Deep Breathing Makes Me Cough.

I thought I was being pretty smart – I booked two extra days off on top of an already 3-day weekend. One of those extra days was to celebrate our ‘dating-iversary’ and the rest of the 4 days I had intended for a nice combination of relaxing and sorting out my life.  The last bit of February and the beginning of March are full of big, busy things. Events. Presentations.

And so, of course, the universe heard that I was planning a bit of downtime – and knocked me fully on my ass with a nasty cold. I spent all 5 days either asleep, in a stupor, or wishing I could sleep. There was codeine cough syrup involved and a lot of cold meds. I went through a lot of kleenex. I whined at my beloved husband a lot – whenever I had a voice with which to do so.

Today I returned to work – unenthusiastic and still under the weather (but much better). My energy levels are so low. I’m exhausted.   I kicked the day off with a meeting and, in spite of it being really important, part way through I just wanted to put my head down on the table.

I’m also anxious and overwhelmed.

This isn’t a good combination.

A few nights ago, I kept waking up in mild panic attacks. All night. The reasons for the panic were either unidentifiable or completely ridiculous. I’d go back to sleep and bolt awake again. Over and over again.  I would have been happier to have one full-on panic attack instead of 20 little ones. Jeezus.

I am trying to take (metaphorical) deep breaths. Focus. Baby steps. Make a list. Make another list. But I feel like I am scrambling. I looked at my calendar for tomorrow and realized that I had 3 meetings booked – with no space between them – in two different cities.  I felt like a jerk having to cancel one, but even as I was sending that email another request came in for me to speak at a FOURTH meeting on the same day.  I declined.

I have scoured my calendar for some days that I can take off, even if they’re not consecutive, in the hopes of giving myself some breathing space. I am trying to figure out what I can drop, what I can set down for a bit, what I can hand to someone else (and I’m having a hard time with it.) I am hyper-aware of all the little strings I am clutching at the moment and sort of praying that none of them fray until I’m on solid ground.

When I’m sleeping well again and when I’m not exhausted and when I can take literal deep breaths, none of this will feel as dire and awful as it does at the moment – I know this. I am not normally this worried about letting someone down, fucking something up, or forgetting something really big. I just need to find my way back to solid ground.

In the meantime, I’m going to be sneaking off to nap in my car any chance I get.

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