Sunday, October 26, 2008

Still here....

I really miss blogging.  I still do some of it, if it's not too involved or if it doesn't require too much thought.  But, I do miss my own musings about life & love & just living!  But, my days lately have consisted of staying in my pjs all day, playing with the babies when I need some sunshine in my day, coloring in kids' coloring books because it's very calming for me, eating way too many Nutty Bars, watching way too much TV (unheard of in my personal life), watching movies (which I normally NEVER do without Mark & NEVER during the middle of the day), eating cold cereal for just about every meal, sleeping as much as possible huddled way underneath my covers, and taking baby steps, just small baby steps to get anything done.  

So, just to blog, here are some more specifics, just because.  My pjs consist of comfy pants, an old T-shirt & a big comfy sweatshirt for the late nights or early mornings I just can't sleep. I have 3 pairs of extremely fluffy socks on stand by to keep my feet warm.  

I love to color in Disney coloring books, although I did give in & color with Noah in his Star Wars book. That was interesting. I think I used just about every color of brown imaginable just to get some contrast going on the page.  Oh & Strawberry Shortcake.  She's fun to color too.  I didn't realize how much I horde crayons!  When they were on sale for $0.22 a box at school supply time, I bought a TON & we have just have boxes & boxes. With so many kids using them, you can't go wrong having too many. 

Nutty Bars are my new favorite snack.  I have consumed far too many this past month & really need to get my meds adjusted so I don't gain 50 pounds by the end of the year.

During my TV watching, I have seen more paternity tests on Maury than I care to admit, I love the new show on Fox called Fringe.  I am still totally likin' Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies, The Office, Lost, Samantha Who, Ugly Betty, CSI & Supernatural!!  I watched two of my favorite movies, Where the Heart Is & Legends of the Fall, which I never tire of watching.  

My favorite cold cereals, beware, this could be a really long list.... Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies, Ohs, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Honeycomb, Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Quisp (when & if I can find it!! - it's very vintage), Rice Chex & I could go on & on & on. 

Today my baby steps will consist of getting out of bed, getting dressed (taking a shower if I can muster it), getting the babies dressed, putting a diaper bag together, putting myself together, getting in the car, going to the doctor's office & praying all the way there that he will have some answers & some help for this poor pathetic gal I call myself.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mental Illness is very real.

This is a post I have thought about writing & thought about not writing & now think I need to, to continue in a forward direction.  

I have struggled with depression, panic attacks, manic episodes & anxiety for over 8 years.  It started shortly after having Mavaney, which of course looked very much like post partum stress & having had kids one right after another it seems for several years, it still looked like post partum stress.  I had bounced around from pill to pill, from doctor to doctor trying to find relief.  I was doing what I could at home as well, taking time for myself, reaching out for help, sharing my feelings, but nothing seemed to lessen.  I was up & down, up & down all the time & so completely frustrated with the lack of control over my own emotional & mental well being.  There were times I even thought I was doing really good & would quit taking the medication to try it on my own, which worked for a while right before I got pregnant with the twins.

This past summer, I started to feel very depressed again & we once again told ourselves, it's just post partum stress, so I went back to the doctor & asked to be put on meds again for the sake of my family & myself.  We waited for the meds to kick in & start helping me out, but things only got worse.  I realized this the night I had a dream.  I usually have very vivid dreams, but this time it was different.  It was Heavenly Father & he simply said to me, "Tell your husband what you have been planning."  That day I was wracked with fear, guilty, all sorts of emotions trying to figure out how I was going to approach my husband & tell him what had been going on with me.  

Mark was set to do some teaching in Georgia for a month & I thought it the perfect time to plan my suicide.  I was so tired of being up & down with my emotions. I was so tired of putting my husband & my kids through the roller coaster ride of my happy times & my down times.  I had sought relief in so many ways with no real success and this seemed the only way to ease the pain.  

How do you tell your husband you were planning to leave him & your children?  I have never been so scared in my life, but I knew I had to do it.  Not only because it would stop me from doing it, but it would let him know that things were going very wrong, very quickly.  

Mark has actually been trained in suicide prevention while being in the Army & he was able to step up & really get the ball rolling on getting me some help.  We went to the doctor right away & got referred to a psychiatrist & psychologist off post.  I got an appt. that very week.  I went twice a week for a great while until the doctor felt I was making great progress and I could cut down to once a week.  But, during this time I have learned tremendous things about my life, about myself & about what I can accomplish & have control over & what I can't.  

I also found out I am bipolar, which answered a lot of questions about the things I have been fighting for many years.  It all made sense now, which was sad, but enlightening as well.  

It hasn't been anywhere near easy walking down this path.  It has been one of the most grueling times in my life. I have made progress, but I still have so very far to go.  The progress I have made has been so eye opening. I have realized there is a real Maria behind all of this madness. I am determined, I am strong.  I am opinionated & bossy. I am creative & compassionate.  I am loving & sensitive.  I can be in control.  

I still have bad episodes from time to time as my body adjusts to the new medication, but I feel confident my doctors care about me & about my eventual triumph over my fears facing my personal demons.  And not only do I credit my doctors for helping me, I must give tremendous thanks to my amazing husband.  He has had to see me change in so many ways. He has suffered with me through the days & nights of crying & panic attacks. He has been there with me through the times I just wanted to hide & run away.  He helped me see I would only be hurting everyone around me to cut my life short.  Seeing his role in my wellbeing has only confirmed my belief & Heavenly Father's promise that there was only one man on this Earth meant for me & that he had been prepared for me.  

Even my kids have been incredibly helpful, supportive & loving. They have been there to help me & witness the scary times even when Mark was not around to help.  They have found me passed out on the floor from a panic attack & known exactly what to do to get me help.  They have been there for me when I was curled up in a ball in the corner crying uncontrollably.  They have been there when I didn't want to get out of bed.  

Mavaney has always been so mature for her age and I felt I needed to share with her some of the deeper things going on so that she would know how much I loved her even when it didn't seem that I did.  It was remarkable the bond I felt with her & she cried with me & said, "Mommy, I wish you had told me before.  I feel so bad for you & I could have helped you more if I had known."  I get teary eyed just remembering that very special moment.

I want to share my testimony with you of many things.  I believe deeply that Heavenly Father is watching over us always. I believe He has such great love for us, we simply cannot comprehend the magnitude of His love. I believe I am a Daughter of God & I have a purpose here on this Earth.  I believe in the power of prayer & what it can do to heal wounds & gain strength when you think you have none left.  I believe in the incredible power of friendships.  My friends have been such a rock for me during this time. They have watched my kids so I could go to the doctor, they have cooked meals for my family, they have shared words of comfort & their own personal struggles to show me I too can overcome.  Thank you to all of you special women in my life. 

I hope to jump back into sharing my life with you, whether it be good or bad.  And I hope you will want to continue on the journey with me.