I was all set to publish the post below about identifying the positive parts of my life on Thursday morning. But, after another panic attack at home on Wednesday afternoon, a rough and hopeless couple of days followed, so I never posted it.
Today, I'm out of bed, finally got to a therapy session and my babies are back to visit me for a few hours (they've been under the care of a village of friends of family while beadle stayed home to support me). (I couldn't bear to hear their voices or cries for me through the bedroom door; it worsened my anxiety and a sent me spiralling into inescapable thoughts and feelings.) But, they're here now. And cuddling. And puzzling. And I'm coping.
Heavy sighs and continued prayers.
Also: will take a short blogging hiatus.
Thanks for all the love and support. I am very very truly blessed to be loved by so many and to have the "troops" that rushed to our aid over the past two days.
In the meantime, here's the thing I wrote before, a reminder that there will be a whole lot of ups and downs, steps forwards and backwards, just plain good days and bad days, and it's all part of the process.
One thing about depression/anxiety is that it causes you to fixate on things. My thing, in particular, involves what I feel to be the inevitable, worst-possible, most-out-of-control outcome on all of planet earth: having a panic attack, in a crowded public space, far from my home, while two unpredictable children are under my care.
That's about 78% of what I think about. The other 22% of the time, I think about how stupid that is and how it sucks to be me. And you, because you have me as a mother.
Oh what a self-fullfilling prophecy! And self-perpetuating too.
I've got an equation for how this feels (right now). It's very mathematical:
(anxiety = depression = more anxiety = more depression) x infinity = the rest of my life
If only we could fuel vehicles on the fear that drives me!? (Hold on a sec, I'm calling a venture capital company right now...)
(They didn't go for it.)
So, you can see why a lot of what I write here focuses on the negative, on the parts that need healing, on the worst of the worst.
It's not only that I'm being transparent and vulnerable, it's also that I'd be able to look back on what I've written here and think, "that was some serious shit and I lived to tell of it."
I'd like to be able to laugh, nay, to scoff at my fears. Not in a belittling way, but in an I-conquered-that way--I climbed that mountain or trudged through that valley and whatnot.
So, in full disclosure, I must also, for the record, attest that while I've probably experienced my emotionally worst day EVER in life so far, there have been many things that go right and that are in my control every single day.
Here's a non-exhaustive list:
- I built a sandbox!
- And have done work on the yard, got a patio set, so we can spend endless hours soaking up Vitamin D.
- I have no problem going to familiar places without Xanax, even with one or both of my Dearest Daughters (depending on the day, of course), i.e. the doctor's office, dropping and picking up your daddy from work, dropping you off with Auntie Jonelle or Auntie Dina, stopping at the pharmacy, getting ice cream at the McDonald's dive-thru, going to church (both of them, actually), going to Lola and Lolopop's house.
- I'm able to run errands by myself (sometimes assisted by Xanax, sometimes not).
- I went to see The Avengers.
- I've been shopping (in stores with walls and bright lights and choices) with Lola a couple of times.
- While driving, I sit calmly in line at stoplights (almost) everyday without wishing I had a monster truck to drive over all the waiting cars.
- I'm taking care of myself, asking for what I need (including asking my husband to stay home. BIG DEAL.), trying not to feel overwhelmed by options, pracitioners, insurance hurdles.
- I haven't lost all civility. But, maybe because I'm taking more intentional care of myself (or maybe it's the drugs), I've unabashedly stood-up for myself, said no, been forthwith, set limits on several recent occasions when I might have otherwise spent time being too polite or accomodating to my own detriment.
- My closet and shoes are organized. It might feel obsessive at times and it's TBD whether it's emotionally productive, but there are benefits to controlling the parts of my environment that I can: I can see our bedroom floor!
- On the other hand, I'm letting go of things that I used to feel compelled to control. For example, your daddy's been doing the grocery shopping and he basically gets some version of the right thing. And I deal with it. And it costs less overall anyway, because he's better at sticking to the list.
- I've completed many, many, many puzzles!
Here I am, trying to be gentle and kind and encouraging to myself. Whew, now that that's done, I'll head back to my corner. Feel free to join me, my always-and-forever-even-if-Mommy's-not-all-there, Dearest Daughters
P.S. And also, I wrote this just in case one of the People sees me in public and thinks: "Isn't she, like, supposed to be crazy and vomitting or something? Hurry! Run! Fast!" Yeah, you don't have to do that. And you can talk to me too, if you want. I'm not that kind of zombie.