Tag Archives: anxiety

Adding Up

I should be happy.

We are financially stable, I have three wonderful jobs that fulfill me and make me happy (for the most part). My husband is almost finished his graduate program! He also got a great job in Vancouver! My dad is cancer free! New York is almost 70 degrees today!

And yet.

I’m happy. I really am but man, things add up! I swear, I don’t come here just to complain but I think 140 characters is slightly limiting and this all needs to come out somewhere.  So. Hi.

I attended my 20th birth almost exactly 7 days ago.  I have 3 more due any moment now, one in May, two in June and then who knows. I’ve supported multiples, VBACs, first timers, second time moms.  I am teaching childbirth education on Sundays from 2pm-9pm and it’s so amazingly fulfilling. It’s just… a lot.  I am Tired. Yes. Capital T, Tired.

My husband has a job lined up for Vancouver.  Where he will move to in JULY, if he cannot find work here in the US. Without me.  The job has some serious perks and within 2 years, would allow me to go to midwifery school SANS LOANS. No loans! No more debt! I mean…that’s kind of crazy right? His thesis has been sent to the FBI and he defends on April 29th. If he decides to apply to the PhD program (which his advisor is really wanting him to do), then he will return to NYC within a year.  If he doesn’t? Well… then I immigrate.  Either way, if he doesn’t find work here soon we’re facing separation for close to a year.

One year apart.  I’m dying.

I realize that people do it often, but we’ve been with each other for almost ten years now. TEN.  We’ve struggled through thick and thin and thinner still.  I supported him and he’s supported me.  Now, it’s looking more and more like I am staying here, supporting myself in NYC (Holy crap, can I do this!? ) while he moves back to Vancouver without me.  Sure, he’ll visit me.  But still.  Guys? I just really don’t want to live in New York without him. By myself.

So I’ll need to keep teaching. Keep working my office job. Keep taking births.  I have a coworker who doesnt’ want to support me being on call anymore ontop of it all and whoa nelly, NYC is EXPENSIVE.

This is just a fraction of the things in my head lately.  There are tears daily. Meltdowns probably every other day.  There’s a ticking clock that explodes around my birthday when Andrew will have to leave.  It’s just all weighing and each day that passes is one LESS day, yet…I’m struggling to just get through that one day without feeling absolutely exhausted and drained.  Working out? Haaa. I’m trying.

I’m sorry to dump here but appreciate the space in which to do it.  I’m hoping to be here a bit more regularly with some cheerier things. I promise. There ARE bright things in life right now. BEAUTIFUL bright things.

Just this week has been one hell of a week.  I hope next week is lighter – yours too!

2014 in the Rearview Mirror

Man guys. 2014. Amirite?

It was such a doozy of a year, but as I go through all these questions I really feel like it was one of the best I’ve had. I feel like I’ve done a lot of fretting and worrying but I’ve also done so much growing and loving. I can’t really complain with that.

Apparently, sometimes it really is a good thing to look back and see how far you’ve come.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I attended a birth! I saw a real, live baby being born! I also had my first homebirth (!!!) and I attended my first cesarean section. Most of my firsts are firsts for my doula work. (First episotomy, first forceps etc, etc.) OH! I also took my FIRST, real adult vacation that wasn’t camping! How crazy is that!?

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for 2015?

I don’t even remember what mine were last year. Probably not. I will make some general intentions and a few longer term goals though this month. I think it is the right time for me to do so.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Weeeelllll, I saw a lot of births this year (17! SEVENTEEN!) , all people that were close to me by the end, but not family/friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, sadly. My Aunt Becky passed away in October after a long multi-year battle with aggressive ovarian cancer.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just the good ol’ US of A.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn’t have in 2014?

I would like to have more stability next year though with a large move on the horizon, I don’t see that happening. Oh, how I dream of feeling stable and having roots. I’d at the very least, like to have a more solid plan for the next 5 years of our lives together. Dare I say I would like a pregnancy as well or is that crazy talk?

7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory and why?

I’m so bad at remembering actual DATES, I’m more of a memories kind of gal. I’ll never forget my first birth, the homebirth, a few other doula related moments. I will never forget standing atop Rockefeller Center with my family in June, our vacation for my birthday and my Aunt Becky’s passing. Hearing that my father was officially cancer free!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Becoming a doula. By far. BY. FAR. I still cannot believe it happened.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Gaining weight back and treating my body like garbage. It’s made me feel so terrible. Inside and out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I got a pretty good cold before Christmas and I have been battling a few injuries that have kept me down, but nothing major. Thankfully!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A vacation. My grocery delivery. (Yes, really.)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband’s. I’m not one to be all lovey-dovey on the interwebs but man, he really was pretty stellar this year. I worked 40 hour weeks, attended seventeen births (yes, I’m saying it again because OMG!!!1!), endless prenatal visits, interviews, postpartums and several TWO DAY births. I was ridden with anxiety and depression at times, I stressed, I struggled…and all along? He did the laundry, cleaned the house, cooked meals and held me while I cried. The guy even came to get me at work when I broke down late on Friday night and felt like I couldn’t go further. I mean…I just don’t know what I’d have done without him this year. It’s certainly given me some perspective.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Politicians. People on social media. Medical professionals. Anytime there’s an injustice – I feel so wounded for all involved. ALL.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Haa, oh NYC. My money all went to rent and cab fare. And dining out when I was too wasted and exhausted. Sadly it did NOT go to Broadway shows liked I would have preferred!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I got insanely excited about seeing Alan Cumming in Cabaret. Like…WOUND RIGHT UP excited. Andrew made us ‘take a walk’ when we got there because I just couldn’t settle down and sit still. Drinks may have been necessary to get me to just stop. But guys. ALAN CUMMING.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

Ugh. Stupid old Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”.  I really can’t stand her.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier
b) Fatter. Ugh.
c) Oddly enough, richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d seen more movies and had more quiet time with Andrew. I wish I’d seen more friends and gone out more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. Working.

20: How did you spend Christmas?

With my family in Maine. So happy we did.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Yes. With birth. I really, truly did. I just fell unapologetically, head-over-heels in love with it all.  I see amazing things happen! Life!

22. What was your favorite TV Program?

The Blacklist. The Good Wife. White Collar (it’s gonnneee!?).

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is an ugly word.

24. What was the best book you read?

Baby Catcher, by far. It was so inspiring for me to read it! I was so grateful to get it as a CDP!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Eh. I’ll admit I haven’t discovered much. Jason Mraz’s album with Raining Jane called “YES”.

26. What did you want and get?

Experience. Confidence. Direction.

27. What did you want and not get?

Time to myself. Stability. More time in a day.

28. What was your favorite film of 2014?

Hah. I saw one movie in 2014 – American Hustle. No joke. ONE MOVIE.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

I turned 34 on July 6th and we went to Boston! It was SO. FUN. We’d never taken a vacation that wasn’t to see family or camping. We stayed in an ACTUAL hotel, rented a real rental car and did touristy things! We got room service! It was just a much needed break.

30. WHat one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time to breathe.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?

Will blood wash out of it? Does it go with leggings? Will this work at the hospital?

32. What kept you sane?

Andrew. My birth friends.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Honestly? The police brutality issues. It’s hard being the wife of law enforcement and can feel incredibly isolating.

34. Who did you miss?

My family. So hard. SO hard.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

My doula mentor and my childbirth ed instructor. Both are AMAZING women. One is a midwife now and one is just my best friend. Honestly. They were rocks for me and amazing resources. I wish I could hug them daily.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014?

Even when you aren’t sure of your purpose, you may be just exactly what someone needed.

All I know

It seems like I only ever come here to post lately, when I need help. When I’m heavy and struggling. When I need people. And I’m sorry for that. I hate people to feel like they NEED to respond or reply, but honestly? It’s so hard for me to reach out for that reason exactly. I never want anyone to feel burdened by me or heavy. Ever. Regardless, I still need people.

For many years, I felt heavy and neglected. My husband worked a stressful, demanding job, 12-13 hour days where I wouldn’t hear from him. Where he would potentially be in dangerous situations, dealing with awful situations. I mean, I still remember the 1am phone call that he had been punched in the face and I was to meet him at the hospital. It was one of the most terrifying and life-altering moments that I’ve ever had, followed by facial reconstructive surgery two weeks later. He attended school full time in a prestigious, yet again, demanding program. There was no time left for us. For me. For a while – that was okay. I worked too. I missed my family but couldn’t reach out without hearing, “chin up!” I missed him. I missed us.

After we got married, I became a full time housewife for a couple years and for a while, that was okay too. We fought as I begged him to spend time with me. To take a semester off. As I noticed the changes in him the longer he worked a job where he had to shut off his feelings. As he denied the changes and blamed me. I cooked because I loved it. I provided. My heart on a plate because that was what I could do. I could show my love and care in carefully constructed meals. I could provide some love at lunch time for him, even if I wasn’t there. I worked out. I obsessed about food. I lost weight. I put too much value in my appearance. I dreamed of what I wanted to do with my life but couldn’t yet.

When we moved to New York, it was tumultuous. If I am completely honest, we were openly talking separation before we both decided to put TWO FEET IN and make it work. Even now, I admit that when we fight, I worry that we’re still there despite making big leaps and taking great steps. The move shook things up and settled the all the same. I somehow, by the grace of…who knows, finally took steps to enter in a career that I’d felt absolutely compelled to be in for years. Finally.

The pieces started falling into place after I took the training. I got another job. I was accepted into a collective of amazing doulas with mentorship. I started taking clients. I got promoted to office manager. My office grew and grew and I got a raise. I found an amazing childbirth educator and she started referring me fabulous clients.

And here I am.

I am emptier than empty. I’m still charging very low rates due to my membership in this group. I am running all over, answering multiple emails from multiple accounts daily, all hours. I feel like I can recharge a little bit, but then each interaction takes more than I was able to recharge. I keep talking about it and talking about it – but I don’t know how to change it. I can’t figure out what I can possibly drop as the sole earner right now. I am useless when I get home and that certainly doesn’t help my relationship no matter how badly I wish it could be different.

I love giving to people. Supporting my clients feels so good. I get to see new life. I get to cut cords. I get to tell people how much I really do believe in them, that they CAN do this. I get to watch people become pain free and live their lives healthier. I truly, in my heart LOVE helping people so, so much. But…I just don’t know how I am finding the energy to keep giving. It’s all coming at a cost that I quickly am becoming unable to pay.

Pressing the publish button is really difficult for this post. I feel like I am just whining and people are rolling their eyes but…this is really hard. It’s just so, so hard to love what you do but still feel completely worn out and exhausted by it all.

I don’t have answers on how to fix it and you don’t have to respond.

It’s just all really heavy right now and all I know is to talk about it.

Daily Prompt: Captive’s Choice

I feel like I’m barely here these days. I really want to be here. Seriously.

I loved November when I wrote almost every day. It felt good. It felt like I shared a lot and it wasn’t just all the moaning and whining that I tend to do. I felt like maybe people read and didn’t immediately roll their eyes with my drama.

Then I got a job and the holidays happened and I’m not sure I recovered. So I figured I’d give WordPress’ Daily Prompts a shot to see if I could get back into the swing of things.  What could it hurt?

Hah. Well. Today’s prompt is:

Daily Prompt: Captive’s Choice

You’ve been kidnapped and given a choice: would you rather be stranded on an island, dropped into an unknown forest, or locked in a strange building?

The answer to this is NEITHER. I would like NEITHER OF THESE THINGS PLEASE.

Really. What an awful prompt! Both of these situations are insanely anxiety causing for me. I really did try to give this a shot. I sat and tried to calm my inner hyperventilation response and think critically about which I’d prefer.

I mean, being dumped on an island might be kind of cool. There’d be beach and hopefully palm trees. (Unless it’s Long Island, then I just don’t really want to get dumped there.)  It might be warm and tropical and feel like a vacation at first. There might be coconuts and fruits or other fun things I could eat. Thing is? There might also be RESTLESS NATIVES that like heads on sticks. There could also be crazy new carnivorous animal species that would like to gnaw on my massive thigh. What if I got dehydrated or couldn’t start a fire, Survivor style? What if there was some sort of disease-carrying bug?

So, no remote island drop-off, please and thank you.

The second option – who the hell would ever want to be locked in some strange building? It’d be all cement-y and cold. It would probably smell like sweat, or paint, or dirt. For some reason I keep picturing myself in a never ending stairwell of fire doors that don’t open. (Perhaps that’s because I asked if there were stairs I could use at work and was told no – only exiting stairs with locking fire doors last week.)  There could be offices with mini-fridges in them which would be fun, but maybe not. If it’s anything like other offices I’ve been in, they get all gross and grimey and I probably wouldn’t want the food anyway.  Then I picture cubicles of death and a missing stapler a la Office Space.  Or maybe it’d be more like an episode of Burn Notice, when you’re locked in a building and there are people outside waiting to save you? That’d be way cooler. I mean, as long as Michael and Fiona were coming to rescue you anyway. Right? Like that’s ever happening.

So. No strange building. Nope.

Oh look, the prompt did get me to write about how awful it was.  Funny how that works. Either way, I’ll do my best to not get locked in any strange buildings or find myself on Gilligan’s Island anytime soon. It might be tough.

Would you have a preference if pressed? Stranded on an island or locked in a strange building? It’s CAPTIVE’S CHOICE!

ALSO – is there something you want to know about? A topic that I’m familiar with? How I do my hair? Who my ‘list’ is comprised of? Something about me? Please – tell me what to write about!