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My anxiety

I can not breath right now. My entire body is incredibly tense and even the simple act of exchanging air has me worked up. My feelings fester and build until my body, quite literally, feels like it is shutting down. I don’t want to be friendly right now, I am angry, I am distracted, I don’t feel like myself. I have to do something I absolutely do not want to do and it is paralyzing me.

I am going on a school field trip today with my 9 year old daughter.

Crazy, right!?? How is it that attending something so simple has me on flight risk? Trust me, I hate it more than you would think. I have not jumped into dairy farming simply because someone needs to do it, I have become a full time dairy farmer because it suits my personality. I like to be alone and in my comfort zone, I like where I can control my surroundings and I like being in a bubble….

My daughter asked me to sign the volunteer slip two weeks ago and I told her I didn’t know if I could, “I might have to do field work for dad” I added. I was crossing my fingers that something would come up requiring me to be unavailable. A few days later when the chaperone list needed to be finalized she asked me again, to which I asked her why it was so important this time for her that I go. Because I see other girls with their moms there and it’s important to me.

Shit

My only thought was: How dare she use that on me? You simply can NOT tell your child ‘no’ when she says something like that. So I signed the stupid slip and filled out the stupid volunteer form and prayed that maybe I had committed a crime back in the 90’s that we all forgot about, like something sketchy enough that would default me from attending a function with groups of people I don’t really know but not so scandalous that its memory surfacing would mark our family, ya know? Spoiler: no such luck. I am going and my husband says to enjoy it!

That is not how my brain works, ya’ll. I have been anxious and tense for days. I wish I were different; how great to just be relaxed and happy to spend a day with my kiddo not working. But I would rather clean the manure pit out with a sandbox shovel and wheel borrow it 2 miles down a muddy road than attend. Dramatic? Yes. But also accurate.

This is MY anxiety. Social interactions face-to-face shut me down. For any of my family and friends who just shake their heads and dismiss me as being silly, guys – that does not help, at all. Maybe a diagnosis of agoraphobia would be the best bet, can I self diagnosis this morning and make it legit? Probably not.

How will I cope with this? I will become very introvert, probably make myself unapproachable, silently pray to the heavens that an earthquake manifest itself in Michigan so the event is cancelled, and spend the entire day awkward. Yup, that’s me.

Anxiety feels different for everyone and different situations trigger it for different people. For me it started about six years ago, I have always been shy and controlling but instead of getting better with age and adopting the whole hakuna-matata attitude I’ve gotten more Daria. Regardless, I am off the farm and need to remind myself it is to spend the day with my daughter who I love more than myself (insert a big over zealous smile above the rim of my coffee cup, which may or may not be laced with RumChata). Spoiler – it’s not, no such luck again.

Xo, Nicole

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