It is April 9th and both our girls had soccer games while it was flurrying! Crazy and insane weather! T2 and her team had a 1-1 tie and T1 and her team had a 3-1 win. They played at the same time in two different locations. Their schedules this season are the most overlapped in a long time and the Chief is at sea and my bestie is a single parent now. To top things off, T2 has three Tuesday night games, which is scout night. But my bestie and I WILL make this work. We always have, we always will.
Is it here? I hope so. But then we had a 70 degree day on Leap Day and snow on Thursday night giving us a 2-hour school delay! And now we are expected to reach record highs this week, set back in 2000.
I am looking forward to Spring, even if it means we get crazy busy with soccer and T2’s last year in middle school. She is currently in the process of applying to the same select advances program as T1. More nerve-wracking the second time around than I thought it would have been. She had her final middle school band concert the other night. The Chief had to ship out early due to a schedule change later this year. But he will be home for her awards night and her 8th grade semi-formal.
What do depression and anxiety look like? I just looked in a mirror and saw for myself.
That’s where I’ve been. I think I am very fortunate that I saw the signs. I knew something was not right.
It is so hard to explain. And I was real, I mean REAL good at hiding it from the Chief. But not so good hiding it from my daughters, my best friend, or my SIL. Even now I struggle to find the words to describe it because it is almost indescribable–it just is.
I got the house decorated for Christmas in record time. The girls and I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed Black Friday shopping. I was listening to Christmas music since Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the candlelight tour of homes with my BIL and SIL. It wasn’t the typical “has the person lost interest and enjoyment in the things they once loved to do?” No. It was an overwhelming sense of dread and confusion and inability to make a simple decision. On the days I had to sub, I could get right up and get going… but when I got home from school I’d still want to curl up in the fetal position. Actually, the first alarm bell was the day I didn’t want to go to the gym. Not because it wasn’t enjoyable but because I had a day’s worth of activities following that I panicked over and worried about and couldn’t make a decision on.
I didn’t write my year-in-review letter. I had made a Christmas card with our beautiful family pictures we had taken in October. But I didn’t see a point to the letter. If you were in my life you knew what a year it was–tonsillectomy, ruptured L4/L5, subbing, surgery, camp, personal relationships in turmoil, my dad’s cancer… who wants to read all that and have a Merry Christmas?
And I didn’t want to host New Year’s Day. I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t know when the Chief was going to be home and I felt the world closing in.
One night the girls were fighting. T2 was pulling a stunt her sister had at that age, wanting something and not letting it drop–some absolutely annoying thing–right after I had shelled out $60+ to take us all to the movies. I will admit that as loud as I could reasonably do so in the theater lobby I called her a spoiled rotten brat. I drove them home and let them out and then drove away. I went less than a mile away and sat in my car at the park. I texted the Chief. He called the house to check on them. I played Sudoku for 2 hours. The oldest texted and I told her to tell her sister to go to bed; her too.
Then there was an incident over text messages with the Chief. Out of respect for him I won’t air the dirty laundry–we’ve already talked about it. But I stopped functioning. I sat in my car so that I wouldn’t curl into a ball on my bedroom floor. The girls were scared. A numb fog surrounded me. For days. Even the day he came home. I was ambivalent.
I described things to the Chief in these terms: anxious, fogged, as if every nerve in my body was on fire–I couldn’t handle loud noises or touch beyond the gentlest of caresses, an inability to see beyond the next minute let alone the next hour or day and if I had to think about it the pain and anxiety came back in a vicious cycle.
I had already made the decision to ask my therapist and GP to start some kind of antidepressant. Now it was just a matter of making it through the holidays until my appointment. I didn’t host New Year’s… getting a nasty case of Strep throat and a sinus infection was the perfect excuse. I had hoped the Chief could have gone with me to my GP but he had to leave for a class. We decided to start on Cymbalta for a couple of reasons–it is used for pain management and doesn’t seem to have a weight gain side-effect.
It took about 10-14 days for me to start to feel normal again.
The Chief has honestly said he doesn’t know if it is making a difference–I was REALLY that GOOD at hiding it from him. I guess that’s a hazard of this lifestyle. But he has been so supportive and understanding once we really had a heart to heart. I haven’t had the courage to talk to the girls about it to see if they’ve noticed.
I’ve been on Cymbalta for 40 days now. The Chief has gone back to sea. I feel fortunate that I was that aware of something wrong. It was gradual … two years building up with one kick after another… but I think my dad’s cancer scare left me so raw that the misunderstanding between the Chief and I just highlighted how broken, how out of balance I was.
Do I hope I’m only on Cymbalta for a short time, like when I had post-partum depression? Sure. But I also know it may be a long-term solution.
The day I didn’t dread going to the gym was the day I knew I was turning a corner. I guess this is another corner in this journey.
So much to be thankful for. God is so good!
My father had surgery on Nov. 18 to remove part of his tongue and all the lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. The 6 hour surgery ended early and the doctor felt confident she got it all. I saw him the next day when it was my turn to take our mother in to the hospital. Say what you will about the lackluster reputation of VA hospitals but I have to say I felt my father received excellent care in the SICU unit. His nurse(s) only had two patients (that I could tell). Yes, it was probably a bit premature to give him shredded chicken but hey, hospital food is like that in any hospital. He came home on the 21st, sooner than we all realistically expected–but we did want him home before he had to give up his private room.
Over the course of the next week we got news that the lymph nodes were clear, followed by the determination that chemotherapy would NOT be necessary. He got his staples (at least a dozen along his neck to his ear) out on the 30th and the doctor was pleased with his wound. Eating can still be a chore but my mother reports he is becoming the master of the blender. Today he just passed along that the surgeon feels he does not need radiation either. He will have bimonthly check ups over the course of the next 12 months, but NO radiation!
The power of prayer. We are so thankful!
What an emotional roller coaster this has been!
The following are the various “give thanks” Bible verses that I used over this past month. As I stated, there are 57 passages but some are event or person specific. Plus I didn’t want to post a “I give thanks to you, now destroy my enemies” verse. So I didn’t post 30 verses but I think this is a pretty good list and during my times of distress over these past few weeks it was such a good reminder to give thanks to a God who has been so gracious.
Psalm 30:2-4; 11-12
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. Psalm 75:1
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
…Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5
O give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works! Psalm 105:1-5
… Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
Psalm 106:1; 107:1 & 43
“Give thanks” is used 4 times in this Psalm.
“It is He who remembered us in our low estate…”
Give thanks is used four times in this Psalm.
I give you thanks, o LORD, with all my heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day that I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
On a completely separate topic, today’s Give Thanks is so appropriate on so many levels. I love how scripture works that way.
Psalm 142:1-7 You are my Refuge. A Maskil of David when he was in the cave. A prayer.
A Song of Praise. Of David.
…The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your work shall give thanks to you, o LORD, and all your saints shall bless you.
Psalm 145:9&10 but read the whole song!
You will say in that day (or this month!)
“I will give thanks to you, o LORD,…
I give thanks to my God always for you…
Thank You to those in my life who have embodied exactly what Paul is talking about.
I Thes. 5:12-24
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you…
2 Thes. 2:13-17