Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hope is not lost

…it just took me a while to find it again.

As April started, I looked forward to the spring with anticipation—with hope.

While the March winds had blown in darker clouds, I hoped for lighter, brighter spring days.

Ironically, I had no idea that April would bring, not showers, but a torrential downpour--of anxiety.

All my life I have been a worry wart. I am the classic “what-if”/worse-case scenario/over-thinker.

That said, something happened right before I got pregnant that morphed my garden-variety worry into full-blown anxiety.

Maybe it was the infertility. Then my surgery. Or one of my closest friends being diagnosed with cancer. Then the hormone roller coaster of fertility drugs. Or the rush of pregnancy hormones. Then the exhilaration of my biggest dream coming true and the sense of complete powerlessness to control all the contingencies of a “high-risk” twin pregnancy. Or...

Whatever happened, it was the perfect storm.

And, for the last couple of years, I have fought back the storm with varying degrees of success.

If you’ve never experienced anxiety, I know it might be easy to dismiss the condition as just a case of pesky worry. Until I lived through it, I didn’t realize just how incapacitating it can be.

What is it like?

It is irrational fear that I can’t shake.

It is a boulder on my chest that I can’t move.

It is a cold, prickly sweat that I can’t wipe away.

It is physical pain that can’t be explained.

It is a thief that robs me of the very moments I am so afraid of losing.

It is a hopelessness that I just want to sleep away.

I have tried all the remedies you might expect: prayer, therapy, medicine, exercise, diet, writing, wine…

At times, the storm has quieted. I feel like my old self-- when worries would come and worries would go.

But April was not one of those times.

April was a month of battening down the hatches and settling in for the storm.


So April showers brought May flowers, right?


It brought me closer to family.

As the anxiety subsided, I found myself enjoying the calm after the storm.

I found myself being less withdrawn and more engaged. Mentally, I was able to be present in a way that I hadn’t been in quite some time.

And, what a beautiful time it has been!

Emily and Drew are blossoming into these super-smart, super-entertaining little people.

Every day is something new.

We’ve picked strawberries, posed for our family pictures, danced in a recital, visited the zoo, played at the park, scheduled our ear tube surgery, planned a second birthday party, learned new words and games…

While the blog posts don’t show it, I assure you--MaMe was busy creating memories.

To celebrate this month’s focus on family, I am recommitting myself to blogging for the remainder of the month. (I know. I know. It’s all of about 9 days!)

My goal is to reconnect to the most important part of my life, my family, while also reconnecting to the most important goal of this blog: documenting the story of our lives.

Enjoy the flowers after the rain.
MaMe Musings


Tasha said...

This made me smile!!!!
So happy you are back to writing/blogging :)

Jennifer Forbes said...

Don't ask me why my sweet friend, but I've found it to be true for some, that the pains of life after a time cause us to delight in simple things. This was a beautiful piece of writing Melissa.

KERRY said...

Great honest post Melissa and so good to see you back!
However I am sorry to hear you have been feeling this way. And I am happy you can recognise it and know how to somehow get through it.
Have a beautiful rest of the month and sending lots of love to you xo

Olusola said...

Love you girl and welcome back :)

Samantha said...

Glad your back! I've had small struggles with anxiety... Hang in there. There's a great book called The Mindful Way Through Depression. The title is off putting but it has some good strategies for how to rewire

Samantha said...

.... Sorry tech issues

The book offers strategies for calming anxious or negative thought patterns.

Cathy said...

Shortly after the birth of my son I developed crippling death anxiety which lasted for nearly 5 years. It felt very lonely because nobody else seemed to have that issue.

Good for you, for sticking with living nevertheless. :)

christina said...

"MaMe was busy creating memories."

that made me smile.

Awn said...

I'm slowly catching up on blogs so I knew that you hadn't been posting as much but I didn't realize last month had been so difficult. Anxiety sucks. There's not much else to say. I'm so glad you're feeling better! I'd missed your posts and comments, so I'm so excited to read all the upcoming posts!

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