Musings on Anxiety, Depression, Peace, and Patience

23 Dec

When I don’t know where to start I go chronologically – so please, bear with me. This may be long. Buckle up, make yourself a cup of tea or something.

So I don’t know if it’s the zoloft that’s still kicking in or what, but yesterday was an awful, awful day.

I’ve been trying to avoid taking the xanax (huge mistake) and I spent all morning anxious and detached.

And then things just got worse. I spoke to the psychiatrist and he said (very wisely) if you feel bad, just take it. It’s ok. So I did. the anxiety stopped – sort of, but then a whole other flood of emotions came rushing in.

On Monday night Schmerson and I had a long talk – and at the end of it I “made a decision” that I should stop working for my father, because it’s not good for me emotionally.

Yeah – apparently making big decisions when you’re emotionally unstable  – um, well, that in itself is a bad decision. The whole thing just made me tailspin into a whole new set of confusion.

So I thought yesterday would be a good day. I went to tel aviv and made plans with friends, thinking that would make me feel good. After the xanax, I was in the car on the way to pick up my best friend (same one I saw on friday). Since we don’t use names let’s just call her “Squish” because that’s my nickname for her…

So I pull over to pick Squish up and for some reason I just – collapse. Crying uncontrollably. An absolute mess.

Squish takes control of the situation. She drives us to a coffee shop and I bawl and bawl and bawl.

“Why don’t I have any hope?”

“What’s become of me?”

“I used to be such a strong ambitious person with so many dreams and hopes – what the fuck happened?”

Squish really tried her best to calm me down. And it kind of worked, but on the inside I was still more or less a gaping black hole. No hope. No joy. Emptiness and fear.

Had I had the strength to write a blog entry at that point it would have been titled “Wanted: hope”.

I’ve had bouts of depression before. I’m more of an anxiety person but I know what depression is. Yesterday was beyond depression. It scared the living daylights out of me.

What finally made me sort of calm down was a conversation I had with my brother. He’s six years older than me and we’re incredibly close. I think he understands me better than I understand myself.

He said:

Calm down.

What’s happening to you is that you spent over a decade being a careerist with buttloads of ambition, and now you all of the sudden don’t want that as much. Now you want a family and you don’t know where to place your ambitions in that framework. On top of that you suffered a loss. It’s overwhelming, but it’s not the end of the world.

He reads this blog. He thinks I’m making a mistake by obsessing over wanting another baby so fast.

He said he thinks I need to heal my body and my soul. I may think I’m ready for a baby but right now – well, I’ve got to get my shit together before doing anything else.

I hated hearing that. Knowing that he’s right made it even harder to hear. But he is right. I need to heal. The problem is I don’t know how long it will take and that is and will most likely continue to drive me crazy.

But I am overweight, I’m depressed, I’m confused about my future, and I smoke. That does not a good baby-vessel make.

So fast forward to today.

A small caveat before I go into the rest of this story: I am not a spiritual person. Not even close to it. I’m a cynical skeptic – which probably doesn’t help my anxiety. I lack any sense of spirituality. I wish I had it. I just don’t.

And I started yoga last week.

Talk about skeptical. Yoga always made me think of froofy chicks with dreadlocks who go on month long treks to india and eat lots of curry. I hate curry.

But – something inside me made me think that yoga may be a good place to start getting re-acquainted with my body so I can take better care of it.

So I signed up for an intro course – once a week on wednesdays. Today was the second class. The instructor – an incredibly sweet guy – not only takes us through the moves and positions, he also explains why they are done, and the connection between the mind and the body.

He doesn’t go into anything truly spiritual. He just points out how easily our head clears when we pay attention only to our breathing and movements.

At the end of the class today we sat down and he started talking about the way the mind moves around from one thing to another, and how yoga can be a tool to inner peace by clearing the mind.

I know – it sounds froofy when I write it. But he really does have a point. When I was moving from position to position and paying attention to my breathing my mind was clear. I was calm. which is sooo incredibly rare lately, it’s pretty amazing.

So the yoga instructor said three things that just hit a nerve with me.

The first was this:

“I want a motorcycle. I want it very badly. When I finally get a motorcycle – I will be incredibly happy. Why do you think that is?”

we answered: “because you finally have it?”

He said: “No – because I no longer want it. It’s the relief of no longer obsessively desiring something that causes the happiness – not the fulfillment of that desire.”

The second thing he said:

“When you see a child going through turmoil you embrace the child. why do you scold yourself and when you go through the same? You need an embrace just as much as that child does.”

The third:

“My mind races all of the time. I don’t always know who I am but I use yoga as a way to rule out what I am not. I am not my fear. I am not my stress. I am not my anger.”

By the end of that little talk I was blubbering.

Which I must say is rather embarrassing in front of ten people who I only met last week.

But my god – that man hit a nerve. More than one actually.

Allow me to work my way backwards and again, I apologize that this post is so long.

I am not my fear. I need to remember that. I have spent months consumed by anxiety. So much so that it has become the only thing that defines me.

Yeah – I should stop that.

Embracing myself: I keep on saying that I need to be better! And Now! I need to make decisions and move forward immediately! I am so hard on myself for not being ok. It’s like the xanax. If I need to take it for a little while I need to look at it as an embrace – not a defeat. Why torture myself when I have a way to make myself feel better?

And now the most important thing that I took from what he said:

I want to be happy that my child will be born because I have a child, not because the obsessive desire is gone.

Does that make sense?

I’m an incredibly impatient person. If I didn’t have some restraint, I’d already be trying to get pregnant again – despite everything being so incredibly chaotic.

How terrible and irresponsible is that?

It’s awful.

On one hand, I really and truly want a child. On the other – I really and truly need to heal and bring some stability into my life.

I also need to start moving on. If I want to heal, I need to stop mourning for the person that I was before the loss.

I need to stop mourning. Period. (And this is not from a place of impatience this time – at least I don’t think it is).

It’s not that I can just wave a magic wand and no longer have incredible sadness over the loss of my babies.

However, I can change the way I channel it.

So I am officially changing the direction of this blog. I am now going to try and make it about healing myself. Embracing myself, so to speak. Figuring out my direction in life, and making myself whole again.

I truly believe that would be a far healthier use for this blog.

I will still allow myself to mourn when needed.

To talk about the miscarriages when needed.

But I want to start talking about healing.

I want a child. And I want to be happy when that child comes for the child itself – not because the obsession has cleared from my mind.

It’s going to take more patience and self-embrace than I’ve had – well, ever. But I think it’s time I do things right for a change.

Yoga – go figure.


3 Responses to “Musings on Anxiety, Depression, Peace, and Patience”

  1. Talishia December 23, 2010 at 08:23 #

    You moved me beyond words.
    I am so proud of you.

  2. me0me December 23, 2010 at 19:26 #

    A small yay, if I may. I think embracing our selves- and everyone around us- is the way to make the world a better place. One person at a time. Can I get an Amen 🙂 Seriously though, great great great step forward. ❤

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