I just knew the year 2016 was gonna be my year of greater. I had set goals: get back to blogging, be a better supervisor, travel more, stop flaking on plans with friends, move out of my janky studio apartment. They were made. All I had to do was follow thru with them. Easy right? Hell no. None of that shit happened like I wanted it to. It never does if you secretly don’t want it to. I would speak these goals out loud but deep down hoped that half of them wouldn’t happen. My GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) was on an all time high, had me thinking none of these “goals” would happen.
GAD. It is a real diagnose. I don’t like calling it a sickness because I don’t believe I’m sick. When you’re sick, there’s meds you can take and it goes away. Having anxiety just doesn’t go away. Even with prescribed meds, you still have the feelings. I was diagnosed in early Spring of 2009. I would wake up and not want to leave my apartment. Not want to talk in public, ALWAYS doubting myself, crying at the drop of a hat over the most minute things. I thought I was just crazy or still grieving over the loss of my grandmother. I looked up a doctor who specialized in it and went to see her. I took some tests, talked with her and she said it was pretty severe. Of course she gave me meds for it but I refused to take them. Me?! I didn’t even want to believe I had severe anxiety. Like, what the hell. Bit I did. And it was severe.
When I’m nervous, I start to stutter and mix up my words. I feel so stupid when I hear myself talk like this. Sounding like a kid trying to read his first book out loud to his parents. I was ashamed to tell people about my anxiety so I acted as if it never exsisted. Plus, the black community doesn’t talk about these things with each other. There is no such thing as mental illness growing up black. Sad but true. I didn’t want to tell those close to me and I definitely wasn’t going to share this with my mom. (That’s a whole different post I’ll talk about later). So I just carried along with life as such, not talking about it or taking my crazy pills. It was nothing, I could deal with this by myself.
As time went on, my anxiety was taking over my mind, body, and social awareness. Every fucking thing was an episode. I felt so trapped at times. I felt like I was in my own horror flick running away from the monster and when I turn the corner, he was going to be waiting for me right there. I dealt with this monster everyday. All day. No one knew that I would have crazy thoughts in my head at all times, trying to play it cool when I’m out. Ugh. I hated being out in public, talking to people. It made me sweat uncontrollably. Eyes would fill with tears as I tried my very best to just have a normal conversation. Get it together Ash! I would tell myself this at least one hundred times a day along with taking deep breaths. It sometimes helped.
So much for my goals. It was Feburary and I hadn’t crossed nothing off my list. Its okay though, its only the second month into 2016. I have plenty of time to get shit done. “No you don’t. Your friends are already travelling, you haven’t put any looks together for your blog. You won’t be promoted again to the next step” said Anxiety. I believed it. I had been seeing a guy for about a month and liked him but he didn’t want a relationship. Why do I always find the ones who don’t want nothing serious. I’m not mentally good when it comes to FWB (friends with benefits) but I was getting over a hard breakup, and I told myself I wouldn’t get attached. Wrong again Ash!
It’s February, so that means I get to spray my eyes with bleach while I scroll thru all the happy couple photos on social media. I was not looking forward to Valentine’s day, I’m single and don’t even know what I’m doing in life. I texted the guy and told him I can’t see him anymore because I’m getting feelings and really like him. He took it like a grain of salt of course. No surprise there. “You been really moody lately, you should take some St. John Warts.” Take some what? I give my co worker a funny look and shook my head at her. She was always taking some stuff. I was more moody than usual and super emotional than common. My cycle was coming in a few weeks.
The next day, my co worker, Juliet hands me this brown paper bag with an excited smile on her face. “What’s this?” I ask sheepily. She says with a motherly tone “It’s St. John Warts, a mood stabilizer. You need it with your crazy self. You have got to get a grip on your emotions Ashley. You can’t be walking around here carrying on the way you have.” I took the bag and sat at my desk crying. Was this stuff really going to work? I don’t like taking anything. It says to add a few drops in your water. Ughhh this stuff tastes awful!! What the hell am I doing?! I call her back to our office and tell her I took it. She high-fives me and says “I know it tastes bad, but it really does work.” I shrug my shoulders and go about my work day. I feel no difference. I still feel the same nervous, anxiety filled, lack of comfidence Ash. Yay.
Juliet is having a birthday party and I’m excited to attend. I’m close with her. She’s like the big sis I never had. She’s so pretty, educated, and a business woman. I love her! I text the guy and he’s getting ready for his trip to NOLA. I ask him if he wants to come over one last time. He meets me at my place after I get back from Juliet’s birthday party. I come downstairs to meet him, still wearing my all black fitted dress and face full of makeup. I’m feeling “it”. I had two cosmos and I am a light weight. I look at him on the other side of the door staring at me like a decadent piece of chocolate waiting to be devoured. He looks so good to me. Like, real good. Is this the liquor? Its the liquor Ash, be cool. We go upstairs to my place and I feel his eyes scanning my body up and down. My anxiety is on time like clock work and ready to shut shit down per usual. I immediately feel hot in the face from blushing. Why am I so shy around him?! Good grief. I’ve been with guys before. Had serious relationships and all that jazz, but he made me feel so shy for some reason. Shrug.
Days are passing by, February is going fast, as it normally does because its only twenty-eight days. I am a hot mess! My emotions are all over the damn place. I’m crying at work. I’m crying on the train on my way to work. This anxiety is attacking me full on. Wait, no, my cycle is coming. Breathe Ash. Breathe. Day one and no period. No biggie. I’m still an emotional wreck and eating everything in sight, it’ll be here tomorrow. Day two, no aunt flow. Hmmm. Still not tripping. It will come soon. Okay it’s day four and I am never this behind! My flow is always on time. Like, always. Shit.
“I am not pregnant. There’s no way there’s a baby inside me. Nope.” Telling myself this as I walk to the local Walgreens near my house. I buy the off brand pregnancy test and check out in cosmestics. The clerk asks if I found everything okay today. Tuh. Uh yea. I quickly grab the test off the counter and walk home in two seconds. I’m not nervous at all actually. I’m not worried either. I am not pregnant. I follow the directions on the test and wait, well not really wait because TWO pink lines pop up on the reader so quickly! At a loss for words I hold the test in my right hand and just stare at it shaking my head. This has got to be wrong! I take a picture of it and send it to my best friend Roxie.She immediately calls me and asks what I’m gone do. I can barely talk from the state of being shocked and really really indenial. I go back to Walgreens and buy a more expensive test. The fancy one that spells the word out for ya. It had two in the box. I’m so anxious I messed the first one up and it reads “Error”. Ugh. Take it easy Ash! Lord! I move slower this time and carefully take the test. This one I actually had to wait two minutes. Its sitting on the bathroom counter. Im standing, slightly pacing back and forth. I can’t look! I slowly pick it up and boom! Pregnant, the test reads.
Me?! Ash?! With a human inside her?! NO. No. Nooooo! This is not happening. I don’t believe it. This is wrong, a mistake. There is no way I can be with child right now. Wtf. I take another picture and send it to my two close friends. Traci is excited as hell. Oh, thanks girl.Roxie is telling me to get rid of it and don’t ruin my life, blah blah blah. I call my bestie from high school. *takes deep breath* “Hello?. Hey. You sitting down? I got summin to tell you important.”
She takes a pause and says “What is it?” I tell her I’m pregnant and she says really loud into the phone “OMG are you serious??!! *laughs*” I’m guessing from her reaction she is excited. I keep telling her I can’t believe it. She welcomes me to the club & says its about time. Her daughter is seven. I’m the only one without a kid in my circle of friends. Wait. I’m not, my childhood friend, Kaye has no kids yet. It’s about 7 ish and he doesn’t get off work til 11:30 at night. I’m nervous to tell him. We only been talking such a short time. What have I gotten myself into?! Ugh. Breathe. It’ll be alright.
12am and I let him inside my apartment. I had texted him after I called my friend and told him I was late on my lady friend. He sits on my bed and asks am I okay. I was freaking out in my mind. My hands were shaking. He grabbed them and told me to relax. “Whatever YOU want to do, I’m 100% supportive of it. It’s your body. Your choice.” I tell him my mind is pretty much made up and I want to keep it. He nods his head and says “Okay. Good. I mean, you are carrying my seed.” I feel relieved but still on edge. My life is about to change forever. I didn’t sleep much at all, tossed and turned. I just couldn’t grasp my head around it. I was going to be someone’s mother.