Anxiety ruled my life…but not anymore

I have been kind of quiet over here because I have been doing a lot of work on myself. Not my body but rather my mind. I’m celebrating two months sober from anxiety. Anxiety- is an incredibly powerful thing, more than I ever knew. I finally took steps to get help with it and I never imagined a life like this was possible. The life I’m having right now. Meditation & medication is the formula that works for me. It took me forever to figure this out but I am beyond excited that I finally did. This is a huge deal for me. The calming of my mind is greater than any bikini body or any size 2 or 4 I ever was. You guys, I was drowning in anxiety. It was spinning around in my head every minute of every day. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I experienced life the opposite way. I write this so that you too may ask for help if you feel the same way that I felt. I felt this way for years and it kept getting worse. I never wanted to admit that I may need an anti-depressant. I am astonished by the trickle-down effect anxiety can cause. I can see it so clearly now that I have it under control. All the times I let anxiety rule me…too many to count or recall.

That term, depressed, never felt like it fit me. Depression though is a result of anxiety and I knew I had bad anxiety. Self-diagnosed but I was sure of it. I didn’t realize there was a drug that could help my anxiety because I refused to acknowledge that I was depressed and never considered taking a drug for it. I thought I could calm my mind with healthy food and exercise and it worked sometimes but after having the baby, the shift was too great. I could not handle this on my own anymore. I needed help.  Had I known it would have worked this well I would have gotten on something sooner for sure! The stigma around mental health is that of mind over matter or just be happy and grateful for what you have and you will be fine. But it is just not the case. Something was going on chemically in my brain. Guess what? There is a pill for that and it is totally working for me. I am not ashamed. I am honest and feel great for being so.

depression

Do you have these thoughts: What’s wrong with me? What’s going to happen next? Why is this happening this way? I can’t manage. I can’t handle this. I feel overwhelmed. It’s all my fault. I can’t do anything right. Everything seems off, wrong, not quite right. These among other thoughts were on constant rotation in my brain before I had Charlotte but about 3 months after having her they went into high gear. I couldn’t escape them. I was exhausted- not from having a new baby but rather from having a battle in my own head every second of every day. My anxiety was taking over and I was crying, I was feeling defeated in every way. I just didn’t feel right. Was it postpartum? Was it hormonal and it would eventually go away? Maybe but I tried to think of how I felt prior to having her and I always came to the same conclusion. I just have never felt RIGHT.

I was foggy, moody, defeated, unmotivated, full of worry and confusion. Things would get better but they were never ok. I never felt ok. Finally, when school was ending I knew I couldn’t have a summer feeling like this. I wanted desperately to feel better. I had a particularly emotional and high stress few days which led me to call my OB and ask for help. I also talked to a few friends who have friends that take something or do themselves and that really drove me to realize that I may just be one of those people that need this. I was ready for help. I was scared. But I knew I needed it. They saw me the next day. I went into that appointment with the baby and spilled my guts to the Dr. I didn’t cry. I was just COMPLETELY HONEST with her and it was refreshing. I told her the warmer weather, the smoothies, the walks, the meditation, the positive vibes, the prayers…just wasn’t cutting it. I still feel like chaos rules my life and nothing is ever ok or ever going to be. I needed more help and I was ready to try an anti-depressant. I am so thankful that my OB was able to prescribe this for me and I didn’t have to wait months to get in with a different type of doctor. Help was literally one phone call away. I had no idea…..

It took so many guts to admit that I might be a depressed person but I had hit beyond rock bottom and it was the only choice left. You wouldn’t think that about me if you met me because this was something I battled inside. That is a huge part of this that not everyone can relate to or understand. I was good at hiding it maybe but inside it was destroying me. I refused to see myself that way because I have EVERYTHING I have ever wanted and more. My life is a cakewalk compared to others. I quit my part-time job at the end of May to try to ease the stress of everything. The sheer weight of my own thoughts racing in my head was enough to cripple me. Then throw in the baby and the rest of actual life and I was a mess. A hot, hot mess. I was scared and wanted to run away, I was not good enough, I was a bad mom. Every bad thought you can have about yourself I was having. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was ready to admit there must be something that could help me fill the worrisome feelings I was having all day every day.

depression and anxiety quotes Example depression and anxiety quotes my art journal pinterest anxiety

The Doctor put me on a very low dose of Zoloft and I was eager to see if this would work for me. I was desperate for it to work for me. I read the side effects and cried hard that night and hesitated even going through with taking it. What if this made everything worse? What if this didn’t work for me? I was doomed. I was losing it and I needed this to work and not make me feel more “crazy” or make me sick. I wanted it all. I wanted the thoughts to stop in my head and I wanted to experience and enjoy my kids, family & myself. I wanted to enjoy my life!

I took that first pill and I almost instantly felt better. I couldn’t believe it. The doom and the gloom weren’t there. I could breathe again and have clear balanced thoughts for the first time ever it felt like. I felt a huge weight lift off me. That weight was my destructive thoughts. They were gone. I had the exact same life and circumstances. Everything was the same but my mind became calm and I was able to handle things. Charlotte cried & I smiled. Max was rambunctious and asking me for a million things and I handled it. I felt safe and right. I felt more confident and self-assured. My self-esteem is at an all-time high because my anxiety is at an all-time low. I felt all of the things I had been trying to feel for so long. From a little green pill. A pill that was filling an imbalance in my brain. Adding to my brain what was missing. It was amazing! I was able to have a good time. I was present. I wasn’t worried quite frankly about anything. I sort of felt numb at first but in a good way. It felt like a much-needed break.

The first week was rough-we were on vacation and the pill was making me sick but I knew that could happen for the first week or two so I stuck it out. I wanted this to work for me. I wanted a life filled with gratitude and happiness. The fact was, I was happy. I was filled with blessings and I knew it but those feelings were getting buried by the anxiety I was experiencing every day. I then began to fear the what if I feel too numb. What if I stop caring about things and this works too much the opposite way for me. That would not be good either. I am happy to report that after just two weeks of taking it the sick feeling stopped and the numbness/robotic feeling went away. I was turning into me. The best version of me. As the weeks went on it just kept getting better and more balanced. My thoughts about myself and life are good and happy now. I handle life even though it isn’t perfect or easy. I see the joy in it and look forward to each new day. I am more motivated and active. I have even lost weight.

anxiety 2

I am so thankful that I was brave enough to try the Zoloft. I share this with you in hope that this can help even just one of you if you need it. I hope my honesty will encourage you to seek more help if the “natural” ways of coping with anxiety and depression are not working for you. I want this feeling for you all too. Anxiety and depression have a terrible stigma but the more open we are to talking about it the more we can normalize it.

I would love to hear from you if this something you want to talk about. Wishing you all the best life has to offer….drug or no drugs. I celebrate this drug and the fact that it is helping me. I am not ashamed and I hope you aren’t either.
Image may contain: 2 people, including Adrienne Lefcakis Carey, people smiling, child, eyeglasses and outdoorImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

Charlotte is almost 9 months old and doing great! Happy baby, happy mom, happy boy, happy husband, happy life! Happy for me is the opposite of anxiety. It used to rule me but not anymore.

xo, Adrienne

 

 

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Blessed

Feeling quite blessed over here nowadays. I’m having a baby! 19 weeks tomorrow and I wanted to write about this experience on my blog since I have shared so much other personal life experiences on here. It is time for my pregnancy blog. The baby has gone from a tiny poppy seed  to now the size of a mango, or a zesty zucchini or a throwback to the size of Nintendo game boy (says a nifty chart I found on Pinterest). So about 6 inches long and growing rapidly, constantly doubling in size! It’s truly a miracle what happens inside a woman’s body when they are pregnant. I realize it more and more with this pregnancy than I ever did with Max. My first pregnancy was basically 9 years ago. I was 28 when pregnant with him. I am 37 now. I feel in most ways younger and healthier than I did then. I wasn’t a very good eater or exerciser back then. I have had my moments, trust me, tired, emotional & moody but overall I feel great. I’m not scared and I am certainly not worried about all of those tiny details you do with your first. I am not even nervous about birth. Those are the things that are different. I am much more aware now that I have been through it I know it will just unfold and it will happen as God intends it to. And it will be completely amazing in every way.

pregnant 1

I am so glad that I found meditation right around the time I got pregnant actually. Just a few weeks before getting pregnant is when I started and I swear it helped me relax and get pregnant. It helped me through that 1st trimester when you are constantly worrying that the pregnancy will hold on and get through. In times of Max not sleeping through the night (not being able to figure out why and wanting to help him) when I desperately needed to sleep because I was so tired in early pregnancy. Not being able to go back with him for an x-ray or an MRI for his leg (once we figured out why) because of scans like that & babies in the belly don’t mix. Of course, all of this unfolding while I was still “secretly pregnant”. The point of this is that it helped me separate from Max and let him do these things on his own. Which is huge for us. I tend to baby him, hold on tight for dear life because I only see him 50% of the time. But this baby coming and him being older is all going to aid in me trusting him & letting go just a little. Funny how the timing of things unfold when you believe, like I do, in signs that the universe sends you exactly what you need when you need it. Maybe I need an 8-year difference in my kids? I don’t know but that is what is happening because that is how my life is unfolding and I trust that it’s just right. Perfect timing for me and my family.

I mean this kid is the definition of pure happiness. I learn so much from him! Sure, he gets sad or bothered from time to time but he is human. It’s part of the human experience to feel. Full leg cast in June-summertime-and he handled it amazingly. It has been such a joy to watch him react to me being pregnant. Shock and denial at first to naming the baby and putting his head to my belly and saying he can hear him or her in there and he can’t wait to teach the baby to be “awesome and handsome” just like him. It’s really that simple.

Max cast

Recently, my anxiety was at an all time high and I finally just broke. I was taking everything so seriously. Everything was so important to me. The smallest and the biggest things. I realized that I couldn’t keep going like this if I was going to be a great mom and wife. My blood pressure was rising. Things were happening around me that were out of my control and I wanted to control them so badly. I finally gave myself permission to stop caring essentially. It was a total relief and I can’t even explain how much of a weight has lifted. Trust me, I still care a lot about all of the things but at the rate I was going it was only leading to total devastation and I knew deep down I didn’t want that. So, one day, I told myself enough. And that was that. When other people tell you to relax and tell you don’t sweat the small stuff (*my mom since I was probably 16*) it’s just not the same. You have to hit the bottom and realize yourself how much useless pain and unhappiness you are causing yourself. Give it up. Come to the other side. It’s so chill here & everything is still okay.

I have been able to really let go of a lot of expectations and ideas on what life should be during these past 4 or 5 months. Going to therapy since November, not really regularly, but just once or twice a month has helped. I have learned so many things from Dr. E and have really been able to settle a lot of turmoil within myself as a result. So much of life is uncontrollable. Not just mine. Everyone has similar issues, worse issues. It’s how you deal daily that is going to make or break you for the amazing life that you deserve. That you deserved from the second you were born. All of us. All of us are so worthy from day one. Know that.

Deserve-what a word. I spent so much time thinking I didn’t deserve this baby. That I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My life is too messed up. How will I explain to this child that their brother isn’t here half the time? Explain to Max that this child gets to stay but he doesn’t. That their brother has a different dad. I just couldn’t even go there. I didn’t deserve it. I would only put pain and hardship on yet another human. I was unraveling and it wasn’t pretty. But then I realized that was all total BS (with the help of meditation & my therapist, family and friends). What matters to kids and to adults is happiness. Nothing else, not their so-called circumstances. Can you give them food, shelter and most of all LOVE? Then check mark, if this is something you want then you should do it. The rest truly doesn’t matter. It is not good or bad. It is nothing actually. Expectations are happiness killers and I no longer think that way. It was killing me. I finally got the courage to decide with Tim that this was something we really wanted so we started trying. When I took the test and saw the word “pregnant” all of those thoughts went away. I knew it was okay and it was going to be okay forever. We are about to bring more LOVE into this world and that cannot possibly be bad for anyone. Everything has felt aligned since then. The more I believe it the more it is true.

baby c 1st ultrasound

Baby C is coming and this is going to be an awesome new chapter for all of us and we are so excited! I am present. I am here living and enjoying this. I am not worried about the past or the future and it feels really good. Now, is the baby a boy or is the baby a girl? We will find out this Sunday with some surprise cupcakes with my parents. I am team healthy baby all the way but my intuition tells me there is a classic romantic boho chic, food & wellness loving little girl in there planning her outfits already 😉

xoxo,

Adrienne