Monday, December 19, 2011

High Anxiety

I was awake a good part of the night, lying still as a corpse, worrying.
Worrying about everything.
I doubt I'll get a decent night's sleep before we leave. I feel as if I've already ruined our trip by all the worrying. I feel sick from all the worrying. I am exhausted from all of the worrying.
I hate this.
It sticks to me, even in the morning light. I get up heavy with the worrying. My back curls forward to ward off the worrying, my shoulders up by my ears.
I worry about specific trip-related things, non-trip-related things, every-related-and-non-related-thing.
My suitcase- how can it be big enough?
Am I a fool to take my laptop?
How can I memorize lines on a trip?
Do I have enough clothes? When am I going to pack? Why haven't I started packing?
How can I leave Owen for ten days?
And then there's whole other layers, other UNIVERSES of worrying that are so ridiculous that I can't even begin to relate them here. One must not let certain things out of their bolted boxes.

I always do this. I comfort myself with that knowledge. I always do this and yet, I survive. Well, let us be honest- I try to comfort myself.
It doesn't work.

So. The very thing I need to sustain me- sleep- has been rudely cut away from me. When I do sleep, the dreams are so busy, so exhausting in and of themselves that I am no better at all for the sleep I do get.

Another thing to worry me.

I need to calm the fuck down. I need to go take a walk. I need to make that blanket. I need to go get my hair trimmed today. I need to start figuring out the packing. I need to


It's a vacation. A real vacation. I'm not going on a journey to be tortured. No one is going to care what I wear. Everything will be fine and lovely.

Hell, one time when we went we lost our tourist papers. They still let us leave.
One time, we left our money at home. We still managed.
One time, we got to the airport a day late. Life went on.
One time we got pulled by the police on our way into a park. They just wanted a ride.

And it's not even worries about things like that. It doesn't really have anything to do with suitcases or lines. It's just me, being crazy. I can feel it, when the crazy comes on. It's like I'm coated in a film of crazy and I can look through it but I'm still inside it, encased in it, hindered by it.


A million years ago, when I was a five-year old girl, it was just about this time of year, maybe right after Christmas, when my mother plotted and made her escape from my father with me and my little brother to Florida. She managed, with the help of good people to get us away, to get us to safety. It all happened in the middle of the night. There was real threat from my father. He had a gun. He was a bad drunk. Being five, I could only know the very fringes of all of this, but I remember. And the worst thing for me was that my mother forgot my blankie. Yeah. I had a blankie. Hell, I NEEDED a blankie.

And when we got to Florida, my mother got so sick she had to be in the hospital, meaning that my brother and I were being taken care of by my grandparents whom we knew not at all, who were very old, in a strange place. And there were whispers and there were worries and there was no joy and it was a very, very bad time.

Okay. I remember all of that and it makes sense to me, suddenly, why I get so apprehensive before a trip. Why I practically make myself sick.
Will it help, this knowing?

I doubt it. Right now I want to reach back in time and hold that little girl and tell her that she is very brave and that things will work out so very well. But that she has every right to be scared. I would like to explain it all to her. Tell her in words she might understand that none of this-NONE OF IT- have to do with anything she did.
Because no one, in those days, tried to explain anything to children. Or at least, in my family. We just soaked up the fear and the worry and kept our mouths shut.

Well. There you are. There you have it.
Ms. Moon is psycho-analyzing herself again. I'm sorry. That's the way it is some days.

Shake it off. Bleed some of it out. Forgive myself for my crazy. Cry some if I need to. Okay. Yeah, I do. Need to.

Get on with life. Take that walk. Start a blanket for a grandson who is so loved, so well-cared-for that he doesn't NEED a blankie. Doesn't suck his thumb and will never, I hope and pray, have to be spirited away in the night to safety. The idea itself is absurd. Remember that I am not five years old. I am a grown-ass woman who has a life of unbelievable richness. That whatever comes is going to be okay. That I am going to Mexico for fun and love and joy with my husband, not fleeing a drunken man with a gun who is my father.

Man. No wonder I hate Christmas. No wonder I am so very anxious before I leave for a trip. No wonder I worry about whether or not my children are okay, okay, really okay in their hearts.

No wonder I love my good man of a husband so much. No wonder I love routine and safety. No wonder I am amazed at the very fact I am still here.

Wow. I feel like I owe myself an hour's worth of counseling fees.

Okay! Well, that's my Monday morning! How is yours?

Jesus. I need to go back to bed.

With my blankie.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. So sorry for all the anxiety, and for the lack of sleep. I'm sleeping in bits and pieces between hot flashes and stressful dreams and heart palpitations, so I feel a bit of your pain. Plus this time of year triggers a mountain of emotional baggage for me too. Plus, I'm a closet agoraphobe and stress mightily over any travel at all. Plus I'm a world class worrier about Everything. So. I'm wishing you peace and hugs and a a fun trip and a soft fuzzy blankie. And some sleep.

  2. I can only say this--don't worry about a lot of stuff to take, just take enough to wear and then wash; don't worry about Owen, he will be okay without you; let the past go to sleep knowing that it is done and over and cannot be changed; think about those beaches and the beach glass and the food and your husband who loves you so much. I replace the bad images with good ones. It helps. It will all work out. You will be okay.

  3. Here's my suggestion for all that negative emotion. Do some kind of physical labor until you sweat and every muscle in your body is used and tired.

    Then relax and drift away to Cozumel. Even if you didn't pack a thing, just got on that plane, it would all be fine.

  4. I'm holding the little girl in my heart and the big girl, too.

    I do the same thing before a trip and chastise myself once I'm there, but it never stops me from doing it again the next time.

    Look at some of your Cozumel photos and know that you will be there, relaxed and delighted, once the stress of leaving is gone.

  5. I'm with Ellen on this stuff Mary. btw, I relate to everything you say.

    But, I've found if I can expend all my excess energy that goes into worrying into physical work/exercise, it always gets better. I think you know this already though.

    The other thing that helps is writing, and you know this one also. However, I think it helps to hear it from others who care about you.

    It will be better.

  6. Ah, dear Ms. Moon. No wonder you are so full of anxiety. I hope you get a little bit of restful sleep.

  7. You are right, it's no wonder. Worry is a total bitch and sometimes she just won't go away. I hope you can get some good sleep, that usually helps. Hugs.

  8. Wow, you did a great job at figuring that out!
    Now if you actually pay yourself for that tremendous effort, you can go spend the money and have some fun!


    PS my word ver. is fanati ... no need to get all fanati ... just relaxi :)

  9. It must have been so hard for your mother - married to a violent alcoholic, leaving in the night right after Christmas with two little kids. Then getting to safety and becoming so physically ill she had to be off alone in a hospital. I really feel for that poor woman. Leaving everything she knows must be terribly hard for her too!

  10. Maybe you should get a new blankie, Mary.

    Anon, I think it's pretty evident from Ms Moon's writings that she gets that. Weirdly, knowing your parents were humans doesn't really help with the sort of thing she's talking abou here. Having terrified uncertain parents is what makes little people insecure and terrified.

    Mary, have a lookie? Simple technique, EFT/Emotional Freedom Technique, worth practicing - you can look it up for insomnia too:{referrer:source?}&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_en-GB

  11. Hey Baby,

    I'm sorry about all the anxiety. It truly is a bitch.

    This time of year is such a huge trigger time for you. Not sure what would help, but being good to yourself never hurts. Take a 15 minute break each day to just be with yourself and breath deeply, light a candle or whatever brings peace to your heart.

    Needless to say, if you need any help getting ready, or just some company, or someone to be near and just listen and be there, I am here. And pretty damn close! :-)
    xoxo PS my day has been pretty dang good so far. Met with a client today who is doing magnificently. So proud of her! xo

  12. Hey Anon -- I am sure what you say is true but I think Ms Moon need not worry about her mother. Her mother was the adult who married the A-hole who molested and brought terror to her as a child. I could get on a soapbox about children being helpless victims. Your comment was insensitive and beside the point. And Ms. Moon, remember when you felt so angry the other day? That's what I feel right now. I am sorry for your pain. I can relate to your feelings and love that you put your pain into words for us. I believe it probably helps you and it helps some of us feel less alone. I find it helpful to repeat this mantra: I accept myself as I am and the world as it is. You actually do that each day. This anxiety too shall pass. I will send peaceful vibes your way. Joanne

  13. I know that bitch Anxiety. I hate her. If she's there tell her to get out of town.

  14. Mel- Wait. Are we twins, separated at birth?

    Syd- Can I just say I love you? Is that okay?

    Ellen Abbott- "Even if you didn't pack a thing, just got on that plane, it would all be fine." Girl. That's my new mantra. Thank you.

    lulumarie- We're all crazy in a way, aren't we? That's comforting.

    Rubye Jack- Exercise, being outside, writing. Yes. Those are the best remedies. Thank-you, baby.

    Angie- I am hoping I will. Thank-you and also- thanks for that beautiful card. It is now my favorite book-mark.

    Lora- Worry. Pshaw. It sucks. It never calls to tell you it's coming. Then it won't leave.

    liv- I will try to relaxi, my dear!

    Anonymous- It must have been horrible for her. Just horrible.

    Jo- It's not any wonder (either) that I have like five down pillows, a down comforter and a down blanket. Ha! I DO have blankies. Thanks for the links. You're a sweetie.

    Ms. Fleur- Yep. The whole damn month is not a good time for me. I'll be so fine when I get to Mexico. I betcha. Thanks for all the offers- I called you but no one answered.
    And congratulations on the client! Yay!

    Joanne- Whoa! I got people who have my back! Well, all of it is true. My mother made some suck-ass choices and she stuck with them too long in several cases. But- I can understand some of them. Back in the fifties, it was next to impossible to consider divorce. And my mother had to be brave to leave my father, even though there really was no other option at that point.
    I'm okay. Thank you for your support, thank-you for helping me try to feel better about myself. I do appreciate that so much.

    Denise- She just won't leave sometimes. She's like a cat that comes around. I guess I need to learn how not to feed her.

  15. Wow, I'm catching up. This just broke my heart. I hope somehow writing it out in this way helps. Yeah, no fucking wonder Mary.
    Love you.

  16. Dearest Ms Moon-

    That's all I can write. Dearest.

    XOXOXOXOXOX from here,


  17. Four days later I am following up on my blogs I love so much...I read yours and I know this woman needs to hear the ocean call her, sooth her and maybe now you are already there....

    Mr. Moon will hold you in his arms and the world will melt away...let it melt...let it go...let it go. My new mantra....Let it go.

    What matters is now not then...the past is the past...let it go.

  18. No wonder. No wonder. No wonder.

    I am so sorry you were so hurt. And you didn't have your blankie.

    Believe me when I say I understand.

    I hear how you are holding that little girl in your heart and telling her all the right things.

    I do that too. It helps. Some.

    Hoping that your vacation is soothing All of You.


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