Monday, March 18, 2013

A little confession

I had grand plans to write about our weekend, and share how Ian and I met 8 years ago on St. Patrick's day.  This happens sometimes, where I have plans to share something, and then as good as my intentions may be, something intervenes and I do not have the energy to finish the post yet.

I am having one of those days.  Where the unknown about L's health overwhelms me.  Where I end up curled up on the couch sobbing uncontrollably while L naps.  These days do not happen as much as they used to, but it knocks the breath out of me when they do happen.

I have a little confession.  Last year, I took a couple months off from blogging.  When I came back to my blog, I never explained why the break was needed.  The truth is that mentally I was in a bad place at the beginning of 2012.  L was finally somewhat stable.  She had just had her PICC line removed at the end of January 2012 and we were spending more time at home.  That time allowed us to have some breathing room, some down time, and with that time meant I was all the sudden flooded with the bottled up emotions of the last 1.5 years.  That was confusing - she was finally stable and yet here I was not even appreciating it because I was so in over my head with the hows and whats and whys of where we were.

I found myself angry at the world.  Irritated the second I woke up.  My patience was non-existent and I took it out on Ian mostly, and felt overwhelmed taking care of L.  I knew something had to change. So I started seeing a therapist.  Best decision I could have made.

I have been with the same therapist for about a year now.  It gives me a place to let go of all of these fears.  While Ian and I share our fears and joys with each other, having a medically fragile child means very extreme fears and anxiety sometimes.  For us, we often have different fears at different times.  Is it fair to share some fear or thought about her future if the other person has not reached that fear yet?  I tend to jump ahead with fears more quickly than Ian - probably because I am the one that goes to her appointments and also researchers more than is probably helpful sometimes.  Ian tries to stay in the present as much as possible.  Seeing a therapist has allowed me to put those fears on someone else's shoulders and I am able to come home feeling refreshed.

The next few months as I was seeing my therapist, I could feel myself healing a bit.  The days where I felt overwhelmed became fewer and more spread out.  I suddenly started appreciating my everyday with Ian and L.  I started feeling more comfortable getting together with friends again.  And a year later, I am in such a better place.  I am happy every single day.  I have so much love and respect for my husband, and my heart swells with happiness watching L grow into a beautiful little lady.

But then something like today happens, and I have another one of those days.  Sadly, being in the transplant community means we witness some stories that make my heart ache.  Another transplant family lost their loved one.  Sometimes hearing of such stories makes my heart ache and I can keep moving forward.  Then, like today, my fears come out to haunt me after hearing such details.

I allow myself this short amount of time to let go of these tears, accept the fears.  They are normal and rational fears when you have a transplant child.  Something I have learned is that if I try to push the fears aside, it just hurts even more days later when they come creeping back up.  If I think about them, give myself a time limit to accept those fears as valid feelings, then I can typically move on more quickly from such a debbie downer episode.

And then when I hear L wake up, I brush the tears away, take a deep calming breath, and go in a swoop her up and soak her in.  I wrap my arms around her, touch our noses together, breathe in the scent of her sweet curls, and memorize every feature of her face as she smiles at me.  Life is good, even on a day that leaves me emotionally exhausted.

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  1. (hugs) there's no "right" way to handle things on this journey that has been thrust upon us. I am going to pray for you, for your beautiful heart, that God will bring peace that surpasses all understanding into your life. Everyone deserves a few "down" days, we are only human after all. I am sorry for the loss of the transplant family you mentioned. I understand how deeply that would impact you. Here's another hug (((squeeze))) wish I could do this in person.


  2. Those days are the worst! And can leave you feeling exhausted in every way possible. Seeing a therapist is so smart. Having someone you can vent to without feeling guilty is important - you can't carry it by yourself, and I can relate to not wanting to burden your husband with it, either. A therapist is something I've wanted to do for a long time, I just don't know how to find someone who is familiar with my situation. But starting the process is at the top of my to do list! Next time you have another day like today, feel free to email me - I'd be happy to listen and sympathize :) Hugs!

    1. Thank you! I know you can relate to these types of things. Let me know if you want some suggestions for finding the right therapist!

  3. Like I said in a note to you recently, I have a deeper appreciation for what you've been through. And what you described above sounds perfectly understandable. Such a stress, such a burden, such a roller coaster of emotions. So glad you have an outlet, like here and your therapist (and Ian, too!).

  4. i think you guys are amazing and luca is absolutely adorable. taking time out to take care of yourself is something that is respectable and necessary sometimes. no shame in that! sending lots of happy thoughts your way! ~*angie.

  5. I'm playing blog catch-up here but thank you for being so honest and real in this post (and every post). And good for you for knowing when to ask for help and doing it. You are brave and strong and intelligent and a million other wonderful things.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Sometimes doing the work is hard but so worth it!


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