Friday, October 28, 2011

It's a...

We had our anatomy scan yesterday.  The baby looks good but was a bit uncooperative.  We were able to find out what we're having.  And here is your clue:

The dragon in the middle is Kellen, who makes a pretty cute dragon if I do say so myself.  Also, pipe cleaner fire is far safer and funnier than the real thing!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I've written a lot about mental health issues in this space, mostly related to PTSD.  But I've rarely mentioned depression, in a way I think because it's a tough issue to talk about.  After the fire, I wasn't really depressed.  I was overwhelmed.  I cried.  But I still was able to look at the world and see goodness.

A few days after the Bell's Palsy, when the doctor called with an abnormal test result, that's the first day I took antidepressants ever.  Honestly it wasn't even depression.  It was life, and I was so overwhelmed by the amount of really, really shitty things happening that I wanted a pill to take those events away.  They couldn't.  And as it turned out, I have a really bad reaction to the medication they prescribed.

Depression and anxiety seem to be associated with Lyme, and I definitely had my fair share (in addition to the anxiety caused by the fire, which was its own beast!).  There were many days I couldn't get off the floor (where I was trying to play with my son) and was worried about my ability to get through this illness, through the pain of the events that have bludgeoned my spirit (not to be hyperbolic).  As we treated Lyme, the depression seemed to subside, and I was able to see the sun again.  I still might not have been able to see the world in the same optimistic light as before the fire and the Lyme, but at least I could enjoy what was immediately present in my life.  I also stopped expecting bad things to happen.

Until now.

I don't know if it's pregnancy related or the fact that some of my neurologic issues are returning mid-way through this pregnancy, but I feel like the darkness has found me again.  It's hard to conceptualize depression; it's more than just a black cloud that follows you around.  Depression is a weight that settles into your heart and makes every thought, every action feel like the very last bicep curl after a long workout.  Depression drains you of energy and sucks joy out of even the most supposedly joyful moments.  And worse, depression makes you a narcissist, assuming that all actions and reactions are a result of something you've done.  All rationality disappears, and you are left with hurt, pain that only you can resolve and yet you are in a place where you are unable to care for even the most basic of needs, much less find your way through a dark and lonely tunnel.

I have 20 weeks left of this pregnancy.  While I wish I was one of those women who loved every minute of being pregnant, I do not.  I am sick.  And I am sick of being sick.  Most of the symptom flares I am unable to treat because the medications are not safe for my child.  I have twenty weeks until I can take the medicine I need, twenty weeks for my disease to once again get out of control, twenty weeks to start the arduous climb back toward health.  I want to look forward to holding my child for the first time, for those first moments of recognition.  Instead, I look forward to swallowing a blue pill, one that I hope will stabilize my health.

Sadly, I don't even know if this frustration is the cause or the result of depression.  Regardless, I am struggling to feel like there is happiness again in my future.  I am tired of the battle.  I am tired of feeling like the person life shits on when there is too much joy.  I'm tired of being the person who everyone has come to expect will be negative or lack enthusiasm.  Certainly there are worse life circumstances.  I know this.  But I still feel like I've lost some sort of life lottery.  And I'm just tired.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Five year plans

Dan and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary on Friday.  I've written before about how difficult the last five years have been for us (Sometimes I Do really does mean "for worse") and how I never could have predicted the events that would follow our wedding.  It's been a trial for sure.

At dinner, Dan and I talked about the past and tried to talk about the future.  As someone who used to live for my Five Year Plan, this seemed like an appropriate time to pull out a pen and paper and start making a list about all the things I'm going to accomplish between now and 2016.  Instead, we looked at each other and sighed.  There would be no five year plan.  There likely won't ever be another five year plan.  The old ones burned up in the fire... as did our ability to believe that we could even pretend to make a list about where we see ourselves five years from now.

I don't think this is uncommon for fire survivors.  In a way we are lucky to have so many people around us who understand.  My neighbors and I have discussed this very subject, and it seems to me that most of us have this block.  Life changed so dramatically in a matter of minutes, and, even if it's irrational, there is this belief that emerges that it could change again that quickly.  No amount of planning can prepare you for that moment, and I wonder if having a firm idea in your head of where your life is supposed to be makes the event, the dramatic change, more difficult to absorb.  Not only have did we lose a house, our stuff, we lost our direction.

This isn't to say I don't have some goals or we don't talk about possibilities in the future.  I just am not nearly as committed to those ideas as I was in the past.  It's freeing, in a way, not always having to look forward and instead just being where you are.  Even so, it's still an adjustment, especially for someone who used to believe that life could all be worked out, plotted on a graph in a neat little line.  I guess that only really works if you are graphing with hindsight, plotting your steps as they happen, not as you wish them to be.