i post a lot of pictures of us at the beach, spending time outside and just generally doing fun things with our family. while we are doing all those things and having so much fun, the obvious truth is my life isn't all sunshine and sand. one of the things i really want to be in life is honest. i really hope to be as authentic, real and transparent as possible. there are certainly things that wisdom tells us is better kept within a close circle but for the most part, my prayer is that i will be okay with sharing my struggles and hangups because i know how encouraging it is to me when i hear that i'm not alone.
i keep getting texts from friends and picture comments about it looks i am doing so well and am so happy. and yes, we are doing great and yes, i am really happy. we are loving our home here, starting to make real connections with friends and seriously, who doesn't love the ocean right down the road? but, i have been feeling like i should also open up a little bit about some things i've been struggling with that aren't easy to capture in an instagram picture.
let's go back about 3 years to right after tucker was born. the transition to two kids hit me hard. i am sure tucker's resistance to sleep played a role in it but whatever the cause, i found myself dealing with some serious anxiety. i would wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic state. i knew rationally that everything was fine but i could not talk myself out of the panic and make the feeling of being out of control go away. i would have to wake up gregg and just have him sit with me until it got better enough for me to go to back to sleep. when i started feeling that panic feeling creep into my waking hours i knew i needed to talk to a doctor. at the same time we also joined a gym and i started working out 4 times a week, that combined with tucker's sleep finally getting consistent seemed to be enough to keep it under control and i managed to avoid medication. when eisley was born i was pretty concerned that it would be an issue again and was so relieved when it didn't show up immediately after her birth. flash forward four months later and it came back full force and much worse. i now had three children, 3 and under needing me all the hours of the day. i would be standing in the kitchen trying to make them breakfast and just get this feeling of total panic. it's really hard to explain because it's so irrational. when eisley was 7 months old i finally went back to the doctor and got a prescription for an anxiety medication. it seemed to help for a few months but it eventually started giving me migraines and i had to get off of it. my doctor did give me a prescription for a different medication but i really wanted to try to find a way to manage it without medication. i looked into essential oils and picked up my workouts some to see if that would help. it definitely didn't take it away completely but i just dealt with.
it felt manageable until about two months ago. i suddenly found myself feeling that panic feeling creeping in during my everyday life. i hate it so much and i wish there were an accurate way to explain how it feels but i haven't figured it out. in those moments i just feel so lost and as if i literally can.not. keep going. in addition to the anxiety this time, i also found myself dealing with depression in a way i never have. it seemed like i could only hold it together long enough to find a space to be alone to fall apart. i spent so much time driving around town running errands while crying in the front seat with my kids sitting in the back. i really think it took a few months for our move to catch up to me. i had a feeling it would be that way when we moved. i process emotions really slowly and it takes awhile for my heart to catch up to my mind. so, after a few months of this, i finally reached out to a couple of friends and shared how i had been feeling. they really encouraged me to get some help and share my feelings with Gregg. i think he already had a feeling i was struggling without knowing just how much. after talking to him, i decided to go back to the doctor and try medication again.
it's been about a month since that visit and i honestly feel more like myself every single day. i am not driving around crying or feeling totally incapable of doing something simple like making my kids lunch. i am finding myself having more fun with my kids and saying yes to them more often. i feel clear headed and optimistic about relationships and our purpose here in jacksonviile. while i still miss my texas friends so, so much and my texas family just as much (and mexican food!), i know that those relationships can continue to grow despite the distance. i don't walk around with the crushing weight on my chest anymore. it is truly an incredible feeling and i am so thankful for it.
i still have a ways to go. i still have rough days. i would love to get into counseling at some point to help me hash out some of the root causes of the anxiety and depression. for now though, things are looking up and i am grateful.
so, there you go. a truth you may not have needed to know. hopefully if you are struggling with the same thing it helps you feel a little less alone.