home from the holidays

I’ve been avoiding writing in this thing and the longer I avoid it the more I don’t want to do it.  Sometimes the words are scary.  Sometimes you have no idea where to begin.  I’ll try though.

Prozac is a wonderful drug.  Recently, I’ve been slack about my medication.  I keep forgetting to take it and when I remember I just think “oh it’s too late, i’ll do it tomorrow.”  Then, I don’t.  The level of Prozac in my body was not at a therapeutic level in the past few weeks and with my upcoming cycle… it was a recipe for disaster.

All I needed was one trigger.  That trigger was my son’s Christmas performance at school.  I was so excited to see him perform but also very nervous.  I saw him as he walked in the sanctuary.  He saw everyone and immediately turned to run away.  The teacher nudged him forward and he saw us and became more at ease.  He stood there with the other children and he performed like he was supposed to… however, anxiety set in.  He started to jump up and down, yell things randomly, sit down when he should have been standing, etc.  It wasn’t highly disruptive… but I was sensitive to it because of everything going on this year.  They had a teacher sitting beside him guarding him like a prisoner.  If he looked in the wrong direction she corrected him.  Side note: I haven’t decided if she just has a naturally mean resting face… or if she just really is mean and grumpy all the time.  I am not a fan of his teachers.  Anyway, with each criticism he seemed to act worse.  It was painful to watch.

Last year, his Christmas performance was a dream.  He did a perfect job.  He was so happy.  I cried… I couldn’t believe how grown up he was… how well he did.  It was magical.  This year, that joy was not there.  He was an anxious mess.  I knew in that moment that what my gut had been telling me all year was right.  He needed out of that school.  The teachers are not supportive.  They’re judgmental and critical.  They aren’t providing a nurturing environment for my baby… they’re stressing him out more.

It took some convincing but my husband is finally in agreement with me.  He saw the performance and knew that we should take my son out of preschool as well.  I am now talking with other preschools to find a place that is more understanding, compassionate and supportive.

In therapy one of the main things I talk about is trying to figure out where the line is… between the crazy stories my OCD and anxiety try to tell me… and what my gut is rationally telling me.  It is very hard to know which to listen to all the time.  When your gut is really telling you something… I think you know that feeling when you feel it.  Others can doubt you… disagree or tell you otherwise… but you know. I’ve known since September that this school was not the right fit.  I’ve known since September that is teacher was not the right teacher for him… (or maybe anyone?) and I’ve tried to talk myself out of this…but I haven’t been able to because it is what it is.  I know now that my gut is telling me to take him out of that school and I’m confident in the decision.

The holidays were especially hard for many reasons.  The performance was disappointing, the kids were sick, I was off my meds, we traveled and we’re exhausted.  We’re feeling better, I’m on my meds and I’m grateful for the newfound confidence in this specific situation.  I hope the New Year brings us some much needed rest, relaxation and clarity.

A rough spell

I’m going through a hard time.  I could feel it coming.  I could feel the nervous energy building in my body.  I notice it especially when I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  Everything is quiet.  The bathroom light is much brighter than normal. The silence frightens me and the light crushes me.  My foot shakes and my teeth clench.  I stare at something stupid on the counter for a long time.  I read each ingredient in my toothpaste while I think 32897 thoughts at once.  I check my heart rate, the color of my urine, I blink to make sure I can see… It is happening.

I don’t know how long it will last this time… but I’m sinking.  I’m scared.  I’m in my head and I’m all alone.  My husband sees it happening and he’s so frustrated.  He is pleading with me not to fall into this downward spiral but I can barely hear him.

I’m so scared.  WHY DONT MY MEDS HELP THIS part?!  What is this and where does it come from and why is it random and I just don’t understand.

 

How many ounces of water do you drink in a day?

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.

xo,

cat