Sometimes there will be a trigger that has no immediacy to pregnancy. A dying bear photographed wandering in Siberia. Dirty lonely children locked up in camps.
Last week I literally felt the cortisol rising in my bloodstream. So I said, ok mamma, let's exercise. I put in a Zumba DVD and lo and behold, the DVD player was broken. My house's spotty internet connection made streaming a class through my instructor's license impossible.
So I had to go to the gym. But couldn't find headphones. I need music to get out of my head. "Niblet, where are those earbuds I lent you?" "I don't know what you're talking about." We go back and forth. Viking is getting annoyed because I am starting to lose my shit. "Just go to the gym," he says, exasperated. "But I don't have music," I respond, trying not to cry. "You don't need music to work out," he says, "This is getting annoying."
I walked over and got on the treadmill.
No music. The gym overlooks a swimming pool, I tried to focus and breathe on the blue water. It didn't help. My head was exploding, flooded with what I'll just call intrusive thoughts. I barely made it through the next 40 minutes.
I texted him when I was done and switching to the bike:
I don't think you understand. I need music because I am having intrusive thoughts right now. I tried to walk them out. I can't stop them.
The other male in my life, Work Husband and I were just bickering about politics and human existence, as one does when you're me. He can't fathom living in my brain where existential crises and the potential collapse of civilization for millions of vulnerable people due to climate is imminent and cause for tears. I can't fathom living in his, where because you're personally comfortable you just go on living your daily life and ignore the dumpster fire that is temporarily blocked from outside your house.
I know there are plenty of people in the world who don't have children who are plagued by anxiety. I also know that having children has probably jacked mine up exponentially.
Holding my baby forces me to calm down, I have a life in my hands, can't drop them, right? But it's not a workable prescription for me.
Unplugging helps. Particularly from social media. Walking through the woods or along a beach or even a park will do. Dancing and listening to music is my crack I guess, the fix that carries me through to the next disaster.