The Path Forward.
(September 08, 2020, 1:08 p.m.)

Restart attempt number 2.... Currently waiting for my therapist to call me. Thank Heavens for telemedicine. Need to recover my archives, just for the sake of owning them. I don't think I want to read them just yet. I'm not quite sure how long ago I last wrote in here but I have to imagine it was before I became a Mom. I have a 7 year old, 4 year old and a 1 year old. Married now 8 years and some months.

It's been... a lot. To say the least. I lost my Dad in June to ALS. I'm still making sense of that. We are in the middle of this thing as a planet but I prefer not to even spell that out. Baby number 3 was a surprise blessing. She has been incredible but the journey leading up to this point now has been rough. I quit my job in May of last year to spend more time with the kids before the baby arrived. That was good although if I'm being truthful it was extremely difficult at first. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom or housewife. I had thoughts occasionally that it might be kind of nice to have lots of time to get things done but mostly I felt driven to succeed, to have a career, to "make something of myself" or use my degree. What I have come to realize is that I can't be the kind of Mom I want to be and work so much. I want to be close to the kids, I want to be able to drop them off and pick them up and see what's going on in their school, know who they see. Growing up here there's a lot that I am apprehensive about. Things are different now. That was thirty years ago. I was fortunate enough to have an employer that allowed me to go part time and make my own schedule for a while to cater to my mom schedule but the environment was so awful I was miserable and complained a lot. A flexible schedule and nice paycheck for easy work kept me there for far too long. It robbed me of my joy, made me so cranky and negative. ON the flip side I made some great friends and learned a lot. Anyway, I left in May and the baby came in September. The months after were a blur. A repeat c-section, baby blues and what I now know was severe post-partum anxiety left me in a daze. All of the sudden it was the holidays, which are a difficult time for me anyway, my father was losing his strength. He and my mom came to live with us for a few weeks while they were having their downstairs bathroom made into an ADA bathroom. The ALS robbed him of his joy and crushed his spirit, it was tough to watch. All the while I started having panic attacks. I was terrified to take the baby anywhere. I was so afraid of everything and was having such awful thoughts. I realized I had full fledged OCD and everytime I went to visit my Dad it was a whole ordeal of disinfecting and freaking out. I was hiding in the closet during panic attacks so the kids wouldn't see me - shaking and crying. I wasn't able to hold any food down, my stomach was messed up all the time. I started losing 4-6 pounds a week. I went to a GI doctor but everything came back normal. I finally talked to my OBs office about what I was feeling and they told me to come in right away.

Dad went into the hospital in January for a blood clot. They kept him there to monitor him and make sure the clot didn't travel to his heart. While he was there he got the flu and pneumonia. His lungs were getting weaker from the ALS and after a few days he aspirated and went into cardiac arrest. They revived him and put him on a ventilator but it was down hill from there. He beat the flu, had a trach and feeding tube put in and he was transferred to a rehab center. He could no longer speak and no longer eat. They tried to get him off the trach but he wasn't strong enough. We were not able to see him after the world event happened. Just through a window. It was a brutal experience and sadly because of my OCD I could hardly be there next to him he understood but it still doesn't feel good. He's no longer suffering. My mom is so strong, my brother is really struggling. Dad was cremated but we haven't been able to bury him like he wanted because it isn't safe to gather or really travel. Sigh.

I am getting help. Even though I have been so against anti-depressants and anti-anxiety my whole life I caved. I guess that makes it sound bad - like I gave up the fight. I was so miserable and feeling tortured I didn't think I could live anymore. Suicidal ideation they call it. That's when I knew I needed help. I had felt the baby blues before - this wasn't it. I wasn't able to function, I was crying all the time. So afraid. I started therapy, although the first therapist actually made me worse by telling me we were all eating round-up and poison ourselves by eating wheat... I found a new one, she's great. Been working on strengthening my faith. Faith over fear. New therapist is a Christian too and it's working so well to reinforce everything. I've also started doing a kind of Facetime bible study which is like therapy too. It's nice to talk to my friends and have some deep discussion.

That's all I have in me for right now... until next time <3