June 24, 2011
War (Long Post folks)
There has been a battle brewing since 2006 and it has finally has come to an ugly head this year.
Growing up I can't recall a time where I really knew about or experienced depression. I never knew about anxiety or what the three letters OCD stood for or meant. I do recall hearing those words often in our house because my mother was and still is a psychiatric nurse. I also remember countless health teachers throughout my middle & high school years talking about the words but who really pays attention in health class? I was a thriving, vibrant and happy student who grew into your typical carefree young adult.
But something changed...
It seems since 2006 I have had many internal and external struggles that sent me down a very dark path. I was going through a divorce,had a drastic career change, living on my own for the first time and my Mammaw was dying from Leukemia. The only way I knew how to cope was to numb my feelings with a bottle of wine every night. So, there I sat alone in my musty apartment drinking my evenings away only to wake up and go to work and come home to do it all over again.
Actually, I had learned to numb my feelings a few years before 2006 while I partied my life away with my co-workers, friends and ex-husband. It was the "nature of the beast" in NASCAR to party. Money and alcohol flowed freely and it was consumed on a regular basis...like 4-5 days a week regular basis (in my case for 6 years). At the time I didn't know I was coping with medical issues that included surgeries, my ex-husbands flirtatious ways, loneliness from his every weekend travel to the races & testing and the stress from my job by indulging in alcohol but looking back, I was.
I can't really tell you a whole lot about 2006-2008 to be honest because all of those memories went down a bottle. I remember the death of Mammaw devastating me only to have my Granny pass away 6 months later. It was a very bad year (2006) and it carried into 2007. I was in a relationship with my now husband but couldn't deal with certain issues we had so I ended the relationship only to move on to someone else. That person was more or less to fill the void of being alone. He wasn't my typical "boyfriend" material, we had nothing in common and basically were a match made in hell. To make matters worse we moved in together (what was I thinking) and it just went completely south. That relationship ended only for me to hang out with an ex-boyfriend from high school who had a crazy ex-girlfriend who completely went psycho on me so that pretty much was the end of that brief meeting...I won't even call it a relationship because it wasn't. After all of that crazy Jerry Springer mess I kind of got my life in order and rekindled my relationship with Mike. I still drank often but mostly on the weekends when we would hang out with friends and I was starting to feel happy again.
During all of the above I started to experience some anxiety about issues regarding my health. I would worry about my liver because of my drinking, I would worry about cancer from smoking while drinking...it was a very vicious cycle and I was a wreck during it. I would spend HOURS on google researching medical issues and that is not a good idea when your already have anxiety. Google is evil at times! However, Mike and my Mom would assure me I was healthy and to stop the Google mess and as hard as it was I did.
Things were finally starting to fall into place and it was refreshing. Mike proposed and we were planning a wedding and life was good. It instantly became great when I found out what we thought would never happen did happen....I was pregnant. We scratched the official wedding plans and opted for a small wedding at the beach with just Vic and my parents. It was beautiful and we were all very happy and ready to begin our new journey together as husband and wife as well as parents to a baby boy growing in my tummy.
Everyone was on top of the world while I was pregnant. It was the most amazing feeling ever. I felt great, looked great and all was great in my universe. Being pregnant was wonderful and if I could bottle that feeling up and inject myself with it daily I would because it can't be explained until you experience it. When I became pregnant it turned my life around dramatically. I started to take better care of myself after his birth; I quit drinking on a regular basis and was in a good place.
Life was going smoothly until Mike retired from the Military and we had to move to Camp Lejeune. It was a sad time for me because I was moving away from my hometown and taking my parents only grandson who was still an infant away from them. My Mom was crushed but still put on a happy face to make the situation easier for me but I knew deep down she was very sad. Moving day came and it honestly wasn't that bad of a situation. We were minutes from the beach so it was great and my parents being beach lovers visited as often as they could and vice versa. Yet, I still had what my Internist thought was some depression so I was placed on medicine to help with "daily life".
I started experiencing some female issues and pain which prompted several ER visits. After numerous appointments & tests with different doctors I was prescribed Tramadol for unexplained pain which worked wonders. Everything medically and emotionally finally was falling into place and I was feeling "normal" again. Then....BAM....we were told that we had 6 weeks to move to Albany, Georgia. That wasn't something I was really expecting so we have 6 weeks to get our house packed, ready to rent out again, find a house in Albany without visiting and get Victoria in a good school system (schools are a big thing in this small town). Talk about anxiety; mine went through the roof.
We made it happen in 6 weeks and moved to Albany, Georgia. Within one hour of pulling into the driveway of our new house I had a nervous breakdown/panic attack and wound up in the ER. They figured it was a panic attack and gave me activan, waited for my heart rate to go down and sent me home. There was a good reason I was a full blown mess. We had moved ourselves so with Mike driving the largest U-Haul available with a car towed behind it and me driving the Suburban with both kids, a dog, 2 birds, a drugged cat and a mini U-Haul trailer behind me for 12 hours I was D.O.N.E! I just had enough and I physically & emotionally couldn't take any more.
Since moving to Georgia I have spiraled into a deep depression and my anxiety flares up on a regular basis. We found out this week that my medicines that the Internists from NC & GA had me on wasn't a very good combo which probably has help aid in my roller coaster of emotions. My depression isn't the type where I would harm myself (or others) but it's one that makes me uncomfortable in my own skin. I have days where I don't want to even get out of my bed; I want to pull the covers over my head and hide. I don't want to participate in activities. I want to seclude myself from others. I feel like I am out of control (thanks OCD) and that's a panic attack waiting to happen.
The worst part of this is that I DO NOT WANT to feel like this and I know I am beyond blessed. I can't control it. It's not like I can magically snap my fingers or click my heels and be "normal". Believe me, if I could I would! This is something that I live with and I will have to manage with the help of a Doctor, therapy and the support of my family & friends. We have visited a church and I am planning on attending as much as we can because I did feel better afterwards. Without the support and understanding from my husband and parents I would be lost. They have been my life support. Without them I do not know how I would manage this; I don't think I could.
So, there you have it....my war. I am going to continue to fight to get out of this hole for the sake of me and my family. We all deserve happiness and a happy home. Life goes by entirely too quickly and depression is wasting my days away. I want to enjoy life and I want my family to enjoy me.....and that is how it's going to be sooner than later.