How does anyone deal with a great deal of anxiety, but in their own way?
For me I could no longer bottle up any of my anxiety any longer. Instead of seeing a good therapist, I was able to get a prescription. It was all too easy, and I certainly didn't have to fake any of it because I was living in the emotion. At the same time, that prescription was a way to numb all the pressure that I was under. I guess I could call it: the great escape.
Up until I moved to Fort Marshall, no one knew about it—not what few friends that I had left, and definitely not my husband or kids. And up until that time, my husband hadn't suspected that anything was up until I cut my runs with him in the mornings.
At the same time, I felt like this move was never going to make a difference. That was until I ran into Denise Sherwood—who I had met years ago at a different base. I knew that running into an old familiar face would be either a blessing or a curse.
At the time we had met, I had gone long past a pill addiction. There was a rumor going around that Kevin had an affair with his driver. We weren't sure how that had happened, besides by word of mouth from our rivals.
Instead of ruining our image, we let it go. We moved around enough that we didn't have to deal with it for long—besides the fact that we and our children soon knew the real explanation when they were old enough. And just like Kevin, my father was in the army and second best was never allowed—meaning that a rumor was better than letting us fall apart.
Now I was back to square one when I slowly began to turn to pills again. But this time, it was different when I almost had a disastrous breakdown. It made me think about everything I had been taught: finally killed the perfectionism in me when I realized that my father had been wrong.
Four amazing women taught me that: when they stood up for me the night of the banquet. They protected me, even though they didn't have to. I really didn't deserve their protection or their love, but I got it anyway.
They gave me something that I could never repay them for, or ever express in words—other than an explanation. So, I called each one of them—Denise, Claudia Joy, Roxy and Gloria—and invited them over to my house.
It took both the worry off my shoulders, and yet it made me nervous at the same time. My heart was pounding as I occupied myself until the late afternoon when the doorbell finally rang. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait for everyone to arrive because they all came at the same time.
I showed them the couch, and ended up standing behind the chair for about five minutes afterwards—like it would protect me from what I was about to tell them. I worried what they would think about me afterwards, even though I knew things couldn't get much worse than it was. I was sure to already be some kind of perfectionist monster who had moved into town.
Then I sat down and explained that the last time that I had turned to drugs was when Patrick had been in preschool and Sophie in diapers. Kevin had been deployed to Kosovo; my mother had been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Like any army wife, I felt like I was practically trying to raise our children while hitting rock bottom.
I understood that my husband was serving our country, but it was always better having him by my side. Sometimes I found myself wishing that I could rewind moments that he wasn't there—just for him. Wished that he could have comforted our children more in the middle of the night when they were scared, or when they were sick.
And then I was brought back to the present when I realized that most of the woman in this room, understood the extent of being alone. For once, I felt like I had real friends that could listen.
So, I told them my story. In return—I felt the warmth and love that I had wanted to feel for years. I knew for certain that I didn't have to rely on pills to make me happy.
For once my thoughts weren't wrong. Like anything else in my life, I didn't regret throwing those pills down the drain to start over. All the weight that I had carried on my shoulders for years had significantly loosened just because of the choice I had made and was making now.
It was a start. I didn't have to do this alone anymore, but it wasn't going to be easy. The perfectionist in me would always be there to mess things up, especially when I was sure to be getting the hang of things. The unexpected seemed to scare me a bit more than that.
Now that I had confessed, I was going to give them some time to process everything. Roxy and Gloria thanked me for my honesty before walking out of the house. Claudia Joy and Denise hung back quite a bit, so I knew what was coming next.
"Call if you need anything." Claudia Joy offered, stepping out onto the porch.
Denise looked at me like she wasn't quite convinced when I only nodded in appreciation; squeezing my hand in passing. "You will call if you need anything?"
"Of course." I offered a little too moderately, and I couldn't help but laugh when she tilted her head at my response. "You have my word. Besides—I happen to know that my next-door neighbor is a lawyer." I gestured over to Claudia Joy's house as Denise groaned and put her arm around Claudia Joy.
"Right." Claudia joy nudged her down the stairs with everyone else. When they were conversing to themselves, I closed the door.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm thinking there will be at least another couple chapters that I'll be adding to this. I have a bit of a spin that I was going to use for another story, but it's possible that it could work for this one.