Struggling (A Cornucopia of Random Thoughts)

This has been an awful year. Just terrible. By far the worst year ever.

This month has been the absolute worst. I honestly don’t think it can possibly get worse than this.

I’m going back into therapy on Thursday. I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t been to a therapist in about seven or eight years, and I really shouldn’t have stopped going when I did. If I kept going back then and learned how to deal with my grandmother’s death (she died in ’82 or ’83), I probably would be in a better emotional state now.

Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I’m not sleeping at night. Lord knows I’m tired enough (I keep wanting to fall asleep at my desk at work), but for some reason, my brain doesn’t shut off at night until after midnight. Nights, in general, are the worst. After Baby C is down for the night, after Cute Husband has gone off to bed, after the dishes are washed and the toys are put away, that’s the worst time. That was my normal time to call Mom and check in with her. Last night, I called Big Sis E to chat with her. It wasn’t the same, but it filled a little of the void.

And then once I’m asleep, I don’t sleep very deeply. Not at night.

I’m just really struggling right now.

I’m an emotional time bomb. The slightest thing sets me off, and I’m not entirely sure why. Little annoyances that I was willing to “deal with” (read: overlook) a couple of weeks ago now are major triggers for me. I have Mom’s general disposition, and I know it, so it’s better if I let people know what’s on my mind rather than keeping it bottled. Contrary to popular belief, I actually do keep quite a bit bottled. Just because I’m extremely verbose, that doesn’t mean that I don’t keep things close to the chest. I keep quite a bit close to the chest, just like Mom did. And I refuse to let my blood pressure become a major problem, so I have to let it out.

The problem, of course, is that “letting it out” does not translate to “let go”. There are a lot of things that I just will not completely release. Maybe this therapist can work with me on that, too.

Breastfeeding isn’t going as well as it was in January. The six days I spent away from the baby were particularly difficult for my body. No matter how much I tried to express, I knew it wasn’t enough to keep up with Baby C’s needs, and that was another element of disappointment for me. On the plus side, he’s doing okay with a formula/breastmilk mixture, so it’s not a complete disaster. Besides, he turned 10 months old today, and he’ll be able to start regular milk in another 60 days. But he’ll need to ease into cow milk gradually, too. In the meantime, I need to stop beating myself up that I can barely produce five of the eight ounces he needs each day. (I was producing 12 before I left the country.)

I’m feeling very angry. The 5 Stages of Grief are Shock/Denial, Inward Anger, Outward Anger, Depression, and Acceptance. I’m done with shock and beyond denial; now I’m very angry. I’m angry about a lot of things. Some of it is related to Mom; some of it is completely off-topic. And I’m really angry at a lot of different people, too.

My mother-in-law came down last week to help Cute Husband take care of the baby. I’m so very grateful for her help. Honestly. She said that when she arrived Sunday afternoon, she felt like she should have come the day before because it looked like Cute Husband was struggling.

She left on Saturday. Before she left, she hugged me very tightly and said, “Be angry. It’s okay to feel that way. You need to let yourself be angry and work through it.” Then she told me to take care of Baby C and of Cute Husband. I wanted so desperately to ask, “Who’s going to take care ofme?” I feel like half of my spine has been removed from my body; I find myself going through the motions every day, going over mental checklists so that I remember to do basic daily functions (basic hygiene, eating, getting dressed, remembering my shoes, getting out of bed). If not for the baby, I would probably sink into a very deep depression. As it is, I know he needs me, and that’s the primary reason I vault out of bed in the mornings.

My baby blues were a lot like this, only much milder. And I could call my Mom, and she would tell me to get dressed, to eat something, to take care of myself so that I could care for the baby. I could call my sister and selfishly have a little freak-out moment without needing to worry about her emotional state. There were also dozens of articles that I could access to help me deal.

I’m sad.

I’m angry.

I’m tired.

I want a do-over.

Did I mention that I’m looking forward to going back to therapy on Thursday?



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