Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This isn't the way it was supposed to be

I am frustrated tonight.

I don't even know why.

Actually, on second thought, I do.

I am grieving.

People who haven't dealt with PPOCD probably are wondering why the heck I would be grieving, HA, if you only knew. If you only knew all that has been lost in the last 3 years since my precious daughter birth. All the milestones that went unnoticed, all the smiles missed, all the tears shed, all the thoughts fought. It wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

"Stop right there."

That's what my counselor told me, as I sat crying my eyes out on his black leather couch. He leaned over on his squeaky brown computer chair and leveled his eyes at me. "what was it you just said"? He questioned.

Sniffing, I softly replied, "Ummm, you mean, about how I am grieving?"

"No no, after that, the last thing you said."

"That it wasn't the way it was supposed to be?"

"Yes, that's it. 'it wasn't the way it was supposed to be' let that sink in for a little while. Think on that though for a moment...."

As large tears rolled silently down my cheeks like two glistening trails, I thought on how much my life hasn't been what I thought it would be. How painful the journey has been, and all the dreams that died a slow painful death as reality swooped in and brought about my hopes hideous, murderous demise.

I fought for control as my shoulders shook with the weight of my grief. I was embarrassed to be showing my deep sorrow in front of this man that I hardly knew, but in that moment, he knew my secrets. My deep rooted disappointment and heartache over something that I couldn't control. It was all I could do not curl up in the fetal position on the floor crying out my loss.

As I let the tears fall, it became clear to me that a huge portion of my grief came with the thought of Gracies delivery. It had been such a traumatic event, it felt as though my child had been stolen from me. Not that I had birthed my sweet baby, but that she had been brutally taken out of my body against my will and withheld from me. The day she was born, they didn't let me see her for a good 15 minutes after she was born. I cried and cried to see my baby, but they kept shushing me. My husband actually came over and showed me a picture of her, before I actually got to see her. I got to quickly kiss her nose and then literally a minute later she and my husband left for the nursery. I didn't see either of them until several hours later. I cried so hard after they left that I threw up.
It wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

I have said those exact words over in my mind so many thousands of times, I couldn't even begin to give you an accurate count. I had an image in my head of what pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood would be like. It was all wrapped up in this neat little box with a pretty little bow displaying a card labeled: Leigh, your perfect life. It didn't matter that I knew the statistics, read all the books, knew that life throws you curve balls, that stuff was for other people. Not me. I wasn't going to have a c-section, I wasn't going to get PPOCD. That was not going to happen to me!

Oh, but it did. And it stole my perfect dream and gave me a nightmare to live through.
By no means do I mean my daughter, I am referring to the ppocd, just to clarify.

So I grieve. The death of what I wanted. The death of what could have been. But most of all I grieve simply because it hurts. And that is ok. Today I am going to let myself grieve. This is a day to day battle...I am going to allow myself to have a sad day.

But hopefully, you are having a happy one :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life is like a mountain

We are home from vacation! It was amazing, and terrible and incredible all at the same time!
I managed to have two panic attacks while I was gone. One attack happened for no reason while we were shopping, but the other one happened because we attempted to drive to the top of Mt. Evans...I am afraid of heights. Deathly afraid. So, honestly, I felt that the last panic attack was was justified. But you see, no matter how justified it may have been, I didn't make it to the top. I chickened out and let this....
get the best of me and create this....
Me crying my eyes out begging to go home....which my hubby graciously agree to do...

I truly was afraid, and I had reason to be afraid...it was scary stuff; there were no guard rails, the lanes hardly were big enough for one car, let alone two, and the fog thick...but slinking back didn't get me to the finish line. Instead it sent me back to the hotel room feeling completely taken out, filled with a sense of failure. I didn't face my fears, I had let my fears face me and back me down the mountain to run home in tears. 

That is when mama bear mode kicked in...when I realized what had been robbed from me. In slinking back from the scary hard stuff, I failed to reach the really beautiful things. The beauty had been robbed by the fear. What a metaphor for life. The moment I realized that, I made up my mind. I was going to get to the top of that mountain, or die trying....  
Suddenly it became something so much more than just seeing the view. It became a mission to conquer the fear and pain of the last three years, throw it in ppd's face that, "YOU CAN'T HAVE ME!" You hear that ocd? "YOU CAN'T HAVE ME! I am NOT YOURS! I was created for a purpose, and it wasn't to be your prisoner." We went back to the mountain, and you know what I did?
                       I climbed....oh did I climb....(actually we drove, but it's a metaphor people ;)

And you know? I made it. I actually made it...I conquered that mountain and lived to see the view!
We hiked to a place that was completely private and I picked out 5 rocks. Each rock represented a major issue in the last three years; anxiety, depression, ocd, anger and pain. I created a little pile of them and told God that I now was giving them all back to him. And then with everything in me, I threw each one of those rocks off the mountain!
It was a moment I will NEVER forget! Maybe the sentiment was just for me and others may not understand, but it felt amazing to use every ounce of my strength to throw those heavy rock burdens off the side of the mountain, naming them one by one and yelling "so long."

I realized while I was at the top of that mountain, that is represented another baby for me. I am terrified to have another child. But maybe, just maybe the fear of what could happen (ppdocd..), is robbing me of what could be.

That day my heart healed just a little bit more, and as I walked along side my family, I realized for the first time, that I really truly am going to make it...no matter what mountains I have to climb :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Anxiety Attack


That was the overwhelming feeling that took over my being as I popped that little white pill.

Sheer disappointment that I am still fighting this battle. I had an anxiety attack today...on our vacation...right when we were suppose to be having the time of our lives. And for the life of me, I absolutely did not want to take an anti-anxiety pill. I fought it and fought it and fought it, hoping that the feelings/thoughts would pass. They did not. They escalated even more until I could hardly handle it...my husband found me a quiet little bench amidst the busy tourist town, and we sat there as I forced myself to gag down my medication and wait for it to take effect. I honestly thought that I was going to die. My mind went to that place, I was sure that something was seriously wrong with me, "why the heck is my hubby not taking me to the hospital?! Can't he see I am dying? Oh God, I'm gonna die, please don't let me die....Gracie needs her mom...I need my mom. Where is my mom! I have cancer, it has to be cancer....." blah blah blah. Thankfully it was short lived, and the dreaded pill helped immensely.

I am not exactly sure why I hate those little pills so much. Maybe that isn't normal. Maybe I should love them and be so incredibly grateful that they are there for me when I need them.... But the thing is, I feel so excited when I realize that it has been x amount of days/weeks since I have needed an anti-anxiety pill, and then, when I really do need to take one, I feel so dejected and discouraged. Somehow it feels like I am not really getting better if I need to take the pills. I know that is stinkin' thinkin', and I am working on telling myself the truth, but maybe some of you can relate?

I'm a work in progress. I'm gettin' there, slowly, but little by little, ocd is losing its power. THANK YOU GOD! I'm taking this attack for what it was, just another step closer to the finish line of recovery. I absolutely will not let this ocd crap rule my life. Dang-it, I'm gonna enjoy my vacation, cause it's a dang good lover! ;)


A love affair

I have a confession....

I am having an affair with a vacation...and my husband is joining in on the fun.

We (vacation and I) are completely in love! We go way back, 20 some years or something...maybe even more. Truth be told, when I married my husband, I knew from the get-go that vacation and I would still be having our little flings. I can't help it, vacations just make me feel alive, full of energy and sheer joy. I feel like I can really be myself when vacation and I are together. There were times when vacation and I couldn't be together (because of money, ugh) and it was terrible, I was heart sick. We are just meant to be together....

I should move to the tropics....

Anyways....All that nonsense to say, we are on VACATION....Ye-haw, life is good :) Enjoy some pics of the bliss on me.... ;)

Monday, August 2, 2010

So how 'bout that weight gain!

Yep! I said it. Weight gain!

It's happening....Ooohhh is it ever happening! Seriously, it's like jello jigglers meets play-doh happening.

And ya know, it shouldn't matter, but it so really does!

The last thing I want to be worried about right now is my weight! But as a woman, I can't get it off my mind...at least when it's increasing. You see, I have never had trouble losing weight when I wanted to, that is, until I started on these dang antidepressants. Now, trying to lose a pound is like getting a two year old to do algebra...not gonna happen!
The whole thing creates this catch 22 in my mind; on one hand, I see the little yellow pill as my saving grace, a means to an end of this hell I have been living in for 3 years. But on the other hand, I look at the pill and hate it for making my stinkin' scale actually tell me the truth, revealing my increasing climb on the mountain of flab! Ugh!

It's not been extreme, I haven't gained tons, it's not even noticeable to most people, but it bugs me. Is that crazy? I know I shouldn't care, but it feels like just one more sacrifice in this (seemingly) never ending battle for health.

It is temporary.
This battle is temporary.
The weight gain is temporary.
The symptoms are temporary.
It is temporary.

That, my friends, is my mantra as of late!