I had a plan, for those who know me well this is not surprising. I like plans, and lists, and knowing what I am going to do next.
So, I made a plan and I worked that plan.
Last year it became clear that I needed to have a hysterectomy. I have PCOS, I had developed endometriosis, and adenomyosis. Basically, everything even remotely related to the female reproductive system was jacked up in my body and it was causing me chronic pain.
After realizing it needed to happen I knew I was going to need some help getting through it. We had been trying to have a baby for almost seven years. We had done four years of focused fertility treatments, had six miscarriages, and a lot of dashed hopes. Due to all of this, the first part of my plan was to get a counselor to help me work through it all.
The second part of my plan was to give myself four months after my hysterectomy to deal with my emotions, face all the pain and then move on-having finally closed this painful chapter of my life. Four Months. Face it. Go through the storm. Then be done.
This is where the glitch in my plan came into play.
During all of this craziness my anxiety got to the point that I was no longer able to manage it on my own and I was taking a decent amount of prescription anxiety medication. What I did not realize until I transitioned to an all natural way of managing my anxiety was this- the medication was stopping me from feeling a lot of my emotions.
I have always been emotional. I am basically a walking and talking tear duct. Any emotions-happy, mad, sad, empathy, confusion, you name it and I cry. I am the girl that cries at commercials. I am the girl who cannot handle watching anything with an animal in the story because I will be crying for hours after. The girl who has woken her husband up crying loudly over a novel on more than one occasion.
At least, I used to be.
Slowly, as my anxiety meds were increased and increased again my emotions got less intense. To be honest I did not notice. It was also during this time that we went from zero kids to five kids in a little over a year so I was a tad preoccupied. When I noticed I was not crying as often I thought maybe I just stopped being the cry baby of the family. When big things happened and I was not able to cry about them, I assumed I was just processing things differently. Nope. None of those were correct. The medication was preventing me from feeling the full weight of my emotions.
I realized this about a month ago when I stopped the prescription medication and began managing my anxiety using only natural methods. I slowly started to notice my emotions return and that I was once again a big ol’ cry baby.
I was not even thinking about my plan for my Hysterectomy- mainly because it was eight months ago so my time limit was up and with six kids I simply had too many other things going on.
Then Sunday came and a bomb went off in my heart.
I was sitting with Tyler in church minding my own business, when suddenly I felt the floor taken out from underneath me. Nothing major had happened for anyone else in the room. In the middle of an analogy to get his message across the Pastor said the word
I did not know I was not okay until then. I fought back tears, kept it together, and said nothing about it. I figured it was a one time flare up and I put it out of my mind.
Later that night, after feeding the kids dinner and tucking them in bed I decided I needed a little mindless unwind time and I turned on”How I Met Your Mother”. In the episode I watched Marshall figures out that his wife, Lily, is pregnant with their second child. As he confronted her to find out if this was true their eyes lit up with love and joy and that special magic only a new baby can bring. As they cried tears of joy, I started sobbing. Not getting teary eyed and not just crying. I mean body shaking, can’t catch your breath, sobbing.
While I laid on the couch overwhelmed by emotions I realized it- I am not okay.
I am not just fine.
I am not done with it.
I do not think I ever fully processed it the first time.
This realization left me wondering how I was not aware that I was not okay. Then it hit me- I never have a moment when I am not worrying about, planning for, or thinking about the kids. Normal mom stuff? Sure. Is that all it is? No. Our kids have special needs, they have higher level needs than kids who have not been through the hell they have. I am so laser focused on keeping all of this afloat that I had not noticed what was going on inside of me.
I started the counseling because I did not want to be a bitter or sad 50 year old woman who had not processed her grief. I realize now I am still not processing it. I do not know how to. I don’t know how to walk into what feels like an endless pit of sadness. Logically, I know it is not endless. I know the only way to not have emotional bombs going off due to single words is by going through it all. It just seems too immense. It is too big a loss. I really do not know where to begin.