The Adventures of Anxiety Girl

It was an ordinary morning, around 6am. Anxiety Girl rolled over, shut off her alarm, and closed her eyes to wait for Jedi’s ‘Good morning’ text, just like every other morning.

DING! “Good morning and such!” Jedi greeted her.

“What in the hell does that mean?” she wondered aloud. “He must be getting bored of me. He always calls me babe, or beautiful, or some sort of term of endearment, and he didn’t! I wonder what I could have done to make him stop caring for me so quickly?”

  *  *  *  *  * 

Upon arriving at work, Anxiety Girl received an email requiring her prescence at a training seminar. Her fellow invitees were prestigious co-workers, those who had worked years and years and climbed their way up the ladder to the upper echelon of regional management.

“There must be some mistake. I shouldn’t be invited to this seminar!” Anxiety Girl cried. “Why would they invite me? I’m nothing. I’m going to get there and have everyone laugh and wonder why I was invited because I am clearly so far beneath all these other attendees. I can’t go, I simply can’t!”

  *  *  *  *  * 

11am rolled around and Anxiety Girl hadn’t yet heard back from Jedi, almost five hours after texting him back. Despite knowing how hectic his career can be, Anxiety Girl was perturbed.

“He hates me!” she thought. “It can’t be that he’s busy working… no… he’s definitely ignoring me. I even asked a question to make sure he responded, and he didn’t. I remember when we used to text all day, every day. I miss that. He clearly doesn’t care as much as he used to. Should I even bother driving all the way down to see him tonight? He must still be in love with his ex. I should just give up. I’m not worthy.”

  *  *  *  *  * 

Anxiety Girl’s boss stopped by her desk that afternoon. “I need to see you in my office,” he said. “It’s about that seminar.”

Anxiety Girl’s mind raced. “He’s going to tell me I’m not capable enough to go. I’m a failure. He’s going to fire me because I’m not productive enough. I knew this would happen. How am I going to pay my mortgage? Or afford gas to drive Padawan to school? Looking for a job is terrifying! I’m not qualified to do anything but minimum wage labour – I just lucked out getting a decent-paying administrative job. How am I going to live on $10/hr and no benefits???”

  *  *  *  *  * 

That evening, Anxiety Girl took Padawan to a fundraiser/movie night at her prestigious private school. She parked her ten year old Honda Civic next to the brand new Porche SUV, and waved at a classmate’s mother, who looked away without recognition.

“I don’t know why I try being friendly,” she muttered. “Nobody likes me anyway. They know we don’t belong here. We’re not like them. We’re not people who can afford this school – we’re the poor family who scrimps and saves to send Padawan here, and they all know it. They hate me, and, by extension, hate Padawan. Poor child. It’s not her fault that her mother is such a disappointment. I’m sure that if I wasn’t such a sad-sack, broke-ass, single mom that they would be more welcoming. Why do I even bother attending these things?”

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

This is an example of my daily existence, and, frankly, it fucking sucks. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of feeling unworthy. I’m tired of worrying and stressing and obsessing about everything. So I’m going to do it. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment a week from today and I am going to get some help because I am so done with living like this.

I’m terrified that it’ll be brushed off as nothing. I’m terrified that I’ll be mocked. I’m terrified that I’ll need to be medicated. But more than all that, I am terrified that I will spend the rest of my life feeling like this and will never know how to be truly happy and relaxed.

Here’s to the first step and a new beginning.

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The Tale Of The Space Potatoes

I had a massive craving for instant mashed potatoes today. While making said potatoes,  I had the most random memory pop into my head… to the point where it made me cry because I was laughing so hard. So gather round, children, and let me regale you with…

THE TALE OF THE SPACE POTATOES. 

The year is 2004 and I’m 18. I’m engaged to a 25 year old youth pastor. I’m in the middle of my ~*~ReBeLlIoUs~*~ stage, so I rather enjoy drinking and smoking pot at this point. He does not, and it’s a major, reoccurring fight in our relationship.  It is almost my 19th birthday, when I will (legally) be able to buy alcohol, and we are planning a limo trip into the big city for a night of bar-hopping. We have to drop the deposit off in a town about 45 minutes away. I don’t have a vehicle, and he has no license, so his little sister is driving us. She likes smoking pot. Her and I smoke 2 or 3 joints on the way there. He starts asking me what I want for dinner when we get home.

Now, this is where I interject with the seemingly random, but important, detail that my mother calls instant mashed potatoes “space potatoes.”

Back to the story. So, at this moment, in my incredibly high state, all I can think of is motherfucking instant mashed potatoes. So he asks again, “Do you wanna grab pizza or something for dinner?” I’m disgusted by this thought, not because I dislike pizza, but because everything about him seems so abhorrent that I’m automatically turned off every suggestion he makes. (I never said it was a healthy relationship, okay?) So I was like, “NO. FUCK YOUR PIZZA.”  He asks again. “Sweetie, we need to eat when we get home. If you don’t want pizza, what do you want?” I look at him with insatiable cannabis-fueled hunger in my eyes, “I want space potatoes.”

This is the moment I realised that we would never work out.

“Space potatoes? What the hell are space potatoes?” he responded, looking utterly lost (which, frankly, was not difficult for a person who at one point proudly posted his IQ of 87 on Facebook…) “You know, space potatoes. They come in a package. You add water. They’re heaven in a pouch.” He kept staring at me with that same stupid expression. “Honey, you’re really stoned. Let’s just go home and order a pizza. My treat.” This was enough to make me snap. “NO FUCKING PIZZA!!! I WANT SPACE POTATOES!!!” I bellowed with a demonic savagery only heard in the blackest of metal songs. Suddenly, the sweetly stupid look was gone from his face. “Fine. Have your fucking potatoes, if they even exist. I’ll order my own damn pizza.”

So he called and ordered a pizza, then made his sister drive us to pick it up. When we got home, I made the best goddamn instant mashed potatoes of my life and watched Spongebob Squarepants while he sadly ate his cheese pizza and prayed for my eternal soul.

It’s Not Easy.

It isn’t easy to love an addict.
It isn’t easy to hear the lies, to know that they’re lies, and to not be able to do a damn thing about it.
It isn’t easy to watch someone you love so hell-bent on self-destruction.
It isn’t easy to hear “I’m getting clean” again and again and to pray every. single. time. that this time, it’s for good.
It isn’t easy to have someone you love steal from you with seemingly no remorse.
It isn’t easy when they sober up temporarily and you see the shame in their eyes, see the weight of their sins dragging them back down into a vortex of self-medication and self-loathing.
It isn’t easy to see them desperately searching for the next $20, the next fix, the next party.
It isn’t easy to realise you can’t remember the last time they weren’t using.
It isn’t easy when you figure out that the only way to preserve yourself is to distance yourself from their battle, to support and love from afar, because getting too close hurts too much.
It isn’t easy to keep your distance, to stop loaning money, to stop enabling.
It isn’t easy not trying to fix the situation, to fix the addiction, to fix the person.
It isn’t easy to watch someone so young and promising throw their future away.
It isn’t easy to understand why they can’t “just” stop, can’t “just” get it together, can’t “just” get clean.
It isn’t easy to live each day of their sobriety along with them, fearing a relapse.
It isn’t easy. Not even in the slightest.
But an addict knowing that someone loves them no matter what… that’s what makes it worthwhile.

I’ve loved a lot of addicts. Some I’m still loving from afar. One helped make my child. Two I’ve known since they were born. One will hit 15 months clean this week. In fact, he’s the one I have to thank for introducing me to Macklemore’s “ Starting Over.” I’ve listened to this song probably 30 times since I first heard it last night. Every time, it gives me goosebumps and nearly brings me to tears.

The part that really sticks with me are the lines:

If I can be an example of getting sober
Then I can be an example of starting over.

Brother, I love you. I’m proud of you, of who you’ve become, and how far you have come in the past year and a bit. Never quit fighting because I know you can do this.