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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Thursday
Nov012012

Composed While Decomposing

It's amazing how composed you can be in front of people when your insides are rotting. Composed while decomposing. Or already rotten. Isn't that the definition of life; pretend like everything's cool when you really feel like freaking the fuck out. Just a full-on mental breakdown that only a straight-jacket and an injection can stop. No? Just me? Probably.

The panic attacks are increasing in frequency. Had another one this morning. Noises escape that I didn't know I was capable of creating. Retching/moaning/gasping for breath sounds erupting from my stomach tearing up my esophagus burning through my chest out of my mouth and into the pillow I've got my face slammed into.

We moved here with high hopes. I think my hopes were higher than Serge's. He knew. I'll give him that. He knew. He warned me. I stupidly thought everything would be amazing. What could possibly go wrong? We would have family living nearby.

I just answered my own question, didn't I?

*****

I might be drinking too many beers after I tuck the kids into bed. And I don't want to stop. I still get up every morning at six or seven... so what if I like to escape between seven and ten at night? I don't get drunk.

Denial?

Maybe.

How many is too many?

*****

Aside from all that, heavy shit is underway. Stuff that involves someone I love which is why I won't write about it. Her story is not my story to tell. But my starring role in her story is intense and sometimes I feel like the resulting isolation of not being able to talk about it is killing me. It's definitely a factor in the panic attacks.

*****

There are people that, if I ran into them, I would want to punch in the face. People I used to know. Yeah, I just said I want to physically assault some people. If you never felt like punching someone in the face then you're amazing and I'm a mess. Or maybe you're a little dead inside? Probably I'm a mess, though.

I need vast amounts of therapy, of that I am positive. But really, it's not like I would actually physically assault these people. We all know what a giant pussy I am when it comes to confronting people. I'd probably end up being super polite and, knowing me, offer up a compliment because some asshole part of me still desires to be liked, even by those I have rage toward.

And that really brings this little missive full circle, doesn't it? I want to punch your teeth out but I will compliment your shirt instead. Composed while decomposing.

Reader Comments (47)

Girl, you are describing me before I finally saw a doctor and went on medication. I wasn't depressed in the way that I couldn't move or felt empty, no, I was depressed in that EVERY thing around me made me so angry that I had imaginary arguments with people in my head so I could vent how much they pissed me off. (that and I wanted to take a nap every day after work). My friends' problems and stupid decisions would INFURIATE me for no legit reason. I'm sorry your friend is going through some shit, but that's the kind of thing that will drive you crazy because it's out of your control, but you're still very involved, does that make sense?

The meds just makes things slide off your back a LITTLE easier. You don't turn into a zombie, you just don't feel the need to want to punch people's teeth out. Either that, or you need to cut drinking out entirely because it's a depressant., read it here: http://substanceabusecle.com/blog.php?post=7

Good luck because I really enjoy reading about your life. I played Violet's ghost story when I was on an airplane.... my HUSBAND loved it (Not) he glared at me and said, "People can hear that!!" so what?

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonnieLee

Monica,
In my experience moving "near family" can be quite problematic. I prefer to keep mine at a distance - it makes visits fairly infrequent and wonderful. Before the latest meteorological events, I would have said "you guys need to move back to Brooklyn. Yes, even with kids." But now all I'll say is: thanks for sharing your very human experience. I hope things improve for you." And hey, you're not drinking a bottle of vodka a night....

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGiGi

P.S. I don't mean to come across as a condescending know-it-all. I just want things to get easier instead of harder for you.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonnieLee

Wow. Can I say that without you wanting to punch me in the face? Just, wow.

Nothing ever ends up quite as we expect. And sometimes the very things that we think will help us drive us to further insanity or depression.

I drink too much when I put the kids to bed too lately. I call it a diversion. My husband calls it alcoholism. Potato, potahto.

I am sorry about the panic attacks and the starring role you are playing in a drama that is not yours to share. I did feel a lot of what you are describing before I went on some meds. I still want to drink - just a lot less than I did before.

Good luck, Monica.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKiran@Masalachica

Recently I was diagnosed with anxiety. Guess what a major contributor is (at least in my case)? Alcohol. It gives me nocturnal anxiety attacks. So. Much. Fun. So maybe take a break from drinking and see if that doesn't help some. Or drink more, I forget which.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergwenhara

I don't want to come across as a some besserwisser but this is something I know about and I have to agree with Bonnie Lee.
If I remember correctly around 25% of the population has anxiety sometime in their life span. Talk therapy, medication or both, just whatever works for you. Just seek help, there is no shame in that. And, yes, when you have anxiety alcohol numbs it for a while and then it will make it worse. Been there, done that, didn't like it.
Hope everything works out for you:)

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovy Jones

I know how it is a little to have something big that you can't share. It can take on a kind of physical presence so you feel like it's filling up your insides.

Hope you get some relief.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Sending love and peace your way... have had panic disorder for 30 years and wouldn't wish it upon any human being, ever. You've got some meditation experience under your belt... when overwhelemed, gently and in a friendly way, return your attention to your breath. Your breath that SUSTAINS you. It is simply this...

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Have you been continuing with the spiritual practice that you had mentioned a while back? Not that it is the answer to everything, but it's often a great de-stressor. It's hard to take on someone else's shit when you have burdens of your own. I think that considering what you guys went through with the fire and all, it's very possible you're dealing with some PTSD. Whatever you need to do to feel better--meds, therapy...please don't hesitate to get help. If you don't deal with it now it will really come back to bite you later. And as for the drinking, although it probably does temporarily bring relief, I do agree with others here that it is a depressant, and can often contribute to the anxiety and depression.

Sending thoughts of comfort your way.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

If it were me? I'd chalk it up to the full moon and it being that time of year where it gets dark early and call it a day. But, the jury's still out on my mental stability.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersherewin

I hope things get better. I hope good things for you and your family. I hope you don't want to punch me in the face.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeg

I had some pretty debilitating panic attacks about 20 years ago for around 2 years, with some borderline agoraphobia thrown in for fun. Have you heard of the book "hope and help for your nerves" by Claire Weekes. It is an old book, but it really helped, would say it changed my life. Haven't had a panic attack in years and years.

And yeah, going to have to agree with others that you might want to rethink the beer in the evening thing. I think the fact you're wondering if you are drinking too much is a sign that maybe you are drinking too much. I would hate to see that little demon grab your ass and hold on.

Good luck.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

Aw....it's gonna be okay Monica. Consider yourself hugged. Please don't punch me in the face. I can';t deal with any more pain. Hang on, the emotional tides always change on their own and sometimes with a little help from your friends. I will pray for your friend too. There are all kinds of things you can do to find rest in whatever the storm. Sometimes I choose to wallow...to cry...it''s a good release. Most of the time after that I feel wiped out. That's good too. You will recover. You might try dumping everything you are feeling on God. I know you don't believe in God but it helps if you just dump on Him anyway. Wait for the answer. I also try not to take on too much. Not to expect too much when I am feeling that way., Find someone you can confide in, Cutting back on alcohol is good. Trade it for some fresh air and music and chip and salsa. Chocolate is nice. Hot chocolate is nice....Tea with lemon and honey... Coffee at Starbucks...I LOVE Panera bread. OMG:... Hey I am way tangential but you know..who cares? ( been in a car accident so I can tell people I have had a head injury). Anyhoo, Just know that you will SNAP out of it when you do. In the mean time, Love yourself. Do something nice for yourself. sompin fun. Why not? Have a laugh. Feel better...PS if you can get into a heated pool I highly recommend it. Extremely comforting! oKay take care.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergina

Monica, you and I are on the same wavelength more often than not. I was diagnosed with a panic disorder a couple of years ago, and just last week I cut myself off from alcohol entirely because I recognized it as a debilitating crutch (funny how those things go hand in hand). I count myself lucky in that I'm on an upswing at the moment - the depression hasn't brought me low since about mid-summer. I hope your upswing comes soon. I really, really do.

If it doesn't happen naturally, please, please get some help. There is no shame in throwing your hands up when it's all too much. Let someone - anyone - help.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

I know what you mean - I was in a horrible freak accident a couple years ago (hit by elderly driver while walking across the street). I tried to put a brave face on the matter - and once I was fin physically everyone assumed I was just peachy - but I ended up developing severe anxiety issues. Long story short, I was forced to leave grad school and have been floundering ever since.

Just make sure you have someone people to talk to - and don't beat yourself up for needing help or needing time to deal with all of it.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpostmormongirl

Monica- You might consider looking into 5 HTP and Vitamin B6.. These supplements work in the brain to increase Seratonin and are very effective in treating anxiety and depression. I can tell you that I was started on them in the hospital after I informed my MD that I was feeling anxious and hyper. I had been taking them and feeling much calmer and sleeping better ( take them at 5PM daily) I ran out of the 5HTP about 2 weeks back and I can feel the difference. Not sleeping as well. Thinking too muich. Out of sorts. These supplements are available at Walmart, are affordable and of course do not require Rx. Check it out.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergina

PS,. If you are considering the supplement 5 HTP, be sure to consult your MD before taking it. This supplement is not to be taking concurrently with other anti depressants SSRI such as Zoloft. There are also may be side effects to consider Check out Wikipedia.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergina

Monica,
I can't say I know how you feel, but I've been In the same horrible place you describe. I know it gets bad when my regular "just allergies" coughing turns into gagging in the shower. Not cute. I won't suggest any miracle vitamin/ homeopathic cure-all. The thing that made me feel like "me," again: a good psychiatrist and some Zoloft. No miracles. Plain old talk therapy and a prescription. I know, it's so boring.
You don't need to "overcome" anything. Admit that something needs to change and you're on your way.
It will get better.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCristin

so agree with gina. have a nice day today Monica. take care.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

Monica,

Please get yourself to a professional ASAP. Anxiety is nothing to mess with. You know that things have not be OK for a long time. The fresh house was just a diversion. It's time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of those you love. Therapy can help you deal with those that you love that are hurting you and those that you want to punch in the face.

This stuff is not going to get fixed by doing nothing or sharing it on your blog. The comments you get may be helpful, comforting, supportive, etc., but they do not take the place of IRL interaction with profressionals who are trained to diagnose and treat you.

Good luck! Your babies are adorable and need their wonderful mom in the best shape she can be in.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersimplyrose

Wanted to add that I hope you make the call to a therapist today. When our son died I thought I truly might lose my mind, and after 6 months of toughing it out and pretending I wasn't falling apart, I finally made the call, sat down in a chair and said "I need help". It was so hard to get those words out. And you can share all the stuff about the person you love who you can't talk about in that setting.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

Monica, I know what it's like to be paralyzed by your own pain, anger, stasis, whatever. But please get some help. Anxiety (a component of depression) does not get better on it's own--it just doesn't. You're self medicating with the booze which is totally understandable but nevertheless creating a vicious cycle--it ultimately increases both the depression and anxiety. If you get the right meds and therapy you'll feel better, I promise. That awful feeling of seizing anxiety will dissipate, the anger will recede with it. I've been there, that's how I know. But it takes the commitment of asking for and getting the right help. And if you can't get the help for yourself, do it for your kids--because whatever you're feeling will leak into them otherwise. You wont want it to, you'll try not to let it, you won't see the signs that it is now...but it will. You deserve peace and you can have it. Sending you love.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.

This could've been me right after my son was born and I was thrust into a dark place against my will :( I hope you get some help with this. This is my first visit to your blog but I hope its ok to say that. Also sending you love
xx

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterghostwritermummy

Monica, Girl, I feel you. I understand what you are going through. The booze is not helping anything. I can say that from my own experience. Take a couple of deep breaths and get the help you need. You deserve it and your family deserves. You are a super cool person and you deserve to be freed from this pain.

I have you and your kids in my prayers.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKK

I'm going to sound like a broken record (feel free to punch me in the face - my nose needs to be fixed anyway) but drinking never did much for my anxiety. And at its worst, when I was dealing with a pretty traumatic family issue, it really didn't help. By the grace of something out there, I didn't follow my parents' footsteps and my grandparents' footsteps and spiral into alcoholism (though most of them are fully functional and would only say they have a couple of drinks a night). The only thing that helped me was talk therapy. The anxiety still isn't fully gone, but I have different coping mechanisms now.

Since you asked about how many is too many, I will say this (and I'm trying to figure out how to say it without coming across as judgmental but just to share): A lot of the shame I carry around has to do with my parents' drinking . They weren't falling down drunk, but would fight, act exasperated, and were unable to cope with the tiniest stressors. I was really embarrassed at how filled our recycling bin was each week with wine bottles and beer bottles. No one else's bin looked like that. We were upper-middle class, fully functional, on the outside you'd never know there was a problem. But kids have a funny way of understanding that a parent's drinking is not okay or too much, even if the parents can rationalize it to themselves as not being problematic. And it can really mess kids up. So since it sounds like you think you may be developing a problem, I wish peace for you and the courage to seek help so that not only you feel better, but your entire family feels better.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Hugs. I won't suggest what to do, because it sounds like you know what you might need but just aren't ready to try yet. It takes a lot of strength to make a change and I hope you find that you've already got the strength to change what you can about your life. You don't have to change everything all at once. Just a little something in my experience makes a big difference (sounds strange, but life is strange).

Thinking happy thoughts for you that things get better.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Future PharmD

Lots of good advice & caring wishes from your lovely readers. So I'll just say- been there, it's so hard, and I hope you will come through it with whatever support works for you. Big hug to you, Monica.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

Instead of recommending that you seek help, which it seems everyone here has done, and others have done on similar posts, I'd like to ask *why* it is that you don't see a therapist? I don't think you're so messed up that you're crying out for therapy or anything. Frankly, that's not the kind of thing I would know, no matter how much of yourself you put out there for all of us to see. I just think that evidence (I'm taking this blog as my "evidence") would suggest you're clearly hurting, it's clearly ongoing pain, it's clearly not being mitigated by any of the other things you've tried to treat it with (including uprooting and moving across the country), which means maybe you should try talking it out with a professional. It's certainly not going to hurt you. Wait. Let me say that again: It. Is. Not. Going. To. Hurt. You. And maybe it'll give you the tools to give yourself some relief from yourself. So, again, why the reluctance?

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ

I am going to stand in that group of people up above me saying, "hey, I've been there! get a counselor and get some meds!" I was fortunate to already know two people I trust who were on meds (Valium for me, but not regularly... just when I'm feeling out of control... which is more frequent some times than others), and then one night I had a panic attack where I felt just like you... wanted to punch the shit out of someone, anyone, EVERYONE, felt utterly out of control... I haven't had anything that severe since going on the meds. I still feel out of control sometimes, but those days are the days that I hold my shit together as long as humanly possible (read: until I can get my kids in bed), then take a valium and turn the tv on and lie in the bed. I can't deal. And one of my doctors (not a therapist) said to me that it's very normal for women... that there will be peaks and valleys... things you've heard before, but only believe when someone tells it to you that you actually trust. I am expected to be the strong one. But, fuckitalltohell, I am NOT always strong... or maybe I am because I recognize that I'm not? Hell. I don't know. What I do know is that valium has far fewer calories than beer. ;-) Hugs and wishes for peace for you.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlydia

I have been reading your blog since 2007. Our lives seem to be parallel so often. I moved from Brooklyn back to Texas 2 years ago because I thought it would be better, that everything would be easier. It has been easier in terms of logistics and finances, but my mental health has not changed. I thought that I was depressed in NYC because I was away from everything I knew and life was so hard for me there. But just last week I started having panic attacks again. It is a horrific experience to feel sheer terror, especially when that terror is coming from within. My anxiety incapacitates me sometimes while I'm at work but I pretend to be calm and just keep going. I'm 34 and questioning every life decision I've ever made. It it overwhelming and I feel trapped in a lot of ways. But I still have a desire to live a peaceful life, so I went back on medication this week.

You are not alone.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKC

One word: Lexapro. It saved my life. Literally. It allowed me to dig out of my deep dark depressed hole and see the sunshine again.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDona

Feel free to punch me for this - my nose needs to be fixed anyway.

I've been where you are and the alcohol stopped working. Never actually worked to begin with, but it was fun to pretend.

I'm also the child of two parents, who are also themselves children of parents, who did not deal with their issues and instead drank. The amount of shame I carry from, among other things, seeing the filled recycling bin week after week still haunts me twenty years later and makes me wonder why I wasn't good enough to stop Mom and Dad's drinking (irrational, I know, but that little girl inside still asks), even though both parents were fully functional and productive members of society.

In my most nonjudgemental way possible I'm going to suggest that if you can't get your butt to a therapist for yourself, do it for Violet and Henry. There are no quick fixes, but talking therapy (and meds, if you're so inclined but it's okay if you're not) with the right person can be life-changing.

And +1000 to what J above said.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Do you read misszoot.com ? Anxiety and social anxiety etc is a very common theme amongst the mommas-who-kick-ass-and-blog, it would seem. She and many others have found solace in a running club and a book club.You've been through a helluva year. You had two kids then you guys went for a BIG MOVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY with two little little kids and two very big dogs. You then pull your firtborn out of a flame-filled room and watch your farm house burn to the ground. Life changing events (Sad AND happy alike) are incredibly stressful. You probably have a touch of PTSD mixed in with the anxiety if I were to guess.

Look,You are an amazing mom. You work so hard for your family. You have been through so very much recently and have busted tail trying to keep it together for those babies. It's clear to me that you are reaching out into the universe for a hand to hold and guide you into the direction of help. PLEASE knock down the walls and find help that you trust and don't be so stubborn as to refuse to try to find a med that helps as well. Those things take about 3-4 weeks to really start helping and that may seem like a while but if you don't do anything about it, where will you be in a month? Probably wishing you'd have tried that wellbutrin, sister. Peace to you, sweet virtual friend. Please take care of yourself.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

I frequently want to punch people in the face or in the balls, boob. You name it and i've thought of punching the shit out of it. Yet i consider myself well adjusted. :)

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharity

I'll chime in again. It seems like most (all?) people are saying to get help, stop drinking, talk to a professional, take pills, etc., etc. I think most people think, "why did I wait so long? I could have felt better a long time ago!" I just want to acknowledge that it can be really difficult to know for sure what to do and when. It is especially difficult when you're already struggling, and the thought of change, work, time, money, energy, etc. is too much to handle. I get it.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersherewin

This is the first time I've ever posted here, but I just had to do it. Actually, I meant to a couple of weeks ago when you asked readers to "unveil" themselves, so to speak. Like many people who read mommy blogs, I'm not a mother, nor am I married, nor do I document my life on the internet. But I love when people do; I love being a voyeur, however creepy that might sound. And people who blog about their families, particularly in the honest way that you do, are fascinating to me. Growing up with a severely depressed and suicidal younger brother (who happens to be sandwiched by two overachieving siblings), an alcoholic mother, and a melancholy father who never used his Ivy League Ph.D. to teach but instead started a quixotic career in book publishing (and who deterred me from following artistic passions and steered me into medicine), I've always been fascinated by family dynamics. Family dynamics and love and how and why marriages and families work and don't work.
At first, I was drawn to the blog by your love story, which I found as a link somewhere. I saw it right before I started medical school last year, at a time when I was feeling particularly dissatisfied - I was 22 and felt like I hadn't really reveled in my youth, however stupid that sounds. Your love story was exhilarating to read. It's a beautiful thing, the way you just fell in love like that, and it's worth fighting for.
Anyways, I am just writing to reinforce what others have said. You are a great writer. You tell a compelling story. You have so many beautiful things in your life.
I know that depression/anxiety make those things matter less (if you can even acknowledge them at all). My seriously depressed/medication refractory boyfriend has told me that nothing makes him feel good, nothing can make him feel like himself or even feel alive. That must be awful. So I agree with what everyone's been saying - seek help (maybe with someone who does CBT?) and medications. But I also know that medications don't always work. In medical school we were taught that 60% of patients (roughly) who are depressed/anxious experience spontaneous relief from their symptoms within a year. 20% recover with treatment (SSRIs, mainly). But there's a significant percentage who don't recover within that year, even on standard treatment.
Right now my boyfriend is trying to do sleep modification. This http://psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/AJP/3677/870.pdf trial (published in the American Journal of Psychiatry), had really positive results in a relatively short period of time. It might be worth a try, especially as you wait for medications to kick in (if you do decide to take that route).
Anyway, this has been a ridiculously long-winded post. Sorry about that. But I just wanted to let you know that one random person is pulling for you. And that things will get better.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermce

panic and anxiety are sometimes your body's way of telling you that something is not right. Listen to it. Don't force yourself to live an unhappy life because you think you "should".

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuna

Oh, and a little trick. When you are having a panic attack, stand on one leg. I had a therapist give me a very lengthy and science-y explanation about this which I can no longer remember, but it has something to do with your nervous system not being very good at focusing on two things at once. A panic attack is your nervous system getting all worked up, and if you stand on one leg it forces your nervous system to turn its attention to balancing. Panic decreases. Give it a try next time.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuna

Chiming back in to say though much of what kce wrote about meds is true, I am certain they will help you in the immediate term and it's also why you have to find a very good therapist to go with them. I think I've mentioned this before but therapy has changed so much for the better in recent years and I highly recommend any kind of mind/body treatment modality like EMDR, Somatic, or even cognitive (I think you can look up EMDR trained therapists by area). Those as opposed to straight talk therapy which in my experience just takes much much longer to help in a substantial way, but is still far better than nothing. I also hope you're able to keep up the Buddhism...it's helped me a lot over time, but I know I've needed everything to work in concert (spirituality, the right meds which I've had to adjust every few years, and the right therapy.) Most of all I needed to be ready and willing to feel better on the very deepest level. Unfortunately for some of us that takes a long time and doesn't happen until hitting some kind of scary bottom type place (and I don't mean the kind reserved for substance abuse--just desperation of any variety) My wish for you is that you'll get the help you need and deserve before you find yourself lost in that terrain.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE.

Sad you are feeling this way, because I get it. Do whatever you need to do, in the meantime, what always works for me? GIRL FRIENDS. There isn't a problem on this earth that cannot be solved by talking it over w/ friends. And a glass of wine (that contradicts what everyone else is saying here though).

Will you try something? You mentioned having a really hard time making new friends. I think you have a golden opportunity right in front of you. Visit w/ some of the other moms when you drop Violet off at preschool. I bet they have a lot in common with you and would love to chit chat. I promise if you befriend one mom, two will want to join you.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCMW

Monica, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I grew up with a great mom. Except she had bad anxiety and some depression issues. She also drank a bit too much.

I love my mom, I really do. We are close to this day... but I wish she had gotten help. We had a great family growing up, but there was always "something" lurking, threatening our happiness. We were always just a little off... not as happy as other families.

Get help, talk to someone, get on meds. Do it for your kids.

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

All I can say is, I'm worried about you. Take care of yourself--please.

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

:-((( I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this and that you're hurting. Please be kind to yourself -- you're brave, fabulous, super-smart, a fantastic mother and you kick ass. YEAH YOU DO! See a therapist about the anxiety because you don't deserve to go through such debilitating pain. You've been through craploads and it's only natural (but shithouse) that this is the result if, for the most part, you've been repressing crappy feelings. Talk to Serge as well when you feel the onset of any anxiety or even if you're just feeling shitty for no reason. We're all pulling for you and cheering you on, Monica. Take care of yourself and be safe. xox

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPretzel Thief

You are so beautiful.

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLRusty

I was diagnosed with panic disorder after many months of enduring extreme anxiety and panic attacks. It was miserable... After having a panic attack with a client, I finally broke down and saw a psychiatrist. I did not want to be on medication, but life had become unbearable and I needed help.

Medication and therapy have lifted the fog from my life. I am experiencing joy again. Sadness, too, and sometimes anxiety, but it is no longer stopping me from living my life. I am so grateful.

I appreciate that you share so much, and have been a dedicated reader for years now. Clearly, from the comments, you are not alone with these feelings. Do what you need to do for you. Wishing you the best.

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I used to suffer from severe anxiety too. I used all sorts of things to try to subdue it...pot helped the most. But then the whole it being illegal thing ended up giving me more anxiety. I found my self at the breaking point numerous times a day until I realized that something had to change or else I was going to have to be admitted. That's when I prayed to God. I mean, poured my heart out to him, begged for him to take away my worries. And you know what? He did. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and that "peace that surpasses understanding" that people talk about. It's real! The issues that were causing the anxiety didn't go away, but my heart and mind changed. My faith grew and so did my peace and joy and happiness and love and calmness. It's amazing. And it's a free gift to all believers of Jesus. I'll be praying for you Monica. And even if you're faith isn't very much these days, that's okay. Mine is big enough for the both of us. God loves you and doesn't want you to suffer any more.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrace Miller

Like many of the people who already commented, I've been there. Crippling anxiety... self-medication, etc. It's hard to know where to start. Someone who loves me sent me here to get started and it really helped:
http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
You can find a therapist in your area, that accepts your insurance, specializes in your area of need, you can select what type of therapy you are interested in and quite a few other factors. It was a huge help to me in feeling more in control of getting help.

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlyn

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