Sometimes, I wonder how I manage to do normal things.
Last night, I started to cook dinner. Dh is the real cook in our house…It’s not that I can’t cook, because I can and it’s not that I am a bad cook, because I am not….But I don’t like to cook. Dh loves to cook. (And has also taught ds to love to cook.) So, I was cooking dinner and I was there and present and it was normal. Dh came in to help me…Something that I like is that sometimes we cook together, which is an art and a dance of space and bodies in our galley kitchen. And it feels normal, to share space and ideas and squabble teasingly over the limited counter space. Ds was nearby, reading out loud from his computer about a movie that he and dh want to see…I knew that they would sit together shortly and watch the trailer and maybe another trailer if they could find it. And it all felt normal. Dh took over the meal preparation which was fine with me…Like I said, cooking is not my favorite thing, so I didn’t feel slighted or anything. And I sat at the table and observed the normalcy of the moment.
Only, it wasn’t really normal because I am not normal. The more I looked at it, the more it didn’t make sense to me…How could it all seem so regular and every day? How do I manage this all the time, this maintaining of self when I am coming unglued at the seams? It was almost like it wasn’t real…So, I checked myself to see if I was somehow dissociating. Nope, I was still there…though something had triggered that detached, floaty feeling. And Pocket Peace is lost…It wasn’t there to help ground me and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to cry.
I have felt both strangely calm and oddly energized the past few days. I don’t understand the feelings and don’t trust what my mind is doing. Actually, the energized feeling, I do understand as I have these episodes from time to time…though usually caused by anxiety and the need to keep busy and distract myself and burn up the anxious energy. It’s the calm feeling that I don’t recognize and don’t trust.
But then I think back over yesterday and realize that I was anxious. We had to go to the grocery store and for some reason, I felt anxious before I had even started to shower. I didn’t want to go to the store where there would be people. But, I am stubborn or unrelenting….or both and made myself go. I was right, there were people in the store….but I did manage it and did not have an anxiety attack. When we left the store, dh asked me if I felt relief once we were out of the store. I shook my head and told him, “No…It doesn’t work that way.” Sometimes, I don’t get relief until I am going up our driveway, entering my safety zone.
I guess that is what my normal is….Depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, trying to find and stay in my safety zone. And it is not actually normal, and I know that. I guess that is why the cooking dinner “normal” emphasized just how I am not normal…Because I know what my normal is…and it is not the right kind of normal.