We had a leisurely breakfast of pancakes with sliced banana, blueberries and maple syrup, washed down with coffee while we shared the morning paper. He likes to read the Sports section, I like to read the lift-out magazine.
I’ve done the vacuuming and the washing and there is a casserole bubbling away in the slow cooker for dinner.
Now I’m sitting at my computer with a cup of lemon juice in hot water, and the day is mine.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Even our little bird is happily playing in his filing cabinet (yes, the spoiled bird has his own filing cabinet as a cubby house where he spends many a happy hour).
It’s so peaceful and so nice.
To be truthful, most of my Saturday mornings should be like this. Despite whatever problems we may have faced in the past, our life, in general is not overly stressful now. And yet last Saturday morning I was about as miserable as I can get. And why? Had some great disaster befallen us? No, not at all. I am just one of the many people who suffer from GAD, or General Anxiety Disorder.
I used to think that people with ‘bad nerves’, as my mother would have called it, just needed to toughen up a bit. Life is full of ups and downs and there’s not much we can do except ride it out. It took me years of putting unnecessary extra pressures upon myself to realize that an anxiety disorder is not a weakness, but an actual medical condition.
Even now; now that I understand the problem, I still tend to dismiss it a little too readily at times. For the past year I have been stop-starting with my medication until my Dr had some serious words with me just recently. She pointed out that if I don’t take the tablets regularly, then I will continue with this seesawing of emotions indefinitely.
The trouble is, when things are good like they are on this beautiful Saturday morning, it is just too easy to think that maybe I am just being a bit of a ‘drama Queen’. Maybe I don’t really have a disorder at all. Maybe I’m just a bit too ‘highly strung’ to borrow another of my mothers terms. So I stop taking the tablets. Why should I continue to pour chemicals into my body if I don’t need them? And then…wham - the symptoms reappear and I am reminded, quite rudely, that this is for real.
Sometimes, the first step towards dealing with a problem is in the agonising decision to face up to it in the first place. We can’t ‘pretend’ serious issues away. See, my mother was constantly on medication for ‘bad nerves’ and I never wanted to be like that. I wanted to be seen as strong and capable and resilient, not standing at the counter in the Chemist shop picking up a prescription for Prozac.
It was bright and sunny last Saturday morning. The birdies were singing just as prettily. But I was sunk in gloom and needless despair all because I wanted to prove how tough I am. How silly is that?
©Lyn Murphy 2011