There are times when I wish something, ANYTHING in my life had a simple answer or solution, but then it wouldn’t be my life would it? There’s the saying “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” and if that’s the case then I must be one REALLY strong woman….right? Doesn’t feel that way most of the time and honestly there are times when I wish I didn’t have to be so strong! Wanting with every fiber of my being to give up and desperately needing to fall apart, but it’s not an option and sometimes it really sucks!
Life continues to challenge me in every way imaginable and just when I seem to have found balance, calm and the belief that I can do this, something comes along and turns everything upside down again. As I settled into my new “normal” and began to focus on my roll as a new mom I finally felt that I was OK and was able to adjust to new medications and have mental calm after a really rough time. Shortly after my last blog, I discovered that we were once again expecting and to say I was shocked would be putting it lightly! I felt something was going on and began to worry and was having unmistakable signs that I oh so clearly remember from the first time! When the day of my expected cycle showed up, I knew in my gut that it wouldn’t and the morning after I made the trip to the bathroom and there it was, 2 lines on the first response! 3 positive tests later (yes, I’m that woman) and the words PREGNANT showing up on the 4th test, a digital in big bold letters confirmed it! I can’t do birth control because of a blood clotting disorder and my mental health issues. I had planned to get a non hormonal IUD but life happened and while dealing with everything, it got forgotten about. I was feeling better and the topic came up about the possibility of more kids and time frame so, after lots of talking, praying, and more talking we decided that we’d put it in God’s hands. I get his plan and all, but does he REALLY trust me this much?
Changes began happening and in my world, they happen in BIG ways and multiple changes at the same time! Why? I couldn’t begin to explain, but it’s how it’s always been. In the months prior, my husband had been working on going through steps towards an employment change. He wanted something he could be proud of, more time with his family, better opportunities. He was hired on at DOC as a corrections officer and he began to transition from one job to another. He gave his 2 week notice and the day after he did, we were told that my grandmother passed away. He needed to leave work early and was told that was his last day and he wouldn’t be working his last two weeks. WHAT? Then began a rush to change plans and start date for new employment which thankfully was able to happen but still 2 weeks, no income wasn’t good! I didn’t handle my grandmother’s passing well at all and in the midst of all of this we were scheduled to move into a safer, closer to new job home and I had one of the WORST flare ups that left me unable to do anything! Not being able to pick up or care for our son, walk or do much at all, and with so much that needed to be done I wasn’t handling any of it well at all!
New job started, move happened and here we are almost 2 months later and I find myself in the midst of a nightmare I can’t seem to wake from! All that has happened and keeps happening has become a mountain of CRAP I can’t see beyond! Realizing that with this change in jobs would leave a gap with NO health insurance, a substantial pay decrease until he’s able to get certified, and finding my health issues becoming unmanageable! I have always been open about what I deal with but outside of a few personal relationships and this blog I’ve only shared bits and pieces with those in my life. I’ve always felt that I don’t want to burden others with what I deal with, I don’t want anyone feeling “sorry” for me and often feel that if others knew in detail what a mess I was, they wouldn’t want anything to do with me! Not true but try convincing my mind of that! It dawned on me that I NEED to let the people in my life know what’s going on so at least they can try to understand why I am the way that I am and get a better picture instead of bits and pieces that don’t really allow anyone to know how to be there for me.
When we moved I was in the beginning of a major spiral that has only gotten worse and has left me questioning everything, wondering if any of it was ever going to be OK or was I just not meant to be OK? I’ve isolated myself, shut people out and somehow convinced myself that I’m not worth caring about! So sure that by talking about any of it I was just whining, complaining, dwelling, or that I wasn’t grateful and focusing on the good in my life! I really wish there was a simple solution to any of it and that it wasn’t a million things at once trying to drag me down. I’ve fought SO hard to find happiness, live my life, better myself, and I refuse to let what I deal with keep me from being happy and having what I deserve! Fighting battles every moment of every day that make even simple, mundane tasks difficult and exhausting! With a mix of several mental and physical issues going on that I try so hard to manage and live life despite of, I find myself tired of fighting so hard all the time!
Trying to explain to someone, that when my son grabs my leg to pull himself up or reaches out to touch me, climb on me, it causes unbelievable pain is impossible! I guess it’s hard to wrap your mind around a simple touch hurting so much that it feels like someone’s taken a live wire and attached it to my body! I’ve been told that after 9 yrs of chronic pain that I should be used to it by now, I should be able to push past it, ignore it, if only it were that simple! It’s beyond frustrating to try to push past any of it because it affects every part of my being! There’s an injury that tests can see, but beyond that there’s something that isn’t visible, something that doesn’t just impact one part of me, but my entire system! I didn’t understand it for a very long time until I researched and discovered just how many small things I’ve experienced are part of this bigger picture! I’m hypersensitive to smell, sound, touch, taste, and it’s random! I used to believe that I was just OCD about everything when random sounds would just plain irritate me, smelling something no one else smells, or someone brushing up against me sending me into a panic! Exhaustion from even the smallest of tasks, pain when I eat or drink, upset stomach, migraines, and so much more! It breaks my heart to not be able to be as active as I need to be with my son! To see him just want mommy to hold him, pick him up, or cuddle and ending up in tears because it hurts that much makes me feel like a complete failure! Wasn’t this all the reason I lost weight? To live life, be healthy, be able to be active with my family and friends? Yes, but it doesn’t change or fix what’s already broken and often brings on more pain! Flare ups happen and they subside, this one however is relentless! Just when it seems to be improving, It doesn’t and I’m frustrated beyond words that it’s keeping me from doing what I need to do.
As I’ve shared, the other side of all of this is mental illness. Going into this pregnancy I asked to be put on medication that I researched and spoke to my Drs about with the understanding that at some point, I would want another child and in order to keep mental balance would need to be on during pregnancy. During my first pregnancy, the hormones kept me balanced enough that I didn’t need to be on medication, but after my PPD experience I knew I needed to be on something that would hopefully help me maintain and keep me from another dangerous experience when I got pregnant again. The last month, despite being on medication, I’ve been in a rapid cycling spiral that has come to the point of desperation! Self loathing, wanting to ruin everything good in my life, believing that my husband, son and everyone else would be better off if they didn’t have to deal with me and the mess that comes along with me. Knowing they deserve someone who’s able to be a functional, healthy participant and feeling I can’t be that for them! Episodes of dissociation where my mind shuts down and there are chunks of time I don’t recall, desperately needing help but not wanting anyone near me, feeling moments of rage and anger and directing them at my husband, refusing to talk to anyone, even those closest to me. Wanting out more than anything else but knowing it’s not an option, is one of the most painful feelings. My husband telling me that he feels like he’s losing me, like I don’t want to keep fighting anymore has me realizing that this is bigger than me, more than I can handle without help. Unlike the other episodes, this is lingering and I’m having a hard time seeing the end. I’ve seriously considered inpatient treatment but I need to be able to take care of our Son while my husband works. Can’t afford time off and those close friends who would help take care of our son, have enough of their own stuff going on.
We all have rough times, bad moods and what not. This is so much more than that! It’s more than pregnancy hormones, a back ache, headache….and it’s hard for me to believe that people understand that! I’ve never been one to bring attention to myself or my “stuff”, but being at a breaking point with nowhere to go, here it is! This isn’t about “look at how many problems I have”, or looking for pity, but rather being COMPLETELY honest about what I deal with on a daily basis and hoping to help those in my life better understand it all! It’s easy to come to conclusions about what it is/isn’t when only part of the picture is seen. It’s not always this big mess and there are plenty of moments of happiness and living life, but right now, this IS what it is and I can’t pretend it’s something else! It’s hard for some to understand why I’m not more social, involved, or why when my husband is with me I seem “normal” but when he’s not I’m different. Explaining why one minute I’m calm and OK and the next I’m hurting, panicked and don’t want to be around people isn’t easy. I’ve been asked why do this or that if I have all this going on, or can’t I just do ___ to fix it? The answer isn’t simple but I wonder what it would mean if I let everything that I’ve been through and everything that I deal with hold me back from being who God’s called me to be. I decided a LONG time ago that despite what I’ve experienced or what I had going on that I wasn’t going to let it define me, keep me from being happy! My life has literally been saved by what some think because of what I deal with I shouldn’t want/have! I keep going every day because I have NO choice and despite what I feel or think of myself there are those that need and WANT me around! If I didn’t have 2 little beings counting on me to be there and a husband who’s fought for 10 yrs to love me through everything, then it would be easy to crawl into a hole and let this consume me! I wish I wasn’t dealing with the mess that I do, but there’s not much I can do to change it. All I can do is continue to hold on to the good and the people who love me despite my many flaws, mistakes, and who will be there through the bad as well as the good! I promised myself I wouldn’t let my children pay for my mess and can’t help but feel like I’m failing and he’s paying for it already in his short 8 months. Feeling like I am unable to give him the mom he deserves and struggling with how all of this will affect him and the baby I’m carrying now. I have to remember that by giving them 100% of what it is that I have, even if I’m not 100%, it’s enough!
This is my reality! It’s messy and often unpleasant, but it’s me! It’s what I deal with every moment of every day, but it doesn’t define me or make me less of a person! It’s VERY real, VERY serious and I pray those that I love are better able to understand it. It’s never easy being vulnerable and letting others see the darkest side of who I am and it’s always been hard for me to reach out for help, but this is bigger than the desire to not have my deepest, darkest side showing! I’m struggling, I’m hurting, and right now I’m not OK! Not sleeping well at all, eating only because another’s life depends on it, getting out of bed only because my family needs me to try to function, I’m beyond worn down! It won’t last forever, I know this, and I pray for something to give that allows me to breathe, and get the rest that I desperately need! I see how this is affecting my husband and it breaks my heart! He hates more than anything to see me hurting and he can’t fix it, make it go away and that kills him! He takes on everything and puts himself on the back burner to focus on taking care of me. He carries more than he should and feels that’s his job to take care of everything, it’s what he’s always done, is supposed to do! I wish I could give him more, be more for him and I hate seeing him internalize and blame himself for things he isn’t responsible for. He doesn’t realize that by him doing what he does and has been doing for the last 10 yrs has literally saved my life! He’s more than he’ll ever understand, he’s my calm, my safe place, the one who’s loved me unconditionally through the worst of the worst when most would run far away! I’m grateful for the life he’s given me and for him always believing in me when I’ve failed to believe in myself! He’s been hurt more than anyone by what I deal with and has been on the receiving end of many episodes of anger, rage, pain, attempts to push him away just to prove that I don’t deserve someone like him. Despite it all, he still chooses to love me and do his best to take care of his family! I didn’t ask for any of this, but I try my best to live life and be happy regardless of any of it and consider myself blessed to have what I have!
They say everything happens for a reason and sometimes I wonder what that reason is and why after everything I’ve overcome, there’s yet another battle to fight! Something I may never understand I guess, but no matter how bad things get, fighting is what I do and that won’t change! Something inside me has always been there that drives me to keep fighting for a better life, for more!