Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Long Way Down

Sometimes, digging yourself out of a hole you didn't know you were in is really hard. Actually that's ALWAYS hard. Especially because you have to admit you need help to get out of the hole.

For the past 8 months I have been dealing with severe post-partum anxiety. I picture my children dying in horrible ways; ways that always end up being my fault. It's not just a little flash of a picture either. In my head it's detailed, almost like an alternate reality in which this happens. It penetrates my subconscious, and more times than not, my dreams at night.  I check on them constantly to make sure they haven't been kidnapped or stopped breathing in their sleep. I am afraid of even going outside, because what could happen to Grace if I stopped watching her even for a second? I have become very afraid to leave the safety of my living room. I am terrified of Grace going to school because what if a shooting happens? 

There are nights where I stay up ALL night, crying, peeling my nails, or scratching the enormous stress/anxiety rash that has popped up. I can't read anything about babies being injured or dying without going into a complete tailspin that I have to work my way out of. A lot of the times, I am not successful. A lot of the times I end up having an emotional breakdown in my closet, in the bathroom, in Daniel's arms...

The thought of "What if?" is completely and totally PARALYZING and DEBILITATING.
I was scared that Grace would get snatched this night. Halloween freaked me OUT in terms of safety. So Daniel didn't let her out of his site, and I was grateful for good friends who made sure we all stayed together.
(For those wondering, we had a Batman villain theme this year. Post coming on that later...)
After I let people know what was going on, it was almost as if many didn't take me or PPA seriously.

"Why can't you come to this exercise class, you said you would!" I'm sorry, but I can't leave my kids with strangers in a day-care facility. I would be worried about them the whole time I was there and I am 100% positive I'd end up having an anxiety attack in the middle of the class.

"Why don't you and Daniel go on a date!" Um because my trust bubble has been narrowed down to pretty much no-one, even people I have trusted before, I don't trust anyone to watch my children. (Even though we have an AMAZING babysitter.) The thought of something horrible happening and me not being there and on a date instead...is too much for my brain to even comprehend. Even as I write this now, I can feel a lump in my throat and my heart beating fast.

The "why don't you's" and the "why can't you's" hurt my feelings really badly. I had been vulnerable telling people what was going on...and these questions made/make me feel like people don't understand how bad this truly is, or don't care.

It's not that I don't want to go and do these things. I DO! I just CAN'T.

It isn't as simple as just forcing myself to going to the movies, or going to the park. I wish it was.

I wish I could just relinquish myself to God's Plan. To surrender the control and say "What will be, will be. You have no control."

But how can I? How can I say whatever will be will be, when that could very well mean I don't have one (or both!) of children with me anymore? I can't let go of my perceived control over the situation.

If I stay home then they can't get hurt outside. If Grace is homeschooled she won't get shot. If I never let them out of my site, they will be safe. If. If. If. 

After a dear woman in my ward pointed it out to me that I have PPA, then having it diagnosed. I've been able to calm it down a bit because I can recognize on my own that my brain needs to settle down.

I ask for a blessing or I do sudoku puzzles-- anything to calm or distract my mind.

I rarely go and check on them as much as I did, but I still have Daniel check them every night before bed (as well as the doors and windows). I have stopped sporadically picturing the way my children can die, but I still will have nightmares and can be triggered into a tailspin by lots of things. I am still terrified almost every single day that something horrible will happen to my kids and I won't be able to do anything about it.

Each day gets easier, each day gets better. But it's taking time to get through it, and get to a normal "Mom Anxiety". I pray for that each and every single day.

I pray to be strengthened by my fears, not weakened.
I pray for patience in stressful situations.
I pray for the holy ghost to be with me in the still moments of the night when I am scared into tears.
I pray for my husband and my children who have to endure this burden with me.
I pray for a clear mind.
I pray for humility.
I pray for my husband to be able to be touched by God as he gives me yet another blessing.
I pray for the ability to see God's hand in my every day life, to be strengthened by His presence and comforted by His love for me.

But mostly, I pray for the ability to be accepting of God's will. It's the hardest thing for me to pray for but it's the thing I need the most.

Till then, every day it gets easier. Every day it gets better.

Time heals all wounds.

Tick, Tock.


  1. I hope things continue to get better for you! I'm glad that you're able to realize now, that it's anxiety making your brain go into worry overload. Hopefully that reminder will continue to make things easier. It seems you've made progress, and steps in the right direction! Do all you can, and the Lord will make up the rest.

  2. Tanika I totally get where you are coming from. I have suffered with generalized anxiety disorder since I was a young child and the added hormones and normal "mom stress" after having children was almost more than I could bear. For me I am only able to function and live a normal life with the aid of medication. This is not a solution for everyone but for me it is an absolute necessity. The anxiety is still there and I often find myself trying to reign it in. ( I saw a video about kids strangling on window blind cords the other day and I have been obsessively checking and rechecking to make sure the cords are all tied up where the boys can't reach them.) My biggest advice is something you are obviously already doing, lean on the Lord. My other suggestion is to try and push yourself, just a little each day. Leaving kids with babysitters is really hard. (Miles is 7 and has only stayed with non family babysitters,maybe a dozen times.) Start small, if leaving the house seems impossible,try to push yourself to play in the yard, then a few days later try walking around the block, then go to the park. It sucks but pushing yourself just a little each day really helps make the days when you have to go to the dr or the store,less stressful. Also feel free to completely ignore mine or anyone else's advice. 😊

  3. Sweetie, I COMPLETELY relate to what you have been going through and I'm so sorry. I'm here for you always and I understand and know how real your feelings are. I love you. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You're so awesome! I love reading your blog so much because you're so stinking strong and real about life. I've struggled with anxiety my whole life as well and it really sucks! It's just me and the husband right now but I worry so much about losing him in horrible ways that I could stop that sometimes I just cry even though we're in the same building together, just different rooms. It comes and goes in waves, so I know my anxiety is getting bad when those thoughts start popping up. I bet this will only get worse with kids. . . I love the things that you're praying for, some of them I hadn't thought of, I'm going to try similar things. I hope everything keeps getting better, even if it's little by little. I love the new blog design :)


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