Friday, December 30, 2011

Still anxious

Almost as bad as the anxiety is the hopelessness.
Yesterday wasn't as bad as Wednesday, but still wasn't great. I called the doctor and asked for the thyroid test and about adjusting my meds. She approved both. I couldn't get to the lab yesterday but I had the blood drawn for the thyroid test today. I also doubled my Lexapro today.

The day today wasn't terrible. Not fantastic again, but not horrible. But tonight after dark, it really set in again. My husband came home a little early from work and I was so relieved. But then he went to get groceries and I felt like he'd left me. The anxiety just took over.

My face burned, my chest hurt, my stomach churned, my arms tingled. What was I worried about? I don't know. But there it was anyway. Awful. I tried to fake it. I tried to play with Robbie even though all I really wanted to do was crawl into bed and hide. I fed Charlotte even though I wanted to just get in the car and drive away from my fear. (As though it wouldn't come with me.)

After David got home, he was in the back with Robbie, Charlotte was nursing and I just started sobbing. I feel like I'm never going to be well. What if it's like this forever? What if the meds don't work? I feel like I'm missing my children's childhood because I'm barely functioning, walking around like a zombie. Sure, they're cared for. They're clean and fed and I think they feel loved. They are loved. But I'm just putting on a brave face much of the time. I'm doing what I am SUPPOSED to, not what I should want to. My kids deserve better.

Some friends checked on me and helped a little. David asked if I needed him to just come lay with me for a while. I'm blessed to have such a great support system. But I want to get BETTER. Truly better. I want to feel like me again. I want to feel like a good mom and a good wife and a good friend again. Right now I feel like an empty pit of need, sucking all the support from everyone around me.

What if I hit the bottom of that well? I don't know what I would do. I spend more time than I care to admit checking my phone or email or facebook for messages of support. They are literally one of the few things I look forward to during the day. That's shameful, but true. I keep waiting for someone to say the magic thing that will make it all better. I know that magic thing doesn't exist, but at least one more message of "I've been there and got through and am happy now" keeps me going for another hour or another day. Maybe some day I can get through, too. Right now it just doesn't feel like it. It feels unending.

What if the kids grow up to hate me because I'm just a shell of a person? I love them and want what's best for them, but right now I don't know how to be that. I'm trying. I'm truly trying. I've read everything written on increasing seratonin, lowering anxiety, good mental health. But I still have nights like tonight where I feel like my life is just a series of waiting for the next breakdown.

We all deserve more than this.



Anonymous said...

I've been there and got through and am happy now. Really, really! I had to up my Celexa after a month as well. I feel really good now. Not perfect - I'm way too kooky to ever feel "perfect" - but I feel good. I can deal with my son's minor facial asymmetry and NOT freak out or break out in a cold sweat or feel heat travel through my body or want to vomit or plummet 12 pounds in a month because I can't eat. All behind me!

Can I suggest one more piece to this puzzle - would you be open to therapy? I think finding a compassionate counselor would really, really help you and provide some extra support that you need right now. I think you're having a major post-partum hormonally driven episode BUT ... I also wonder if some of what you're experiencing isn't tied into post-traumatic stress disorder from everything you went through with Robbie. You didn't have TIME to experience it then - you just had to KEEP MOVING - but now - you have time. And I just wonder if it isn't all washing over you with the birth of your healthy daughter (along with the major hormonal episode.)

I really think finding a great therapist would help you so much - another tool along with the Lexapro to get you OUT of this place.

A million hugs to you Trish!!

~ Alicia

Trish said...

Thanks Alicia. Your support has really been great, I hope you know that.
I was going to email you, but it doesn't come up when the comment comes through. If you wanted to "chat" sometime, would you email me?

And yes. My doc asked about counseling as well and I would be open to it, but right now it's so hard to get out of the house. With Charlotte in quarantine and Robbie with me all the time, I don't know how I'd do it.

Anonymous said...

I have suffered through bouts of depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. I don't have any magic words for you that will make it all better. Just know there are lots of medications out there if lexapro isn't right for you. I had good luck on lexapro but it took trying 3 other drugs and dosages to find one that did work. You have been in my prayers. Keep fighting! *Hugs*

Adriane said...

Trish, I'm so very sorry you are still struggling. I remember having the same weird heart-racing moments. Mine usually didn't last more than a few minutes or so, but I was definitely a shell of who I was. I think you're doing all the right things - it just takes time. I didn't take any meds, but looking back, I should have. (I tried Zoloft for a few days.) I don't think I was really myself again for a few months, though the worst of it was over about 4 weeks after it started.

I recall sitting down with my Aunt and Mom having coffee. We were talking about who-knows-what, and my heart started racing. It just came out of NOWHERE. What was I afraid or nervous of? I don't know - never did make any sense to me. I also remember laying (or lying?) in bed and not being able to sleep - my heart and mind would race. I can really relate to what you're going through.

I will keep praying for you guys. It is so frustrating and truly was the darkest period of my life. I wouldn't wish it on anyone and I'm so sad that you, too, are going through this. Please know - it does not last forever. You will be yourself again. I promise.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered going gluten free? Some people swear it clears up anxiety. If that sounds too restrictive, try to eat less wheat and see what happens. Worked for me.

Bridie said...

Trish, I don't have experience with anxiety, so I am just throwing these out as a shot in the dark. But I have seen behavioral improvements with Gavin when he consistently takes these two supplements: Omega 3 and Vitamin D. I have read studies linking vitamin D with mood. It seemed to help him with focus and having less meltdowns, maybe it can help with anxiety?

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Can you find a sitter for just a couple hours a week to sneak out to therapy? Or are there any in person support groups for this? I second the PTSD theory. I swear I look back at Gavin's NICU days when I read people's experiences on the online group and I "feel" it so much more 7 years later than I did at the time - because at the time I didn't have a chance to process it - we were in survival mode.

You've got a lot of layers going on here. I really think some talk therapy and maybe finding that aha moment of being able to let go of some things from Robbie's experience could help?

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh - I was going to leave my email address for you or ask you how to contact you! I will definitely email you in the next couple of days or you can email me - I can now log in under my google account so let's see if this works (I probably could before too but wasn't sure - I recently switched over.) Before I hit publish I am checking the little "email follow up comments to" box. If this doesn't work - I'll email you. Hang in there Trish!

~ Alicia

Alicia said...

Oh - and I one thousand percent get what you're saying about finding time. It's all well and good to say "see a therapist" but for a mom in your situation with two little ones I know it can be tantamount to saying "why don't you fly to the moon?" Time, scheduling, etc. is TOUGH. Although I can tell you - I see a very kind, crunchy, compassionate therapist and I see other moms in the waiting room who bring their babies with them (in slings, etc.) - so that's something to consider (only needing to find care for Robbie if you were able to connect with a therapist you liked and find a time that was workable; and - once you have the OK to take Charlotte out although again, in a sling or Moby if you stayed away from EVERYONE else - I wonder if you could get special dispensation for an outing like this?)

Thinking of you!

Cassie said...

I am so sorry you are still struggling but like everyone else said it does get better. I wish popping a pill would just make everything perfect again but from experience it does not. One day though you will wake up and feel better, you will feel like your self and from there each day will get better. Big hugs to you. If you ever need anything let me know.

FireMom said...

I just want you to know that you're not alone. I have been there, so very there. There is hope and light and greener pasture and all that jazz on the other side. I encourage you to let go of the "my kids deserve better" train of thought, because what they deserve is YOU.

You are not alone. I promise.