First things first, I owe you all a minor apology. I kind of fell off the earth for awhile there but please bear with me while I explain a bit about where I was, how I got to where I am now, and how I am continuing to move forward.
I know for a fact that many other moms out there suffer from depression and anxiety so I'm going to come clean. After having my second child I had severe post-partum depression. Thinking I could just "power through" I went off my meds and ended up in a deep, deep, deep hole. This past more than 2 years that hole got deeper and deeper as our family struggled through my husband's job loss due to his disabilities, my father's stroke, the passing of my beloved grandfather, and many other smaller trials. It has been a journey that was immensely personally painful to go through.
Last summer I choose to attend Wood Badge. I started trying to rebuild my life and though the daily struggle was still there, I started to feel support and some wind under my sails again. I wasn't doing great - but I was starting to try again.
In September, I was stung by a wasp and surprise - I'm allergic! For the first time since giving birth I HAD to go see a doctor so I could get an Epi-Pen prescription. This was the first visit I would have had in years. Self care had been at the VERY bottom of my list in a perpetual state for 10+ years. On top of it, this was also my personal low. Every time I saw a bee or wasp I had a panic attack. This is incredibly unproductive...especially for a mom with a family who loves to be outside.
I went into the local clinic and was promptly given several surveys completely unrelated to the bee sting. The alcohol screening and "at risk" behaviors were a piece of cake. I'd had a drink on 2 days in the past year. A mental health assessment was the last piece of paper I wanted to see and there it was staring me in the face. To lie or not to lie....that is the question. If I tell the truth, I'm back on meds and in a fog. If I lie, I'm not going to move forward from this horrid place either.
I told the truth. So along with my Epi-Pen prescription I left with one for anti-depressants and a follow-up appointment in a month. For the first week everything was starting to get better and then we discovered that halfway through the day, I CRASHED - hard - like sitting on the floor of my friend's kitchen rocking back and forth and hyperventilating hard. I called the office and they started having me take a 1/2 dose in the AM and my regular dose at night. That worked - no more falling to pieces at 1 PM.
Then something new started to surface. Now that my body had figured out how to have a panic attack, when provoked I couldn't stop it. It would take me over an hour to recover from stressors. I was a mess! The rocking became more and more frequent and by the time I got back into the clinic (6 weeks after my initial appointment), I had another choice to face. Tell her, or not. Total no brainer this time.
So now I went home with a new prescription for what she called a "rescue med". A fast acting medication that I take when my anxiety is getting the best of me. Fortunately I only need a VERY tiny amount (1/8 of the pill) to make it stop most of the time.
Which brings me to the next part of my journey. No longer in sheer panic or depression I was able to start cleaning up my house and my parents came for Christmas and were a HUGE help on this leg of the journey. Last night I made dinner in a completely clean kitchen for the first time in we won't say how long.
After making that dinner I was clearing out and organizing my pantry while my husband and son played a new video game and I couldn't help but think "I need to blog about this". I came here to write that article and this one came out instead. I promise that one will be here tomorrow and many, many more will be coming.
Watch for a new blog to be coming in the next few months. Watch for LOTS of new changes in my world. Enjoy laughing along with me as I continue to make mistakes and fail miserably. Cheer along when I finally get it right. Welcome Back.