So now I'm going to try to share what crazy feels like. And yes, I know crazy isn't very politically correct when it comes to mental illness. But I feel crazy. I don't think my outside matches how I feel on the inside, but if it did, people would shield their children from me in the streets. It's funny because I've lost so much weight and my skin still has the pregnancy glow so I look pretty good. Everyone keeps commenting on it. "Wow, how do you feel? You look fantastic!" It's nice to hear, but weird because the honest answer to that question is "awful. I just feel awful."
And I think adding to the feeling of craziness is that it is interspersed with these overwhelming feelings of love and joy. Little flashes. Robbie wanted me to play with him and his "rocketshit" tonight and I laughed a real, genuine laugh. There's something about a toddler accidentally saying shit that is beyond funny. And Charlotte smiled in her sleep earlier and I felt like it was a flash of God telling me "she's okay."
But 99% of the rest of the evening? Crazy. I took my first dose of lexapro and honestly, I think it made me feel worse, not better. I guess that's pretty common. I got really flushed and dizzy and blurry eyed. And of course, that's combined with my usual symptoms- trembling hands and legs, nausea, chest pain, irritability, panic, racing thoughts etc. It's a great combination.
I sat down tonight and I prayed loudly to God. I had spoken with a friend about how I felt like I had no words for God even though my faith is fine. She offered me some scripture to let me know that I was not alone. One particularly passage she shared spoke to me.
Romans 8:26, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."She encouraged me to just speak what was in my heart, so that's what I did. It wasn't a long prayer, but it was a heartfelt one. I cried and thanked Him for the blessings that I can literally look around and count. The kids, of course, but also my husband and my dad and my mother-in-law, all of whom have been nothing but amazingly supportive. My friends, my blog readers, everyone who has sent an email or comment or text or call to say they're thinking of me. I am blessed beyond what any one person deserves. But still the panic comes.
David and I talked about it tonight. I've had trouble with an anxiety disorder in the past, but it's really been at least livable for more than a decade. David thinks this is different. He's seen me anxious, but he's never seen me like this. He (and I agree) believes this is postpartum chemical whackiness. And it's awful.
The thing is how to get through it? Hopefully tomorrow the lexapro won't send me into the spin it did tonight. Tonight was like nuclear anxiety. I wanted to scream, cry, throw things, run out into the freezing cold and just keep going. Just sitting down to nurse Charlotte, I felt like I was going to climb out of my skin.
I wondered to David earlier if this is how my mother felt before she left. (Trish history flashback: My mother left when I was 2. She called once when I was 27, but I haven't seen her at all since I was younger than Robbie is now.) Maybe she was mentally ill and didn't have the support that I do. There was no Lexapro then. And I know enough about her family back then to know she probably wouldn't have gotten the support that I have. David was less forgiving (and generally, so am I) but who really knows. What I do know is that this condition.. this disease.. this whatever.. it's not reasonable.
Don't mistake me- I'm in no way planning to leave my family. I DO have the support to get through this. But even with all of the support and resources that I have, I'm just barely keeping it together. If I didn't? I don't think that I would. If I didn't have the support I have and didn't love my kids to the depths of my soul, I'd probably have myself in an inpatient program somewhere.
I don't know what to do until things improve. I don't know how long that will take. I'm going to try to get through tomorrow, with David on stand-by at work if he needs to come home. And he will try to arrange things to maybe be off on Wednesday. I might see if my mother-in-law can come on Thursday and Friday. I feel like a failure to even ask. She has a job and has already taken off so much to be with us. If I knew someone to hire to be here particularly in the evening and late night, I'd do that, but I don't and can't find one through an agency as quickly as tomorrow. But we'll figure it out. Somehow.
Right now, I'm coming out of the crazy time. It's 2am and my mind is clearing. My hands are still shaking, my vision is still blurry, and I'm still sweating for no good reason at all. But I can think straight for the first time in hours. I just hope that tomorrow brings more lucidity. And the day after that even more.
In the mean time, prayers for survival and health are all I can do and ask for. They are more appreciated than you know. Fortunately my crazy doesn't preclude gratitude.