I’m sitting at the airport with hubby and the kid now, getting ready to say a bittersweet goodbye to our week in paradise. Only there’s a catch. As I wait for our plane to arrive, I have a paper bag over my mouth and am trying hard to catch my breath. Yes, I am actually hyperventilating. For some reason, since about Wednesday, I’ve been dealing with the longest and most annoying panic attack ever.
In case you ever happen to find yourself in the midst of 3 days of unyielding anxiety, may I offer a little bit of advice: trying to figure out why you’re having a panic attack while you’re having a panic attack does not do much other than make it worse. Much worse. I'm worried about everything: work, the number of calories in my egg white omelette at breakfast, how few calories I'm burning as I sit on a pool raft for 6 hours, Hurricane Sandy, when I should pee, how I've worn the same nightgown 6 nights in a row, global warming, who’s going to win the election, Syria. Pick a topic, any topic, and you can guarantee that I’m stressing about it. Hard.
To stop the racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, lack of appetite and general sense that the sky is falling, I’ve been employing multiple and futile approaches. Wine, sleep, exercise, snippiness, food, no food, and staring blankly at the computer. So far, nothing has worked. What I am doing well, however, is ruining vacation for my hubby, who has no idea how to help. He’s tried tough love, commiseration, exasperation, and ignoring and so far, nada.
So what the hell is going on with me? It’s hard to admit this, especially when I’m supposed to be living it up, but I think I know what it is. I want to go home. I love my home, my city, my job, my two pairs of lululemon yoga pants, my bathtub and my crazy life. And I find, no matter how hard I tell my brain to shut the f@ck up, what I really want now is my bath tub, hair iron, cell phone service, Corner Bakery iced tea, dry cleaner, friends and generally stressful yet fulfilling existence. Here’s an embarrassing confession: I think I want out of paradise. Like, um, right now.
Hence the paper bag glued to my face. And the sheepish look on my face as I look at the greatest family ever, a family that deserves more than some mess-of-a-me trying desperately to gulp down enough air not to pass out in front of the airport sunglass shop. Only 10 hours to go before we’re home. Not that I’m counting. Or worried about us getting there. Deep breaths, Wendy, deep breaths...
~By Wendy Widom, Families in the Loop