A Chance for Redemption

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The time is drawing ever closer.  It seems that with each passing day that they get longer and longer.  In just 9 more days (or sooner), we hope to be blessed with a new addition to the family. You would think that with this being the second time around, that this experience would be easier.  So far, I’m not sure if I’m completely confident of that.  But there is a reason…

Along with the excitement of soon having a daughter to hold, I also can’t help but think about the first experience when Mason was born.  Anxiety was very much in control of the days leading up to and even after he was born.  When he was placed in my arms, it took a few minutes, but anxiety quickly arrived in a way I had previously never felt before.  Weakness.  Feeling faint.  If I had known then what I know now, those faint feelings and weakness were an illusion created by my anxiety (I had learned this from my recent experience with anxiety at church).  However, at that moment in time, it was scary.  So much so, that I just had to get out.  I expressed my feelings to a nearby nurse who then escorted me just outside the OR.  Looking back at that now, I realize that with letting anxiety have its way in that situation created a snowball effect for the remaining few days at the hospital…

Okay, a quick lesson about magnets:  Magnets have a positive and negative end.  When a magnet’s positive end is placed near another magnet’s negative end, they attract.  The opposite is true when two negative ends or two positive ends are placed near each other, they push away.

Thanks to the continued anxiety I was feeling, the next day at the hospital was as if I had been a negative end of a magnet and the hospital was another negative end.  In my own mind, there was an internal struggle going on.  On one side, there were the feelings that I wanted to have, the things I wanted to and be.  On the other side, was my anxiety and how it was forcing me to be.  It still embarrasses me today whenever I think about how I was being controlled by my anxiety.  I so desperately wanted to be there and supportive without these anxious symptoms but I was frequently feeling like I was going to vomit (but couldn’t), and to even to pick Mason up brought anxious feelings to me.  

Sadly, the only place I felt ‘safe’ was at home…

That evening I went home for two reasons: 1) I couldn’t stand any longer the anxiety I was enduring, and 2) there wasn’t really anywhere for me to sleep at the hospital anyway.  My hope was that ‘tomorrow will be a better day.’  Tomorrow wasn’t a better day.  I woke up with the same anxious feelings as the previous day.  I received a call from my mother who tried to convince me to see a doctor about getting a prescription for something short-term for anxiety.  I also received a visit from my sister, Sheryl, and now-husband Doug, who had a nice chat with me as well.

It was during this ordeal that starting me on the path of using a drug (Lorazepam) to help cope with anxiety attacks.  I didn’t completely agree internally with wanting to taking them, but it was the only solution that I could think of to be able to get back to the hospital and be who I needed and wanted to be for Melanie and Mason.  I still remember taking that first pill as my sister brought me back to the hospital.  I was amazed by two things: how quickly the pill dissolved and how quickly the pill kicked in.  It was actually almost a little scary, but still a relief nonetheless.  Walking in the hospital, I felt invincible.

But in the back of my mind, I didn’t feel like I had won.  Being able to look back now, I can confirm that I hadn’t  I just simply covered it up.  For the next year, I carried that bottle everywhere.  It was a crutch that I always felt guilty about (But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that anybody who resorts to drugs as a solution for anxiety is wrong.  It very much depends on the individual experience and cause of the anxiety.  My thoughts were based purely on my own anxiety).  I wasn’t winning my battle with anxiety, and it was more and more evident as the year went on.  The pills, would slowly become less and less effective.  I was now at a very dangerous fork in the road.  Do I go back, as requested by my doctor, to get something more long-term?  Or do I stop taking them all together, but then suffer it out?

Well, the previous blogs on this site would suggest that I chose to suffer it out.  And it wasn’t easy, but I’m glad I did.  I’ve been learning a lot of life lessons from my experiences with anxiety. I don’t know if I’ll ever defeat my anxiety, but I’ve been winning a lot more battles with it (if you haven’t read what changed anxiety for me, read this post: Welcome, Anxiety).

So, now, in just 8 days from this being posted, I have a chance at redemption.  A chance at some sense of a retry in a battle that anxiety took complete control over me with last time.  Maybe even a chance to undo some of the guilt that I’ve felt because of what anxiety did to me over those few days.  I feel like I’m better equipped because of my experiences since, but also…

 

…I just really want to hold my daughter for the first time.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    OMG Charles you’ve got me crying. You are amazing! It is real people like you who truly help other people with ‘real’ life issues. I’m in your corner all the way! Remember you can do all things with God who will strengthen you. Proud is a word used too loosely sometimes but I am truly PROUD of you. May God bless you and Melanie, Mason and your beautiful daughter with Joy and Peace this Christmas and all year through. Love Lorraine

    Liked by 1 person

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