Sunday, August 18, 2013

Looking for peace

It creeps up gradually. First a little whisper. I take a deep breathe, distract myself and ignore it. Then it gets louder and harder to ignore until it's an ever present entity. Taking over my body, requiring me to escape into my room to breathe. Making tears that threaten to fall down my face, if I let my guard down for a moment. Pushing away sleep, despite the overwhelming exhaustion I feel. Robbing me of peace.


We are at a lake house this week with my husband's family. You can see the view from the dock in the picture above. It is beautiful. It is spacious - giving us more than enough space to be able to relax without feeling like people are on top of you. Sixteen people can be a lot of people, but it hasn't felt like that this week. This week has been fun. It's good spending time with family.

Except for this damned anxiety.

It started a couple days in when I snuck out to sit on the deck for a moment with the last of my coffee. I heard birds chirping and the gentle lap of the lake against the shore. It was quiet and peaceful. Something that I love. Something that usually relaxes me. But not that morning. That morning, my body tensed and my stomach knotted up. I felt panicky. Then I felt sad at the loss of this one little joy. I got up and went back in the house. Peacefulness bringing on anxiety. Excellent.

It continued. Every time I was alone with myself, I became anxious, my thoughts running places that they don't need to go. Until one day at lunch I was so overwhelmed with people and my own emotions that I had to hide in my bedroom.

I didn't show myself again until supper.

This is a good family. We generally get along. They have been in my life for more than 15 years. They're comfortable. I know them. I love them. They are not the cause of my anxiety. And yet now, on our last full day together, I am completely and utterly racked with stress. My body is tense. My stomach is in knots. I'm having a hard time breathing. I have not been sleeping well.

It makes me angry. And frustrated. And tired. When will this end? Its not like leaving this place will make it go away. I will still have my daughter's unpredictable behaviour to deal with. That in itself causes me stress, never mind everything else.

I just want to feel at peace.

Her behaviour this week hasn't been terrible. It's actually been pretty good, but we've had a few difficult moments - made more difficult by needing to make sure she doesn't damage anything while she's upset. It will be good to get her home, where she won't destroy other people's things. Where we can send her to her room, with its dented drywall and scratched up trim. We don't have to worry about her there.

Not as much anyways.

I was hoping that writing the post would help me feel better. But it hasn't. I might actually feel worse. But I suppose that's the way it goes. So, I will hit publish on this thing, take a deep breath, put on a smile, and then go downstairs. I will try to make this last day special for my children and my husband -and my in-laws who worked so hard to make this week happen.

I can look for peace another day.