Monday, March 14, 2011

Anxiety

After Ellie died, I wasn't sure how I would get out of bed every day and take care of what was needed. There have certainly been a few days where I haven't gotten out of bed. I knew there would days when I would be angry but mostly I thought it would just be this constant deep sadness. I was not prepared for anxiety. The overwhelming anxiety.

Sometimes I can predict where it's going to pop up- kid's clothing department, restaurants, hospitals, anniversaries, late at night. But lately, I am surpised where my anxiety shows up or how intense it is. Family gatherings and parties are a nightmare. Before Ellie died, I loved this kind of stuff but now, all I know is that Ellie isn't there and Max doesn't like being there. The larger the group of people- the worse it is. Anxiety starts building days before. The anticipation is the worst part.

I've been try to pinpoint why I feel like this- why this part isn't getting any better. And I think it's because I feel like I don't fit in now. I am a different person than I was before Ellie died. My views are different and my focus has shifted. It's harder for me to pay attention to and follow conversations- my mind wanders. My attention span is shorter and my multi-tasking abilities have all but disappeared. I imagine that this is similar to what Max feels like when he is these sort of situations.

It's hard to sit through a meal with people talking about their every day life and all the great things going on in their lives. It's not that I'm not happy for them, I just don't have the energy for small talk. I just want to be at home. Most people understand this and don't push. Others don't. Other compare my grief to losing their sibling or parent. These are not the same things. They are losses and represent pain but they are not the same.

After returning home from Ellie's funeral, I didn't want to walk through the door. I didn't want to come in and start our lives over without her. But now, I prefer to be here. I prefer to be where she was, where her things are. Where people understand. And where it's ok to act how I feel. Going out into the world means acting like society wants me to act. Which a lot of times, means pretending everything is ok. Slowly the anxiety is getting less but it definitely still there. And it's changed. It's more like a surprise attack. My energy for dealing with it, for just staring it down, for just facing is dwindling. Now it just want to avoid it.

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Remembering March 14th, 2010


Around this time Max was very excited to share all the animal noises he knew with anyone that was interested. Actually it didn't matter if you were interested or not- he would still tell you. While watching him "GOBBLE GOBBLE" like a turkey was pretty cute, the best was the kitty. For weeks, every time he said "meow" he would close his eyes like this. Too cute.

Funny Peanut Faces:
Happy girl at 7:50 a.m.

After dinner, we took the kids for the first walk of the year! That's right folks, this time last year, there was no snow and it was nice enough to take little kids out in the stroller. Really is this winter ever going to end??
It was Ellie's 1st stroller ride! I was so excited to start walking again- when it's nice out we go almost every night.
Ellie looks so tiny in the big double stroller.

6 comments:

New Year Mum said...

I can only imagine a fraction of what you are going through... but feel the same about going out and listening to conversations about small things. I'm so sorry that you feel anxious - your photos of Ellie are so beautiful... such a happy looking little girl and Max looks like he was having so much fun that day. Thinking of you & with you always xoxo

kristin said...

I won't even begin to compare our losses, but I just wanted to empathize with you about loss and the anxiety that comes with it. I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy back in November at 10 weeks. Afterwards, anxiety crept in and took a hold of my life in so many ways...it felt so terrible! The one and only thing that has really helped me has been hypnotherapy. They say that going to 6 sessions of hypnotherapy is the equilavent to 3 years of intense counseling. I'm just throwing it out there as an option for you to explore as it really has made a difference in my grieving process. The anxiety hasn't gone completely away, but it does feel better to breathe easier every day. The other thing I would recommend is the book called "Book of Awakening". My husband and I have been reading that together every night before we go to bed. It's been a really wonderful way to connect amidst all the pain and sorrow. I hope that every day will get easier for you...even if it's just for one more minute! Thinking of you during this painful time, Kristin

crystal said...

Tiffany,
Its okay to cry and feel sad. Don't worry about what others think. Not everyone has been through what you are going through. Crying makes your heart feel better and lets you release all the pain that has built up inside of you. I pray that God will help you with this anxiety and give you the peace of mind that you need when you are ready to (on you time not when everyone else is ready for you to)get out and go to parties,family gatherings, etc. Its normal for someone to want to stay at a place where you can remember all the great memories that you had of Ellie, which is home. Like the saying... Home is where the Heart is and that is so true. Ellie took a piece of your heart with her and knowing that Ellie's room is where she used to be and where all of her possessions are gives you some peace of mind. I lost my first child and yes I do have two more now but there is still a piece of me missing. I love my boys but I still long for the Angel I lost. So don't let what others say and think get you down. Tell them to come walk a day in your shoes and they would understand. Praying for you and your family.

crystal said...

Thank you. You have a beautiful family too. I pray that you get the strength that you need to make it through the next few years which will be the hardest. I have so many things that I have in mind to do to keep the memory alive of all the babies that I have been reading about and following their blogs. When I get them started, I will keep you posted about everything that I am doing. Ptaying for you and your family. Remember God will not put any more on us than what we can bare. I know at times it seems like that statement isn't true but he know what we can and can't handle. Hope you have a Blessed day!!!

Our Journey said...

Thanks for your comment Tiffany. I was not thinking of your previous comment at all when I wrote that on my blog today!! I love your comments!! It's like you know exactly how I feel. I was just saying that because people outside the BLM community just don't understand and to them it may seem that I have unrational fears. Thanks for ALWAYS being so supportive! Love Ya!

Our Journey said...

Oops, I meant to say irrational not unrational

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