Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where Is Mommy C now? Part 2

If you didn't see yesterday's post, I suggest starting there.  Where Is Mommy C now? Part 1

I was talking with a friend yesterday about my struggles with writing all of this down.  Some of my thoughts are pretty scary for me and I worry that I will putting thoughts into other people's heads by writing about it.  She reminded me that other people have come forward and talked about their struggles with PPD and PPA and it helped others not feel alone.  Isn't that my goal? To share with all of you my struggles so that we don't feel alone? Exactly.  She also reminded me that my blog title is "being mom now" and this is where I am right now.  I guess I can't really hide from it any more so here we go.

If I had to boil down my anxiety, I would have to say that anything that makes me feel like I am not in control can cause an anxiety attack.

Bridges are full of anxiety for me.  I am not worried that I will drive off the bridge, I am worried that someone will hit me and send me off the bridge (=no control).  When I am approaching a bridge I begin to think about what might happen, how will I respond, how can I best ensure that we all make it out alive.  I am so anxious by the time I reach the bridge that getting across requires me to say to myself (out loud), "just keep driving" and "you can do this" and "no one will hit you" and "just keep driving" over and over and over again.   Busy roads, in general, will also do this to me when I am already in a heightened state of anxiety.  However, I have an easier time "talking myself down" because getting into a regular car accident doesn't involve figuring out how to get my two small children out of their carseats and to safety, all while underwater.   (just writing this has given me heart palpitations)

Being home is another struggle for me, on multiple levels.  First is the anxiety that someone will break in and I won't be able to defend myself and protect my children (despite having two large dogs to help protect us).   Again, I tend to play these movies in my head of how I will respond, how will I call 911, where I can hid my children so they won't be hurt, thinking about pretending that we are all asleep so they might leave us alone.  It is particularly hard for me when I am upstairs and can't hear the doors open. 

The second issue with being at home is a much more complicated issue that is can be summed up with, "I am afraid to stay home." I wrote about it yesterday, but what I didn't mention was that I am fighting off anxiety attacks no matter what I choose to do.  If I stay home, I am anxious that I should be leaving, that this will become a pattern, that I will never be able to leave my house again.  If I am leaving, I am anxious that something will bad happen while we are out or that it will make me too tired to make it through the day or that I am not prepared for all that might happen.  Because of this, when I leave the house, I leave with everything (including the kitchen sink).  I have more snacks, diapers, wipes, clothes, drinks, and toys than I will need for 3 days out, not just the couple hours we expect to be gone.  If for some reason we leave without "enough" of any of these things, I will undoubtedly have an anxiety attack and spend much of the time gone figuring out what we will do if we run out of something we need. (This is a particular difficult thing when it is my husband and I getting ready to leave for somewhere.  He usually packs "just enough" or doesn't think certain things are crucial to bring.  I disagree and it causes tension.  I don't think I have been able to explain how it makes me feel to be "under prepared" till now.  I really wish I could be more like him.)

Time makes me anxious.  Actually time makes me anxious always.  I hate being late.  I hate being on time. I want to be early.  If I am cutting it close and will only be about 5 minutes early, I will have an anxiety attack. I try and avoid this by being earlier, but then I end up there really early and get frustrated with my need to be early. 

I feel like I could go on and on about my worries.  Seriously, I feel like I am being held captive by my worry, by my fears, by my anxiety.  I hate that it controls me because really I just want to have control over my life. I feel like everyone must think I am a bit insane.  I hate it.  If I could be rid of this depression and anxiety forever, I would do anything to make it happen.  I suppose that is what I am doing right now with the meds, the therapy, and the activities that I do at home.  Although I am doubtful they will all just go away any time soon, I do trust that I will get better.  I have to believe that I will get better.


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