November 19, 2014

Today I had to call 911.

It's not because I heard a gunshot or wrapped my car around a tree or anything..

My kid is apparently allergic to bananas (wtf?  bananas?)

Her histamine reaction was a little too drastic to ignore and I don't own any Benadryl, having absolutely no family history -and therefore no knowledge, really- of allergies.  I was told by the nurses' hotline, who I called about the hives, to call 911 and get some help to be safe.  

No matter how much I consciously and intellectually knew that P was going to be fine... tears still stung my eyes and the air I tried to breathe caught in my throat, waiting for me to try and swallow.  Every day I'm afraid of something terrible happening.  That those I love so dearly will be hurt or taken from me.  Dialling the numbers and asking for an ambulance was the realisation of the ghoulish thoughts that plague my mind on a daily basis.  Its kept me awake.  My trembling voice sputtering out my address... the whole thing.  So today, even though it was okay, today was like my worst nightmare had come to life.

This feeling of dread, the constant fear of dramatically tragic things happening at any moment, I'm told this is something called anxiety.  It hasn't really been a major player in my life I think, but as I'm writing this I'm reminded of how terrified I was to drive after a major car accident I was in.  How I only ever saw flashes of crashing and dying.  The impact so seared my memory it would be impossible to forget how it felt to be so thoroughly out of control.  Sometimes the flashes happened even outside of cars.  

Then I had a baby.  I watched out for post-partum depression because I know it strikes those who have a history of depression... but it never really came.  I honestly felt fine for a good few months.  But eventually I couldn't fall asleep again (my insomnia was cured by pregnancy *insert smiley face*) for the worries and the heaviness in my chest and the constant lump in my throat.  I dread going to bed because I have to wade through a thick bog of my own worst fears:  tragic loss, pain and loneliness, just to reach slumber.

From some of the reading I've done... it seems that this is somewhat normal for women who have babies but they're not exactly fresh off the press.  Whether it is to do with the hormones from altering the breastfeeding to incorporate solid food (Thank you Cup Of Jo for talking openly about that sort of thing), or if its just my body chemistry at this stage... regardless of what exactly is the cause, something has happened.

I will call this an introduction to a world that I hope I never need to visit again.  I feel that what happened around a week ago was a real anxiety attack.  I know just like I knew I was in labour.  If you have to ask "is this it?"  it probably isn't.  But this was it.  Like someone turned down the speed of my heart by half a beat and my hands and feet felt numb... tingly.  A 100 pound bag of bricks lay on my chest, inhibiting my ability to draw breath.  I pulled in air as best I could like I had just run a few sets of stairs, but I was actually lying down unable to move.

Being out of control in that way... my own body somehow turning against me, it was... it IS terrifying.  Truthfully, it frightens me now just to think of it happening again.  I'm desperately hoping that it won't.  Maybe that is why I am writing this down.  Some kind of outlet so my mind has a distraction other than stirring up my entire body into a heart attack like frenzy.

Its working, I think.  So bear with me, internet.  

I'll get real therapy, I'm sure.  But for now, I want to sleep.  So I had to get this out in front of me.  

I hope if anyone reading this has ever experienced, or is experiencing post-partum (or any kind I guess) anxiety... find some sort of comfort or validation that someone else is right in the middle of it too.  I want to talk about it.  Its part of my post baby body.  Like my shorter hair cut and the extra skin around my midsection.  Also my weak, popping knees.  There are a lot of things that still continue to heal after one gives birth.  Some of them annoying, unhelpful, unavoidable... Others are treatable.  This is one of them, I believe.   

Because darkness cannot overcome light.  

Light is not happiness and rainbows.  
Its not the power of positive thinking.  
It is honesty.  
It is opening up a window to see what really is.

So I'm letting the light in... you might see some dirty dishes lying around.  

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