We walk together

This was for you, Kevin.

I have been trying to sit down and write about the walk before I lost all the feelings in the busy-ness that my life has recently become, I just haven’t been able to make the time to do it. It’s been two weeks. I still can’t seem to shake the feeling of sadness that there were 7000 people there walking to prevent suicide. They all, every single one of them, was so influenced by the loss of someone, that it drew them to the Rocky steps to try and end it. We all lost someone. Or many someones. It was profound to see. And also a club I never wanted to be a part of.

I was glad we went. And I am thankful for my team.

We walked for you, Kevin. And we walked for Julia and for Wendi and all the others we’ve lost.


This is the busy season. And it’s been really busy. I think of my friend Stacey as I write that who just posted something about everyone saying that they’re so busy all the time. I think, “hmm, am I one of those people” who complains about a busy they’ve created themselves and then wear like a badge of honor? Because nope. That’s not me. I am busy but I don’t want that honor.  It made me think though about how I can, as a person with a lot going, carve out time for the little things. Coffee with friends. Getting back to the gym every day versus just the days we aren’t filled to the brim with to-do. Even just taking the time to make sure my house is in an order that doesn’t make me feel crazy! And it’s making me feel right now!

I never want to be the “winner” of busy. Even when I am. I also never want my busy to get in the way of my relationships with the people I care about. It makes me think of Kevin and the week he was gone. He’d messaged and I was “too busy” to call. I was rushing out to vote and then, I forgot. Too busy and now too late.

Don’t be too late because you’re too busy.

October 1st we walked in honor of my brother. Suicide is preventable. Tell your story. Tell mine if you need to. Let’s stop this together. e

Fluid

This was definitely, one doozy of a week. Today, it’s all over. The past.

On Friday, of all the days of the week, I found a small lump on my left breast. This is not something out of the ordinary. I check, a lot because when I was a little younger, I’d had a few lumps and bumps here and there. I remember the doctors saying, “cylinder normal, marble bad” and so as I grazed my fingers over the spot again, I felt my eyes well up. Of course, being Friday at 9 pm, there was nothing I could do but wait and cry and I did and then I called the first thing in the morning for my Wednesday appointment.

Six months ago. I might have never made the call. I’d have had a)no health insurance and b) no strength. I have both now.

The midwife doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about. I’ll go for an ultrasound and, I think, a mammogram, for peace of mind and then this also will be in my past. I do not have breast cancer; I am not 1 of 8.

It is my new year.

I am no longer willing to be a victim. I am going to use my voice and my brain to save myself. I am no longer waiting to be saved. Relying on people to help me; begging through tear-filled eyes, “help me”. That didn’t work out for me. Or did it? It got me here. To this place where I feel strong and able. Where I still occasionally doubt but have the whereabouts to ask questions. Even when it inflames those who are asked. Maybe it did work out for me. Maybe, it helped me to stop being so weak. Sure, it was ugly and cruel and everything in-between but maybe, it was my awakening? I am not really sure. I will take it for what it is. I felt sad that no one rushed to “save” me for a moment. But in thinking back, I saved myself. Because I didn’t roll up into a ball on the floor, I became strong and not a fragile, shattered thing, I didn’t because that’s the thing I never wanted to be.  I chose to be the victor and not the victim. And while I fully believe I am actually a victim here, I don’t want that title. So if you do? Take it. Because it means nothing to me anymore.

That’s all I can do.

Anxiety Monster

For once in my life, I feel like my anxiety is under control. I think that a cocktail of therapy and the right meds have tremendously helped but I also, fully believe letting go of the things that fed my anxiety monster, have helped too. I let go of the fear. I let go of the worries about what people think. I let go of all the people who didn’t really matter. But not before setting up boundaries even if they were extreme ones. And I listened to my therapist when she said to be careful of setting too many boundaries and very tall walls. That taught me all things are fluid.

Life is fluid. It’s all about fluidity.

My life is fluid.  My circle is ever-changing. There are people and things I never expected to be there and I have lost things and people I never thought I had to let go. I have happy and sad but I am no longer counting the steps to make sure my path is the right one. I have chosen to be fluid, flexible and to go with the flow. Like a river, I am both following the route created for me and ever so often pushing through the mud for a new pathway.

Life is fluid; like the river. I am a river.

I’ve really started to focus on completing my tasks for my doula training. Oh my, the reading. For as smart as I am, it’s hard to keep what the books say. I don’t know when that happened. I used to devour books and remember ever words as if they were my own stories. I think my brain has just been so full of gross that it couldn’t remember. And as I let go of the gross, the good stuff will stay put. I have so many books to read and I am actually looking forward to reading them. It’s going to take me what feels like forever but I am going to get it done. This is for me. A passing of the torch perhaps. Providing women, good, strong women the support they want and deserve and I feel like, with my ability to see all corners of the childbirth world, I can and will be an asset to all. I am excited. I am ready to start. I am tired of waiting for the what next. I think yesterday was the last day. The end. It’s over.

It is a new year. Like fresh water. The rain. It’s over, it’s a new year.

 

 

 

 

my battles with anxiety

 

Road to Anxiety

We are fortunate in that my parents take us to the Outer Banks each year for a week-long get away as a family. Anxiety often plagues me the weeks before these trips though and I worry, though I have gotten better at handling it through the last few months. I guess the meds help. I think the copying tools do too.

I worry we won’t have enough money, that we’ll break down on the highway somewhere or will have some life changing accident at the hands of a drunk driver or wild animal. I worry that the ocean will swallow up one of the kids or Kevin. Mostly, Kevin, he goes so deep into the water, I can hardly catch my breath sometimes. I worry that something, anything might happen that would take away the happy the trip makes my family. Last year, I had a miscarriage and didn’t tell anyone for fear I’d be the ruiner of all the good things. This year, I buried the shell I’d held for the last year, in the sand on the beach I have grown to love very much. A silent goodbye. A letting go. A small battle in the war I have with this anxiety that is eating at me every day.

Mostly this last week, I felt peace and calm. I napped a couple of days and never put on a pair of jeans. I managed to get myself to the gym most of the week and gave myself some freedom with what I ate… although now I am kicking myself because I gained but I am going to try to take it as a lesson and not a failure.  It was a much-needed mental break. A rest of sorts. I needed it.

Saturday we left in the middle of the morning. The drive home was long and I was anxious to get home. Anxious in a good way. Until I came off the exit and straight into the view of Chick Fil A. And realized that all the gunk I’d left was still there. And the next day I felt my chest seize up as I walked into the Target and then Starbucks and wondered again what next. What will happen next? When will I have to deal with it again?

Will this place ever feel safe again? Have I once again, lost my home?

Most of what I have read links all these feelings, these emotions back to PTSD. I guess with the year or so I have had, and especially the last few months, it does make sense.  And that I feel as though I’ve talked way too much and people are running out of things to say, well, that is a shitstorm soup. I even feel a bit of trepidation when bringing any of this up with my therapist. But I don’t know how to get over it. And I don’t know that I ever will at this point. It feels as though everyone has moved on and I’m still stuck on that raft in the ocean. And I’ve got to stop talking about it. Or I will never get over it. Or if I stop talking about it, will it fester inside forever?

See? That’s the trouble with anxiety. You are never totally sure if it’s real or if you’re making it up. Am I anxious because there is actually a threat in front of me or has my anxiety made a mountain out of a molehill? Lately, it’s probably been a combination of both. But I hate that I even question my own feelings.

I don’t want to be here now. I would give anything to be back on the beach or at least away from here. My “tools” for remaining calm and balanced aren’t working and my imagination is getting the best of me these days. I am overwhelmed with the idea of school starting too. Everyone in all different directions all the time and me, doing a lot of it on my own. I added more than I can probably handle to an already chaotic life…. and now there are some new pressures making it impossible for my mind to rest. Falling asleep is easy. Staying asleep has become a chore. I laid awake this morning sad about my birthday. Feeling sort of invisible. Wishing I could find the words to tell people what I need. And then heavy cry in the shower, a foot in my mouth and this need to just deactivate my life again. I can feeling the impending doom. I can feel that thunder cloud coming….. shaped like the mistakes of the winter. Mistakes that weren’t even my own but I seem to be the only one paying for. I guess maybe I am just tired. I am very tired these days.

I think too, people have this idea I am “strong” and I will be honest, now and since April, I have felt desperately weak in so many ways. Weak because I let all this happen and weak because I can get out of it. I feel weak because I desperately need help but I can’t communicate what I need from people. I feel weak because sometimes, I just want a hug. And I hate being touched.  I feel weak because I want more than anything to rest. But I don’t know what shape that rest comes in. A day in bed? I am not sure. But something to make my mind shut off. I wish I knew what that was. I wish I didn’t feel so invisible. I wish I wasn’t so anxious and sad.