September 20, 2012

How do I proceed?

I thought I was doing just fine. Thought I was moving through my day-to-day with an ease and grace in the aftermath of what we experienced last March.

Because I am beyond grateful and living in the moment.

And then BLAM! I am smacked in the face with nerves and worry and insecurity.

I am FULL of anxiety.

Perhaps I can blame my kids going back to school leaving me with time to think. Thinking is not always a good thing.

At first I assume I'm feeling insecurities because my friend and I aren't talking as much as we sometimes do. This is my go-to feeling. I've felt this many times before in my life.

Why hasn't she called me?

Why hasn't she texted me?

Is everything OK?

Did I do something? Is she mad at me?

Doesn't she care about me anymore??

Try as I might not to say these things to my friend, I always do. I vomit them all over her and she doesn't know why. She doesn't think anything is wrong. She's just going about her life.

I get offended that she doesn't see it. I think she's being mean to me. Cold and uncaring.

I take a breath. Maybe the angel of friendship (there must be one, right?) whispers in my ear. And it occurs to me that it isn't really about her or our friendship at all.

It's something else entirely. I apologize profusely to my bewildered friend. Who, as a matter of fact, is very concerned about me.

In my utter confusion as to what is really going on with me, I have hyper-focused on entirely the wrong thing. It's an easier thing to focus on than the real issue at hand.

Which is, my ever-present fear and worry of losing my very best friend and soul mate forever. Not my friend whom I've just dumped on, but my husband, my kids' dad.


It has been needling at me for pretty much two full years now, since Mark's bypass surgery on 9/21/10. A year after that I thought it had been the worst night of my life. Until 3/1/12 when Mark's heart stopped again, this time due to arrhythmia.

There was so much talk of death last March. I will never forget how my knees buckled in the middle of the ICU floor hallway when my MIL, dealing with her own fear and worry, bluntly stated, "Well he is going to die." My mother and father both reached out for me, ushering me into a Quiet Room, all of us trying to absorb strength from one another.

We really did think that was going to be it. All our worst fears were about to come true.

And then they didn't. Mark said, "I'm not dead yet!", and proved us all wrong.

I'm not saying it was a miraculous recovery after which all was right with the world. Far from it. We still have much to deal with, and will for however much longer Mark is with us.

And, I think, therein lies the problem. No matter how grateful I am that my husband is still alive. No matter how much I "live in the moment", "soak up the good" or "hold onto joy", I am traumatized. These near-death experiences are haunting me.

Oh and it makes me SO ANGRY! I hate that it's impossible to let go of. That I'm not strong enough to beat PTSD's ass. That it's f*cking with my head.

So now what?

My friend urges me to seek out counseling. I remind her that I did last spring but it seems that if my husband wasn't actually about to die, I don't really need it. It seems that if you're simply having a hard time and would just like to have some help processing, no one knows how to make that happen. I figure with my or Mark's or our kids' insurances, somehow, someway we should be able to afford it.....but I haven't found a good option.

I may ask my doctor if he thinks we should up the dosage of my anxiety med. I take only the smallest amount right now. I will probably start taking the Vitamin B6 my dad swears by....

Regardless, what I know today is that I have to keep swimming. My family needs me. And I can.

Update: I didn't intend to publish this for a few more days; I hit publish accidentally. There is an option to "revert to draft", but since I didn't realize what I did until I started getting comments, I kinda gotta go with it, right? Also, the comments are so nice, and since it's World Gratitude Day, I will just be grateful for a happy accident.

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