(After originally writing this post several months ago, I felt a whole lot better. But I saved it to publish if/when I was in the mood again. Here it is.)
I often feel on the verge of tears lately. It doesn't take much to set me off. I cry at the drop of a hat.
Dh tells me I look sad far too often these days. :(
I don't mean to. Really, most of the time, I'm a pretty happy girl. Why wouldn't I? I'm comfortably retired, with the stresses of the working world behind me. I've got a great husband, and a lovely new home, with some beautiful new furniture. I've got a wonderful extended family who loves me, and some pretty great friends, both online & "in real life." I've survived stillbirth, infertility, involuntary childlessness, job loss -- AND the Greater Toronto Area real estate market!! lol -- and lived to tell the tale.
But (as I confessed to dh recently) -- all of the above aside -- I'm increasingly plagued by constant feelings of anxiety, and deep unworthiness. :( I can't shake the feeling that I've done something wrong -- or that I'm going to -- that disaster is going to strike, and it will be ALL MY FAULT. (What exactly it is that I've done wrong, I have no idea, of course.) I've never been a very decisive person, but I find myself paralyzed with indecision lately, to the point of ridiculousness (see my recent (at the time of original writing) post on trying to choose a paint colour...!). I'm overwhelmed by the "what ifs" -- what might happen if I make the wrong choice? Even when it's something as relatively insignificant as paint colour (that can always be painted over again).
These feelings are nothing new. When the stress of infertility treatment brought on a series of debilitating anxiety attacks, almost exactly 16 years ago now, I came to recognize that I have probably been an anxious person for most of my life. I just didn't have full-blown panic attacks, and I didn't have the labels or the tools to analyze it when I was younger.
These feelings are not constant. They come & go... albeit more frequently again these days, it seems. :(
Maybe it's the effect of so many major life changes and stresses all at once over the past year or two -- losing our jobs, retiring (officially), turning 55 (becoming, by some definitions, a senior citizen -- eeekkk!!), moving (not just to a different neighbourhood, but to a different community, and not just to another house but to a condo, which meant getting rid of tons of stuff -- old, familiar, comfortable stuff). (Shopping for new stuff should be making me happy, right? Instead, it often just makes me feel more anxious. More decisions to be made...!)
Maybe (quite possibly!!) it's those damned (peri)menopausal hormones at work. Every time I go on a crying jag, I'm reminded of (and cheered up immensely by, lol) a classic episode of "All in the Family" where Edith is going through "the change," much to Archie's consternation. ;)
Or maybe (very likely) it's just "that time of the month" coming -- which is hard to tell these days, because the aforementioned (peri)menopausal hormones have made my cycles increasingly erratic and hard to predict lately. I have definitely noticed that these feelings seem to intensify around "that time of the month," especially during that notorious two weeks (or so) wait leading up to Aunt Flo's return.
Whatever the reason I'm feeling this way -- I know it will pass.
(And return to haunt me. And then pass again.)
What do you do to chase away the blues?