Grief, Anxiety and Depression (and what I’m doing to heal)

I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been spiraling since my dad died.

I was just starting to get traction in my life after several years of of tumult. My health declining and autoimmune issues usurping my life and finances. Infertility and miscarriages. Mr. MLACS’s heart failure when I was 32 weeks pregnant. Being a new mother and deeply feeling the loss/void of my own beloved mother. Coping with Mr. MLACS being gone for work for weeks at a time. Overwhelming PPA (postpartum anxiety) and coming to terms with cutting off our toxic family members, including my dad (it took 2 years of weekly therapy and a lot of processing). Finally buying our first home–our dream home–only to have it burn down as we were packing to move. Moving to a very depressed area of Louisiana after the Great Flood of 2016, where I knew no one and felt like I didn’t belong.

Becoming ill and spending the entirety of 2017 fighting for my life with no support, because I was too sick to even ask for it. Feeling useless and hopeless at times.

Finally embracing the idea of a total colectomy surgery–having a prosthetic colon for the rest of my life. Finally about to move into my dream home.

And being deathly ill and having my husband drop dead at work, revived…but I am haunted by the way he looked and smelled like death in the ER. The nurses hearing me sob in the bathroom next to his bed in the ICU, as I sat on the toilet bleeding, desperately needing to be admitted myself but terrified to have my surgery because I was afraid I might die and orphan my child. My precious BG and my precious dog so sad and scared despite my best efforts to spare them the grief I felt. My heart was broken into a million pieces.

But I overcame everything. I beat infertility and I have the most precious daughter. I overcame PPA and came to terms with severing ties with my father. Mr. MLACS got a new job where he would be home every night. Our dream home was repaired. My surgery went well and I don’t need to take any IBD medications–I am not “chronically ill” anymore. My husband has a pacemaker/defibrillator and has taken responsibility for his health and lost a lot of weight. We moved into our dream house and I even bought my dream furniture.

I was making a comeback with my fitness, going to Burn Boot Camp and Barre3 classes and I volunteered as the organizer for a local moms fitness group–I was transparent about my ostomy. I was living my truth. I felt brave. I felt bold. I felt powerful. I felt beautiful. I felt like I was going to crush my goals.

And then my dad died.

And after everything I’ve been through–what I’ve overcome–and the fact that he wasn’t even a very good dad, you wouldn’t expect *that* to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

But it was. I have been depressed and anxious. I can’t focus. I can’t think straight. I’m constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop.

I feel alienated from people. Lonely. Broken.

I’m angry because I fought SO. HARD. through the rock-bottom pit of hell that was 2017…

I had just started to feel safe. I wasn’t obsessing over the past or worrying about the future. I was living. I was embracing life. I was open to possibilities. I was all *positive vibes*.

But now I’m struggling again.

Dealing with my parents’ estate is torture. They were smart–everything was deeded to the trust. Every property, vehicle, trailer and boat. Nothing going to probate. Take heed and for all my IF friends who are parents now, make a will and/or trust so your spouse and kid(s) are not screwed when you die.

But my sister and I have never gotten along and now we are co-trustees and must divide everything in half. Meanwhile, there are 20-something properties that need to be managed and bills that need to be paid. And we have to fix up and sell “the big house” (our family home) to settle debts so we can dissolve the trust. It’s daily stress. It’s a daily reminder that both my parents are dead and that I am going to die. And BG is not tolerant of me being on my phone talking or texting, etc. She relentlessly pesters me and then has meltdowns when I snap at her. I can barely force myself to think about or do any of the drudgery associated with the estate, and with BG agitating me I feel like I might lose my mind. I need to put her in preschool and I have her enrolled in one but it doesn’t start until the fall. And I do not even have the stomach to vet preschools right now. I am looking at summer camps but that’s a week here-and-there. Oh and I dread having to take BG back to the midwest with me *without Mr. MLACS* to deal with this estate BS. F*ing nightmare. That is a 12hr car ride easch way, which I cannot do alone so I’ll have to split into 2 says–that is 4 days of travel. Just shoot me.

But I’m rich now. So there’s that. Not a “one percent-er” or filthy rich–like mansion/servants, car and driver, private plane and NY fashion week rich. But like, I will have a monthly income from my trust and it is legacy wealth that I can pass on to BG.

I’d give it all to have my Mom back though.

To have both my parents back, because our family was functionally-dysfunctional until my Mom got sick, which brought out the worst in my dad.

I’d give anything to be one big happy family.

I want peace in my life again. I want to feel like everything is going to be ok.

I am doing EFT tapping and trying to take care of myself, even though I don’t feel like showering or brushing my teeth or going to yoga or doing laundry or vacuming or anything. I’m sort of dead inside–dormant is a better word–I was starting to blossom but now I am dormant like a bulb in the winter. And I hate it.

So I am trying to claw my way out of this depression. I’m weak. I’m scared. I’m vulnerable. I’m confused. I’m frustrated. I’m emotionally drained. I’m distraught. I’m burdened. I’m defensive. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m apathetic. I’m literally tied in knots and seeing a new chiropractor to try to unclench and untwist my poor body.

But I haven’t given up hope yet. And I’m trying to get better.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

Are You There Oprah? It’s Me, MLACS…

Totally chaotic post…just gotta get it out…the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem…

I’m sitting on my couch in my fuzzy pink bathrobe, watching Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” on her OWN network, and I’m on the verge of tears and I’m trying to figure out what, exactly, is causing me this unrest…

Here’s the background: My dear departed Mother was a HUGE fan of Oprah (but nowhere near obsessed, just appreciative). When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer I wanted to contact Oprah and tell her how amazing my mother is and have Oprah listen to her and hold her hand and tell her she’s wonderful and give her a trip to her orphanage in Africa or something along those lines. And I did write to Oprah, but I was overwhelmed and unprepared to do something more extreme to get Oprah’s attention. And really, I realized, that shouting my mother’s praises to the world on Oprah and sending her to Africa would not make her life any more or less meaningful–I realized you do not have to be a billionaire or start an orphanage to signify that you meant something to this world. I could get all Eastern philosophical on you but you know what I’m talking about–if you don’t and you’re curious then may I recommend the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Anyhow, I haven’t been following Oprah since she left daytime television, because her network cost extra to add to my cable packages and also I’m sure because Oprah reminds me of my Mom and the many things I wanted for her that I couldn’t give her in this life. This sh*t is heavy and I can only deal with it in small doses. In fact, I’ll just keep rolling here, I’ve wondered more than once–since disease is called dis-ease and some say it is a sickness of the soul–if I just sat here and thought of every fear or sadness I’ve ever had, and cried it out, if maybe my Ulcerative Colitis and other immune issues would go away. But I haven’t been compelled to try that. But I digress…I just flipped on the tv last Sunday and Oprah was talking to this older woman with dreadlocks and I was intrigued so I began watching “Super Soul Sunday”, which is where Oprah talks to people (I think mostly authors and public figures) who have spiritual messages about life. It’s intense. And today, Oprah is talking to Mark Nepo (who I haven’t read) about what brain cancer taught him. This guy is a PhD. He’s written a bunch of books. And Oprah thinks he’s a prophet. It makes me Feel. So. Small. And who am I now? I used to relish philosophical conversations and awakenings, and now I’m pained when I watch somebody else experiencing this sort of freedom and lightness of their soul. I feel so tired and heavy. And I don’t even know what the hell is burdening me, exactly, how to get rid of it, how to make sense of it.

I wonder how much of this is a mid-life crisis and how much of it is hormonal. I’m on day 5 of Femara. Anybody else found themselves under fire from random bullets of emotion? Did it stop when you quit the Femara? Just wondering. I would like to think that this will all resolve its self (probably wishful thinking and I should probably get some therapy). I had a fight with Mr. MLACS the other day that seriously challenged my will to procreate. He should’ve known better than to berate me for anything, given that: I had a hellatious week at the new job (which was a disappointment); I feel unsettled and somewhat ashamed about quitting the job (even though I KNOW it was the right decision); I had to fight with Freedom Fertility Pharmacy and jump through hoops to get my drugs; I’m frustrated about our finances; I miss him terribly; I have no idea what I will do with myself–whether I get pregnant or not–I realized that I need to start setting goals…short-term, attainable goals, and fulfill my purpose beyond wife and motherhood…I feel like I’m just waiting to exhale. Mr. MLACS spoke to me as if I hadn’t a care in the world. And that PISSED ME OFF and got me really, really, upset. So upset, between this fight and the other above mentioned factors, I was rendered useless yesterday and spent the entire damn day in my pink reindeer pajamas stalking your blogs and googling sh*t. I did however force myself to the gym for 45min of cardio, because I know it is important to our procreational efforts. But I’m feeling literally and figuratively stuck inside a box, as I haven’t left the house.

I was supposed to meet Dr. Angel at 7am this morning to have an US and learn how to shoot my Bravelle. I even took a cold pack and placed it in my box of drugs and paraphernalia, and then placed the box in the car, just so I wouldn’t forget it. I was so anxious I couldn’t get to sleep! And he had told me to page him at the hospital juuuuust in case he was there doing a delivery. So I paged him. And of course, he was there attending to a first-time-mom who was just 6cm dilated. Just my luck. He said he’d call me and I haven’t heard from him, so I suppose this kid is taking it’s sweet time entering the world. It’s stupid but this also makes me feel small, like, her having a baby vs. me needing to shoot my drugs is no-contest as to which is more significant. And then this brings up the feelings of: it was supposed to be MY turn in October. It could’ve been me in those stirrups, but it’s not. I don’t dwell on this much (I’m not a “dweller” in general, I’m impatient and hurry to move on) but it’s worth mentioning because these feelings are there.

I’m f*ing frustrated. I don’t understand what is happening to me, but I have been stumbling through dark and unfamiliar times in my life and I know that I will be able to look back with perspective when I’ve reached the other side of this bridge. It’s just, I didn’t realize I was even ON a bridge (metaphor for I didn’t realize I was in crisis/a life transition) until I was already in the thick of it. Like I was just ambushed by life.

And by the way, you know (I think) that I am a spiritual person and I believe that these uncomfortable, painful experiences in life are growing pains and ultimately a gift. I may be empowered by whatever self discovery or nugget of universal truth that may be gleaned from weathering this storm. Are you listening Oprah???

**also I must add that Oprah films her “Super Soul Sunday” at her estate on Maui, and glimpsing the islands makes me feel very homesick–the Midwest is my Roots but Hawaii is my Wings–I miss the Aina, Kai, and Mauka…I felt that freedom and lightness of spirit there. That’s a tale for another time.