OCD is a tricky little illness. It never presents itself in the same form from day to day. It is hiding and it creeps into your daily life and sometimes you don’t even see it. It comes in and it jumbles everything around and it scares you and judges you and it hurts you and makes you question everything you ever knew or thought you knew.
When I was pregnant with Claire I had a 2 year old that was just starting preschool. This mama had a lot of emotions. I didn’t want my baby to leave me, I needed him to be social but I feared for him. I missed him. I was all over the place. I was a mess. Ultimately, he started school and he LOVED school. He still loves school and he has learned so much. At the time though, it was too much. I was feeling A LOT of stress. I dropped him off every single day and said a prayer in my car. I prayed to God that he keep him safe, happy and healthy. I prayed that we got to school okay and that he was okay and I was okay and the baby was okay and I just prayed over and over again. I worked full time, I tried to manage a crazy schedule. I was trying to grow a healthy baby while raising a happy 2 year old and I felt the pressure. My husband was so supportive and so wonderful but I didn’t want to even be near him at times. For whatever reason, I felt anger toward him. I felt like he never understood.
I can look at the fears I had at the time rationally at this point in time but back then… all I saw was a whirlwind of complete chaos and crazy. I started to fixate on things. I started to fear things that were rational and irrational.
It was too hard to admit the fears I had a the time. I didn’t want to say that I feared my baby getting hurt. I didn’t want to say that my husband was driving me crazy and I didn’t want to kiss him or touch him. I didn’t want to say that I feared CONSTANTLY that something would happen to me or the baby. I didn’t want to focus on why I was feeling these things, or more importantly- I couldn’t. My brain shut off from analyzing these rational fears and feelings and told me that I was going to die of a water overdose.
Yes, you read that right. I thought that I MUST be drinking too much water and some freak accident like this would be what did me in. I knew that I was drinking a lot of water when I was pregnant so I wanted to know how much was too much. All of the research I did was so vague. I couldn’t find exactly how many oz of water I had to drink a day and this was MADDENING. I spent hours at night trying to find the statistics, the facts and the figures. When I couldn’t find the exact information I needed I got scared, frustrated and angry. I didn’t understand why no one else was actively seeking this information I didn’t understand why they hadn’t included it in my pregnancy handouts from the OB. Weren’t they scared I was going to drink too much water and essentially DROWN myself?!
I went to the doctor in a full panic mode and explained these fears. They suggested I start Prozac but I declined and they understood. I don’t regret that decision because I feared for the baby… but it could have saved me a lot of hours.
I reread this and I think about this time and I think it sounds completely crazy but I know the fear I felt in the moment and I know it was just a small glimpse of what was to come. It was a small vision of what I would experience when having the baby. I’ll elaborate in future blog posts but for tonight, I am tired. And one tip I’ll leave you with that is SO important …is that sleep is one of the most important parts of a healthy life and a healthy mind.