With Anxiety We Carry On
Anxiety is a fickle bitch, there’s just no sugar coating it. I had never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety growing up, but the two go hand in hand as many of us know well. Anxiety also often pairs itself with PTSD, which is most commonly talked about when it comes to soldiers around here. At least that’s what I thought about when I was diagnosed, that I hadn’t been through anything as violent as war. Though obviously, having your child die in front of you would be considered as traumatic as it gets for any parent.
Everything that happened in the days that Mila was sick, left a mark on me in a way I cannot explain. Vomiting (seeing/hearing/experiencing it) pushes me to the point of having a panic attack. Fevers make me feel like I can’t trust it not to be something awful and life-threatening. I’ve had several dreams of my husband having a seizure like she did, and I can’t do anything to save him. Any sickness feels catastrophic to me now, no matter how I try to reason with myself. It’s something I will likely always struggle with internally.
In the beginning I did not want to be on medication, I was in denial that I needed anything for a long time after her death. Regardless that my nerves were so bad I visibly shook from it. It took several months and melt downs for me to get to a place that I was willing to accept the help.
One of the biggest eye openers was when I signed up for a full course load a few months after Mila passed to keep me busy. Then had to drop all of my college classes two weeks into the semester. I literally could not function around that many people yet, I was too in my head.
I didn’t feel like myself so I finally went to the doctor on my own. I tried a couple prescriptions before we got to one that worked well for me. Of course those who suffer from anxiety know that medicine only helps manage it, it doesn’t make it go away all together. And since my son was born last June, I have struggled with keeping the balance even more. Some nights I feel like I have to watch him sleep for hours or he will die, even though I know I need to be sleeping with him. It could be a noise he makes, a fever, or runny eyes that sets me on edge but I have to have reassurance that he’s actually okay. I don’t trust myself alone when it comes to judging his health, because of-you guessed it, the anxiety.
I have been blessed with an amazing support system, husband, and a pediatrician we trust to help us keep our boy as healthy as we can. There are many things that I do differently because we lost Mila Rose, and because of the anxiety it left me with. Germ-x is a staple in our household now, and Grayson may be just a little more sheltered than the other boys his age.
Now as we are nearing the two year mark without our girl, I find myself needing to make that appointment again. I’ve let myself wean recently, mostly because of my worries with breastfeeding. Also because they started giving me headaches, and I really just hate relying on medication. Yes, I know that part is in my head, but I don’t even like to take Tylenol. I’m very much a “tough it out until it’s over or I can’t anymore” type of person. It isn’t the most endearing quality, but it’s what I’m working with.
© 2019 Tayler Rich