I’m struggling at bit with how much/little to share lately. I feel like everything reads so bleak here, even though day to day, that isn’t really the case. But at the same time, I have a hard time writing a post about rainbows and daisies when, though I can put that face on and function (mostly) like everything is fine, there are very few rainbow or daisy-like thoughts in my mind.
I just don’t know.
I know that in writing this and publishing it publicly, I’m opening myself up to criticism and really that’s fine. Criticism isn’t really an issue for me, except that lately, I’m feeling pretty fragile. I’ve had a number of people in my real life tell me (with good intentions and in nicer terms) I need to suck it up and/or gain perspective, and it’s frustrating because I know both of those things, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t do those things.
Well, that’s not true. During the day, I can do both. During the day I suck it up and put my son in daycare despite not wanting to leave him and being fearful about anyone else watching him. I face stressful situations at work, in real life each day and I put on a happy face for my son, husband and patients and none of them are any the wiser. I keep my fears largely to myself, even when I feel like I feel like I am drowning in them. I am able to tell you 8 ways to Sunday why we are incredibly fortunate and that Eli is fine and how things could be so much worse. I am basically a poster child for sucking it up every single day.
And I pay for that.
I dread going to sleep at night because I know that for 8-9 hours, I’m going to basically face my worst fears over and over again. It’s reached the point where when I wake up 3 times a night, I feel like I’ve won the lottery because that is a seriously great night of sleep. There are other nights where I am up 10 or more times, sometimes for hours, while my brain plays nightmarish scenes of my son being injured in any number of horrific ways. I wake up across the room, on the floor, in the hallway, trying to save him from whatever peril is threatening his wellbeing. I don’t know how to suck that up, and if I could, I would. It is ruining me more and more every day.
I’ve reached a point of sleep deprivation where I can’t handle my life the way it is. I feel hopeless more often than not, like no matter how much work I do to change the way I think and the way I act, it won’t really matter. I wanted to get through this without medications for reasons I’ve mentioned before and because there was a part of me that wanted to prove people wrong. If anything, the insistence that I take medication has made me more hesitant to do it. And now that I realize that I can’t do this without the aid of pharmaceuticals, I feel almost embarrassed. Let me be clear and say that this is not to say that there’s ANYTHING wrong with medication or getting help, because there isn’t. At all. And that’s not what I’m getting at. It is just that I was so very insistent about not needing or wanting medication and now I feel like I’m failing and it’s awful and doing it publicly really sucks.
Which is part of why I’m not sure how much more of this I want to share. I benefit from writing about these struggles because for however short a time, it gets me out of my head. But I also think I’d get the same benefit from writing without publishing and then there wouldn’t be this secondary issue of feeling like I have to succeed. I’m not making any major long-term decisions about anything in this moment, but it’s something I’m considering. I feel like right now what I need most is to take care of myself. And while I clearly haven’t figured out exactly how to do that, I know that caring for myself has to be a priority or all of the rest of this really won’t matter anymore.