Monday, January 2, 2012

Time passes.

The guests leave. I breathe a sigh of relief. I stop breathing. I hold my breath. I hold it so hard that I start to panic. I let it out. My Dad has a heart attack.

My Dad has a heart attack.

I am so beyond panicked at this point, that I allow myself to stay home and pretend that this isn't real. This can't be real. My Dad is my best friend. Outside of the immediate members of this family under this roof, my Dad is my best friend. This isn't happening.

I white knuckle the ride in the passenger seat to go get him, I can't allow myself to think about the ride back. With my Dad. With my Dad broken in the passenger seat. I am driving. I can't drive in the dark. There are too many unknowns that happen alongside highways at night. I am making him nervous. We pull over to get the kids some dinner and he gets behind the steering wheel. I am making him nervous. I white knuckle the ride back home in the passenger seat. Knowing a stint will slip. Knowing an unknown clot will float towards his brain. I can't stop thinking what if, what if, what if... What if my Husband gets into an accident right in front of us. I am paralyzed with fear. We make it home and I am ok once again.

My Dad needs me. He needs me to go places with him. To walk slow beside him, making both of us look normal. He needs me. I go to an interview, I do well. They want to hire me. I am so paralyzed with fear at being away from my children for 50 hours a week making money necessary for us to survive and get back onto our own two feet that as I'm pulling into our neighborhood I realize every last muscle is seizing up on me. I can't unfurl my fingers from the twisted positions they're in. I am passing out.

My Husband saves me, drives me home. I can barely make the walk to the bedroom to curl up on the bed. I can't do this. I have to make this stop. This has to stop. This is INSANE. Why can't I talk myself down out of this panic? I can't cry no matter how hard I want to. Please let me cry, I just want to cry. I text my Mom to come get me. I don't care where I go, I just want this to stop. I kiss my Husband, my kids, tell them I need to go to the doctor. That I hope to be home in time to make them breakfast. I get into the car and arrive at the Emergency Room.

I pace the floor, flapping my hands, wanting to feel anything. My Mom sits me down, hands me a tissue and rubs my back. The floodgates open. I can feel. I still feel like I can't breathe. They offer me medication. The same medication my therapist had offered mere hours before my interview. I denied it then thinking I could fight this. That I am so much stronger than I think and that I can defeat my own demons. I start removing my jacket, please, PLEASE just give me a shot. Give me an I.V. give me a pill. I need relief. I need this to stop. Please make it stop. I'm given two pills of my original prescription of the drug I had refused before. I drink their ice water faster than they can give it to me. When had I stopped drinking? When had I eaten last?

I'm no longer pacing. The tears come and they fall and they are so welcome here. I never knew how good it could feel to just let it go. To not be strong. To be so human.

Two days out. I still find myself telling myself that I'm not allowed to cry. That I have to be strong for EVERYONE. I have been putting this post off because I KNEW it would make me cry, that I just might break down. I am sobbing. Lo just came up and put his hand on my arm to tell me he loves me. I am loved. I am loved and needed, but I am human.

The hardest part of all of this is saying no. I want to be there for everyone. I want to. But, no. I can't. I have the most important people in my life, my top priorities here under this roof. And I know I have family that needs me as well, but the answer is no. NO NO NO. I'm getting used to saying it, it's just hard to fully believe it in my heart.

I still panic. I still don't want to think about driving or leaving my neighborhood. I don't want to be this person. But, I don't have to be her. I don't have to be scared... and I know that. I also know it will take time.

So please, keep an eye out for me. I'm still here. I'm still listening to your beautiful stories and I'm still crying alongside you when you're pouring your hearts out. But now, I might actually be crying real tears for you, because life ISN'T fair, but it is what we make it.

2012 is about making this life my own... about finding me under all of this mess. I'm here somewhere, and I am beautiful and happy and above all else, loved.


  1. You are loved, my dear. You are important, and we all want the best for you. Big big hugs, lots of love, and good, cleansing tears to you.

  2. I am hugging you so hard. You aren't alone, although I know that at the time that doesn't help much.

    I don't like to push drugs, but I think you should listen to your doctor. I tried to not do xanax for a long time bc I was afraid I'd become someone else or get addicted. It didn't change me at all and 2 years later I'm still not addicted. Low-dose sedatives can help. Not taking them is like a diabetic not taking insulin bc they think they're strong enough to handle it alone.

    Anxiety and Panic Disorders are clinical diagnosis. Getting occasional medication to help you live healthier is a good thing.

    PS. Remember, depression is an ugly bed-fellow of anxiety, and it lies. It lies like crazy and you can't trust your own head. Depend on your family. Even though they're stressed too they want to help.

  3. M, I know you and Goosie have been watching from afar. Knew you'd want a solid update as soon as I hit publish. I am so thankful for both of you.

    Jenny, I'm not big on pushing drugs either. My exact argument (because yes, I argued with my therapist) was that I would rather try and fight it through exercise/yoga/meditation/hypnosis whatever it took first. She told me she respected that and put the prescription in my file.

    I should have known better, but I like to think that I'm stronger than I am. Or as you said, Depression, being the liar that he is, would like for me to think that I have some sort of superhuman strength I'm unaware of. I know that I'm strong in my own way, but the low-dose sedatives ARE helping now. I should have accepted them in the first place. Tomorrow I get my real prescription for the low dose sedative and start the process of finally getting back on long term therapy (an SNRI that helped tremendously in the past).

    I have been following YOUR blog for so long now, I can't even tell you when I found you first. Probably long before I ever started blogging myself. It is because of our similar battles with Anxiety/Panic/Depression that hooked me, that and attempting to be furiously happy in the face of our ugly tagalongs.

    Thank you for your kind words. :)

  4. Hey Momma. So glad to hear from you, and you're right, a solid update has been watched for all week. xoxo

    My goodness, you have so much on your plate right now. Real challenges in so many directions. If we were neighbors I'd offer to babysit or cook or clean or drive you safely to your errands. I hope you have willing hands nearby, because this is a good time to call on them.

    How generous of you to share your decision making process on medication; I appreciate this a lot. So glad that you seem to be laying hold on some peace in this regard.

    One Day at a Time, as they say. Breathe deeply, let Love work His magic gradually and deeply. Continuing to pray in Oklahoma.

    P.S. Have I told you how warm & fuzzy it feels to be called Goosie? : )~

  5. Goosie, it's hard NOT to call you that. :) And I do mean it in as endearing a way as possible. My plate was full, as was the buffet filled with plates I couldn't handle. Luckily, we have so much food left over and stored away because I'm nothing if not an over prepared Mama who squirrels away leftovers and double batches of meals all fall/winter long.

    I have many hands out to help me. Mom, despite the fact that she's been ill off and on for two months, took the kids for most of the day yesterday. But it's also so so good to have them here with me curled up on the couch, even if they don't realize it's just a side effect from the medicine to keep me from scrubbing the ceilings... floors... walls... windows. It's good to lean into them and smell their sweet baby smells that is fading faster than I'd like.

    I wish this were fiction too, but glad I'm able to get my words out somehow/somewhere.

  6. Doing the best that I can, Andrea. Thanks for stopping in. :)

  7. Fighting throught it. I know about that one. I am still not on medication. It is still...embarrassing? Giving in? Giving up? I don't know. I KNOW it will help. I NEED it to help. Yet...

    Jenny says it right. Depression is a liar. So when will it hit me that I need to actually accept the help offered to me from my doctor? When that one panic attack I fear that sends me over the edge actually happens? Why can't I make myself get help for myself before then? For the sake of my babies and my family, for myself, why?

    Thinking of you and hoping your dad is better. Take care of you. And congrats on the job. Having to work outside the home is a bitch and a half that I also know (and rail against/cry about). Hold on.

  8. You will know when you're ready, but know that when that panic attack does happen, it will happen unexpectedly. It will happen so forcefully that you will think you're going to die. It will make you feel like a complete idiot for not accepting help when it was offered. I was doubled over in the passenger seat of my car with my cell phone in one hand and the business card for my doctor in the other. When I realized it was just a few minutes past closing time I was gasping for air hoping to God someone would pick up the phone. They didn't. Don't wait for help, hopefully unlike me you aren't missing out on their lives by being under this same cloud.

    Depression is a liar and a thief. I don't want to read anymore regret/sorrow filled posts. I want to read YOUR posts and smile, knowing that YOU are ok, that you are filled with sunshine and light and aren't afraid. Don't be afraid to ask for help, don't let depression/anxiety/panic/WHATEVER hold you back and make you think you can fight this alone because you are NOT alone.


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