Friday, February 18, 2011

Moving Forward (With Some Help)

I love people magazine.  I cannot afford/rationalize a subscription so I get on the website when I have a free moment. I especially like the Babies tab and all the cute photos.  But Elisabeth Rohm wrote a baby blog on there recently about how she lost her mom when her daughter was 2 and how it effects her life as a mother.  I really liked it. 

I've been really struggling the last few weeks with missing my mom.  Today she's been gone 2 months.  I think between my grief, my stress at work from hating my job, and just generally feeling a bit lost right now--I'm not handling everything very well.  Which keeps me up a bit at night. I cry when I go to bed a lot.  Coach is great but he's too busy right now to really listen and as much as love him he doesn't know what to do.  He tries to lighten it up too much when he finally does have time to listen, and it's not really listening. I'm really struggling right now.  I feel so lost.  I wish more than anything that I had my mom's guidance right now.  Coach just isn't home enough and I think I scared him a little last night because it was the first time he had really paid attention to what I was saying.  That I'm really hurting, that it's not just grief.  There is so much more than that.  Plus, he's only lost his grandfather.  Losing a parent is a lot different and I don't blame him for not understanding--but I do need him to comprehend that I need someone who has the tools to help me.  This isn't a financial decision that will solve itself if we talk it through together, if he supports me in a big work decision, or something like that it will be better. It's so much more than that.  I just had to tell him that I know he's here, that yes we will do this together, but I need someone else to help me even get to the point where he can help me.

In 2007 I had just moved back to Texas from Los Angeles and was having panic attacks daily as a result of some (minor) domestic violence from an ex-boyfriend.  I started my PhD full time at 23 years old.  I took too many classes. I was sick constantly.  I was debilitated by my fear that he would find out where I was and show up at my door.  I was a mess.  Then I realized I didn't like my PhD program.  Everything was so mixed up. I felt so lost.  I started seeing a psychologist after being put on 3 different anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs that actually almost made me worse, rather than better--they threw me out of constant anxiety attacks but into a full fledged depression.  It took 4 months to find one that didn't make me more depressed.  But we never found one that didn't make me totally numb.  It was like botox for your emotions, but I was in so much turmoil that at least that was some improvement.  What helped me most was talking to someone whose job it was to listen and help me figure out what I actually needed--because what I thought I wanted was not working, not good, and was making me a mess.  What happened after that was a bunch of snowballing bad decisions after I abruptly left therapy, but eventually I pulled myself up--which took another year from the point I left my PhD but at least I figured it out myself. 

Yesterday I finally found a psychologist who is accepting new patients.  I go next week.  I told Coach last night and I think he was a little hurt.  He doesn't understand how lost I feel, how deep this grief has suddenly become. When I try to describe it he just cannot fathom feeling that lost (I think), and he has so much faith in me he knows and says I'll be fine that we (as a couple) can figure it out.  Which isn't any less true. We will figure it out.  But telling me that I'm a strong person that it'll all be ok really isn't helping me right now.  I need guidance.  I need someone who can look at all the stuff that has happened in the last year, how it's affected me, and help me see through how it's effected all of this.  I need someone to help me get through my grief so I can enjoy everything.  I'm afraid that when Lloyd is born that I will fall into a deep postpartum depression if I do not.  I'm terrified of it. I know my mind has that weakness in it. I don't want to lose sight of the beauty in this life because I didn't do what I knew I needed to before he arrived.  I'm not depressed I don't think.  I do think I'm not where I need to be. I do not know what to do.

Usually you set goals when you enter therapy and I've been thinking about that a lot.  What do I want?  I want to be able to miss my mom without feeling my throat catch because I cannot feel her, that I feel totally lost during this pregnancy without her.  I want to be able to enjoy being a mom and have confidence in my ability to do it.  I want to learn to be more patient with Coach, to trust him more.  I want to figure out what makes me happy, what I really want professionally (quit my PhD? total career change? what do I want to do when I do go back to work).  I want to deal with the stress of people's lack of integrity at work better.  I want to handle myself better.  I want to wake up and not feel dread at each day, that I have a bright future along with a beautiful family. 

That sounds like a lot but they are all inter-related these days.  I want to find something that makes me happy.  Not just something that I'm good at.  I don't feel challenged with my work, I want something that makes me feel better about going to work every day.  I think it will make me a better mother, a better wife, and a better person.  I need guidance so badly.  I'm ready to get started.  I owe it to myself.  I owe it to my amazing husband.  I owe it to this awesome life inside me that gives me such joy already.  I love him so much.  I want to be the best person I can be, so I can be the best mom and wife.  I feel like if I find myself in all of this, everything else will be where it needs to be too.  Fingers crossed.

Colleen
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