Some Good Advice

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So, it might not be applicable to every situation… However, it is nice to let go every once in a while.

Sometimes…

… you get answers to questions you never wanted answered.

… you make a discovery that you never wanted to make.

… you question the relationships that always meant so much.

… you can’t remember who you can trust.

… you are angry at the people you thought you’d always love.

… you want to cry without knowing why.

… you would give anything to go back and change the past.

… you are surprised by emotions you never thought you had.

… you wonder if you can make it through.

 

Goals of the week

I have to say that participating in the Building Rome challenge has been an interesting and successful motivating factor in my life these days.  I know the goals aren’t anything too big, but just knowing that I wrote them down somewhere makes me feel a little more accountable to myself.  Some weeks I do a pretty good job of meeting my goals and other weeks are a little more of a challenge.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m at least thinking about them more often.

Last week was a little bit hit and miss:

1. Run 3 times – I didn’t do this.  I was feeling really sick and gross for most of the week (see #2) and so I only managed to run twice: Monday and Sunday.

2. Make appointment/visit my doctor to discuss anxiety meds – I definitely did this.  It was very stressful and actually quite a horrible experience (see my last post).  I started on cipralex (escitalopram) and it did not go well at all.  Every day I felt like I was experiencing a new side effect and my mind just felt like it was moving slower and slower every day.  Monday I woke up and felt like I couldn’t remember hos to shower, and driving was extra stressful because I felt like I had to work so hard just to make sure I was being safe.  I went back to the dr. and switched to cymbalta (duloxetine), which I have tried successfully in the past.  So far I am already feeling better.  Hopefully this is a good solution.

3. Blog at least 3 times – Check!  I greatly miss the days when I could blog every day.  I long for those days again.  But alas – I don’t think they will return any time soon :(

4. Have more patience with my kids – Hmmm.  This I’m not super sure about.  I think I was definitely feeling less irritable, but I was just feeling less of everything in general (except nauseous – there was plenty of that feeling).  I know it is pretty subjective, but maybe I did a better job that usual.

For this week, I am feeling a little uninspired, but I’ll do my best:

1. Run 3 times (this will happen again, I swear!)
2. Wean myself off of round-the-clock anti-emetics (zofran and gravol)
3. Start my third owl cross-stitch for K (I wanted to have it done for our run in September, but I don’t think that will happen)
4. stay caught up on my 30-day ab challenge (which is getting increasingly difficult these days)

The Bathroom Floor

It was Wednesday night and the clouds rolled in fast.  Just a few hours earlier we were sitting on the back deck eating dinner.  I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I was ambitious and I made chicken souvlaki skewers on the BBQ, corn-on-the-cob, and I served it with store bought quinoa salad.  Of course, the boys didn’t care for it much, but they ate it anyway.  I took a few bites and it made me feel a little sick – but the corn was so good so I ate all of it.  I had been feeling sick all day – since I woke up from my post-call sleep, that is.  The wasps were hovering around so I stood up with fury to swat them with the bug swatter.  I don’t know if it was the dinner, or the quick movements, but I suddenly felt worse.  I went inside to find some kind of anti-emetic in my call bag, but found myself in my bathroom instead.  I didn’t quite sit down by the toilet, but I stood nearby.  I heard husband come home and bear witness to the mild chaos that I’d left behind downstairs.  They all started looking for me and like a mini army, they located me.  Between my deep breaths, I told them that I wasn’t feeling well and to leave me alone.  Husband said “My God.  It’s your kids that do this to you!”

From my seat on the bathroom floor I could hear husband getting the boys ready for bed.  Just before that they were watching the lightening and thunder from the living room windows.  I hadn’t moved in hours.  Sometimes I would get a little closer to the toilet, and other times I would sit back against the wall.  At one point I heard A. searching the house for me: “Mommy, where are you?” And then he started sobbing: “I lost Mommy, Daddy, I lost Mommy.”  When he finally found me and asked me what I was doing, it took all the energy I had to ask him to leave.  But what 4 year old leaves when you say it the first time?  I repeated myself over and over, probably getting louder each time.  Finally, Husband came to get him out of the bathroom.  I instantly felt worse for yelling at my son for just wanting to be with me.

The thunder and lighting was getting worse and now the boys were crying out of fear.  With a small pill bottle clutched in my hands, I could hear Husband doing his best, racing back and forth between the two bedrooms, trying to comfort both boys simultaneously.  Ativan.  My doctor gave it to me the day before, when I went to see her about my anxiety.  I told her that I thought my anxiety was getting worse because I was feeling more nauseated all the time.  I felt like I was having more frequent panic attacks – that pretty much involved me getting instantly and inexplicably nauseous.  I told her that I was also having chronic stomach aches, which didn’t make the fear and anxiety about nausea any easier to deal with. I was the one who asked her for some medication.  Despite my regular exercise, and mindfulness meditation, and journaling, I still felt like things were getting worse.  Why wasn’t this easier?  She gave me a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication as well at the ativan – to help me through some of the panic attacks and the possibility that the anxiety could get worse before it gets better.  I took the first anti-anxiety pill before I went to sleep after my call shift that morning morning.

I watched the lightening fill the sky and heard the heavy rain pounding against the bathroom window.  I wanted to throw-up, to get it over with, to feel better.  But I couldn’t do it.  I opened the bottle of ativan and took out a tiny green pill.  I was scared to take it.  What would happen?  Would it take away the anxiety and make the nausea go away, or would it relax me enough to finally let it happen.  For a second I hesitated – I’m not crazy, crazy people use ativan… how did I get to this point?  As the persistent wave of nausea began to swell once more, I placed the tiny pill under my tongue and held it there as lightly as possible.

I felt hazy as I watched the trees fight with the wind outside the bedroom windows.  The storm was right above us now, with the thunder coming louder than ever almost immediately after the lightening filled the sky.  Both of the boys were still screaming and crying out of fear.  They were asking for me.  I slowly became part of the floor, part of the wall, and for the first time in a long time, I felt defeated.  I reached out for my phone and I texted K – the only person who knows that I’ve been struggling lately: “K, I’m a mess.  I can’t keep this up.  I just had to take an ativan.”  We talked briefly and she encouraged me to seek out other help.  I don’t know if it was the ativan or talking with her, but the nausea began to subside.  Finally, for the first time in hours, I was able to pick myself up off of the floor.

I journeyed into E’s room, where he was crying and alone.  I picked him up to finally comfort my child, who had been wanting me for hours and I couldn’t come.  Despite a low level of persistent nausea and the cloudy feeling now pervading my head, I cuddled and caressed him until he was calm.  Husband came and took over so that I could also visit A, who desperately wanted my comfort during the storm.  When both boys were finally calm, I went back to my bedroom and climbed into bed.  I was still nauseous enough that I wasn’t ready to lay down.  However, the harsh, rhythmic sounds of the storm lulled me into a heavy, drug induced sleep.

*It’s been two days since then and it is still raining outside.  I don’t  feel any better, mentally or physically.  I feel weak, and defeated, and incapable.  I regret reaching out.  Despite all my progress, I regret being vulnerable.

Below the goal line

Last week’s Building Rome challenge did not go very well.  If you don’t already know, Building Rome is a weekly challenge about making small goals for yourself and (hopefully) seeing them through.  Up until now I have done a pretty good job (I think).  However, this week was a little off.  I won’t say it was from a lack of trying… completely… but there were some challenges.  Here was my list from last week:

1. Write a post for the Stories That Must Not Die.
2. Run 3 times
3. Continue with mindfulness exercises everyday
4. Finish assembling my “thankfulness gift” journal that I’ve been writing in for K (because I’m going back “home” for the long weekend and I’m going to see her!)
5. Focus on the things I like about my new program and city instead of the things I miss about “home”

So, I accomplished 2/5 of the goals I set out.  Let me just say, though, that it wasn’t all from a lack of effort.

For #1, I actually sat down a few times to start writing what I wanted to write for Stories That Must Not Die.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t get “into” the topic of my abuse.  It wasn’t even that I couldn’t get into it because I don’t like to talk about it or revisit it.  It was more because I just don’t feel like it is something that I think about or dwell on much anymore.  I feel like it’s not a part of who I am anymore (which is good I guess, but also a little bad because it is something that makes me the person I am today).  This change made it difficult for me to figure out what to say because I don’t feel like I have the same emotional connectivity to it that I used to.  Maybe I just need to come at it from a different angle? Maybe it means that the story has already died? Or maybe it just means that it occupies a different part of “me” now.

For #2 – well I only ran once last week… I could have run twice, and I had every intention of running a second time except that I forgot to bring my running shoes on my weekend trip.  I packed everything else: sports bra, shirt, shorts, socks, arm band, headphones… But no actual running shoes…

For #5, I think I might have been doing an okay job of this up until I went “home” for the weekend.  It was so great to see my friends and go back to doing all the things and visiting all the places I did before we moved.  But it also reminded me of how much I miss it and how much I don’t have that here.  While I was away, it was almost impossible to not think about all the things I hated about my new life.  A huge part of me didn’t want to come home, and as we were coming hope, a huge part of me felt that maybe I should go back again… at least for a little while.

I’ve been working on this draft for 3 days now, so my goals are a little late and also in progress, I won’t comment on how they are going, otherwise it’s kind of like cheating… But, here they are:

1. Run 3 times
2. Make appointment/visit my doctor to discuss anxiety meds
3. Blog at least 3 times
4. Have more patience with my kids

I’ll let you know next week (hopefully earlier than later) how these all went :)