Last week I had what can only be described as a bit of a meltdown. Not so much with the drama that you see online but more with an opening of the dam and lots of sniffing, inadvertently wiping snot on Adam and excessive frowns.
I’ve been feeling anxious over money, the kids missing me (oh so helped by that shitty comment I wrote about here) and our new lifestyle with Adam being a stay at home parent for a week or so I guess. Increasingly anxious that I will suddenly stop getting enough work to cover us, suddenly stop being able to provide and I will have to start saying yes to this and no to that more frequently. I’ve always been the one to take charge of the family and to manage the day to day family life, responsible for making it all tick, and I’ve always managed our finances too… but I’ve never been exclusively responsible for bringing them in. I often wonder if Adam felt this pressure when I wasn’t working or if there was a difference because his monthly wage was guaranteed. Always going to be paid by an employer whereas mine is subjected to the whim of someone in accounts at a big company.
Anyway, we had a particularly difficult weekend, a day trip that went horribly wrong where the snow started to hammer down, my drone got stuck and I was told I hadn’t been given the permissions that I knew I had to fly it – which I’d specifically asked for to avoid any mix up and respect rules, Edith got so cold she just cried, Adam forgot his coat, we didn’t make it even half way round before we had to leave due to heavy snow closing places… it was a disaster. The only consolation was a big slab of cake and the boys smiling faces as they played in the snow to the tune of their sister whinging.
When we set off for home with me already wound up, my satnav decided to take me the “fastest route” despite being programmed to avoid weather warning areas. Turns out it was trying to take us across all the ungritted back roads, leading us to around a bend and up a rather steep hill that I just couldn’t get over. Instead of making it over I ended up jack knifed, half across my side of the road, half across the other and right on the cusp of a hill, with a bend behind me. To make it 100% clear, had anyone come over the hill at that point they would never have seen us and they would have almost certainly hit us. It felt like a lifetime of being in that position, sliding all over the place and panicking, unable to work out how to get out of this predicament and with absolutely nowhere to move the kids to make them safe. Outside of my head, it was seconds, split seconds, before I worked out that the only course of action was the reverse into the bushes where my wheels had already skidded and turn around if I could. I could and I did. Within seconds we were turned around and back in place, sliding our way back down the hill, where a car had fortunately seen us half way up and had stopped to allow us down and turn themselves.
Despite being absolutely fine, despite this feeling a million times more dramatic than it was, I could feel the meltdown building. It was minutes before the tears started streaming, Adam asking me to pull over with us both knowing that on these back country roads there is nowhere safe to pull over, no where safe in the best weather never mind when it is piling snow.
I’d calmed down enough by the time we got to McDonald’s because the children were asking what was wrong with mummy (the power of tablets in the back of the car meant they were oblivious to what had happened – all apart from Toby) and I made it home with only the odd “shouty voice” as Adam puts it but the headache had well and truly cemented itself and as soon as I got home, the waterworks started. This uncontrollable anxiety, tearfulness and just general overwhelming state of mind took over. A glass of wine and a relaxing evening didn’t really do too much to help.
A few days on and I’m still tearful, blaming it on the pressure, the build up of a rotten day and the shock of a near miss. Sometimes you just have to let it all out, get it out of your system and have a weep. I’ve never been one to suffer from anxiety (lucky me!) but it’s becoming an increasing feature in my life of late and I’m not sure how to manage it.