Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Steps

When things are good, it's easy to forget just how bad they can be.

You may have noticed that I've been missing lately, both here and on Facebook. I've been lurking, but I just haven't had anything positive to say, and if you don't have anything nice to say, it's best to not say anything at all.

I've been toying with the idea of writing more about the struggles I've been having with depression and I guess I've decided to just do it. It's hard to put myself out there, but.....

It might help me.

It might help someone else.

It won't be pretty.

If you're not okay with reading about some pretty raw, unpleasant emotions, you're following the wrong blog.

Last week, I started seeing a therapist.

She seems to be the jump-start that I need in order for me to live my life rather than limp through the days.

I know I'm not perfect. No one is. But.... I have pretty high expectations for myself. I am a perfectionist.

I've had a rough winter and the days that I didn't want to get out of bed far outnumbered the days that I did. I've never had trouble sleeping, but I've been finding myself having trouble drifting off. I've been lonely. I've been teary. I've been angry. I've been binge-eating. My moods go in cycles. It's either really good or really bad. There isn't a happy medium. This really worries me.

It's getting easier for me to admit that I needed to ask for help, that I wasn't able to manage the stresses in my life on my own. I cried when I asked my doctor for a referral to a therapist. I had admitted that I was NOT perfect.

Everything started to really fall apart two weeks ago.

On Monday, I learned that a former co-worker, someone I had worked closely with and for, loved and respected quite a bit, lost a hard-fought battle with a brain tumor. At 44.

On Wednesday, while playing with Isaac, he squished my breast while climbing over me. While trying to pinpoint exactly why it hurt as much as it did, I discovered a lump. I deliberated what to do and finally called the doctor When I said the word "lump," I was penciled in for an appointment the very next day. I spent roughly 24 hours in between discovering the lump and my appointment thinking, "I'm 28 years old. I have a husband and two little boys. I cannot have breast cancer." I was terrified.

(I am fine. The position of the lump made it hard for me to tell, but it ended up being a muscle in my upper ribs under my breast that was inflamed from an intense upper body work-out the week before.)

On Friday, while getting ready for my friend's funeral, Isaac had his second seizure. His first was the day before Easter and had us calling 911. (Luckily, Chris was home with me both times.) We knew what to do and expect this time, but that didn't make it any easier.

Isaac is a breath-holder. When he gets upset, he holds his breath while crying. When he's in a mood, it results in him turning blue and passing out. Occasionally kids who do this will have seizures as a result of the breath-holding. Of course, my kid is one of the few that has this result. The seizure itself isn't dangerous (as long as it doesn't last for more than 10 or so minutes), but we need to make sure he doesn't choke (especially if he has food in his mouth) and that there's nothing around him that he can hurt himself on. There is nothing we can do to stop the seizure and this in itself is terrifying. I cannot help my baby.

Honestly, I've had enough. I've hit my breaking point. I've realized that I cannot do this on my own.

I know what can help me cope, but my depression has been preventing me from taking those steps. So, I'm seeing a therapist. And taking that first step has prompted me to take others.

I surrounded myself with friends this weekend and did a LOT of talking (and a little wine drinking). :) I walked. I spent a day at the Museum of Fine Arts. I went for a run in the rain. Three out of four days, I ate a salad for lunch and enjoyed it! :) I spent a few hours in bed up way later than I should have been just talking and giggling with my husband. I spent time playing with and enjoying my children. I actually wanted to get out of bed this morning.

But, like I said earlier, my moods tend to run in cycles and when things are good, it's easy to forget just how bad they can be. Two weeks ago, things were really bad. Right now, they're really good. There was no in between. This is where the therapy is going to help.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason. We may not know the reason right away, but eventually we find the answer. Every night, unable to fall asleep, I'd tell myself I'd call the doctor tomorrow. When tomorrow came, I didn't call. That silly lump is what prompted me to call the doctor and take the first step in getting my depression under control. If I hadn't found that lump, I never would have called.

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