Crying on my Birthday.

My anxiety filled-1

Horray! I’m 34! Except this birthday isn’t like other birthdays.

This year I am riddled with fear, doubt and feelings of just exhaustion. No matter how I try to pick myself up, come up with different plans, and do what I can personally to strengthen myself mentally- I have moments like this…except this moment has been creeping up on my for a long time I think….3 years to be exact.

I have been trying my hardest to avoid my anxieties of things by telling myself they don’t either exist or that they’re small and don’t need this much mental anguish.

Except 3 years later, nothing has changed and I have realized this. I got into a bad car accident- well to me it was bad. Life was going pretty well before this accident. I had a hard pregnancy with my daughter, but things were picking up. My husband could refocus on his business again, and I was enjoying my daughter. With a new journey ahead of us, things were looking up!

Until that car accident changed it all. It changed a lot about me. I became an angry person, an anxious person who thought about ‘how things were going to go wrong’ all the time, I made chaos out of even the smallest things. And to top it off was the pain…the pain is still what affects me and keeps me angry and anxious. I want to be happy and look forward but this neck, this face pain keeps me in the past. It keeps me in that accident, in that car.

Several unfair things happened after. The rear ending wasn’t the only hit- we took hit after hit after hit….my husband was injured and could barely work dealing with his own pain, me, my appointments and his own; then our daughter still needed her parents. He took the charge because I had mentally wiped out. He pushed himself and pushed and never uttered a bad word. Financially we took a hit, we couldn’t work but we still had expenses plus paying for appointments. We took another hit because I stopped driving, but I started to back seat drive. Our relationship took a hit because of me. I was exhausted all the time, I was angry and upset all the time, but we did our best for each other and our daughter. We took a hit in so many parts of our lives that just thinking about it makes me cry.

Anxiety

The one thing I refused to take a hit with was having my second child. I refused to put that away. That was a plan we made after I made annoying appointments with different doctors to find out exactly what kinds of risks I would be in, accept the extra steps I would have to make – accepted them and made the decision to go on with it. My second pregnancy was wonderful! I had to do those extra things that weren’t going according to plan but I dealt with it fine. It was the first time after my accident that the pain totally disappeared! I had the best 10 months ever! I thought the pain was gone for good and I got my life back. I was doing great mentally, making progress to gain back me. I was back to doing all the things I loved to do! There were still some issues that I had to iron out but I was doing it with more gusto and looked forward to being ‘me’ again!

Except after a couple months after giving birth to my son- the pain came back…but it didn’t come back just small. It came back like the pain I had after my car accident. One of my biggest pleasures and hope was to breast feed this baby for 2 years! The pain was awful in my neck and shoulders. I had to restart going to my Physio guy and get IMS done again so I could cling on to my son and breastfeeding. It was helping and relieving my pain. And I held on to my positive attitude that this will go away again.

It hasn’t gone away…it’s now 17months after giving birth. I refuse to let that accident take away my one joy to breast feed and I refuse to stop until he’s 2.

My Love and Joy!
My Love and Joy!

This year I made resolutions that I am sticking with, and one of them is to gain back ‘myself’. I was a happy person! I am an activist who could separate myself from the cause (which is something I’m struggling with now). I love to write, and draw, to make amazing meals for my family, I love playing the piano, I love making my mommy blogs, I love doing all this…but as time goes it’s harder and harder to remember who I was before that accident.

A few days ago, I broke down. I had the symptoms of what I thought was a heart attack- I rushed to the hospital. To learn thankfully it wasn’t a heart attack but it was indeed the worst anxiety attack I have ever experienced. I never knew a person could feel like that. My blood pressure was very high, I had troubles calming down, I kept thinking about the pain in my face so I kept myself from crying (because crying would make it worse), my neck had been hurting for days prior because I had to do more activity. And having to let go of our wage loss claim was painful- not so much because of the money but because of how unfair it was. I guess it all toppled over and my glass started to spill.

Now it’s January 11th 2016. And I don’t feel happy. I feel a bit depressed and mostly angry. My neck is hurting and I will have to probably take more Tylenol today. I will probably have to restrain myself more today and my husband will have to do my portion too. I will probably feel like not leaving the house but I’m sure my husband will do his best to get me out. I want to feel like myself- like the Lazina before the car accident. And right now, I’m breaking down. My resolutions are out the door for today as I let myself go and feel bad. I will most likely regret feeling like this later when I get my senses back, but as long as my neck is hurting today I will feel this way.

I want a Happy 34th birthday. And I will do my best to have it. But for this moment- I will just let myself feel the things I’m feeling. I have been holding it in so much thinking I was dealing with it. And now my heart races a lot, I get palpitations that are very noticeable often, my blood pressure is up, and I’m faint feeling a lot. So holding it in isn’t the right solution.

I’m going to cry on my 34th birthday because of the wrong reasons. It should be because I’m getting older or something normal like that. But I’m just freaking out because this is another year of pain and anxiety and I’m wondering how many more birthdays will this car accident take from me- take from my family. Haven’t I taken enough hits?

But as usual, I’m going to cover it up in front of my family, my friends, the outside world because this is how I am. But I hope on the Internet if someone who is searching, or a momma who has gone through what I have, see’s this will know that I feel just like them and they are not alone.

And I hope by the time dinner comes, I will have managed my pain, I will be smiling without fear for my face and my happy face won’t be a fake one.

Good Luck!
🙁

Life Lesson for Mommy #38:

omera&haytham2

It’s Easier the 2nd Time

Other mom’s always told me that things are easier with the second child. Makes sense. Because you already know everything from the first. What kinds of poops are normal, when to worry about a fever, what foods to start feeding, how to nurse etc  With my daughter, I reacted to everything. She cried for a second, I’d respond a second later. I read tons of baby books, went online to research like a maniac about all the things I could do to give my daughter the best possible start. Breast fed as long as I could, organic homemade food, no sweets, taught her sign language, Mozart playing all the time, piano lessons, vacuumed everyday, organic clothes- the list freaking goes on. I did a lot so she would benefit. Took care of her so precisely because that’s usually what first time parents do- do things so meticulously for your precious first baby.

After hearing these mothers who said it was easier with the second, I relaxed a bit, thinking that it wasn’t going to be as hard, or emotionally and physically draining as the first, because I already know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It wasn’t going to be a whole new learning process.

LIES! All lies!
It doesn’t get easier with the second- actually it gets harder. Because now you have a newborn who needs constant attention (boob feeding, diapers, skin time, more diapers, more boob feedings) but you also have the toddler- who is also in need of constant attention (love me, pay attention to me, look at me, let me hold the baby, is this a power socket?…) hahaha?

Dear God, what the hell have I done. It’s like in these last 3 years since my daughter was born, my mind suddenly forgot the every hour breast feedings, the never ending epic diapers, the constant worry about if he’s breathing, if he’s okay when he’s gassy… NOW on top of that, picture a toddler bouncing around, trying to kiss the baby, hold him, anxious about getting the kind of attention she’s used to. To top it off, my anxiety of getting him circumcised, the lack of sleep, and of course that toddler bouncing around- ignoring what I ask her to do, testing the limits of discipline, pushing all the patient buttons I have. Argh, who are these people saying it’s easier the second time? What kind of children are these women popping out that they think this is easier the second time around? Because I’m not seeing it, it’s harder then when it was just my daughter. Dear God, so much harder. I feel like I’m stretched thin, so is my mind, body and nipples; all of it just wilting away wondering why is this not easier. Sometimes I find myself curled in the corner facing the wall saying to myself ‘they said it was easier, they said it was easier’….hahaha?

The truth is, it’s not easier when you have a second kid, it only gets harder, more complicated; and more stressful. I’m having to rely on my support system greatly. Things like home cook food for my daughter flew out the window because I’m so tired. Now if she skips dinner and wants a cupcake, after explaining to her why she needs to eat dinner; after she’s thrown a tantrum waking up her baby brother, I give her the damn cup cake. “Put away your toys” has become just please move the toys to a corner so I can walk. All the things I worked so hard to do with my first, literally went out the door. I imagine as my second child grows up, and he becomes a bit more independent it will get easier, but until they both get into school, this is going to be my life, a whole lot of crazy.

My vacuuming the floor every second day, turned into whenever possible. My home cooked meals became semi home cooked with things thrown into a pot and left to cook itself. My freshly folded laundry is now live out of the basket of clean clothes tossed in it. My me time has become play with my daughter while breast feeding my son time. I can’t tell you what’s happening to my mental well being because I haven’t had the time to think about if I’m mental or not. And this is only 22 days in since I gave birth….

So listen up second time preggo’s, it doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. REAL HARD. But somehow you will get through it, somehow you will keep your sanity. The moment your kids fall asleep, you will gaze upon them with loving eyes and realize that yes this is hard, real hard, super horribly hard, but wow; you made these wonderful little human beings. And they are a piece of you, the best piece of you.

So stay strong! And the next time you hear someone telling you it’s easier the second time around, shake that person and scream LIES!!!! But you’re ready for it. And one day, 3 or 4 years down the road, you will forget all the trouble of raising 2 kids, and stupidly think you want a 3rd or 4th….until that time, enjoy these moments now. As hard as it is, you’ll miss them when they grow up and no longer need your constant care.

And it’s not so bad, especially when my daughter cuddles me and tells me she loves mama; or when my son looks at me. I think to myself, nope, this isn’t too bad at all.
Good Luck!
😀

Life Lesson for Mommy #17:

Relax, relieve, reset

 

Postpartum (or continued) depression, trauma or stress

Most women don’t talk about it with each other. As mothers we tend to not be open about what we are going through as new moms. But postpartum depression, trauma and stress does happen. And there is nothing shameful about it.

What is alarming is the rate of women who sit in denial or think they can do it alone; when there is help available.

The healthiest thing for you and your baby or toddler (or even children) is to not run away into denial, accept first that you are feeling what you are feeling. Deal with it through support, whether you find that in your partner, a family member, friends, clinical help, religion, or a slew of different options. Don’t go it alone and don’t go through it any longer. You’ll only create yourself a bigger hole that gets harder and harder to get out of.

For a lot of women more then depression, it’s mainly anxiety. It can be anxiety about your new born, to family life, to work, money, financial stresses, even your partner. Anxiety can really come from anything, and it’s not always related to the family. It can be outside forces or internal forces.

How do you cope then from all these different ‘feelings’? It first starts with admitting you need help. It’s the healthiest to first talk to you doctor about what you are feeling and work out a plan for you. This plan doesn’t always mean medication. It can be therapeutic help like, seeing a psychologist, a counselor, group therapy, exercise, meditation, prayer- really anything even drawing. If you don’t want to do medication, this is the best route for you, is to try and find an outlet. Exercise, diet, taking time for yourself to do something for yourself is crucial during this period. Things like writing, playing an instrument, or even watching funny movies can help you to destress.

I like to unwind by watching comedy shows- Dave Chappelle is my anxiety kicker. I’ll watch funny movies, or TV shows. I’ll draw, I’ll write, I’ll even blog. I’ll go for a walk with my husband and daughter. Or to the mall, go out to eat dinner. Fun things that will help pull me out of my anxiety.

If pain is accompanying your anxiety or depression- that may be a different situation, and you may need to go on medication to help with your physical pain so that you can tackle your mental well being. It’s a good conversation to have with your doctor.

For me a combination of Physio therapy from the right physio therapist, and counseling with a psychologist helps me a lot to deal with my physical pain and also my mental state. To top it off massage really helped alleviate the pressure off my shoulders and relaxes me for at least 30 minutes a week- not counting all the massage my dear husband gives me 😉

Get support, get help, and pull yourself out of a hole that you don’t need to be in. I had stopped driving for a year after my accident due to anxieties about the road, even when I wasn’t driving, I was in constant panic about the cars around us. It was exhausting when you’re spending that much effort- it’s emotionally draining.

Make a plan for your mental well being by taking that first step- talk to your doctor. Just because you do, doesn’t mean you’re crazy.

It can be something as serious as depression, to as something as mild as the casual stresses. It’s best and healthiest for you to accept and deal through it and NOT just live with it. Mothers are one of the toughest creatures out there, and with the right help, we can do amazing things for ourselves and for our families.

Good Luck!
😀

Relax, relieve, reset
Relax, relieve, reset