Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

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Planning my husband’s birthday party caused many emotions to come up. Of course my biggest concern is meeting the baby.

I discussed this issue several times with different people. Basically, it comes down to this: Nobody can predict what will happen, and it is my choice. I can’t rely on my gut feeling – my anxiety disorder often tricked me into thinking things were much worse than they turned out to be in reality. My depression whispers in my ear that everything will go wrong. And my Borderline personality disorder laughs in my face and says I am just a little piece of shit anyway. Another part of me is tired of this negativity and doesn’t want to believe everything is so hopeless.

My idea was that I prepare everything for the party, stay at a hotel overnight and come home again when everything is over. This isn’t what my husband has in mind: He doesn’t want to have a birthday party without me. When I am not able to attend, he doesn’t want to have a party at all. And this a terrible thought for me – he didn’t have a birthday party last year, because I felt so depressed. And I know how much he enjoys to have his family around.

So we had to find another solution. My husband asked, if it was enough for me when I retreat to the rooms upstairs in case I feel overwhelmed. I said: Yes, but it has to be clear that everybody has to leave me alone when this happens.

“Your mother will want to check on you”, he said.

“That is something different!” I said, because my parents really have seen me at my worst by now.

“And I also would like to check on you”, he added.

“This is something different as well!” I replied, because… well, see above

One thing is for sure: I felt my husband tried to understand me, and we tried to find for both of us. This is how it should be in a marriage, but it wasn’t always for us, because I often wanted to solve everything by myself. That it was different this time is progress, I guess.

But I am still afraid that I could be absolutely overwhelmed with this siuation. Crossing this bridge takes a lot of strength from me.

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Acceptance…

Acceptance…

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…is an important thing when it comes to handling the rough parts of life. Acceptance also is one of my biggest challenges. I rarely take life as it is.

During the last days I wanted to finish decluttering my clothes. As shown above, there were lots of clothes that I had to admit I will never wear again. Because a) they don’t fit anymore, or b) I won’t have an opportunity to wear them anymore. The clothes still were in good shape, so I donated them.

I had hoped for relief. Instead, I felt sadness, despair and hopelessness. I was sad, because I never will dress up in the morning and go into work. I felt despair, because I am so limited due to my physical and mental problems. I felt hopeless, because I can’t plan ahead at the moment and have to take each day as it comes.

I will have to deal with these issues in the next weeks, and hopefully finally find peace. But the most important thing: Everyday life still runs smoothly. I walk the dogs, do chores and go to my therapy sessions. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

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Still learning

Still learning

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Last week wasn’t bad, I just overdid it. Tuesday and Thursday were full of appointments, and I had barely time to relax.

Monday and Wednesday I was busy doing chores. It is important for me to get this out of the way, otherwise I can’t focus on other things.

Saturday we helped preparing a charity event at the shelter and I made a cake we donated. In between we took a long walk with our dogs.

Sunday we walked the dogs again, visited the charity event at the shelter and started cleaning the fish tank in our living room. At afternoon I was so tired, that the proverbial straw made me cry.

This week was quieter, and I needed this to recharge at least a little bit. Tomorrow I visit a friend, we want to make Christmas cookies. Later I will have OT, but thankfully it’s the relaxation group.

I still have to learn to organize my appointments in a better way. It’s a good thing I got my mandatory duties done, but I didn’t have any time for myself (for blogging ,for instance). I can’t keep up such a busy lifestyle for a longer period of time, last week reminded me of that. What always helped me to relax were the daily walks with the dogs.

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More support

More support

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Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist for our quarterly appointment. Our last meeting wasn’t so great, but I think it wasn’t easy to help me back then… I think everything I said was: “My life just sucks big time!”

This time I could tell her I still walk our dogs every day, and that I do chores every day as well. When I remarked this new life still isn’t easy for me, she told me this: Our brain needs at least for weeks until it starts to register new routines. So I just shall go on with what I am doing, and I am to keep in mind that this still is just the beginning. Well, this is good to know.

Another problem is that I don’t sleep very well right now. She suggested I take my as-needed med every evening for a few days, and then go to bed without it again. Sleep is very important for me, especially for my back pain. My as-needed med is not habit forming, so I will do as she said.

I am also very anxious where celebrating Christmas with my in-laws is concerned. Will I be able to deal with seeing the baby, or will it be just too much…  She said I should not think about this too much at the moment: Nobody knows how I will feel in five weeks, I really can’t decide about this now. She also arranged a meeting with one of the psychologists for me on December 20, so I can discuss my feelings again when it matters. I think this is a really good idea.

After I discussed all this with my husband, a big weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I am going in the right direction, I will continue to work hard, and I will deal with Christmas later. All that matters now is building up self confidence, a little more every day.

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Got it!

Got it!

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After a setback in the middle of the week, I am almost back to my normal self again. My inner compass works quite well.

I learned a lot. Most important: There are other people who are willing to help me, I am not alone in this fight. I am very thankful for that!

On the plus side: Everyday life went on. I avoided creating more problems because of chores piling up, and I didn’t hide in bed. And: I took my as-needed med responsibly and didn’t use it to escape from the situation. Probably the best: I stayed away from self harm, even though I really wanted to.

Maybe these were new skills I learned during my hospital stay. I listen to myself and my needs, and I stand up for myself if necessary. It’s okay if my extended family has to get used to this. But I will continue to guard my boundaries. I am still on my way to recovery, and I am moving in the right direction.

There is one thing I can do better next time: Try not to panic and have more faith in my ability to deal with the situation. This needs to become my new normal mind set. But all in all, I am satisfied with my crisis management.

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Yesterday…

Yesterday…

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…was one of those days that just become worse and worse. Everything started normally, I walked the dogs, did chores and had my single OT session. When I was on the way home, my mother-in-law texted me and sent me a picture: She is over the moon, because her grandchild spent the first night with them.

I wasn’t prepared for this, and it hit me hard. When I finally came home, I was a mess and had very dark thoughts in my head: “I am a failure, because we have no children, I just want to die”, “The pain inside me is so strong, I want to hurt myself.”

Listening to music and cleaning dishes didn’t distract me enough. Finally I took my as-needed med and went to lie on my bed. One of the dogs stayed in the bedroom with me, and the cat lay down on my tummy. My husband came home, I talked to him, prepared dinner, went to bed again, had a nap, watched TV – and I still felt bad. Took a nice warm shower before turning in for the night – didn’t help, it took me a long time to fall asleep. I didn’t dare to take more from the as-needed med, because I didn’t want to make getting up in the morning too hard.

Woke up today and didn’t feel any better, but I somehow managed not to hurt myself. Took a very long walk with our dogs and thought everything over. I knew I had to tell my mother-in-law how her message yesterday made me feel. This wasn’t about blaming her or explaining myself – I just don’t want this to happen again. So I texted her that my pain about not being a mother was triggered yesterday, and that I am still busy with finding a way to manage my new everyday life. And that her son and my new everyday life are most important to me right now, but that my days are full with that.

I don’t know what her answer will be, but I finally felt better. My therapist in the hospital told me I have to let the people around me know how they make me feel – if they don’t know, they can’t help me. I don’t like that, it makes me feel very vulnerable. On the other hand this can help me to get some of the weight of my shoulders. It seems this was what I needed today.

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12 days…

12 days…

…since I have been released from the hospital. On one hand my time on the ward has become a distant memory, on the other hand everything I learned and experienced has become a part of me.

Today I had to get up early, because I was due for my quarterly blood sugar test. I came home from  the doctor’s office and decided to keep the ball rolling: Walked the dogs and did an hour of chores. After that I took a shower and cooked lunch. 

Sounds normal? Maybe, but I still remember the times I couldn’t get out of bed all day.

My inner demons anxiety, depression and pain are still there, but I handle  them differently. When they make an appearance, I greet them, we have known each other for a long time after all. I even offer them  a seat, but then I go on with whatever I have been doing. Later I  will notice that the space where they  have been sitting is empty again, my demons never say  goodbye.

This way we get along quite well.

I am aware of the fact that I am very limited in what I can do.  I was reminded very clearly of this in the first days at home, and a  few tears of frustration have been shed over it. But I try to fill this limited space as good as I can.