snap.

I am struggling.

The depression floated away a month ago but anxiety happily swept in and took its place.

It has never been this bad before.

It is severe. Complete with panic attacks and heart palpitations.

My body physically feels the fear and reacts to it.

I have always had an issue with anxiety.

But this is worse.

The intrusive thoughts are interrupting the way I function.

They creep up at the most unsuspecting times. Hands shaking. Shivers down my spine. Everyone can hear my heart beating. It is so loud and fast.

I am having a heart attack, I think.

Snap.

I am driving the car. Kids chit-chatting in the back.

I blink and there is a head-on collision. Our car rolls over. My kids are thrown from their car seats.

I am screaming. Broken bones. Dripping in blood. Trying to find my children in the wreckage. Sobbing those guttural sobs that only a mother who has lost everything can find in herself.

Snap.

I come back to reality. I close my eyes tight in the hopes that the car accident wasn’t real.

But my brain believes it could happen. It believes that it will.

How am I supposed to live like this? For how long?

At night all is quiet. The day is gone and everyone stops doing. Stops living.

I stay up as late as I can. Avoiding sleep as it is the most frightening part of my 24 hours.

I get in bed. Try to be tired. Then I hear something.

Snap.

It’s nothing. It’s nothing. You know it’s nothing. 

My eyes are wide open staring into the black.

I turn on my right side. I have to face the doorway. If I turn my back something will happen. Something bad.

It is more comfortable to sleep on my left side. But I would rather have neck pain and save myself from whatever is in the house.

Sometimes I can see it happening even though I know it isn’t. Even though I am an intelligent person and can decipher reality from fiction.

A man comes in. He shoots us but leaves the kids alive. Landon wakes up to find us. He doesn’t understand. But he knows he is hungry. He rummages for food in the pantry. No one knows we have died except for our three-year-old.

Snap.

Why brain? Why are you doing this to me?

I can’t do this for the rest of my life. It all feels real. My children will die. I just know it. I feel the pain of losing them every single night.

Someone please take these thoughts away. Make me stop having them. Why am I like this?

I fold into myself. Knees to chin. I hug my legs pulling them close. Fetal position. I shut my eyes as tight as I can. But the tears escape anyway.

I am scared. So very scared to close my eyes. Go away, whoever you are.

Snap.

Does anyone else live like this? Think like this? Am I the only one?

I have more to lose than I ever have.

And to lose those most dear to me. It terrifies me. It paralyzes me.

I have developed rituals to protect myself and my children.

I must check behind every closet door. I must check the window locks.

I must go back into their rooms. Because my brain tells me that if I don’t something terrible will happen. I can’t be responsible for that.

Snap.

My therapist held out a rubber band last week. Wear it on your wrist, she said. Snap it every time you have negative self-talk. Every time you have an intrusive thought. Every time you have a compulsion to do something just in case.

Snap. I think it’s working.

This rubber band has to save me.

I snap so I don’t snap.

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Comments

  1. Cindy says

    Molly, I love your posts. I love that you are so open and honest with your struggles. With me, I am always scared someone is going to think I am nuts. Sometimes I am scared to admit to myself out loud (or on the web) how much I do struggle within.

    I understand EVERYTHING in this particular post. I am always thinking of the worst case scenerios. It drives my husband nuts. My theory is by thinking and expecting the worse, it either won’t happen or I can be prepared for when it does. I know that theory doesn’t make sense though.

    Your posts have made me wonder… I can relate to so much you write. I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I am almost tempted to ask my doctor if it could be possible that I have bi-polar. I have looked and compared the symptoms though and they are almost similar, so who knows

    I wish there was a magical cure-all. I wish there was something more I could say…. Just know that you are not alone in your struggles.

    :hugs:

    • says

      Cindy, thank you so much for your kind words of support. You never fail to come here and comment and make me feel better. You help me to feel like I’m not alone. I appreciate that so much.

      I was diagnosed incorrectly for years. I finally found a doctor who did the work and research to find out what was really going on. At first it was a complete shock when she diagnosed me. I though, nahhh, that can’t be right! I was very angry with my new diagnosis. But as time went on I realized that it made perfect sense. All you can do is see your doctor and find clarification. It can only help you to find out the truth.

  2. says

    I’ve never experienced anxiety or depression, but the way you describe it makes it so real… my heart hurts for you, Molly, that you have these demons to slay…. but I am confident that you will. You’re a wonderful, loving, devoted mommy and wife, and those three boys of yours will hold you together. Sending lots of virtual love and hugs…. I hope you can conquer this and get to a more peaceful place. Praying for you, as always! xoxo
    Kimberly recently posted..Yay For a New Family Portrait!!!

    • says

      Thank you, as always, Kim. You have been nothing but supportive of me the whole time we’ve “known” each other. I appreciate your words more than you know!

      I am confident that these thoughts will go away. I hope soon so I can enjoy the holidays. I don’t know which is worse. Depression or Anxiety! Too bad I have to choose at all.

      All I know is I’ve got to get rid of this. I can’t continue this path. It is affecting everything I do :(

  3. says

    Molly, your posts are amazing and so vivid, like I can feel what you feel. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. We don’t know each other, but know you have people out there rooting for you. GL.
    Tessa recently posted..Happy Halloween!!

  4. says

    Thank you so much for sharing that. I know you stopped by my site and saw that I too suffer from depression. I think I might try that rubber band thing for when I have bad thoughts or compulsion to try something. You are very very brave. Let me know if you ever want to talk!

    Thank you also for stopping by my blog and your kind words. They mean a lot. While I don’t wish depression and such on anyone, it makes me feel better to know that I am not alone.
    Laura recently posted..Sweet Shot Tuesday

  5. says

    It is so brave and honest to put yourself out there like this, Molly. Your words resonate. Although I can’t claim to have wrestled as big a bugaboo as you are, I went through anxiety that lasted years, which I was afraid to admit to anyone for fear of being told that I didn’t have any business getting married, having kids, whatever. In hindsight I know now how much I needed help. I’m so glad you’re getting it. I wish I had some wisdom to offer you for getting through it. I can just pray.

  6. says

    oh Molly – my heart hurts for you :(

    i only know you through your blog and Twitter but i think you’re all kinds of fantastic – you are a great wife and mother and and i admire the fact that you are so open and honest about your illness – you are so self aware and i love that you are pro-active, especially when it counts the most

    i know it can’t be easy to put such a personal part of your life out there but know that it is making a difference – thanks to today’s post, i now realize that i also suffer from anxiety – though very mild, i never knew what it was – i often find myself experiencing intrusive thoughts – before i had kids, it was always a car accident – the car flipping over an overpass or skidding off the road and flipping several times – now that i have kids, those thoughts also include scary kitchen accidents or someone breaking into the house (despite the fact we have a high powered alarm system) – so far, i’ve been able to shake off the thoughts when they creep up and snap myself back to reality fairly easily – but now that i know what it is, i can keep an eye on it and seek help if it gets worse –
    so, thank you!

    hang in there mama- you’ve go tons of love and support behind you!
    dianthe recently posted..the opinion of one

    • says

      Awww you are so sweet, lady! I know there are a lot of people in my online community who are supporting me. I wrote this because I’m always honest about what I’m going through. And this has been going on for awhile but I’ve stayed quiet about it. Hiding it has never helped me. These supportive comments ALWAYS do.

      Thank you SO much for dropping by and giving me a virtual hug. It means a lot.

  7. says

    Oh my. I’m so, so sorry. I deal with depression and depression sucks. A LOT. But I’ve never experienced anxiety to the levels you’re describing and honestly I feel like I’m lucky to “just” struggle with depression. I hope your rubber band helps. Stranger things have happened. Medication is important for chemical problems but self-talk can be just as powerful, I’ve found. Tell yourself the truth. Depression and anxiety are liars.

    Praying for you.
    Alyssa @NearNormalcy recently posted..How NOT to begin NaNoWriMo

    • says

      I so appreciate your continued support, Megan. I want you to know that I am trying SO hard to lean on God right now. I try to cast all my fears to Him. It helps. It really does.

  8. Kim says

    You don’t live like this alone. I did the same. Sometimes still do. The plans I had in place . . . someday we’ll talk about them and laugh. Until then, know that you are NOT alone. The medicine and the therapy will help. I know they will.
    Kim recently posted..Sleep

  9. says

    Oh Molly…I know…I’m so sorry.
    Whatever you do please don’t read my post tomorrow ok? Promise me you won’t. Instead just tweet me something…it’s suggestive.
    I’m holding your hand very tightly through this just like you’re holding onto mine. We can get through this.
    I’ll hold you close to my heart tonight when I pray.
    Xoxo
    PS. I am always here for you ok
    Kimberly recently posted..I Wish That I Didn’t Have These Thoughts

  10. says

    big hugs, Molly. I can totally relate to thinking of the worst case scenarios and ‘preparing’ myself for them to come true. I thought I was just a big pessimist but maybe ‘anxiety’ is the right word for those thoughts. Lots of thoughts and prayers that the rubber bands work. Hang in there, mama.
    julia recently posted..RAR!!!

  11. says

    I understand, Molly. You are not the only one, no. Those intrusive thoughts are like something outside of me. I can be thinking of NOTHING stressful and SNAP! a picture of a horrible thing happening to one of my children will just appear, like a movie. And it happens a lot. For me, I think it’s how run-down I am…my anxiety goes through the roof when I’m stressed or sleep-deprived and then those thoughts come all too often.

    Your writing is incredible. I’m glad that you share what you do. We all need each other’s truths.

    xoxo
    Heather recently posted..Just Write ~ The Eighth

  12. says

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I too, feel this way. A lot. The night time rituals that you described? That’s me. I wish I had the perfect words to give you to help, but I don’t. Instead know that I’m here. Always.
    Kimberly recently posted..If Only In My Dreams

  13. says

    Wow. I’m blown away by your story and by the beautiful way in which you tell it.

    All I can say is that I hope this subsides soon, that your snapping will help it. I’ve had anxiety issues – it’s why I don’t drive, because I often envision the same scenario you do – and I know how crippling they can be. I wish there was some way I could help.

    Thank you for choosing to share this with JBE this week. And many hugs to you.
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..Wellness Wednesday: Hitting My Striiv

  14. Gianna says

    I have and still do struggle with anxiety.
    When I go through my pantic attacks, I don’t exactly know what I”m thinking which makes it even worse. I just can’t settle and relax.
    So even though your fears are exhausting, at least you can label what you are afraid of.
    This was a great post.
    I really appreciate it.
    I found you through Just Write.

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