We both signed it and that was the end of it. It could have been much worse. But my heart pounded all afternoon and into the evening. I felt like I was losing control, doing something so careless. What would I do next?
My back started acting up two weeks ago. I am used to this; I’ve had low-back issues since I was in my teens. Most of the time, these little attacks self resolve. But this one didn’t. So I started panicking — What if it doesn’t get better before the party?? All I’ve been doing so far is just taking Advil and using ice, but yesterday I went on full-scale attack, going to the chiropractor, getting an adjustment, ultrasound and a deep-tissue massage with very spicy smelling cream. Today it’s a bit better, which is a relief. But what if, what if, what if…
(An aside — I’ve never used capsaicin-infused cream before. What a weird feeling; my back tingled and burned for about an hour afterward. It wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but a little disconcerting, especially since it was 100 degrees here yesterday. How anyone tolerates that stuff on a spanked ass, I’ll never know!)
John insists he is fine, he will be fine for the trip, he’ll hang out and relax, etc. But his health worries me constantly. He reminds me that he’s gone to Shadow Lane with a shattered collarbone, and to 50 Freaks with a blood clot in his leg. If he could get through that and still have fun, he’ll be fine for this weekend. But of course, I still worry. I see, up close and personal, how deeply exhausted he is. I hear his labored breathing sometimes. And don’t even ask how the negotiations are going with his HMO and moving forward with this damn surgery. The pace is glacial.
The atmosphere feels thick with sadness and unrest lately. Too many deaths, political unrest, racial unrest, anger and violence. I can’t watch the news. When I’m already in a state of anxiety, I can’t handle the outer stimuli. For fuck’s sake, I wept when I heard Don Pardo had died. The man was 96 — did I think he was going to live forever? But it feels like another piece of my life’s soundtrack died. I’ve been hearing his voice since I was a kid and he was the announcer for the original Jeopardy! And how can we have Saturday Night Live without him?
No Steve this week for stress release, either. Not until next Tuesday. Auuggghhh.
My brain feels like an anthill, swarming and teeming in all different directions. And all this because I’m going away for a few days to do something I enjoy and to be with people I love. How insane is this??
Why am I sharing all this? Dunno. Maybe so I can have a laugh at myself and how crazy I’m being. Maybe because some people will relate. Anxiety isn’t logical. It just is.
I remember back in my office days, when I was overwhelmed with juggling the work of roughly three people and feeling like I was going to come apart at the seams, I had a little plaque at my desk that read: “REMAIN CALM.” Perhaps I need something like that here, only this time, because I’m at home, it could read: “Calm. The. F#$%. Down.”
Sometimes I wonder which is worse: anxiety or depression. Meh… they both suck.
I thought Depression and Anxiety always walked hand-in-hand, pulling and pushing a person into a dark pit. Too many close to me have been led by those forces.
Lists really do help with anxiety. Not sure what your experience have been; but when I recommended them to those dealing with anxiety and they followed through it took some of the edge.
Th other tool is allowing yourself only a set time (ie 30 minutes) to “freak out”. You can stress, complain, throw things, scream eat ice cream whatever as a coping mechanism for the anxiety for the set time and then you MUST move on.
Please take very good care of yourself and John this week and as soon as you can blink you will be there enjoying yourself
Sorry you're going through this…You do need a stress spanking for sure….I hope you can find a way to relax…I hope John feels well…It sucks to be hurting and in pain…Again, try to relax and a big hug for you when I see you next week…Take care of yourself and that man of yours….N
I have found something which would probably solve several of your problems at once. I discovered it rather by accident when I hurt my tailbone during a tack while racing down at Cal Yacht Club. It is a prescription from my internist when Advil did not do the job. It was inexpensive and soothed the excruciating plain when I tried to stand up. The additional benefit that I recently discovered was that when I took two pills in the morning instead of one in the morning and one in the afternoon is that my depression vanished for the day. I was talkative and motivated and did not succumb to the darkness of anxiety and depression for the whole day. My Physician had no objection to changing the regimen and I feel like a new person. I am about 15 years older than you I think. If you would like to know the name of the medication I would be happy to give it to you in confidence but not on this forum. Maybe by e-mail. Just let me know if it would interest you. Bob (The Grinch)
Thank you, Erica, for sharing. I hope it helped you.
Too bad, low back pain. May it be over before I submit this comment.
You need a lot, you say – but I guess what you need most of all is something which, by its very nature, does not let itself be coordinated, at least not by you. I is god to know that won't take long. ;-))
For now, hugs.
Since you still have time before you go to the party, can you pick two things to do each day instead of ALL the things every day? Maybe if you do a lot of two different things, you can start ticking things off the list and you'll calm down about it. As for the lower back pain, have you tried stretching? The one time I had it I did leg lifts and it worked wonders.
Enzo — I guess they do go hand in hand. I too find lists to be grounding. I will do that. 🙂
Don — yes, we must stay healthy.
Nancy — I'll do my best. Look forward to seeing you!
Bob — I will have to think about that, thanks. Interesting — John used to do a ton of yacht racing when he was younger.
MrJ — thanks. Hugs are good.
Jen — definitely. Today, I made myself go out and get some shopping done, instead of just sitting here spinning my wheels. Oh, and I am the Queen of Stretch. I do it all the time; flexibility is so important as we get older.
Capsaicin on your sweet spots after an intense spanking, strapping or caning is a real treat, Erica.
Craig — treat for whom? 🙂 I'll pass.
I HATE multitasking too. When I have ALOT of different things to do I find myself wanting to rush through them and it annoys the Hell out of me that I don't have a pleasant pace to follow. I'm likely to work through lunch breaks just to get the shit done.
If you can try to weed out anything you don't have to or want to do and concentrate on the easier duties.
Kelly — multi-tasking seems to be the order of the day with office jobs nowadays. I nearly lost my mind with my last full-time office job.
Keep breathing. A decadent massage awaits you at SL. 🙂 – KinkyCoach
KC — ahhhh, I do like the sound of that. 🙂
I understand the feeling! I'm super anxious and overwhelmed by all the things that must be done before next weekend. Just tell yourself that it's all worth it because once you're in Vegas you're going to have a fabulous time.
As for capsaicin, don't mention it around YS when you see him. He's been dying to do that to me again. He put it on me after a spanking when we first started dating, and I wanted to die.
Erica, Take a deep breathe, count to TEN, and head for the joys of SHADOW LANE.
Tramadol 50 mg
Beth — don't you worry, no mentions of it from me. I am so opposed to that, I can't tell you. Well, I can, but it's obscene. 🙂
Six — very soon!
Grinch — thanks.
I identified with this post in a wimpy sort of way, having never felt those feelings so strongly (thank goodness).
I'm curious – could a spanking at this point help with the situation, or with everything going on all at once, would it make it worse? (I'm sure once you're at SL, your mind and body will be focused in a good way there…)
When I feel overwhelmed, it's helped me to focus on a small number of things. And getting older, I sometimes have to keep saying those things out loud so I don't forget what they are 🙂
Hope things improve! Including back pain which is the worst.
Anonymous — I think by next Tuesday, it will help a lot. It will be closer to the event and probably just the ticket to calm me down a little.
I LOVE the cartoon … and fully empathise with the feeling. Jon
PS For me, talking about whatever is bothering me (when I'm ready to) helps. The problem is getting to the talking point.
Jon — yes, talking helps me as well. Gets it out of my head.
Hi Erica — The little cartoon girl is so CUTE 🙂 I am so glad, you are ok from your car mishap 🙂 You and John are so AMAZING. I hope your back feels better VERY soon 😦 I hate back pain.Soon you will be at Shadow Lane 🙂 You will calm down, everything will be fine and you will be having a WONDERFUL and fun time YAY 🙂 Much Love and hugs always from naughty girl Jade
Jade — I hope so! It needs to get here quickly.
Flexibility is the only thing I have! As big as I am, I shock people with my ability to touch the floor with my legs together and my knees straight. Tops love it. LOL
Anxiety is pretty much the center of my existence. I feel overwhelmed by everything, and I always feel embarrassed by how easily I feel overwhelmed and how easily I get upset. I tend to get pretty anxious before parties, too (although this year's Shadowlane is looking amazingly bright and beautiful compared to parties past, for me) and it's a strange feeling. It's strange to be stressed out and in some ways afraid of something that you look forward to all year.
I promise that we'll both get everything done that we have to and that we'll both have a ton of fun at the party. Plus we'll have a lot of fun tonight! I can't wait to see you!
Have a giant hug from me and know that I adore you!
Alex — I know this Shadow Lane will be so much better for you! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who goes through this kind of anxiety over something I love so much. And I adore you too. ♥