Personal Update / Anxiety
I know it's been awhile since we've posted, so I wanted to check-in and let you all know how things are going.
First of all, let me say that I am not the best about sharing personal stuff and I am even worse at self-care. I've always been that way. As we mentioned in our bios, we are very intrigued by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the 16 different personalities and how we interact with others. If you've never taken the test, I really suggest doing it, as it can give you a lot of insight into your personality. I've found mine to be quite accurate (I am a somewhat rare type - ENFJ), and you can take the test here: 16 Personalities
As an ENFJ, I tend to put others needs before my own. My happiness is based on the happiness of those around me and it's really hard for me to say "no" when someone needs advice or help. On the flip side, I have an extremely difficult time admitting when things are not good for me. For example: last year I had emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. I had been feeling pretty horrible for awhile, but suffered through it, not telling anyone and refusing to take myself to the doctor. I just kept thinking things would get better and there wasn't anything seriously wrong. So, I ended up in emergency surgery, which was not fun (although I felt 1000% better afterwards).
After the baby was born, I had some anxiety. It was manageable and nothing outrageous - just worry about her health and whether I was doing things right as a parent. We were at home the night of the 1 October shooting and I became consumed with the media coverage. I had quite a few friends at the event and luckily they all made it out safe. However, this event changed something in me. My anxiety became unmanageable and I was a nervous wreck. The ice machine would set me off - I would jump out of my skin when John would touch me or when I would hear a strange noise. Every time I would walk into our living room, I expected to see someone trying to break in the back door. I started having crippling insomnia. Even though baby would sleep through the night, I would just lay there. And when I would fall asleep, I would wake up from horrible night terrors. My happy personality faded and I was terrified to even leave the house because I was convinced something was going to happen to my family and I.
John was really supportive once I talked to him about what I was feeling. We decided that I could no longer manage these feelings and that it was time to see my doctor. Because this was a postpartum issue, I scheduled an appointment with an OBGYN (my doctor recently moved away and I don't have a replacement yet). This doctor didn't want to just prescribe medication and suggested I speak with someone in behavioral health.
I really wish there wasn't such a stigma around mental health. We should never be embarrassed to get help. I am SO happy that I met with a specialist and was able to talk about my feelings. We decided that medication was a good treatment option and I left with 2 prescriptions: one for anxiety and the other for sleep. The first couple of weeks on the anxiety medication were rough. The doctor had warned me that it could cause drowsiness and that is tough when you are caring for a baby all day. Also, I had taken the sleep medication in the past and was hopeful that I would finally get some rest.
Of course, I was one of the lucky ones (sarcasm) who experienced drowsiness from the anxiety medication. So after 2 weeks, I decided to take it before bed instead (at the direction of my doctor). This medication has been a lifesaver. I feel 1000% better and I am no longer on edge. However, I am still not sleeping well. Some nights are better than others, but in general I would say that the sleep aid isn't helping, which is really disappointing. The night terrors have stopped, but most nights I still just lay there, tossing and turning. I'm going see my doctor again and see what we can be done. I absolutely hate being on medication and taking pills everyday, but for now, it's necessary.
It's important to remember that everyone is different and mental health issues can affect each of us in many ways. By all accounts, things in my life are fantastic! There is no reason why I should feel this way, but I do. I can understand how people don't get help. However, I urge each of you to talk with someone (I am always available as a place to start) if you feel anything other than 100%. I am happy to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, or help you find a professional if you want.