forgive my neil diamond lyrics as the title of this post– i am currently in a messenger debate with a friend over whether or not Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond is a good song. guess what? it is. a chorus of the bopbopboppppp makes it 100. don’t @ me. (is that what the kids say these days?)
on to more pressing matters– i am on a leave of absence from work. there– plain and simple… no dancing around it- i’ll just put it out there. life has been increasingly stressful over the past few months– i’ve made difficult decisions i wholeheartedly felt were the right thing… only to have them blow up in my face. i’ve listened to the hurtful words from some and believed them. i internalized them… they took control.
i looked at my social media feeds from the days leading up to my “breakdown,” and i could see it coming. –tweets about feeling like i was unraveling… guzzling coffee because i couldn’t feed my kids fast food dinner again… or be late on a work assignment. the hits at work hit hard and broke me down– the messy house, the exhaustion, the tantrums from the threenager, the meetings at school for my five year old– those became harder to handle. i was losing strength.
i think… though i can’t be totally sure…. that i basically stopped my OCD medication without meaning to. the deeper i got into the madness… the more i kept telling myself… “oh you’ve already taken it– don’t take it again… you’ll OD” …or “you can’t be sure– you don’t want serotonin syndrome– best to just skip it tonight…” — eventually i couldn’t determine the days i’d had it or hadn’t had it… i was lying about taking it regularly… though i kept telling myself that i wasn’t lying– i was just being protective.
i am not functional without Prozac. i have come to terms with it– it is the life i live. when the postpartum from my daughter became too much to bear– and i felt i couldn’t hold her in my arms because she deserved better than the piece of shit mother she was given… i had to get help. for months, my life after her birth was the darkest time in my life. i found the energy to make it to my psychiatrist even when i couldn’t get out of the car. the office coordinator met me outside, sat down on the ground and talked me through an unbearable moment. together, my psychiatrist and my therapist…. saved me. they’ve both seen me in my darkest moments.
a few weeks ago the darkness was creeping in again. some of the most hurtful words of my life were said– lies were told– i stood my ground… at least i tried. i stood my ground until i couldn’t stand any longer. i texted my therapist– “i’m not feeling like myself… it’s all too much… everyone deserves better than me…i can’t do it anymore.” She wanted to see me– I refused. I needed to finish work that day. I had to show the world I was okay.
I left work a few hours early and then went home and crumbled. i impulsively cut my hair because– why the hell not? i wanted to be different… look different– not be who i am. things got darker… & hours later i started vomiting and nearly fainted. i realized i hadn’t really eaten or drank much all day. –after some sleep, some water and some more vomiting…i fell asleep on my couch.
the next day i texted my psychiatrist. i have my psych’s number for emergencies only. i’ve used it maybe twice in all of the years i’ve been seeing her. she told me to come in immediately. my blood pressure was very high– my pulse was very high… and i was inconsolable. she called my husband to discuss a care plan and i fell backward into the chair collapsing on the arms and relying on them to hold me upright. i stared out the window and wondered how i was here… again.
when she came back the plan was decided. i was out of work for 2 weeks at least– with regular check ins for my vitals and mental state. my appointment tomorrow will determine if i am fit enough to return to work.
every single day of my leave- i have desperately tried to relax… it was hard at first. my brain was on steroids– i was worried… terrified, anxious, crazy. i listened to my doctor– i took my medication and things started to become a little more manageable. i slept… a lot. mental exhaustion is very real. i’ve been exhausted for months. i got a completely new haircut– i attended meetings at my son’s school… i prayed– i watched trash TV– i read …i saw friends i haven’t seen in months. these moments have felt really good. i’ve felt more myself– and as a result, i’ve had real moments of being present with my children and enjoying them in these amazing stages in their lives. i’ve had the complete support of my husband who comes through for me time and time again. i don’t deserve him but God blessed me with him and he’s rescued me more times than i can count.
so what is the point of this post? i don’t know. i just felt the need to write it. i felt the need to let you know that my thanksgiving turkey and stuffing were delicious and my carrot cake turned out beautifully and was well received… my kids actually smiled in their school pictures– they’re SO smart and the lights of my life… and my husband and i are incredibly in love and he’s perfect… and every other fucking thing that everyone puts on social media. i let you guys know that all the time if you follow my newsfeed. but you know what– it’s not all gravy (see what i did there?) all the time. the turkey may be good but the traveling is taxing. the kids smiled in their pictures but bitched me out over not making hot dogs for dinner… or threw a tantrum over not getting to eat fruit snacks after school when i barely held it together that day at work. my husband is my love– but sometimes he pisses me the hell off …and some moments i’m a whole lot to handle for him. sometimes i call him an asshole and he really hates it– sometimes he treats me like a 3rd child and i scream at him for it. and sometimes– i smile at you at work and tell you things are fine… i’m just tired.. –but sometimes… things are not fine. it’s too much …and this time– it caught up with me.
i’m still struggling. i’m still hurting- and truth be told, i’m terrified to go back to work. i still don’t feel 100% and keep having crying spells and fits of feeling like a complete failure. –but i’m better. i got help. i’ve had so many texts and calls and visits from good friends who know my heart. their support- their own strength… their love– continues to help me through this hard time. God I’ve needed it. I’ve needed every kind word.. every heartfelt concern… every positive message. It is SO important to tell the ones you love that you love them. they NEED to know. they need to know what you mean to them. sometimes – they need to know that others see the true person they are when they’re telling themselves that the lies they’ve heard and the words they’ve suffered from may actually be the truth.
through it all, the people i respect the most have supported me and loved me. the people that matter– know my heart and love me even if i haven’t felt “normal.” i am so grateful.
prayers for a positive psychiatric check up tomorrow and strength for the weeks to come. <3.