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Knowing when to ask for help

04/02/2014

Belle

Thanks for all your kind words on my last glum, gloomy, blah post. It seems the old anxiety/depression monster is returning. I’ve been grinding my teeth again in my sleep, having heart palpitations and just feeling terrible thanks to anxiety. It’s not a nice place to be but I am thankful to have the ability to recognize it for what it is. I started reading a mindfulness book this weekend and am trying to read a few pages a day and focus on the concepts. Here is the quote I’m mulling over presently:

“Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past, and blame ourselves for the present. We get frustrated when we can’t have what we want, and disappointed when what we like ends. We suffer that we suffer. We get upset about being in pain, angry about dying, sad about waking up sad yet another day. This kind of suffering – which encompasses most of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction – is constructed by the brain. It is made up. Which is ironic, poignant – and supremely hopeful.”  – Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, wisdom and love

Pretty profound, isn’t it? I try to remember this when I’m feeling sorry for myself. 🙂

I also want to return to regular yoga practice. Unfortunately budget and schedule does not allow me to take classes (nor are there any yoga studios close to us in the Bronx) so I renewed my online membership to a yoga video site. It’s not idea, but it gets me flowing and breathing. Sabine also enjoys playing on my pink, extremely dirty yoga mat.

Toe Jam and Giggles.

Toe Jam and Giggles.

I know from experience, though, that self intervention is often not enough. It sucks to admit it, but I have struggled with this “condition” for my entire life. I see patterns reemerging that were once nicely in check. Checking things, obsessing about cleanliness (to an unhealthy level), having to realign things like the tables at school, etc. This is no way to live. So I have reached out to a counselor who specializes in mindfulness. I will set an appointment with her for next week and see if we are a good fit. I need guidance so I don’t end up in the pit of despair like I did last time.

I know my limits.

It feels so ugly to admit that to the internet, but my few remaining readers have been with me for a long time. They have seen the ups and downs. And they have seen how much better the ups were when I was getting some professional help and taking Prozac.

Now on to sleep:

It’s still a mess. We had a few VERY Encouraging days and then everything backslid and we are almost back in square one. I am certain the sleep stress is about 60% of my anxiety these days. Sleep training begins tomorrow night. The silver lining from the past week and a half is that Sabine is clearly capable of sleeping through the night. Here are our sleep logs so far. Whisper words of encouragement, please!!

March 23 Ped Sleep Log
March 30 Ped Sleep Log

Let’s end with a happy picture. Here is Yum Yum joining an afternoon nursing session and giving Sabine sweet kisses on her head. I love this cat and I love that she is starting to take to Sabine!

yum yum kisses sabine

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14 Comments

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  1. April 2, 2014

    Good luck! We’ve been struggling with one of our little ones sleep for 4 months now, with every specialist insisting it’s just a “faze”. So I know how exhausting and frustrating and endless night after night of wakings can be. Hopefully Savine sleep trains better than our little one!

  2. April 2, 2014

    It’s so great that you know yourself so well. Self awareness is so important. I have felt my own self slipping a bit, and am contemplating meds again. If spring doesn’t fix me, then off to the doc I’ll go!

    sleep here is a mess too. Up 2 times a night and it started with a cold. Then, the cold got WORSE, and he slept 9 hours last night. What the what? He had to self soothe a few times for just a minute, and we’re hoping he LEARNED something. Ha! Of course, we were both up all night worrying. Gah!

    isn’t it neat when a cat decides to like the baby? Yay for Yum Yum!

  3. April 2, 2014

    It’s great you recognise patterns emerging. Good luck with your counsellor.

  4. April 2, 2014

    My anxiety level has been through the roof this past week. I think (for me at least) it is the fact that winter is hanging on and on. I know that winter affects me, but I was really ready for spring and it just isn’t happening yet. So I have been picking my skin/nails, and eating junk food, engaging in a lot of negative self-talk, staying up really really late, etc, and feeling awful. I am glad you are reaching out to someone, I hope it is helpful to you.

  5. April 2, 2014

    I hear ya! If you’ve been following along, I’ve been having postpartum depression coupled with some anxiety. I think the weather is playing a HUGE part in it as this winter has been especially tough. I hope you are feeling better ASAP! 🙂

  6. April 2, 2014

    Oh, and not sleeping sure isn’t helping either. 😉

  7. April 2, 2014

    I’m so sorry things are feeling overwhelming again. I know that feeling very, very well. I’m counting the days until I stop pumping and start taking my meds again (20, in case you were wondering. 😉 I’m so glad you recognize what is going on and can seek help. That is a very brave thing to do and you rock for doing it. I hope you find help soon.

    Abiding with you.

  8. Romy #
    April 2, 2014

    It’s good that you are catching it early on. I have struggled with anxiety and depression on and off for years as well but I think doctors here might be more reluctant in prescribing anything? My GP and the counselors I have seen always told me my depression/anxiety was “situational” and not linked to hormone imbalances in the brain, and therefore they were not willing to prescribe meds because I should instead be dealing with the root of the problem. But when the root of the problem is being super overloaded with work and school or anxious about having to do IVF again, I’m not sure why it’s so horrible to temporarily rely on meds to cope. I would love to hear more about how Prozac makes a difference for you. Is it situational for you too?
    I think this is far more common than most people think.

  9. April 2, 2014

    I have heard GREAT things about mindfulness. I hope the therapy helps you find some calm. And I hope Sabine finds some sleep!

  10. April 3, 2014

    I just came across your site. Please let me know if I could be of support. I would be happy to give you a 30 minute coaching call as my gift. We could talk about if you need more of a plan or we might be able to come up with something that works for you to implement on your own.
    With love,
    Suzanne

  11. jak #
    April 3, 2014

    teething REALLY effs with sleep. have you considered that this could be what’s going on? have you tried giving her some advil when she cant sleep possibly to ease teething discomfort?

    • April 3, 2014

      You know, I considered teething but this has been going on for SO LONG now and she still does not have teeth. I am confident that much of our struggles is due to sleep association.

      • jak #
        April 3, 2014

        you are probably right, but to play devil’s advocate….doesn’t that technically mean it’s even MORE likely that it’s teething;) i mean, the longer she goes without teeth, the closer she must be to getting them, heheh….

  12. April 19, 2014

    I hope that things will keep getting better. Asking for help takes strength as does facing each day with hope.

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