Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Fog Lifted Today

Today was a good day. A happy day. The fog lifted today and I felt like myself for the first time in a long time.

And I think I'm ready to tell you all about it.

In my last post I mentioned that something happened last fall that rocked my world, and not in a good way.

Last October, the day after Homecoming for all my marching band friends, I began experiencing some... symptoms. Within a few days I realized I was pregnant. Unexpectedly, surprisingly, ridiculously, pregnant. I was 41 years old, with a history of infertility, on birth control, and pregnant.

But at our first doctor's visit they told us things weren't looking good, and there was only about a 50% chance of survival for my babies. I did, in fact, miscarry 10-week-old twins, but my body did not cooperate and on November 7, 2018 I had a D&C.

And I grieved. We were not planning on ever having more babies. If you would have asked me I would have said I didn't want any more children. But oh! My babies. How I wanted them after all! And so I grieved the loss of babies I never knew I ever wanted.

I have lived in a fog since then. I debated whether what I was experiencing was just part of the normal grieving process, after all I don't remember being like this after my other miscarriage. Maybe I was depressed? Maybe it was anxiety?

I don't know. Still don't. I know I haven't been myself since. Responsibilities fell to the wayside and I thought about quitting, well, just about everything.

Last year, because we had planned on doing much more traveling this past year, we signed the girls up for online homeschool and intentionally didn't sign up for any co-ops or community groups. The travel plan fell through, but I am so glad we'd done those things. So many days just getting them to sign in and listen to someone else teach felt like more work than I could do.

I'm still the VP of my Alumni Band, but I've scraped by this year, feeling like I'm doing the bare minimum for my office and I've debated resigning, for the good of the organization as well as myself, pretty regularly since last November.

I'm still the Team Manager for Jena's soccer team. I've missed deadlines, and squeaked in paperwork at the last minute more than once.

My house, always a struggle for me to keep tidy as I've mentioned many times before, reached probably the worst state it's ever been in.

Everything, everything, felt overwhelming. I don't know how to explain this in words, but absolutely everything was TOO MUCH. Leaving the house was a struggle. Every. Time. My kids asking to go the park was enough for me to feel it in my chest - the stress, the overwhelm. I have to do what? They want to go where? I can't do it! It's just too much!

Every little thing felt so big. Overwhelming was the only word I can think of to describe it. I didn't feel depressed. I can't even say I felt anxious. But overwhelmed. Everything was just TOO MUCH. The littlest thing - going to the park, or responding to an email, or sweeping the floor - anything and everything just absolutely overwhelmed me.

Then comes the reasoning. In my mind, I knew these were all small things. I knew I'd done all these things before. I hadn't taken on anything new, and in fact with the online homeschool and no community groups this year, I actually had less commitments than in the past. I felt like a failure. Sure, I was managing, but I wasn't managing well. I wasn't doing anything well. I was squeaking by in every area of my life.

Ugh. As I re-read what I just wrote I realize how inadequate it is to really explain what was going on inside me. I don't know how to explain it. I wish I could say it better.

But about a month or so ago, I started to feel a little better. And with it, I cautiously started doing more, worried I was making a mistake and wouldn't be able to cope.

I still felt completely overwhelmed and stressed out at the littlest thing, but I slowly started to purge things from our house. In the past few weeks I've given away, donated, or sold probably 20 or more boxes and bags of items. And probably thrown away at least as much. I've made a concentrated effort to work on tidying up and cleaning the house, and while we are far from where I'd like it to be (I'm still not inviting anyone over), it's the cleanest it's been in months. And I have to give a shout-out to my girls, especially Jena, who has joined in my efforts and helped me clean as well. Last month I went to a Symposium for college alumni bands, and this week kicked off registration for fall soccer.

But today... today... unexpectedly, unexplainedly, without notice... the fog lifted.

I feel like myself again. It was a good day. It was a happy day. Not because anything in particular happened, but from the moment I woke up I could feel the difference in myself.

Now like anyone who's struggled with depression, or anxiety, or whatever-this-was, I am well aware that the fog could show up again tomorrow, or next week, or maybe it'll hold off for a year, or maybe just maybe it'll stay gone forever.

But I've enjoyed today. I'm looking forward to many more days. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on a to-do list that desperately needs my attention, and yes, even cleaning my house. I took my girls out to a restaurant and two stores today, and you know what? None of it felt overwhelming. Or stressful. It felt good, and happy, and I enjoyed it.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. Mostly I just wanted to tell someone. So... as always, thanks for checking in!

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