The best, worst conversation

Well, its September.  So far, September hasn’t been so bad.  We’re 6 days into it and I’ve had one night away from the kids (which was good and sad.. lol.  I miss them so much when we’re apart.)  I’ve been somewhat stable mentally (just riding this high while I have it) and have had some good conversations.

Yesterday my husband told me that he has been largely effected by my mental illness over the past 6 months.  Of course I knew that it would get to him at times… how could it not?  However, I didn’t know that it was getting to him so badly.  He explained to me that he spends so much time trying to talk me down.  My mind goes from one crazy thought to another.  He told me he feels an immense amount of pressure having to be the only sane individual in the house.  He let it all out.  He told me everything.  He cried a little… I could feel every word.  They were laced with sadness, love and fear.  He didn’t want to tell me this because he didn’t want to add to the stress… but it just came out.

My initial reaction was to run.  I wanted to just drive… scream…punch a wall.  Anything to get my anger out.  I was upset with him for holding all of this in for months.  I was upset with him for not being stronger than I am ALL of the time… and I was just so sad that I couldn’t get my life together so he could have a better one.   These feelings lasted a few moments and then I felt better than I have in a little while.

That probably seems really weird.  It is.  For one, I felt happy that he took the time to tell me.  He risked my fragility to tell me that he was hurting and that it was in part because of me.  This told me that he trusts me… and he thinks I’m stronger than I think I am.  Or stronger than I think he thinks I am sometimes.  I felt like we were partners in this …I can tell him my fears and thoughts and he can tell me his.  He can tell me when he’s depressed.  There was something so wonderful about being completely open and honest with each other.  It actually lifted my mood.

In addition to this feeling… I also felt really relieved.  My husband is human, not a super hero.  Life can be too much for him too.  It validated some things for me.  The past year has been REALLY hard.  Calling 911 for both of your children in the past 3 months is REALLY stressful whether you have mental issues or not.  Seeing your son VERY ill for an extended period of time and then get a rare allergy syndrome diagnosis for your daughter is tough.  Postpartum anxiety/OCD and depression…are HARD.  Finances and schedules and work… are difficult.  These are not just things I torment myself over because I am “crazy.”  These are hard for everyone.

Finally, I felt a push.  I’d become lazy in my quest to get better.  I started to become fearful of my medications again.  I started to not trust my doctors… and thought I could make the best decisions for myself.  I was reminded in that 30 minute conversation that I am a long way from that place.  I need professionals to help me.  I need medication. I need therapy.  I need to find something that works… soon.  I can’t put these things off.  Too many people that I love are counting on me to get better.  I felt the sense of urgency that my husband felt in that moment and it has stayed with me.

Today has been a good day.  I can’t say that about a lot of days.  But today, my son was excited about school… my daughter let me get some work done.  My coffee was exceptional.  The sun was warm.  My kids laughed…a lot.  I painted with my son after dinner.  I took a long shower.  I listened to kid songs and sang them with my little ones.  I made a conscious effort to keep the peace.  It worked.

Thank God for the days that show you that your life can be better than the way you feel your life will ALWAYS be when you’re in your darkest times.  Thank God.

The glimmer

I’ve had panic attacks and anxiety my entire life.  I understand that it gets better… it gets worse… it feels okay… then you feel like you’re dying and its just kind of trying to figure out how to ride the rollercoaster.  It really sucks actually.  I’m tired of it truthfully, but it never stops and I just have to keep on.

At my last therapy appointment I spoke very highly of Prozac, credited it to making me feel like a new person.  I felt like I could enjoy the moment, interact with my kids a little better, interact with others in general a little better.  It felt like it took the edge off and I needed that.  My therapist was so happy to hear that I was getting some relief.  When I was telling her about how great I felt I knew that I was jinxing myself… but I didn’t want to think that way.   I just wanted that moment.  I needed that moment.  Even if I knew it would be gone soon enough.

Not to get into too much detail …but something set me off and it was over.  The panic attacks came and they were intense.  They hurt.  I felt crazy.  I went to the ER.  I called my doctor a million times.  I asked the same question 8 different ways, 30 different times trying to find some sort of reassurance about what I was stressing about.  My kids saw me run around with my head somewhere else completely.  They saw me pacing the floor and although I was with them physically– mentally, I was a million miles away…

In a way I felt manic.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I felt like I was crawling out of my skin.  I couldn’t eat.. I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t do anything.  I only felt okay when I was driving somewhere.  I didn’t want to sit still… I wanted to run away.  I needed to be somewhere else.  My body knew it.

When I did finally get some sleep I would dream horrible things.  My dreams are rehearsals for real life dangers and often times I can’t even escape in them.  This month I’ve had crazy dreams but perhaps the craziest of them all… was a dream that was wonderful.  It was so out of the norm for me.  It was so short but it meant everything.

In the dream I was at the beach.  I had a bikini on and I didn’t care how I looked in it.  I was sitting…staring at the ocean with the sun on my back.  The sun was warm but it wasn’t burning me.  It was perfect.  I could feel it and I didn’t worry about melanoma or …if I was getting sunburned…or if I even had sunscreen on.  I just knew that in the moment I felt really happy and relaxed and well.  More importantly- I was IN the moment.  I was actually present in a moment… even if it was in a dream.

I thought about this dream throughout the week.  I thought about it when things felt like they were becoming too much.  When I was losing my mind … the dream was always there.  It gave me a few seconds of calm in a really bad storm of emotions.

In therapy last week I cried for a solid hour.  I spoke about my fears and the rollercoaster of my emotions.  I spoke about the fact that my kids are seeing their mother in such turmoil and how I hate that I’m doing this to them even when I’m trying SO hard not to.  I told my therapist that I was just ..tired.  I’m so exhausted.  Thinking 3289 thoughts at once takes so much out of you.  Having 2 kids takes so much out of you.  Working part time and being a mom full time takes a lot out of you.  I’m just… tired.  I vented and I wept and I finally just felt paralyzed.  I couldn’t move anymore.   I just wanted to sit there until something changed.. anything.  I didn’t even want to blink.  Everything hurt.

And then… there was the dream.  Before I knew it I was telling my therapist about the dream.  I had no idea WHY I was telling her about this dream that I hadn’t told anyone about …but there I was …explaining it in such vivid detail.  My crying stopped, I felt warm.  I felt the warmth of the sun in me when telling her about this dream.  I needed this moment.

I looked up to find my therapist crying.  She had chills.  She said something I will probably NEVER forget.  She said, “Catherine… that is the glimmer.  That is the glimmer of hope.”  She explained that my body, deep inside… knows what I need.  It knows how to heal itself.  It knows how to carry on.  It knows exactly what I need to do to feel better and have a fulfilling life.  My anxiety is just beating the hell out of it.

I realized that there is a threshold with pain, fear, anxiety.  Everything has felt completely out of control and mostly because I feel like I can control everything and realizing that I can’t …kills me.  I couldn’t control this dream, or any other dream that I have but somewhere deep inside me… I was given a gift from myself.  I was given that glimmer.  That hope.  I was being reminded that there is a way to feel something other than pain.  Maybe it lives inside of me.  I just have to find it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there were 2

I am new to this blogging thing.  I write but when I started this blog I didn’t really know what it would be about.  I thought I could talk about the craft projects I do with Jack… or the day to day life we share.  I thought I could make it funny… or at times make it serious and heartfelt.  I didn’t really know what it should be… and now I do.

On March 6, 2016 we welcomed our second baby into the family.  A beautiful baby girl named Claire Elaine.  My sweet, sweet Claire.  My beautiful blessing.  My ray of sunshine in a dark, postpartum world.  She and her brother are my entire world.  They are my heart.  I am blessed beyond words to hold her in my arms and be able to love her each day.

When I found out I was pregnant I was excited and nervous.  I knew what to expect.  I’d done this before.  I prepared for the morning sickness.  I prepared for the exhaustion.  I prepared for the fear that you have in the first few weeks.  I thought I could handle it because I had handled it before.  With my first pregnancy my emotions were actually  a little better so I thought maybe I’d level out a bit.

I guess a little backstory is that I’ve been diagnosed with several different things in my lifetime.  Bipolar.  (I am not sold on this diagnosis and believe it was misdiagnosed).  Generalized Anxiety Disorder (maybe?) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ding ding, we have a winner.)  When you are pregnant there is PLENTY to obsess about.  PLENTY.  I found that when I was pregnant with Jack my fears were there and they were excessive at times… but mostly I trusted my doctors and I got through it.

With Claire– everything was different.  To my surprise I didn’t have morning sickness.  I had a little nausea but I could still eat.  I was so tired all the time which was different than Jack when I didn’t feel overly exhausted.  Everything was different.  I soon found that where I lacked the physical downfalls of pregnancy, I “gained” in the emotional side of things.  I was losing my mind.

I wish that I had been blogging all along but there is no better time to start than now.  My sweet girl is 4 months and I feel like I’ve learned and overcome  A LOT in the past year.  I hope that if anyone finds this blog they know that they aren’t alone.