The Terrible, Awful, No Good Year

It's a cold, fall-like day here in Northern Colorado. This has been one of the most mild summers I've ever seen here, and it's been lovely. I didn't use the nice weather to my advantage so much this summer, but oh well. We can try again next year. With fall peaking around the corner, I cling to the hope that with the changing of the seasons, this proverbial season will change to.

This year has kicked my butt. One year ago tomorrow, my world fell apart as we sat in a cold, sterile emergency room awaiting results of an ultrasound, to which we already knew the outcome. A year ago. And you know what? I'm pretty pissed that I sit here a year later & not too much has changed. You see, I never wanted my kids to be more than 3 years apart MAX. I don't like that they won't be in high school together. I don't like that Maddie will struggle really hard with adjusting to a new sibling because she'll be almost 4. I don't like that my plan was ripped to shreds. I have a color-coordinated planner, dangit. There is not a color for unplanned detours.

The rumpus-kicking continued in April when I found I was pregnant, which should have been a joyous occasion, but I have learned that my uterus isn't as fond of this event as I'd like it to be. A week later, the pregnancy ended. I, then, watched my father-in-law get gravely ill, and battle a terrible pancreatitis attack. He was in the hospital for a couple weeks, and I did my best to get there everyday to see him and my mother-in-law. While he did recover, it was so upsetting and scary to watch. In the midst of that, we had more tests and doctors appointments to figure out what the hell was wrong with my body.

Along comes June. I start to have some weird issues in my legs, so I go see the doctor. To make this very long story short, about 2 months later of seeing neurologists and having MRIs, it's anxiety. Duh. In between MRIs, trips to Indiana to see family, & family members in the hospital, along comes chemical pregnancy #4...the week I am supposed to start fertility treatments. Can you say Xanax?

So, you can imagine how out of whack, hormonal, emotional, on edge, & generally ANXIOUS I've been feeling. And that's just what hit me: anxiety. In a major, ugly way. You see, I struggled with anxiety attacks (thank you genetic family history) from the time I was 17, and took anti-anxiety medication. I had been off of them for 2 years, & was doing fabulously. Hadn't had an anxiety attack in years. And bam! I am having them everyday. When they started to get bad just after the FOURTH chemical pregnancy, I texted my sister-in-law and told her that I was "just fine. It's been 2 days. I need to move on & get over it." Way to give yourself some grace, sister. 

Shortly after this poop storm of emotion, I get a hysterical call from the same sister-in-law, that my brother-in-law had had a gran mal seizure & drove his car into a building. Aaaaand, downward spiral.

Again, to truncate my long-windedness, no one but my husband, my mom, & my mother-in-law had any idea that I was in a sweaty-palmed, anxiety-ridden nightmare every single day for weeks before I threw in the towel & decided to get help. I was petrified to admit it. I felt weak, stupid, worthless, ashamed, embarrassed, vulnerable, etc. Everything you can think of, I felt it & believed it about myself. It took me a month to admit it to my 2 closest girlfriends in the world. I was so ashamed. They have it altogether, you see. And this proved that I wasn't good enough to be their friend because I was a psychopath, hot mess who had anxiety attacks that I couldn't control. I had shut myself off to the world. I didn't go out much unless I was with my husband or my mother-in-law. I was afraid and ashamed.

Seven weeks later, I'm doing better. Not great, but better. A wise person told me a few weeks ago that it is freeing to share this with people because this is part of my testimony that God will use. Right now, I can't see the forest for the trees. I can't see good in this.

BUT, I had another kind of tookus-kicking the other day:

Now, I obviously don't hate my life. This year has been a doozy, but I don't hate it. A lot of good has happened in this year, but it has wiped me out more than any other year. But slap me upside my head if this image didn't put life into perspective for me. Anxiety is the pits. You feel scared, overwhelmed, SWEATY, anxious, weepy & so ashamed almost all day long. Your only relief is when you're sleeping. But there is help for it. And that's where I can be grateful. I still slept in my cushy bed every night, watching tv with my husband. I still had clean, running water. I still had every luxury I needed at any second of the day.  
Maybe there isn't a pretty resolution to this, but that's because the story isn't over yet. Maybe I'll have resolution; maybe I won't. Or maybe the whole point of this was so that I share who I really am, all my flaws out there like a big, red zit on the end of my nose, so that someone else will know they aren't alone & they are just as crazy normal as the rest of us.


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