I challenge you to name three things that are more annoying than having your shorts crawl up between your thighs while you’re walking down the street to go to a coffee shop … and then having to try to arrest the crawl-up by changing your gait. Like you try to have your thigh meat sort of shove the shorts back toward earth while you’re continuing to walk, but also without looking like you’re doing anything too weird (Oh! Is that a car behind me? I should twist around and look!) … and also mentally telling your shorts to Go! Back! Down! so you can avoid publicly yanking handfuls of fabric out from your crotchal region.
And then when you get to the coffee shop your computer refuses to stay connected to the internet so you finally have to give up and go home and eat half a chicken gyro that wasn’t as good as you’d hoped it would be.
Go ahead. Name three things more annoying than that.
- America kidnapping kids
- America losing a bunch of the kids we kidnapped
- Our President being a Russian stooge
Yet one more thing Trump has ruined: the ability to ever truly complain about first-world problems ever again. (Thanks, jackass.)
My problems seem small. Yet … they’re not insignificant.
Here are three first-world things that are almost as bad as my shorts crawling up:
- Having to go to court for custody and for child support for the first time ever, eight looooong years after the breakup of my marriage. Remember how I used to talk about how to have a peaceful divorce? I guess so much for that. We were doing great … until we weren’t.
- Spending literally all day prepping for Friday’s custody trial and getting nearly zero job-style work done, then getting an email from my lawyer at 6:26 PM saying we have to postpone.
- My insomnia is back. Shocker.
I had my physical a few months ago. The physician’s assistant who was doing my exam asked about the Ambien that was noted in my chart. I told her about the absolutely crushing insomnia that started two summers ago … and how I was so sleep deprived over so many weeks that one day I thought I might be having a heart attack. (I wasn’t. But I might have some other heart thing that runs in my family.)
This lovely young woman asked me if I thought I was depressed. I said I didn’t think so. Because while I strongly suspect that depression runs in my family, I’m generally pretty positive. Even when things are totally craptastic and I really want to wallow, I have a hard time not finding the damn light at the end of the tunnel. So no, probably not depressed.
Then she asked me if I was anxious. That was another question entirely.
Because yeah, I am. I am anxious all the time. Every damn day. But I said that I have plenty of reasons to be … like the custody case, money, blended family drama, a major rift with a close family member, an ongoing rift with an extended family member who clearly hates my guts now, a boatload of friends and relatives whom I no longer associate with because racism, the death of democracy, impostor syndrome, frustration at not pursuing my creative passions … and also, sometimes, just talking to people.
I think working at home for nearly 15 years has caused some of my inner shyness to re-emerge. (I know, you guys. I don’t seem shy. I swear to you, I am.) I’ve noticed over the last few years that I feel increasingly awkward making small talk with people I don’t know well. And that’s really difficult because even at my best, I’m terrible at small talk. I much prefer BIG TALK. I’d rather jump right to stuff like “So, what’s your biggest regret in life? ”
The PA asked me what I thought about taking an anti-anxiety med. She said Zoloft could be really helpful.
My first thought: If I have an anti-anxiety med in my medical record, that’s going to make my health insurance go up when Congress officially takes away price protection for pre-existing conditions. So basically, any day now.
My second thought: Whatever. With the way this shit show is rolling, we’re all screwed anyway.
So I started it. A few weeks later after adjusting the dosage, I was feeling pretty good. Happy, in fact. Content. And I was only taking 1/2 an Ambien a few times a week.
Then I didn’t have an Ambien at all over vacation. Didn’t really need one.
Then we came home. And for the last week, my nights have been bad.
I start out in bed. Then I move to the couch. Then I go back to bed. Then I move to one of my kids’ beds if they’re at their dad’s house … or to the couch in my stepdaughter’s bedroom, or back to the couch downstairs. Basically I’ll sleep anywhere that’s free other than the dog bed.
If I know Joe is leaving early for a meeting, I’ll leave the kids a note telling them where to find me when they get up in the morning so they don’t assume that all the adults in the house have been vaporized overnight.
I’ve been trying not to take Ambien since we got home from vacation. But yesterday was awful. I was exhausted and barely functioning all day. My kids were home and I had to get people to places and then stop work early to go into the city and pick up Joe so we could go to the Radiohead concert. (I got him tix for his birthday.)
Working from home during the summer is always extremely stressful. If you’re working, you feel bad that you’re neglecting your kids. If you do something with the kids, you feel bad that you’re not working. It’s a balance I have never figured out. That this feeling didn’t hit until almost August this year is good … but it still stucks.
And then, over a beer before the show last night, I spilled my guts. I told Joe how useless and terrible I felt, and how I just felt like I could cry at any minute, and I knew nothing was really terrible, but I was just so damn tired after not really sleeping for a week so everything felt awful.
So I took an Ambien last night. I slept. I’m still very tired. I’ve been ready for bed since about 6 PM, and now it’s 8, and guess how much work I’ve done today? About 30 minutes. And now I’m writing this.
I should be doing work. But I’m tired and not-smart right now and maybe I should just go to bed and get up in the morning with a fresh head. I have writers who need assignments from me today … but I just don’t know if I can get it together to do them. Will the world end if I send them out tomorrow? It won’t, right? But gawd, I hate letting people down.
Everyone always talks about self-care. The phrase can feel icky to me because I think people abuse it sometimes. But I think I need to practice some tonight.
So … going to finish this up and get to bed early. See you on the flippity flop. (That’s a thing Joe says. I don’t know what it means.)
Also, it took me about 800 attempts to finally nab the incredibly stupid pic above. Check out my Instagram if you want to see the others. You should, because it will make you feel a genius about your own picture-taking abilities.