Anxiety: The World Needs More Maureens

I have a long way to go, I think, in the journey to let my aforeblogged fears go. But I think that talking (or writing) about them is a great step. Not ruminating. Just airing them out. Very important. I won’t cork them up and let them fester. They already have too much control, the bossy little sonofaguns.

But I did feel a little better today, about some things, because I had a project that I thought was tanking come back from the dead today. Translation: I thought I was losing a source of income, which is the last thing I need right now, but it’s back. It’s back. Whew.

Last night was an emotional journey through the type of hell that only anxiety warriors will recognize as normal. I was in anxiety free fall. Everything was wrong. I kept smacking body parts on stuff in ways that was creating lingering pain, and that lingering pain was just pushing me closer to the edge of not being able to cope. This is where anxiety starts to look like depression but oh no…it’s not depression. It’s like having someone scraping metal nails on a chalkboard in the back of your mind while you try to act like everything is normal in a public place.

Why was I in a public place? Well it was a kids-free evening and before the kids returned tomorrow, I had a long-promised obligation that I needed to follow through on for one of my children. One that I was feeling like a real loser parent about because it had taken far too long to do. I mean hey, what can I do, I work 7 days a week at this time of year…but I hate having to make my kids wait for stuff because I don’t have a lot of time, or because I don’t have a lot of money. My husband was also out of the house for the evening and I’d just gotten paid, so voila! Perfect time to atone for the sins of the working parent.

Well I went into this extremely well-lit department store and all I can say is thank goodness it was mostly empty at that time of night because after starting my journey from my office with a stressful phone call about a pet-related drama, having my meds clearly begin their wear-off for the evening, getting lost on my way to the store because of a stupid decision, and then the pile of parent guilt that was already slathered and sludgy, all over my soul, a crowded department store would have really been too much. Instead, I could hurriedly rush around, not finding what I needed, talking to myself, almost crying, and then admit defeat without too many witnesses. I finally grabbed a pile of things that were similar to what I was looking for from a rack and then went to the front of the store to admit defeat and beg for help.

WELL…I FOUND HELP. Her name was Maureen. And her presence was blessedly reassuring. I described my dilemma and she scooped me up in the warm bosom of her clearly native reassurance, and let her take me on a journey around the store. She told me stories about her own dramas as the parent, many years ago, as mother of of a pre-teen, and ALL that this involves, and by the time I was done shopping, not only had I found what I needed, but I felt like a person. An actual human being. I really needed a Maureen just then, and there she was, some kind of merciful magic.

By the time the other nice lady with the cute French accent took care of me at the checkout, I was calm, I was accepting of the flow of life, and it didn’t hurt that I also had a Godiva raspberry-chocolate bar stuffed in my face.

Don’t ever underestimate the positive impact that you can have on a person in the course of just doing your job, or by just being nice to someone in a seemingly trivial moment. That one little smidge of mercy may be the very thing that changes their day for the better.


2 thoughts on “Anxiety: The World Needs More Maureens

  1. Wow, Maureen sounds like a real-life angel! I have definitely had those types of days. I call it “spiraling” because it seems like every little thing is going wrong, and even though they really are just LITTLE things, they start to get overwhelming. And I smack into things too. I bash my head on the windowsill just getting into bed! And then I start to think, “When I bump into things it is like God punishing me by smacking me in the head.” And soon I just want to crawl UNDER the bed and hide for the rest of the day!

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