How My Life Fell Apart and How I’m Still Putting It Back Together

Ok so this is probably going to be a fairly long post but I don’t do that often so please excuse me this one time. What I’m about to talk is something very few people know about me and what happened in the fall. Last year was hard enough but in October, I felt like I just lost it. I had a mental breakdown that resulted in severe depression and anxiety. I was put into an Intensive Outpatient Program which, as some of you might know, is one step below inpatient psychiatric care. I managed to hide it from most people, really my amazing boyfriend is the only one who knew. He supported my search for help and did whatever he could to take care of me. I really do have one of the best boyfriends ever. So here’s a little bit about what happened.

I went to the ER in Sept. with stomach pain and some other issues. I was told they found what they thought was a cyst on my right ovary and fluid in my pelvis that they assumed was from a ruptured cyst. They said it was completely unrelated to my other symptoms and sent me home. Apparently, the two were not unrelated. In October, the 4th to be exact, I went for my GI follow up for my stomach. He didn’t think anything that needed urgent care was required so I went home. Thank god Scott was there because I sudden;y started getting this pain that just got worse and worse. Eventually I was literally screaming in pain every time he moved me. Off to the ER we went. After a whole big fiasco there that I won’t go into, I was finally taken back. I was told that I was about 2 months pregnant and that it was an ectopic that had ruptured. I would need emergency surgery and there was no guarantee they would be able to save my fallopian tube. Turns out that spot the first ER thought was a cyst? It wasn’t, it was an ectopic that could have been taken care of with medication had they realized what it was. Instead I had internal bleeding and one less tube.

For anyone who knows me, you all know how much I want kids. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. This was a huge blow for me. Just imagine wanting something so much and being told you have it only to have it ripped away within 10 seconds. It’s not that surprising that I was depressed after the fact but how deep that depression was is surprising. I literally woke up and went to work, came home and fell asleep, and when Scott got home he woke me up and forced me to eat and take my meds. I cried a lot. I didn’t want to do anything or see anyone. I didn’t even have the energy to turn the TV on half the time. Work was extremely difficult and it was taking me longer to finish normal tasks. Finally, after a month we decided I needed professional help. And so started my journey back to normalcy. I hid therapy from everyone, I didn’t want anyone thinking I was weak or overreacting. I have this immense fear of people thinking I’m overreacting (that would be why we didn’t take the ambulance that day….very stupid decision on my part). I’m still working on it but I’m much better than I was.

Depression and anxiety are very real and very hard. It takes a toll physically as well as mentally. Don’t let the fear of people judging you ever stop you from getting help before it gets too late. God knows how much worse I would have gotten without getting help. Also, just in case this happens to a friend just keep the following in mind – I know that you’re worried but for the love of all that is holy DO NOT YELL AT YOUR FRIEND! Don’t yell at them, don’t tell them what they should have done, don’t say anything at all negative. Hearing that does NOT help, it just makes things worse and makes me (or whoever) shut down even more. I know I completely retreated inside myself and that led me to not tell anyone or let anyone else know that something was wrong. Not even some of my closest friends.

Slowly but surely I’m getting better and I know I’ll be a mom someday. It wasn’t meant to be that time. I’m still working on believing that but I feel that I’ve come a long way in getting back to where I used to be and I bet all of you can as well. As always, feel free to contact me if you ever need someone to talk to!

Danielle

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Published in: on February 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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Happy New Year!

2 posts in 2 weeks, amazing right? Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone! Did you make any resolutions? Have you already broken a couple? That’s because most people choose resolutions that are either too broad too high reaching. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have a high bar set for yourself, but it has to be reasonable. For example, for most people it’s unreasonable to say “I’m going to make 10 million dollars this year.” So, how do you keep your resolutions? Here are some personal tips I’m trying this year:

  • Break down bigger goals into smaller more frequent goals, go month by month if you have to.
  • Use concrete, specific goals – it forces you to focus better.
  • Set a schedule for those goals – once a month, once a week, etc.

Here are two of my resolutions as examples.

  • “I want to start going to the gym/running/working out” turns into “I will start going to the gym, etc. once a month for 2 months, then twice a week for 2 more, then 3 times a week for the rest of the year.” 
  • “We will save money this year” becomes “We will put away $100 every month for end of year treats.”

These are much more concrete than just a broad statement of working out or saving money and it gives you something specific to keep to. We have more resolutions but I won’t bore you with them. Hope everyone had a happy new year’s eve and has a wonderful and HEALTHY 2014!

 

Danielle

Published in: on January 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Oh the Holidays

Yep, once again I fell wayyyyyyy behind on posting here. My life has been a huge roller coaster most of this year so please excuse my absence. So, the holidays…fun, stressful, and hectic. The latter two are really not so great for lupus now are they? I made it through with only one meltdown which really is nothing so brag about though I think I have most of the plan down pat to avoid such things next year.

Thanksgiving Week and Black Friday – shop online! I got all but 2 gifts done from the comfort of my own home that week. The other 2 I had to actually go buy but not until just about a week ago. Seriously, online shopping = best shopping ever for sick people (or really any people)

Wrapping – start out slow way ahead of time. All my gifts were wrapped by 2 weeks before Christmas and I didn’t have a single swollen finger or knees. Arthritis makes sitting on the floor wrapping pretty difficult sometimes. Just do 1 or 2 gifts a day and you should be fine. You’ll be happy you did this.

Decorating – the same as for wrapping. Slow and steady wins the race, there’s no rush so just give yourself time.

Food – cut down on the sodium and sugar beforehand. You know you’re going to be eating a lot of unhealthy things. If you’re already feeling crappy, flarey, whatever, try not having so much of those yummy things before the holiday dinners. Especially sodium if you’re on prednisone, no one wants to look like a blowfish in a holiday picture.

After all the hub bub is over, take a few days and relax. Cleaning can wait (except, you know, dishes. You might want to clean those so you don’t get gnats or whatever.) Play with your new “toys” and just veg out. Then when you have energy you’re ready to start cleaning. Just take it one room or one half a room at a time with a little break in between. Hopefully, that will help!

I know this is a little late for this holiday season but like I said, these are things I learned this year and now I’ll be ready and raring to g next year. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 

 

~Danielle

Published in: on December 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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