The beginning.

Anxiety attacks.

I have suffered from them my entire life.

I remember my first one, I was maybe 5 and I had watched All Dogs Go to Heaven.

It devastated me. My mom was out Christmas shopping and my dad let me watch it alone. He didn’t notice that I had curled myself into a ball an hour after the movie under the couch pillows crying.

After that it was the constant fear of separation anxiety that stopped me from going to sleep overs with friends.

When I was 8 I got up the nerve to go to a friends house to spend the night. A friend who’s house wasn’t right across the street. If I changed my mind like I often did in the middle of the night my mom couldn’t just walk across the street and get me.

I was excited. But that day I didn’t spend the night. I had to come back home because in the span of me being with my friend that day my dog, one of the best I had ever had became critically ill and was dying. He died that night in my arms.

It was cemented in my head I couldn’t leave home because something bad might happen and I might not be there. It made me so sad that my dog had been suffering and I was having fun.

I had tried to get a handle on my anxiety in high school. I tried to put myself in social situations I normally wouldn’t. I did somewhat succeed. I had a couple of groups of close friends and got along with everyone. A class my senior year helped me. Human relations. It was a life saver. It took a group of kids that were all trying their best to be normal and survive the awkward days of high school and through out semester made us all friends. We laughed. Cried. Bonded. Broke down walls and held each other up when needed. Some days were light hearted, some days were heavy. But we all came away feeling better. We all managed to take something away from that class. It really helped me.

But after high school at 20 years old I was diagnosed with what I had known I had, had for 4 years. Cancer. Doctor after doctor told me the lump was nothing, but I knew. But it didn’t matter that I knew. I was “too young” or a hypochondriac.

All the hard work I had done to overcome the anxiety was shattered.

My anxiety had been validated.

All the walls I had broken down instantly were rebuilt and this time closed me in. A prisoner in my own mind and body.

I stopped talking to my friends, extended family, I stopped going out, I only allowed a close few in my circle and I clung to them for dear life.

As I got further and further away from my cancer and closer and closer to my 5 year mark being cancer free my anxiety got better and better.

I had Noah and my anxiety came back into my life, but not as extreme as I thought it would.

Then surprise, I got pregnant with the twins. My anxiety took on a new life the day I found out I was pregnant.

I immediately was afraid. I just knew they were going to come early. I started drinking protein shakes everyday trying to bulk them up as fast as possible. Other moms assured me it would be ok but something in my head…that little voice told me that it was not going to be ok.

Then sure enough my fears were validated.

28 weekers.

Then I became my anxiety.

I was living in one of my worst nightmares. It was like my oxygen had been replaced with fear.

Every breath I took was like the one you take before you jump out of a plane when sky diving or waiting for the roller coaster to go down that first big hill.

That feeling never went away and it still hasn’t gone away.

I am fighting being consumed by it.

Today I am having an anxiety attack. My third debilitating one this week.

Noah was a little cranky before nap. Wanted an extra bath. Just a little extra fussy.

My brain latched onto whatever negative it could and somehow I ended up Googling, childhood cancer symptoms.

Google is like crack to anxiety.

I know better but I am afraid.

When is the next time my anxiety will be validated.

I feel like I am flying too close to the sun.

I love my husband dearly, he is perfect. Noah, he is too good to be true. And we were blessed with twins.

I feel like it is all too good and one day it will be taken away.

Everyday you see car crashes, cancer statistics go up from something like drinking soda or another sad story in the news that hits too close to home.

I don’t know how to break the anxiety cycle this time.

I just know I can’t live like this.

Before it is suggested I am looking into talking to someone professionally. If for nothing more than being depressed and having post traumatic stress disorder from the NICU, how could I not have anxiety. But of course, I am at the point where I don’t have insurance and I worry about the costs and if I have an hour or so here or there that I can escape to go get the help I need.

It is so frustrating to me because I am logical. I get it.

I know when my brain is being irrational but I can’t stop myself from falling into the traps of an anxiety attack.

This is embarrassing.

It is painful.

It hurts.

It is eating me alive.

I try my best to keep my anxiety hidden. There are a select few that even know how long and how hard I have suffered with it.

But I had to get it out.

Today I had to get it out.

As embarrassed as I am that people will talk or that people will judge me the writing helps.

I sat down at this computer not knowing how or where to begin I just knew I had to begin.

So that is where I am at…the beginning.

Image

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “The beginning.

  1. I’m so sorry you are suffering. I know this particular kind of anxiety very well. The key to me to getting free, was to sit down with the Lord and ask Him when did this start. What is this really about ? What is the root of this fear ? Fear is not from God. It is a weapon of the enemy and I rebuke it in your life. You could start by asking God what about that Dog movie bothered you ? What was the lie your little girl heart picked up in that movie, that is not true and that is likely the root of the fear you feel today. Fear will not win in a believers life and heart. God wants you to be free and He is the key to your freedom.

    • This is so true. I do need to sit and look at the root and take a step back and understand I am not the one in control.
      I am ultimately afraid of losing the people I love so I try to control all I can and then I burn myself out.
      When Aiden developed NEC the nurse did not catch it and I did so it to me validated that I needed to always be on guard and always worried.
      But I need to see it as God intended me to have the eyes and knowledge to help Aiden when he needed it.

  2. Coming from someone who has anxiety and ‘panic attacks’, both of which have gotten progressively worse over the years, I understand the stigma attached. I understand how it feels to be embarrassed. Starting out with just a few ‘episodes’ a year, to waking in the middle of the night, crying in mid-attack. When my doctor prescribed Paxil my first reaction was “I’m not depressed, only depressed people need medication like this.” Worrying about how others saw me made the anxiety worse. I never took the meds. I was pregnant with baby #2 and worried about the side effects. The sample packets I took home were never used. They sat safely in my dresser. I would go in and look at them often, wondering if they were the answer. I finally pitched them despite the fact that the anxiety continued. I know it’s cliché to say that the first step to recovery is to recognize a problem exists, but knowing it yourself and making it public are two different things. You realized this in yourself years ago. Allowing others to be aware of it is freeing, helpful and healthy. You let go of a little bit of the anxiety when you allow others to bear some of the burden. I don’t know how many times my husband has helped to ‘talk me down’ when I woke him up in the middle of the night. Shame has no place here. Work through it the best way for YOU. Listening to those precious babies laugh will be medicine, let me tell you! No matter how much anxiety and stress having 4 kids causes, they are of one the main sources of my sanity at the end of the day!

    • Kelly for not “knowing” you very well I always feel like I do know you so well. You couldn’t have said it better…while my boys are usually the root of my anxiety (fearing for them and all the what ifs) they almost always the relief to it at the end of the day. And I am lucky that I have a husband to “talk me down” I just feel bad because I know this is just as hard on him. Thank you for sharing that you too have struggled with it…sometimes half the battle is feeling like you are the only one. It really helped to hear your story.

  3. Although I have no advice to offer you, just know that there are many fellow twin moms out there thinking about you daily. I am one of them. I know it won’t help but I have followed your story for a while now… What I see are two little miracles, a healthy big brother and incredibly strong parents. I see little boys who have been through so much in their short lives and have come through fighing every single time. Like I said. I know it won’t help, but hopefully it brings you a much needed smile. 🙂

  4. Dominique, I don’t know if you even remember me or not, but I am Anna’s mom. I have been keeping up with your updates regarding your baby twins, and am so very glad they are both at home with you and the rest of their family, where they belong. My heart was heavy as I read about your battles with anxiety. That was very brave of you to share your deep insecurities. I have never suffered with these type of issues, but I know many who have. I want you to know I will be lifting you and your family up in my prayers. I liked, I believe the first response above, where it talks about fear/anxiety coming from Satan. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us . . . that, I have experienced, during some very dark times in my life. I always try and remember the following when things seem overwhelming . . . “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.” I hope you know Him personally, and that you allow Him to carry you when you can’t carry yourself.

    Bev

    • Thank you Bev (and I do remember you!) one of the only things that helps is consciously choosing faith over fear. Sometimes I do need reminding that I don’t have to carry all of this on my shoulders and that I can and need to lean on Him.
      Luckily I have a lot of amazing people in my life that are there to remind me, so thank you 🙂
      Your family has always been a beautiful example of strong faith!

  5. After having my preemies, I started suffering anxiety attacks as well. Know that you are not alone and God is in control!

  6. you are SO not alone. i hope you can find someone to guide you through this challenge and help you to put anxiety in its place. BTDT….it is worth the journey, as long as God is at the center of your recovery. i am following your story about all the boys. we have preemie twin grandsons so i relate to some of what you have been through. they are normal, healthy active 3 year olds now. your boys will get there.

  7. I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to have a baby/ies in the NICU, but I can relate to your anxiety. 5 years ago, my grandmother killed herself. It was unexpected and tragic- for everyone. When I was pregnant with Harper, I started to have unrealistic fears that something was going to happen to take my then fiancé away from me. I blamed it on the hormones. When Harper was born, I just went over the edge. The anxiety switched from him, to Harper immediately. Every outing, I just KNEW someone would take her from me. I KNEW we would have a wreck and she would be lost. I KNEW that at night someone was going to break in our house and take her from me. I also knew in my head these weren’t logical thoughts, even though I still had them knowing they weren’t right. During our current pregnancy I found an income based therapy center, our out of pocket pay is only 10$ per hour visit. I hope that you can possibly find one in your area- my OBGYN office told me about this one, or I would’ve never known it existed. Anyways, my husband brought up my fears, and the therapist laid it out for the both of us. I lost someone very close to me suddenly, and traumatically. Of course I am going to think that it could happen again. My loved ones could just be taken from me in an instant. I can’t believe I NEVER associated that loss with what I was feeling. I tortured myself for 2 months of Harper’s life worrying that she would be taken from me somehow. I wish I had met our therapist before it got out of hand!! Thank you for posting, I hope that they have a place in your area that is income based that won’t charge very much! **Hugs*****
    -Bell

  8. First, you are very clearly not alone. I had a panic attack one night simply because my daughter said bye bye to her unborn brother instead of night night. My wonderful husband held me and soothed me while I lost all rationality I had in me. I prayed and cried and sacrificed my son to Christ, knowing that he belongs to Christ first and I am just blessed with the honor of carrying and raising him for a time. I know that fear is rooted in an old friend losing her youngest son at the age of 11 due to completely natural causes and his last words to him mom were to take care of his unborn baby brother.
    Fear can be irrational, yet often times it is not. My mom has told me many times over the years of dealing with anxiety that the first thing I need to do is trust Christ and know His divine plan is one that will not be changed despite my fear. The next thing I need to do is surrender my fear and anxiety to Christ and begin living in the freedom He has promised me. How can I enjoy life when I am so scared all the time? I cannot know the joy my children are if I am so busy being terrified of losing them.
    I am praying peace over your home and your heart. I just finished my devotions this morning, and the verse was Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?” I pray you will be blessed with the peace that passes all understanding.

  9. I’m not a fellow blogger, but I’ve been following yours for a long time. I just want you to know, sometimes we seem so alike, it’s scary. I’ll try to make this reply brief, as it is not to bring attention to myself, but to relate your experiences to my own. My mother has suffered a roller coaster of mental illness for as long as I can remember. Night after night, I would listen to my parents argue and witnessed far too many incidents in which police were involved. After a while, I too developed terrible separation anxiety…I had an incredible fear that if I was not there to break up a fight, something terrible would happen. When I was 17, my mother threatened to commit suicide. I became convinced that if she left the house, she wouldn’t come back. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her…in my mind, the minute I stopped watching or “relaxed,” I would lose her. Today, I’m a mother of 2. My youngest was born, ironically, on the day you wrote this blog entry..last sunday. I’m now suffering from terrible postpartum depression. I went nearly 2 days in the hospital without sleeping, followed by a 6 hour nap, followed by another 24 hour sleepless stretch. For as long as I can remember, sleeping has been a challenge for me. It’s when I’m the most “vulnerable.” I’m afraid of going to sleep content and then waking up to disaster. I’ve spent years and years listening to people tell me I’m crazy….yes, there is a sense of embarrassment, especially when people laugh at my “antics” and tell me I’m ridiculous. But the WORST is when the very thing I’m worried about turns out to be real and true. As you said, the anxiety is validated. I can no longer live under the assurance that it’s “all in my head.” Are you ready for the real kicker? I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism…..something I’ve suspected for years. Ok so, this really wasn’t very brief…..but I just want you to know that there are people out there who are experiencing the same feelings. And more importantly…I would like you to know it helps me to hear your story and relate to you. It’s comforting to me, because you are such a strong, capable and wise mother and your condition (for lack of a better word) does not define you. It’s easy to be consumed by anxiety, until I feel like I’m nothing but a walking textbook example of neurotic. It’s good to read your entry and feel like a real person again. So, thank you, from another worry wart mommy ❤

  10. You know about postpartum depression, but there’s postpartum OCD and postpartum anxiety disorder. I have crazy, off the wall thoughts obsessively and constantly. I rarely feel like I can enjoy my beautiful baby because I’m fearful of everything. You’re totally not alone, Dominique. I have my first therapy appointment Friday. It actually helps slightly just knowing that help is on it’s way…if that makes sense.
    Can you apply for state insurance? Who knows, you might be eligible… check it out. The last thing you need is another dang bill. 😦
    Peace and much love!!!

  11. I need to to thank you for this very good read!
    ! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have got you saved
    as a favorite to check out new things you post…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s