I have alluded to pieces of this in other posts, but as I’m a Lady in Waiting right now, it seems a good time to share a couple of more bits about me. You know I’m fat. You know I’m over 35. You know that patience is not my strong suit. What I don’t think I’ve specifically shared yet is that I am also diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder/Major Depressive Disorder (aka Clinical Depression). I’ve lived with this since I was about six years old, officially diagnosed when I was 19.
In late 2014 I had my first brush with a psych ward. I’d had a relapse in the late summer, only it was anxiety like I’d never experienced before but in brief flashes. It was unrelenting. I’d seen a psych, he put me on a different class of meds and to make a long story short, they didn’t work. You know those commercials for new medicines on the market that say, “If you experience new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, consult your physician right away…” yeah… that was me. I won’t go too far into it, but I was on the WRONG meds for too long and landed in the hospital for two weeks.
When I came out of the hospital, I felt strongly that I’d dodged a bullet not getting pregnant in my earlier years and I that I should put the idea firmly in my rear view mirror.. How could I gamble passing this shit on to an innocent soul?! That was nearly two years ago. I joined childless-not-by-choice forums, connected myself to as many friends who did not have kids as possible, and worked hard to convince myself that I had left it all behind and needed to sort out what I’d do with the next 14,000 days of my life.
The anxiety never left me though. It remained a solid 4 day to day when I wasn’t peaking. I had more bouts of suicidal ideation. What was wrong? My future just wouldn’t come into focus. I’ve felt adrift. I studied my family history looking for answers and examples. I started a cottage business. I picked up my art again. I languished at work. In early 2016, I determined to find a new and completely different job, ready to leave the place I’d worked for 15 years. I was excited and ready to jump into this new plan. Then, my sister in law fell pregnant after her own struggle to conceive and I fell apart in jealousy and pain. I got a hair cut, some snazzy new clothes and tried to ignore that I was hurting for my life that DID NOT happen, focus on what I WAS able to control and nurture. For two weeks I saw my counselor almost every other day trying to fight the spiral…
Finally, I got angry at ME. I had to admit my truth.
Physical barriers be damned. Mental Health history be damned. Age be damned. Finances be damned. Conventional wisdom be damned. I WANT… no NEED… to pursue this.
It’s significant that in July, when I made this revelation to myself and started taking steps, my anxiety went to a background level. And, significantly, when the anxiety rises, all I need to do is look deeper for what lie I’m telling myself now and face it.
I’m not a perfect specimen for motherhood. But I AM a loving human with a lot to offer in spite of it all. I have deep worry, but my need to see this through is so strong. I think that if I don’t follow through, the lies I’d tell myself would destroy me. So, here I am in the light… risking hope and not buying my own lies.