Getting Help.

A few months ago, I blogged about my recurring issues with anxiety. I got a lot of really positive feedback and comments with people coming forward and telling me the way I was feeling was very familiar; that they, too suffered from anxiety issues. I had the support, but I didn’t really know where to begin in getting help and I guess I was still a little nervous and half-convinced that it’d go away on its own.

As had happened in the past, it did go away… For a while. I was feeling better, getting exercise and in a generally happy mood. Then, without any real trigger or warning it came back. I’d begin to feel anxious. Withdrawn. I didn’t feel like going to chorus. I’d make excuses to myself why I didn’t need to go. I didn’t feel like blogging (but I did), or playing, or doing much of anything. Little things started to feel overwhelming to the point where I’d be in tears thinking about them. Things are tight for us financially right now, but that’s nothing new. We’ve been back and forth with doing well and not doing well for nearly four years now, but in the past few days when I’d look at our checkbook and realize that even with Josh working insane overtime hours we were still barely making ends meet, I began to feel so upset and overwhelmed that I could barely breathe. In the past, I was able to greet our financial hardships with a sunny attitude of, “It’ll get better. Things can only get better. We will make it through this rough patch.” But this time, all I could see was endless work with little payoff and I felt desperately hopeless.

Thinking about all of the things I had to do at work felt like a mountain that was impossible to climb. Thinking about dishes to wash, laundry to fold, a baby to bathe and feed and entertain and other responsibilities that are just day-to-day began to make me feel unhappy and depressed. I finally realized that I was tired of waiting for it to get better, because it’s not going to without some kind of outside help. I began to think about the past few months and how I’ve been feeling like my life is being lived through a filter. My happiness, my joy, my enthusiasm has been muffled to me. My smiles are forced more often than not. I have not been myself, but I’ve been powerless to change it. It’s like someone’s taken control of my body and is living my life for me. Sometimes I can fake it and be convincing and other times, the act is probably very thin and obvious. I’ve been short and snappy with my husband, getting angry and frustrated at every little thing he does or says. And my sex drive? It’s non-existent.

I finally took a step today to getting the help I’ve been putting of for months. I don’t know if what I have is considered anxiety, depression, postpartum, or a combination. I don’t even know if 17 months after having a child it can be considered postpartum depression anymore. All I know is that I’m not myself, haven’t been for a while, and I’m tired of this apathetic impostor controlling me. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a woman – an ex-midwife – many of my friends see. When I called to make the appointment, I mentioned that I was due for an annual pap smear but I also needed to talk to someone about the possibility of having postpartum depression. The woman on the line sounded sympathetic and understanding. She didn’t tell me I was calling the wrong place and she didn’t talk to me like I was crazy, which are both things I guess I was afraid of.

I’ll keep you all posted as to how the appointment goes tomorrow. I feel hopeful for what tomorrow will bring. The doctor may not be able to give me all the help I need, but hopefully she can give me a start and point me in the right direction.

 

Anxiety

I’ve suspected for about as long as I’ve been aware of such things that I suffer from mild anxiety. Feelings of not wanting to go back to school after a few days’ absence, feeling worried and anxious when I’ve forgotten to do something important, etc.

Since having a baby, it has gotten worse. Amplified. My anxiety is full-blown and takes my breath away sometimes. I started feeling kind of weird about it when I worked my Telemarketing Job From Hell. One day as I was texting Joshua I started breathing fast and feeling like I wanted to just run away. I wanted to spring from my chair, sprint down the stairs and run as far as I could. I actually retreated to the bathroom to breathe & cry for a few minutes.

The anxious feelings come out of nowhere sometimes. Right now as I type this, there is a ball in my stomach. It’s a squirming, writhing feeling that is twisting itself into a big uncomfortable knot. I feel overwhelmed. I feel helpless. I feel anxious.

But about what?

I don’t know but I fucking hate this feeling. I have these anxious feelings more and more often and I can’t really pinpoint a trigger. They just happen. I’m starting to wonder more frequently if I need to seek some sort of medicine for the anxiety because as I’ve said, it’s always been there but since I had a baby and my hormones went HOORAY LET’S SMASH AND RUIN THINGS it’s been so much worse.

I know that my anxious feelings have led to a decline in my hobbies; when I get to feeling anxious I don’t want to go to chorus. I don’t want to really do anything but not feel anxious anymore. I just wish I knew where the hell these feelings came from.

Am I totally alone? Am I the only one with squirmy, knotted things living inside their stomachs for absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever? How do you deal with this shit?