A little bit of news

I’m typing this from my bed in the Le Germain hotel in Montreal (I have an early morning television appearance tomorrow), and this sensation that I hate has come over me again. I take a deep breath and try to talk myself out of it. I can’t believe it’s come back, that it’s starting again. I sigh. From frustration. Impatience. Pain. Fear. 

Jaime Damak-Je suis une maman

A ball of anxiety is slowly taking form, and I can feel my panic rising. 

I try to take my mind off it. 

It fades a little, but it’s still there, not far from the surface. 

I’m not really sure how to tell you about it, or how to explain it, but for a few weeks now I’ve been experiencing panic attacks. Intense ones. Last week, I must have missed 12 meals, unable to eat due to stress, fear and guilt. I felt like I was drowning beneath a huge wave. 

I spoke to my naturopath, I tried breathing exercises, I prayed and I tried to externalize my thoughts to try and figure out what was going on. 

At the moment, there are two major projects in my life taking up a lot of my focus and invading my thoughts regularly: my self-publishing project and our house renovations. Two projects where I’m not always in control. Where an investment of both time and money is required. Where I might trip up and make a mistake if I take the wrong path. 

Plenty of doubts. 

Perfectionist that I am, a girl who hates making mistakes, this is not easy. The last few weeks have brought up old childhood and adolescent hurts. 

Fear of failure. 

The fear of being rejected again. 

Guilt over my wants and ideas. 

The return of the infamous ball of anxiety, which, at one time, even had a name – Kenny. Those who read my book will understand the name choice. 

Fear of making a mistake. Did we make the right choice? What if we don’t like it? What if my husband doesn’t like it? Etc. 

Financial worries. At the end of every year, I panic a little bit. Contracts wrapping up. Will there be more? Perfect timing as we renovate the house and renegotiate the mortgage. ;-)

The opinions of others. What will they think? About my book, about the renovations… 

You get the picture?

I’m still trying to focus and see the positive, because there always is positive to be found. 

Despite the fact that this terrible feeling has surfaced this evening, and has been coming and going for a while, the last few weeks have been marked by learning and observation too. Every time I feel unsettled, or I take a step back or I fall, I learn. I grow and evolve. 

The love that I have for my husband only keeps growing. We are, more than ever, a team. I have seen that so clearly recently. I am really, truly grateful to have him in my life. 

I’m realizing that I have to change the way I react to certain situations. I have to work on myself, and I’m proud that I have been able to achieve this insight!

I’m surrounded by friends and an amazing team, who, even though they saw me in full freak-out mode last week (like, really nuts), still love me and are there for me no matter what. 

Jaime Damak-Je suis une maman

So even though I’m a little afraid to post this note (you know, the opinions of others and all that), well, I’m going to anyway, because I promised to always be honest with you, for better or worse. Still, awkward timing with the storm that’s battering us at the moment. 

Ironically, as I’ve been writing these lines the tears have started to fall and I’m feeling a little shaky, but one word keeps coming back to me: OK.

Breathe, Jaime, breathe.

Trust in yourself. And trust in others.

Everything will be OK.

Amen.

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