Friday, August 19, 2016

Cheater


As I packed up our home, box by box I stayed calm.  I never felt antsy.  I never cried.  I didn't even feel particularly stressed out.  

As I spent a sunny day and late night with my best friends, ladies I would no longer have at my fingertips, my eyes stayed dry and I felt at ease.  Even as we pulled away and headed north to our next chapter, not a single tear fell.  

I kept telling my husband, I feel like I'm cheating.  

Normally I would be crying.  Normally I would be stressing.  Normally I would be a hot steaming mess of emotions.  

But I wasn’t.  

Rewind about two months prior.  

The scene around me was entirely different. Nothing particularly stressful would happen, but yet I would be tight chested, explosive, consumed by this panicky feeling.  I was STILL crying at the drop of a hat, very frequently, even though Dad had been gone for nine months by then. Physically I felt exhausted, despite my regular exercise, very early bedtime, and healthy diet.  

I chocked it up to ongoing grief that was exacerbated by a combination of other life changes and stress.  I assumed it was a normal human reaction to an unordinary combination of factors. Wrapping up Dad's estate, selling his house, buying one in our new city, selling the one we lived in, keeping our house show ready with two boys and two dogs, vacating it daily to let people look at it, regular crazy parenting stuff, preparing for a move, preparing to leave my friends and family and go to a place where I have virtually no one…it’s enough to make anyone certifiable, right?

Turns out maybe, but maybe not.  

I was having a really hard time sleeping in general but one week I suffered through two nights of having barely any sleep at all.  I mean, I got MAYBE two hours the entire night.  When the boys would wake and I would have to be on point, exhausted or not, I felt like absolute dog shit.

That was my turning point.  With a pounding head and scratchy chest and baggy eyes and heavy heart I came to accept that although my reaction may well be perfectly human and normal, I needed help. 
Professional medical help.  Immediately, if not sooner.  

This was major for me because typically, I would just buck up and carry on.  That is my way.  It is my mother's way.  It was my father's way.  It was the only way I knew.  

But I also knew that my boys deserved a healthier, more able mother. That my husband deserved a wife who was more interested, less aggressive, and capable of being his partner in this.  That this was temporary and I just needed a crutch to get through this time. I just needed to get through this period with my sanity intact and I could worry about walking on my own two feet later.  

Just having that first appointment booked made me breathe easier.  After going through that first appointment, I left feeling kind of shocked, quite relieved, and something I hadn’t felt in a while…optimistic.   

I held three prescriptions in my hand and a depression coupled with general anxiety diagnosis in my head.  

Depressed? Humph.  Anxious?  Duh.  But depressed?  I was truly surprised.  

I’m down to just two mediations now.  My sleep is very much back on track so I don’t need support there.  And I’ll be phasing out the anxiety medication soon.  But I think I’ll stick with the ol’ antidepressant for a while longer.  Now that I’m thinking more clearly the diagnosis is not all that surprising. 

My friend came to help me pack some things and to let our boys play one last time in our house just down the way from them.  She asked how I was feeling, how I was handling.  She’s known me forever.  She knows what she would normally expect to see.  I shrugged.  I told her , “I don’t know how I am.  I’m on drugs.”

And the drugs are working.  

Even though they make me not cry.  

So I feel like I’m cheating. 

Image Credit: www.wileyspharmacy.com