I never had anxiety until I was pregnant but it has lingered ever since. Just like everything, there are good days and bad days. And I recently had two bad days in a row. So this is a journal of my anxiety for those two days.
I almost didn’t leave the house this morning. I’d booked and paid for a play session with a candid photoshoot for my daughter but I almost didn’t go. I changed my top twice. I made sure to have a breakfast that wouldn’t make me look bloated. Even shaving my legs for fear of being judged and having my hairy legs photographed.
Despite it being 30 degrees by the time we arrived at 9.20 am, everyone else appeared to be dressed nicer. They all seem to have a designer wardrobe and makeup artists on hand.
We arrived early, mostly so I could fix my daughters hair. I was planning to tie it up in pigtails but they always get messed up in the car. I’m sure I got some looks from the other mums. “She is so unorganised that she didn’t have time to do her kid’s hair at home”. Slack. Lazy. Unorganised. These are all words that I used to describe what these other mums may or may not have been saying about me. It appears that I also didn’t get the memo that makes up was required. I think I there was only two other people there that didn’t have any makeup on. Apparently, I also missed the memo to wear my activewear or something suitable for an engagement party.
I spent my time trying to ‘suck it in’, have a good posture, and make sure my child was behaving appropriately.
Another day with more anxiety. Today I had a ladies day to attend. I procrastinated about leaving when I knew I really needed to be on my way. I helped my husband with a few small tasks and fussed over my daughter.
When I got there I sat in the car for 15 minutes just scrolling through my phone trying to pluck up the courage to go inside. I wish I went in sooner. It was quite hot sitting in the car on a 37-degree day. And we all know the air con doesn’t quite work so well if the car isn’t moving.
I followed another lady from the carpark and she asked if I knew where to go. Here’s your chance Kathleen. Ask her if she is here by herself. She knows the photographer. But the photographer will be busy most of the time, I think you’ve just found someone to talk to for the rest of the afternoon.
We go inside and go our separate ways. I’m not really sure what to do so I go to the bathroom. I spend more time in there than I really needed to. I head to the bar to collect my free drink. I’m glad they have Moscato but I’ll drink other stuff if it’s free. My friend from outside is also at the bar. She suggests that we should hang out.
We head to the food table. I start to really struggle. I’m holding my wine glass in one hand a paper plate in the other. I try so many different ways to hold the plate and glass in the one hand so I can pick up some of the food. Why are you so useless that you can’t do this simple task? Other people have done it just fine. Maybe put down your drink before you make an idiot of yourself. I put my drink down and put some cheese, crackers, grapes and half a fig on my plate. My new friend and I are lucky enough to find a few spare chairs to sit. We talk for about work and being parents before we bother to learn each other’s names.
There is a belly dancing demonstration and we are urged to participate too. Don’t be silly, ou don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of all these people do you? I sit in my seat and clap along. One lady has the confidence and moves of a dancer. I imagine myself doing that dance. I could if I wanted to. But I don’t want to.
I drink lots of water. It’s hot so I need to keep hydrated. But I also need something in my hand, a prop, you could say. The water does something else too. It keeps making me go to the toilet. Where again I spend a little bit more time than necessary. I even fix my lipstick in the mirror, just to steal myself a bit more time.
My new friend leaves early. There is just over an hour to kill before the event is over. I refill my cup with water, twice. I go to the toilet, twice. Then I stand near one of the stalls, wanting to get my nails painted but not purchase new nail polish. She will say no. Why would she paint your nails for you to then not buy her product? So I don’t get my nails done.
The event is over but the music is still pumping. A few people have left but there are still a lot lingering, talking and drinking. I hang around near the photo booth, trying to pluck up the courage to get some solo photos. I’ll go next, after this group. Oh, is there a line? I’m not in the line. I better go stand at the back of the line. But I don’t move. Ok walk over there after this group. But I don’t. The company is here to pack it up now. You idiot. Now you can’t have your picture taken. Just because you are too scared of being judged for having a few solo photos taken in a photo booth. Pathetic.
I look at my watch, it’s just gone 5pm. I head into another room to collect my goodie bag. One of the hosts is there and she asks if I had a good time. I said yes and told her I even made a friend.
Journal of my Anxiety
Was I always like this? No.
Will it always be like this? I can’t tell you.
Do I hope tomorrow is a better day? Yes
Will this be the first and last entry in the journal of my anxiety? I’m not sure. But I do think it helps to get things out. And writing them out is the best way for me.