Sunday, October 19, 2008

Have You Seen Me Lately?

I’ve just had an experience that I can only describe as the verge of total panic. I’ve been trying so hard to keep myself calm about everything lately that I think I just reached a point where I sort of lost the ability to stay calm.

I guess it started last night. We were watching a movie at a friend’s house when APL got a headache. Despite the fact that I keep a drug store’s worth of different kinds of painkillers in my purse, his headache got worse. Now, on the one hand, APL can be a little bit of a baby when he doesn’t feel well. I think it has to do with the fact that he so rarely feels sick. But on the other hand, when a person doesn’t feel well it is totally reasonable that they might mope a little or feel a little grouchy. No one is really expected to function normally when they don’t feel well, at least in theory. The sane part of me wanted to take care of him and do whatever I could to make him feel better. He takes such good care of me that he deserves to be babied every once and a while when he isn’t feeling 100%.

But then there was this unbalanced part of me that wanted to shout at him. Actually shout at him while he wasn’t feeling well. Because he wasn’t feeling well! It’s only a little headache! Why are you being such a baby? I have a headache most of the time and my feet hurt so bad that I feel like I want to cut them off and I feel like I haven’t slept well in three weeks! What are you even complaining about? How is it fair that it’s ok for you to mope about a little headache when I have to try to function like a normal human being while I feel horrible all the time?!?

And the sane part of me said: what’s wrong with you? APL takes care of you all the time when you don’t feel well. You couldn’t even begin to get by without him. Why on earth would you want to make him feel worse when he already feels bad? But, unfortunately, the sane part of me couldn’t shut up the unbalanced part of me. I was so frustrated about how unfair it is that I feel so awful all the time and yet I still have to keep going. When we got home, I had to shut myself alone in the bathtub to keep myself from being unnecessarily mean to the one person who is always there for me. It wasn’t good.

I felt a little better this morning. But then I started trying to catch up on homework. And I worked for a couple of hours but I only made the smallest amount of progress. And I realized that the list of things I have to catch up on keeps growing and growing. Every week I add readings and assignments that didn’t get done to that list. But when on earth am I going to find time to go back and do it all? If I can’t even find the time and concentration to do the reading I am supposed to do for this week, when on earth am I going to find time and concentration to do all the reading for last month? It just doesn’t seem possible. So then what am I going to do? How on earth will I get through finals?

Calm down, I told myself. Just keep working. Just try to make a little dent in it. Do as much as you can and we’ll figure out what to do with the rest of it later. But then it was hot in my study but I couldn’t open the window because I was afraid the noise outside would distract me. And there’s no screen on the window and there have been a lot of flies getting in our house lately. But then APL was cleaning out his study, so the living room was covered with his organizing – a.k.a. currently a total mess. The kitchen table was for some reason also buried under stuff, so there wasn’t anywhere else in the house to work. Plus, all the mess and clutter was starting to make me feel a little panicky. Which also made me want to shout at APL for the house being such a mess, which clearly wasn’t his fault as he was trying to clean it!

I know that I can’t be taking my frustrations out on the person who supports me most, so I decided I had to leave the house. I threw my heavy casebooks and laptop into my backpack. I told APL I was going to Panera to work for a while. I got in the car and started driving. It was beautiful outside. The leaves were changing colors and the late afternoon light was making everything glow. I rolled down the windows and blasted some Counting Crows, which has been my favorite band since I was twelve and always seems to make me feel better. And I started feeling a little bit better.

But not better enough. I drove the five minutes to Panera and I still felt like I was about to fly off the handle and/or go totally insane and/or give up on trying all together. So I kept driving. And driving. And driving. I finally forced myself to stop at another Panera about twenty miles from my house. I’m not really sure how I made myself stop, but I think if I hadn’t it is pretty likely I would have driven all the way to Kansas. I ordered a bowl of soup and I made myself write this blog post to see if I could figure out how to calm myself down. And while I feel a bit calmer I still have no idea how I’m going to get through all my schoolwork. Or keep myself from taking out my frustrations on APL.

::Sigh:: I guess I'll go to the law school library and see if I can make a dent in my to-do list. I have to start somewhere.

Get away from me
Get away from me
This isn’t gonna be easy
But I don’t need you
Believe me

Yeah you got a piece of me
But it’s just a little piece of me
And I don’t need anyone
And these days I feel like I’m fading away
Like sometimes when I hear myself on the radio

Have you seen me lately?
Have you seen me lately?
Have you seen me lately?

3 comments:

A said...

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

Z said...

EXCELLENT advice. Thanks.

Though now I want to leave the library and go home and watch Finding Nemo...

Sylvia said...

You can call me anytime and just yell and scream and cry if you need to. Just start from now, and do what you can. A few deep breaths might help too. Hang in .