Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rough Day

I was going to write about birth mothers today, but I think I don't have it in me.  Today I'm struggling.  Today I want to yell Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle!!  as a preface to my presence.  Just so people know.  I'm trying hard to hold it together and so far, it would appear as though I have.  But my insides are having a fight to the death with each other and shit does it ever hurt.

This time of year is ALWAYS hard for me.  As soon as it gets dark and wet, I'm full of fear.  So full of fear that I can taste it.  I'm preemptive; I take Vitamin D in the dark months and increase my iron and B vitamin intake.  I spend as much time as I can manage outdoors when the sun shines, but still my fall season usually has a rough patch in it.  Not a day.  A couple of weeks of wrestling.  [I gave this post the name Rough Day but really it's been rough for a week and likely to remain that way for a bit longer].  This is why I dread autumn and the advent of winter, why I celebrate spring so much, and why I have a hard time shouting and kicking up piles of gorgeous leaves with everyone else when fall arrives.  This year has been AWESOME but I think the long Indian Summer [WHAT is the politically correct term for that?  Anyone???] had somewhat something to do with that.  Plus, my summer was so good, it lasted into October.  Sweet!  I had kind of hoped to skip right over my autumn funk but, well, I DO have an anxiety disorder so maybe that wasn't so utterly realistic.

I just feel so damn scared.  Afraid of judgment.  Afraid of my kids dying.  Afraid of waking up one day wondering what the hell I did with my life that was worth anything.  Afraid I'm in an alternate reality and don't know it (that's a common one for me).  Afraid of losing my artistic talent by never using it.  Afraid of feeling shame.  Afraid of loss.  Afraid of anger from others.  Afraid of my husband dying at work.  Afraid of him dying, period.  Afraid of fucking up my kids.  Afraid of making mistakes.  Afraid that I will always be afraid.

A friend of mine IS angry with me, so that doesn't help.  My mistake towards her was unintentional, but it was a mistake.  I have a very real, valid, strong fear of loss of relationships when I make mistakes like this one.  This fear has been confirmed by loss of central relationships several times in my life and it ties me up in knots and actually damages relationships sometimes because I'm so afraid of loss.

I'm also up next to share my story with my life group tonight.  You know that small group I've been going to with amazing women, where God is doing some really palpable work?  We are all new to the group and to each other, so we are taking turns sharing our stories.  Tonight is me.  I'm going to die.  [or not, I haven't decided].  I'm afraid they will judge me.  I'm a weird hippie with a mental illness: what's not to judge? [?!!]  I just want to curl up in my bed and forget I exist.  It's just too exhausting holding it together and falling apart inside.  I've been grinding my teeth so hard at night, my teeth hurt in the morning.  I keep thinking I have cavities but the pain fades by lunchtime so I know it's from anxiety.

Maybe I'll load up on St John's Wort and do some self care today.  [Self care=eat too much chocolate and let my kids play too much Wii so they leave me alone].  In fact, Amarys is in the bath and Riley is playing Wii right now, because that is what will keep them occupied long enough for me to write about it.

Deep breath.  Here I go...


melissa said...

Wish I could eat too much chocolate with you. <3

Louise Chapman said...

1. There will be sunshine this weekend, will that help?
2. I know you are very nervous and scared to share tonight but do you think that maybe you will feel so good afterwards because you will truly be known? YOu can do it!!!
3. I wear a mouth guard at night...would that be covered by your dental? Soooooo good to prevent the teeth clenching/pain.
4. You're great.

annamarshall said...

Hi Melissa

I've been following your blog through a blog of a blog of a friend. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading it because it is real.
I admire that you are courageous enough to talk about the challenges of mental illness. I have been dealing with anxiety and depression for a long time also, but I am not as open about it.
I definitely find my mood way worse in the winter. Last year I started using a light box for half an hour each day. I don't know if you have tried it but I found it helped tremendously.

tamie marie said...

Of course you're scared sometimes. Of course you have hard days. You expend SO much energy, carrying your family, making a zillion decisions every day, being a loyal wife and loving mother, juggling the kids' school and church and cooking and job-searching and exercise and sleep and rest and friends and so many other things. And the world is a scary place and you're continually reminded of this by media and internet and just being out in the world.

What's *actually* astounding is that you're functional at all! With that much on your shoulders, it's crazy to me that you keep going. And yet you're not just functional....you're *thriving*. I know some days it doesn't feel like, but it's utterly true.

So let the kids play wii sometimes and eat chocolate. Take breaks. Take extra vitamins. Keep reaching out. Just know that you are doing SO much better than it feels at times like this.

Oh, and you know that video you just posted? It applies to you too. Your anxiety has gotten better. So much has gotten better. Keep going.

Caryn Ouwehand said...

Mel-ster. I am right there with ya. Fall KILLS me.


Louise Chapman said...

PS I didn't mean to sound all `cheerleaderish', I meant to say I'm sorry you feel so crappy too:(

tamie marie said...

Louise--I don't know you at all, but we all need a cheerleader sometimes. :)

melissa v. said...

Hey guys; I'm responding late and I hope you all see my response despite me taking forever to write back. Sorry for being a bum.

I want to say thank you for banding together around me and supporting me and for leaving such thoughtful comments. Some days in autumn are rough; who am I kidding, some days in LIFE are rough, and having a posse to give you hugs is pretty damn imperative.

I told my story and it was GREAT! I felt lifted up and held by God. I was honest; I didn't go into detail about how awful it got after we adopted Matthew. I just stressed that it was awful. I just can't look anyone in the eye and say, "I hit my kid. Hard. Quite a few times" and live. I can write it here, but I cannot say it out loud. It's a line of shame I'm certain everyone will judge me for. And I just can't face that in anyone's eyes in real life. If you read it and it is in your eyes, I can't see it, and I know you hear my grief and struggle and HEALING alongside it. I'm my own worst jailor, no one can punish me more than I punished myself, but it's time to be free from that prison. It does no one any good for me to lock myself back up in there. If I see that judgment in someone else's eyes, I will lock myself back up.

Anyways, enough rolling around in fantasy guilt land. My story was received with grace and openness. I didn't even cry when I told it. I came close, but not quite.

My group is so cool, because no one ever says anything trite or isolating. No one says any Bible verses or Christianese in response to anyone's struggles or story. They just open up wide and listen with compassion. It is remarkable.

Whew, I'm glad it is over and I didn't even have buyers remorse the next day. I just feel happy they know my story and accept me. And that God can take it and make something good out of it, including a stronger and far more compassionate me.

And Louise, I totally didn't think you were cheerleaderish! I thought you were YOU; which is supportive and pragmatic. You're awesome. xo.

I'm still wrestling the rough patch but I'm on the upswing. Nearly stable/normal again. xoxoxo. Thanks for loving me. It means the world.