Depression / Anxiety

Not a great week…

Where to start on this week… It has not been great to say the least. Do you ever just feel like everything in your life is falling apart? If you’re not in a great mood yourself and don’t wish to be brought down, I encourage you not to read the rest of this post. I said way back what this blog was for, to get out my feelings and emotions. And that’s what I’m doing. If you think I’m too negative, well, you’re right, because this is my outlet for my negative feelings. I’d love support, but don’t need anyone to remind me of what I already know, that I’m really struggling with a lot right now.

I guess I can start with something a little positive. One of my calm places, where I tend to go when I feel stressed, is Barnes and Noble. If we had other book stores around here I’d go there, but this is pretty much the only one close. I’m not sure why I go, maybe the quiet atmosphere, wandering around with a coffee… I like reading, of falling into a good story, or learning something new, seeing a perspective different from my own. I’m actually quite sad that book stores don’t seem to be doing so well lately, I’d hate to think one of my favorite hangouts might no longer exist! Anyway, I found myself there Monday morning when I was particularly down, sad, distraught, you get the idea. I browsed the self-help section, I mean, seriously, all these books, isn’t there just one I can read and be fixed, feel happy, understand life and it’s struggles?? I came across “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey. Now… I’m not a huge Oprah fan, I don’t really love or hate her. I don’t really even watch her talk show, but I have to assume she’s a smart lady who has been through a lot and learned some lessons over the years. I’m only on page 55, but so far I recommend. It’s an easy read, short, cute stories from her life. Nothing completely groundbreaking yet, but certainly a few tidbits I’ll try to remember when I’m feeling especially stressed, like how we should always dance, enjoy the little moments in life, persevere through our fear, etc.

This morning the MOMS Club I’m president of was supposed to hold their monthly, required, business meeting. Only me and one other board member (there are five of us on the board) RSVP to attend. So not even the entire board, much less not a single other member planned to come. So I cancelled it. But it will need to be rescheduled since it is required to hold our non-profit status and affiliation with MOMS Club International. I’m just so annoyed with the members, and the board. The board is supposed to support me, but even they are too lazy to come to the business meetings. I get they want the fun part, the playdates and such, but ugh. If we don’t also have the business side, which coordinates everything, then how can we have all the fun stuff?? If I just stop holding these meetings, the group will cease to exist. Is that what they want?? As if I don’t have enough in my life without feeling like I have to keep this moms club going. I don’t go to most of the playdates involving children. I usually stick to the moms stuff, like book club, moms night out, coffee talk, etc. I really like the moms I’ve met through the club, but most I’m close with are my age, but have children much older than mine, in school, and thus also have some free-time during the day.

So nothing on my calendar today except maybe dinner out with my MOPs ladies if Eric is home from work in time. I won’t know until the last-minute. I dropped the girls off at school and now I’m home, doing laundry. I’m not sure why I don’t like being home alone, or even home alone with the girls when Eric isn’t here. It’s like I don’t know how to spend the time, how to get through the hours. Or maybe I just feel too guilty relaxing… I know laundry is easy, and necessarily, but having that as my only task today feels quite depressing. I know I do much better, feel much happier I mean, when my calendar is more full, when I’m busy and feel like I’m contributing and accomplishing things. The weather was nasty again yesterday and so I picked up the girls early from school. And I was fearing that today would be nasty too and I’d be stuck at home all day with them. That shouldn’t feel like a bad thing, to be at home with your two and three-year old all day. But then why did it feel scary to me, lonely and depressing? Eric had to stay in Waterloo last night because of the weather, so maybe it was the idea of being with just the girls for days on end without help that felt so overwhelming. But still. How can I love them so much, but dislike being stuck at home with them? Does that say something about me as a mother?

Okay, moving on… I think I’ve been having panic attacks. If they are indeed panic attacks, they started this past weekend. Long story there that I’m not ready to go into. I guess to help explain though, I said and did some things that have broken trust between Eric and myself in our marriage. I feel awful, and am dedicated to making things better, to making him and I closer. For now though, I think the stress and anxiety, which I struggle with anyway, now feels heightened, and thus the panic attacks. The feelings I’m having include a racing heart, sweating, feeling in general like I’m burning up inside, sick to my stomach, sometimes my hands feel shaky… Once I was a bit light-headed and felt like I had to sit down. I’ll mention them to the doctor I see for depression, but my next check-up with her isn’t for almost a month yet. I’m hoping these don’t continue…

Eric and I have talked more and more about moving back to Cedar Falls, especially in light of this past weekends events. I know the distance, him commuting, essentially living between two households, has hurt our marriage and pulled Eric and I apart. Thankfully we are both commuted to making things better and stronger between us, but the how of that feels so enormous to me right now. Like how to even begin. I know sometimes it takes me a long time to make a decision, like moving back to Cedar Falls. It’s been on my mind for what feels like forever now. But now that I’m feeling like it’s the best choice for us, I want it now. I’m kind of like that with all my decisions. Once I make a choice, I want to work toward it, make it happen. It isn’t that easy though, our old house in Cedar Falls has renters and is currently for sale. We’d like to get that sold first. Then I assume we’d list our current home for sale. How long could all that take? And here I am feeling in limbo in the meantime. Moving again sounds so overwhelming to me, but with more bad weather coming and Eric being on-call and away again next week anyway, well, the feeling of wanting to be closer to him and together more is on my mind now more than ever. Looking back over the past several years, I haven’t felt at home. Not in Cedar Falls, and now not here. Could we move again, back to Cedar Falls, and finally make a house feel like a home? How? When? And what does moving the girls again do to them? Another new school? New friends, even though I know they are little and don’t remember much. But still. How do I not continue to feel like a visitor in my own house?


  • Kimberly

    This going to sound blunt but I mean it in a kind way: are you in therapy? I’ve gone to therapy as much as once a week ever since my premature ovarian failure diagnosis in 2012. It is so helpful. It’s been with three different people. It’s been about IVF, but also about my in laws and eating issues and, recently, the shock on being pregnant again and fears about giving birth again. It’s very very helpful to pay someone to listen to me. It helps when dealing with the issues you are dealing with, like anxiety, stress, relationships and decision making. It’s made me more self aware and helped me through really hard times. I highly recommend it! These are huge decisions. You yourself say you haven’t really felt satisfied or comfortable anywhere recently. I wonder how much of that has to do with PLACE vs. relationships vs. identity. You have grappled a lot with your role as a SAHM And considered going back to work, not for the money but for the structure and sense of purpose. Therapy could probably help you hash that out! Sending you positive vibes!!!!

    • Stefanie

      So actually yes, I’ve been seeing the same therapist since shortly after we moved back here a year ago. I felt like I clicked with her immediately so continued to see her even though my insurance doesn’t cover her. So… here I am paying a ton to talk to her, which is sometimes good, but also sometimes bad. Since my insurance doesn’t cover her we aren’t bound to strict counseling guidelines. But then I also feel like most often we aren’t accomplishing much… Maybe time to switch.

  • good wishes!

    You need a job where you go and interact with adults. Preferably 1/2 time so you can feel ok with kids going to day care for about 6 hrs 5 days a week giving you the commute time and a bit of transition grocery store errand time. Yes, living closer to where your husband works probably would be better. Try a smaller house with yard and neighbors close by with kids….

  • mylifeasacasestudy

    Steph, it’s going to be ok. It really will, no matter what.
    But you are in crisis right now and you need outside support–beyond the opinions and support of fellow moms and bloggers. You and Eric need marriage counseling–you are not the only one who is betraying your marriage! The fact that he places his (batsh*t crazy and hateful) mother’s wants and needs above yours is a big deal–he demands that you allow her to bully and disrespect you, and as a*husband* he should protect and defend you, and put you first. You come second to his job and third to his mother, and as much as you might *want* to be ok with that, you are human and it hurts.

    I don’t know what you might have done to betray your marriage, but it’s certainly not all your fault. And you can’t “fix it” by yourself–both partners have to be equally invested and doing the work.

    Do not make a snap decision about moving. If sh*t is messed up between you two then being in close proximity isn’t going to magically fix it. It would be better to get some therapy under your belts first, to hopefully give you both clarity about what the core issues are (the *actual* problems and not the symptoms) and diffuse the current situation. Uprooting you and the girls will create more distractions and more problems, which is not productive.

    Also you do not have to sit at home and fold f*cking laundry. You don’t have to plan your social calendar around moms nights. You can go back to work. You can find other things that make you feel good (for me, it’s the gym). You are “stuck” right now, probably because you know what you need to do but you are afraid to do it. But any decision you make based on fear and denial is going to be the wrong decision, no matter how committed you are to it. XOXO

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