This Post is For Me

It’s been a year and a month since the initial crash, the day when the harsh realities of despair and evil in the world became the only realities I could conjure up.

That means it’s been almost a year since I was patched, since a dam went up in my brain to stop the hemorrhage of anxiety, since the walls went up around my family to block out anything frightening, anything that would trigger an attack, since I became fragile.

And I do so well.

And occasionally I do so not.

And whenever I have a moment like I did this evening, a reason-I-bought-the-waterproof-mascara-even-though-I-can’t-get-any-solvent-to-completely-remove-it-and-if-I-wear-it-more-than-twice-a-week-it-looks-like-caterpillars-curled-up-and-died-on-my-eyelids kind of moment, I am more upset about the existence of the anxiety and panic attacks than I am anxious or panicky.

And I scare my daughter when I cry for “no reason.”

And after a year, I ask myself if I will ever be the same again… and I realize that’s a stupid question because when are we ever the same?

We move houses, we have children, we lose people we love, we walk down the street, we stay in the sun too long, we go to the bathroom, we live life for 3 minutes and we’re not the same.

I really wonder when I will ever be as good again, when I’ll ever be whole and I wonder what that means for a mother, a wife. In truth it seems that part of me leaves the room whenever Dan, Laylee or Magoo are not there. And I’m scared for them and I’m afraid of being afraid.

The more I have to love, the more I have to fear and this seems wrong. And I know I am not alone and I know how to bring peace into my life again after it barges out the door but I don’t want to have to restore it. I want it ever-present. I want what I made fun of Wayne Dyer for suggesting. I want the free-ride.

Then I look at the positive changes in myself over the last year and I would never wish them away. How do you learn to walk, run or eventually fly without first biffing it hundreds of times?

I’m tired of being sculpted; I just want a fairy godmother to poof me into perfection.

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32 Responses to This Post is For Me

  1. Karen says:

    Geez Woman, are you in my head?

  2. owlhaven says:

    It’s a tough thing, caring so much. I think you just have to live each day on faith somehow, that things will be okay. Otherwise you run the risk of poisoning the good times with fear over stuff that most likely won’t ever happen.

    And the bad stuff that does happen? Well, usually it’s not the stuff you were so worried about anyway. It tends to be different stuff. There’s no preparing, no real predicting.

    But with help from family and faith in God, you’ll make it through even the surprising challenges. Then after awhile you’ll look back and wonder how you got through.

    I’m probably no help at all– it’s late and I’m loopy. But I do feel your pain and wanted to let you know i sympathize. Hang in there.

    Mary, mom to many

  3. Julie says:

    Wow, you hit it right on. Like Karen I’m wondering if you’re hiding in my house somewhere, reading my mind. It has been two and a half years since I finally admitted to myself and to my family that I was battling with depression. A disease that runs in my family. At two different times I have tried to go off my meds and I finally realized that I just can’t. It may be something I have to take for the rest of my life and that’s okay. Of course even that is not a cure all.

    The things that get me through are my faith and my belief that God is watching out for me each day (my recent accident is proof of that – see blog). I worry more about my husband and kids and get anxious when he is late coming home, etc. But I have to remind myself that God is in control. Worry does me no good.

  4. Carrien says:

    I just had another breakdown/can’t stop crying, can’t talk myself out of the misery that engulfs me moment. Actually I”m still in the middle of it. THing is, the last time was almost three years ago. I always think it’s over, And i will be okay, years go by, and then it hits again, and it’s so hard to forgive myself for this weakness. That probably didn’t help you feel any better. Sorry.

  5. ABC Momma says:

    I’m going on my 8th year of being on meds for depression. It depresses me that I’m depressed, but for some unknown reason, it’s just that way. Different people have different trials. I’m glad I’ve been shown how to get help so I can have a quality life.

  6. great, timely post. I’vedealt with the ppd and pp-anxiety (and we’re in the process of moving right now, as well) and had similar thoughts last week: will I ever be “the same” again?

  7. Adam and Lisa says:

    We love you, and love what you are becoming. Keep strong until the fairy god mother shows up.

  8. Alissa says:

    dude. if you find your fairy godmother/or she finds you, could you send her this way… i could use a heaping dose of perfection right about now. Stability… i have not.

  9. Aunt Murry says:

    One step at a time. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at about 25. I am now 42. I can tell you all that you will survive. Take it one step at a time. I know that it seems overwhelming. That is when you step back. I use lists a lot. It breaks everything down. It helps. THe crying helps too and it’s for cleansing. It eases the tensions, its a release. Take care my friend, one step at a time.

  10. Tigersue says:

    sometime I wish I could cry. It is as if the meds make me flat with no real emotion. I miss the real tears, and the real laughter. I hang onto those moments when I have them. I hang on to those times when I feel like myself, when there is so much clarity and I can feel the world around me. I don’t know how long those moments will last, but I live for them. It is the one comfort I have that in time this will heal, that it will go away and I will see that Tanya again that is hiding away. I also have hope since I have had PPD before and chemically induced depression, that it will get better.
    Like you I had the idea that I have anxiety and depression more than the actually emotions itself. I hate what it does to my family and those I love. I think that is the hardest part of dealing with it. Trying to get over the guilt of dealing with something I shouldn’t feel guilty about.

  11. Sometimes knowing you are not alone isn’t enough! Unfortunately.

    I tend to worry. A LOT. Sometimes it gets overwhelming. I’ve even thought that if I just lived by myself and had no one to take care of, then at least I wouldn’t have to fear losing someone. Sheesh, take a pill, lady! 🙂

    That’s the thing of it: life keeps rolling along, bringing many good things and lessons along the way. A lot of wonderful stuff can be concealed in difficult circumstances. The trick is to learn how to go with the flow of it all.

    I am still learning.

  12. Oh man! Join the club! I think I’ve been in it too long! Ugh. I’d like that fairy Godmother too pleeaase!

  13. Michelle says:

    Depression and panic attacks are two words (er..3 words) I am familiar with. (oops..ended with a preposition –see, I’m not perfect either!) I will be 37 tomorrow and it was around this time 12 years ago that I had to take my first antidepressant. Life was not good. It was a roller coaster I had to ride for 4 years. The panic attacks were so bad that I couldn’t leave the house. I was used to being a social butterfly and now I wanted to be hidden under a rock. I wanted people around me all the time so I wouldn’t be afraid. I begged God to take it from me. He did not.

    The good news is this. I have been panic, depression and med-free for 8 beautiful years. I still get down, but not to the depths of darkness that engulfed me years ago. I can go to the grocery, the bank, and to church without having one hint of panic hit me. I can live.

    Live life one day at a time, one moment at a time if necessary. Be thankful. Smile. Laugh hysterically. Stop trying to be perfect and just live. Hug the cross and trust God that he will bring you through this journey.

    I’ve been where you’ve been sister — the two small children included. It WILL pass and you will feel whole again. Be patient.

    For the time being, go buy some chocolate, snuggle on the couch and watch Disney movies with the kiddos. If that doesn’t work then try Diet Coke and Mentos. I hear that’s some pretty cool entertainment!
    {{{{{Big, squishy, hugs}}}}}}}}

  14. Shalee says:

    Yes, but do you think you would like the dress she would pick out for you, because woman, you have your own STYLE!

    It’s nice to want the fairy godmother, but remember, even though she has god in her title, she is not going to make you as perfect as God will. Settle for the sculpting; it may be a lot more work, but it won’t turn into a vegetable after midnight. And His perfection will last you thoughout eternity.

    Blessings on you Kathryn. God was, is and always will be holding you in the palm of His hands.

  15. Susan says:

    Try the Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lash Tint; in theory you can wear it for three days. In practice, you can cry your heart out without any mess (do not ask how I know that). Then use the Almay remover (liquid, in a nice purple-tinted bottle) to take it off.

    (I know that doesn’t even touch the substance of your post, but I feel the same way some–many, most–days, and you wrote about it so beautifully. Thank you.)

  16. Naddin J says:

    You wonder if you’ll ever be “as good” again… no, you won’t.

    You’ll just get better.

    There are a lot of people who love you and want you to be happy. We’re all with you.

    Very, very touching… I’ve been there too, sweetheart. You’re going to be fine.

  17. Naddin J says:

    And by better I meant “even better than you are now.” Isn’t there a Joseph Smith quote about his being a rock, and he’s rolling down the hill, and the Lord is polishing him?

    OK, enough stalking.

  18. Nettie says:

    You have had so many wonderful comments on this post already. You are LOVED! Can you feel it?

    Moving ranks way high on the charts for stressful life experiences. I imagine it is making life more difficult now than it would be otherwise have been. Funny how great blessings are often also such great trials. And great trials can end up being such great blessings.

    Your fairy godmother probably won’t be showing up to make it all better, but I have a feeling that you will come through this in a way that will amaze yourself when you look back on it. We all are already amazed by you!

  19. HLH says:

    normal is always being redefined. your normal will be differnt from day to day. the other half and I were just talking last night, one thing her learned on his mission is the power of a positive attitude (I DO NOT say that in a way to make light of your situation). I think he might be right and I know I am rededicating myself to look for the positive instead of the negative (which I usually look for)

  20. Mama Darlin' says:

    Your mom told me, when I posted a difficult day, that she loved a saying her friend always told her, that the scriptures never say and it came to stay…it says and it came to pass. I love that. It embraces change as the constant. It would be so much easier to have a fairy godmother, but then, we wouldn’t be who we are supposed to be.

    Take it one day at a time! I too have PPD and lingering affects from it. I never feel, “normal”, and can feel it just off the horizon..those attacks, anxieties, but Christ has dealt with it all, and that is the sure and safe road.


  21. Amy A. says:

    It’s a journey, for sure. That you are able to write about it speaks volumes. You are keeping your sense of humor and doing things right. Keep it up.

    Zech. 4:10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin! (I don’t know what version that is, but I like it. Maybe out of context, but I think it applies to the small steps we take in life.)

    Blessings on your day

  22. Grammy says:

    Darlin’, you are the same person that you have always been. You are competent and confident. Capable and lovable and talented and empathetic and hardworking and funny and intelligent and dependable and a hundred other postive adjectives. You are also suffering from a chemical imbalance. It is NOT who you are. It is a temporary condition that you are making progress on getting past.

    As so many of your friends have advised, take it ond step at a time and rely on the Lord. You will be better than ever when you are done, for you will have walked through the fire and will have the empathy and desire to reach out to others with love and support.

    Sometimes when we are in the midst of our trials, it’s hard to see the good that will come of them, but it always does if we will look for it and work for it. I have faith in you and in our Savior. Life will be good and joyful again!

  23. My post today is for both of us. *hug*

  24. Kage says:

    I’m commenting with just skimming the other comments. I just listened to Cinderella today as I drove in the car…my two girls watching it in the back.

    When my daughter first started obsessing about Cinderella I didn’t recall having felt that as a girl. Then we watched the DVD together and it all came back. I LOVED Cinderella. And why? Because we feel like her: worked, beaten down, fighting the fight, and then one day it is all worth it because of that Fairy Godmother. And so one day or maybe even small moments will be those “Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo” moments, but there will always be the opposition to make them worth it.

  25. Margaret says:

    I needed this, and I needed to read everyone’s comments. LIfe is tough sometimes, but we are blessed enough to have people who love us, and a God who loves us. THANK GOODNESSS!!

  26. Heather O. says:

    If anything can throw up for a loop, it’s moving. Funny how things get better as you start to live in your own house, making it your own. One day, you will realize that you have stopped waking up and saying, “Oh yeah, I live here… what is the next chore that has to be done to make it livable” and you wake up feeling like it’s home. The adjustment of moving is so severe, and I think people forget how jarring it can be to go from one home to another. Even though it’s the best thing, or sometimes it’s something we have no control over, it’s still something of a loss to leave a place we worked hard at making a home. And it takes more than just unpacking boxes and deciding what color you want to paint your bedroom to make it something that feels like home. So, chin up, and remember that life will return to normal as you start remembering what it feels like to be home.

  27. There are many defining moments in your life that make you who you are, Graduation, Marriage, and Birth of Children just to name a few. All of these help you grow in many ways and ALL can be difficult emotionally and physically. But as with all defining moments, they happen for a reason. So we can grow and change and not stay the same. It may seem scary when we are going through one of these defining moments, but when the dust settles we are appreciative of the journey and we realize what we have gone through has made us a better person. I can’t tell you not to be depressed and I can’t tell you not to worry, but I can say you are a work in progress and you will be a better person for going through it all and the world will be a better place for you sharing your experiences with it! Just hang in there, there is a rainbow after every storm!

  28. *Sob*

    Apparently you’re in my head too.

    I just started taking anti-depressants after resisting it for a long time. I just couldn’t dig myself out anymore.

    You’re not alone, you’re doing great, and I *heart* you!


  29. RGLHM says:

    That post was for me too. It was perfect. I have tried to embrace my life by taking the things I have left from the old me, and then taking the new things I have learned, combining them and creating the new me. Maybe one day some of those old things we cherished will be available to us, that will be a wonderful reunion. But through this process of change we’ve gotten rid of lots, and we’re better people with deeper empathy and love. So even if we never get back what we may long for, we can be at peace knowing we’re at least on the right track. And you may not have had a need for a blog without all the terrible trauma you went through and how much we’ve all gained from this blog:-)

  30. surcie says:

    Kathryn, I can relate to this post SO much. . .I don’t even know where to begin.

    For me, one of the most difficult things about motherhood is feeling like I have so much more to lose. How does anyone get comfortable with that idea?

  31. but you rule, and that should count for something. I love you, Kate.

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