Hello, I’m blogging live from Bradley Beach, NJ. We arrived this morning and I promptly announced to Uncle Carlo that I needed a break, or I was going to have a breakdown — no really. One of the only reasons I drove to the shore was so someone could watch JD while I … chilled. I had a tough week. I had the mother of all panic attacks on Wednesday — the kind where you think you’re having a heart attack, your face is cold and clammy and the floor feels like it’s moving (the worst feeling in the world basically). I know where the attack came from and I’m working through it (more on that very soon), but nonetheless, it came, I medicated w/ Xanax and it went away. But those types of panic attacks always tend to linger for me. They tend to make me wonder when one will come again, if I’ll pass out, if I’ll cry and make a scene in front of people. Luckily, none of this happened and two women actually sat with me and confessed they were both on meds and knew exactly what I was feeling, as my hands shook and I felt like I was going to puke in my lap. This was comforting. There is nothing worse than someone saying “the panic is in your head, take a deep breath, want some Advil?” People have said all this sh*t to me. This is not in my head. It’s chemical. And it sucks.
I collapsed on Carlo’s couch. My mom was there and made JD lunch. I put my iPod buds in. I eventually ate a turkey sandwich (that my mommy prepared for me) while JD played with Max the dog.
Carlo convinced me to come to “the sea,” because it’s “calming.” So the three of us went. When we got there, Carlo did his normal beach set up routine. I usually run down to the water with JD, but I didn’t have it in me today, nope. I plopped on my chair, pulled my beach hat low on my head and reclined. “What are you doing, let’s go in the water,” Carlo said. “Yeah, yeah!!” said JD.
“I’m not moving from this chair for the next four hours. Prevail with your godson to the sea, he needs boy-time,” I said. Carlo looked at me like I was kidding. JD was halfway to the water. “No, really, Car, you better watch him. I need to rest. I almost died of a panic attack this week.” I closed my eyes. Carlo played in the ocean with JD. They came back up and had some drinks and snacks. I chatted with them and let JD bury my feet, but I didn’t move from my rainbow colored beach chair. I just breathed in the salty sea air. Ahhhh-mazing.
“Come on bud, let’s play ball,” said Carlo. “Mommy needs to rest.” They played football. JD did great at catching and throwing. At some point I fell asleep—assed out asleep.
When I awoke, Carlo and JD were gone but their chairs were still there. I didn’t panic or call Carlo’s cell. I knew my kid was safe. I had some water and squinted up at the sun and thought about a lot of heavy stuff. I was jolted from these thoughts by an eager little boy’s voice. “Mom-meeeeeeee! I got you a lemooooo-nade!” JD gave me a cup of fresh squeezed lemonade that appeared bigger than him. Then he told me how Carlo took him to lobster fest right up on the Bradley Beach boardwalk. “We ate shrimp and peeled crunchy shells off them! I put ketchup on them.” Carlo slumped in his chair. “Did you tell your mom you went on the bouncy rides and water slide?”
Next thing I knew JD was sound asleep on me. And all was right in the world again. I needed the afternoon off. I’m going dancing tonight.
Single parents, ever need a break, admit it and take it? Do it.
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