::pack:: of fixations



life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.

9.08.2012

Gradually

I'm feeling a whole lot better.  In fact last weekend my happiness level reached a 10!  I feel like I've hit a milestone emotionally.  I know there will still be ups and downs, but I feel like I won't hit the bottom of the very rock bottom again.   I'm still constantly trying to control the amount of stress that is allowed into my life.  Yesterday morning we went to a new therapist... & he's definitely our guy!  Only one small problem, he's at the hospital... our hospital.... we have to drive there... in a car.  I'm mostly okay while Ryan is driving.  I'm okay driving myself around town.  I don't do okay when it's me driving towards Salt Lake City.  I've done it.  I've cried.  I've had panic attacks.  I'm trying to reduce my stress but of course our therapist (and I LOVE HIM already) is in Salt Lake City, of course he is.  Also, one of my all time favorite movies is What About Bob?, he does remind me a lot of Dr. Leo Marvin, in looks alone but even prettier.  Which is a total bonus.  I wouldn't mind if he requested us to wear t-shirts that say "I'm on a vacation from my problems"... especially while on vacation. ..."Goldie???"  "I'm sailing!!!"  I hope I have readers who also love this movie!  It's a classic.  Hmmm, I wonder where our new therapist vacations... perhaps, "Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire?" maybe???  Note to self: watch this movie now that you are crazy [wink wink].

I really want to say thank you to everybody for your comments.  I honestly didn't realize that I was being too hard on myself and it's all still new.  Thank you thank you thank you!  All of your thoughts and prayers are helping.  I wish I could personally thank all of you.  It was a huge eye opener.  Our therapist basically said the same thing.  It was our first visit and he summed up my life in a couple sentences.  He explained that our Dr's said we would be at a certain point in an x amount of time and we beat it.  We think we can do what we used to, but we can't.  He literally said our minds are not the same and used the words too much multiple times!  Our anxiety is our body's way of trying to help us to slow down.  We feel like we are failures because we are struggling to juggle how we used to be, yet have so much more on our plates physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  I just sat there nodding my head.  This helped verify the constant feeling I have of being anxiously overwhelmed.  He works with patients who have been through trauma and has worked in a trauma environment for a long time, so he fully understands us!  He even said the best thing for us to do is be together alone as a family.  Yes, this is exactly when I do feel safe, secure, and calm most!  I know my previous therapist was excellent in a lot of areas, but I wasn't being told my emotions were normal... I never felt assured that I would overcome a lot of my difficulties.  I needed feedback and direction.  I need more than losing a child is one of the hardest thing any one has to go through... I already know that.  During my last appointment I didn't talk about what I planned on talking about, I was asked about the trial.  This got me very riled up, even though it's usually the furthest thing from my mind.  Then she busted out breathing exercises printed out on paper and instructed me on how to perform them.  Next she asked me where my imaginal happy place was, "maybe the beach?" she asked I respectfully just nodded.  She asked what my happy place smelled like, tasted like etc, as she wrote them down on a paper stapled to the useless breathing drills.  At first I ignored her questions as I uncontrollably sobbed.  I had already been crying but this upset me furthermore.    Hoping that she would somehow get the impression that this made me feel aggravated, that my feelings were unjustified and she would stop with this ridiculous nonsense.  No feedback but breathing exercises and going to my happy place was this really happening?  I paid my $50 copay, put on a bra, and didn't cook dinner for this?  Maybe she wanted to fill the rest of my time because she knew she couldn't help me, I'm a different complication than what she normally works with.  I wanted to take the papers and rip them into a million little pieces and throw them far away.  I'm no where near the point of breathing exercises being beneficial.   I don't even have the patience for yoga.  "My bed is my happy place", I told her.  "It's where my legs don't hurt".  Please know that I know that these exercises really can be beneficial.  But I feel it really won't compliment my issues right now and perhaps I'm a few years out.   

I canceled all of my future appointments and tried to look at the bright side of all the money I'd save.  Ryan went to some one there also, his first time with a therapist ever.  Apparently they bust out breathing exercises on your first appointment sometimes.  He never wanted to go to therapy again because that was the wrong approach for him also.  My friend explained that sometimes it takes trying dozens of therapists before you find the right fit.  At least my therapist didn't do that to me on our first visit.  She really did help me with the immediate problem I had and it was very close locally and I'm very grateful for that.  I'm thankful because I know no one could have helped me more at the time like she did.

Remember this post?  A few days before I wrote that post it was a normal day.  I was getting used to my new routine with only my 1 precious child.  I was doing okay.   Ryan went back to work in May.  His job has always meant very long hours.  The first week wasn't bad, but every week seemed to get longer and longer.  His company has been so great to us!  We have felt so lucky and are so grateful for them.  But Ryan's sense of work ethic is off the charts.  He always gives 110%.  I'm sure he could've left others hanging and worked less hours but it goes against his character.  I would secretly cry because I could see the exhaustion in his eyes everyday when he came home and it broke my heart in two.  He was trying to be strong, too strong.  He was trying to show the company how grateful we were and he was trying to be strong for Finn and I.  He talked himself into thinking he could do what he used to do.  He's the main provider.  He never complained and would come home and do his best to mow the lawn and take care of his beloved garden.  I was constantly racking my brain to find a way to make extra money and help take some of the weight off of his shoulders.  Maybe I could  start writing a book even though I was nowhere near ready.  But how does one go about writing a book?  I also feel full of myself saying that I'm going to write a book out loud, but that's a whole other topic.  The way Ryan was going he would end up working himself into the ground.  One morning (I think it was the last day of July) he woke up and got dressed, sat on the edge of our bed and woke me up.  He told me how stressed he'd been all the weeks prior then he started coughing and ran to the bathroom and vomited.  "Are you sick?", I asked.  "No", he said.  He explained how he'd never had this feeling before in his life.  The closer he got to the job site the faster his heart would race.  Then he began coughing again and ran to the bathroom and vomited.  I began to cry.  I begged him to stay home that day & let me take care of him.  I begged him to let me talk to his bosses.  "No, I have to go & I'll call them.  I don't want to go.  I'm scared, I don't know why I feel this way.  I feel like I want to crawl out of my own skin".  I knew he'd been pushing himself too far but Ryan doesn't get anxiety.  He's never had anxiety or depression not even as a teenager.  He vomited a few more times and began to cry and we held each other for a few moments before he had to go.  

He called me when he was almost there and told me he'd been throwing up the whole way there (Park City).  He was bawling harder than I'd ever heard him do before.  I begged him to just come home.  He said his truck looked like a crazy person's been in there and that there were papers scattered everywhere.  He would write stuff down and shortly lose track of where he put it.  I understood this exactly because this is similar to how I felt.  It was too much.  Everything.  He spoke with 2 of his bosses who were so kind and understanding.  He felt helpless.  He felt incompetent about doing his job that he'd basically been doing for 13 years.  "We are different now I told him.  I don't understand it either".  He cried hard the majority of the day and finally made it home at 6:30pm.  He had a break down.  His first.  It was one of the saddest thing I've ever seen.  Ryan is my rock.  And I love him with everything I have.  I'm so grateful I didn't lose him.  I've always known how lucky I was to be married to such a kind and patient person.  He's everything I'm not.  He hasn't been working since.  That's why he went to his first therapist, and why I'm so grateful that we found one that's a good fit who can help us.  He got on a new medication, we have been doing the yeast cleanse, and spending time together.  He tried to go back to work on Tuesday but woke up and got sick with anxiety again.  Our new therapist explained that after going through what we've gone through jumping back into our old routine is like throwing a 1st grader into High School.  We have to gradually get back into it.  If we push ourselves too far it will only set us back more and make it harder to get back to where we used to be.  The relief of hearing our new therapist explaining the why's is priceless.  

Of course there's a problem with having to gradually get back to work... bills.  They've kept Ryan on the payroll, but we know they can't forever.  I don't know what people like us do.  I don't know how long it will take us to gradually be able to get back to do what we used to accomplish and how in the heck his company can financially accommodate us in this process.  But I do know I will do everything in my power to not try and rush it.  I've looked into disability and found it to be disappointing; and the process is very complicated.  



Sometimes I wonder how our lives would be if the accident had never happened.  Would I still be baby hungry?  I'd probably have a few more races under my belt.  What games would the boys love to play together.  The sound of their laughter and bare feet echoing through our home. Colum would be talking, I wonder what his voice would sound like.  How much thicker his hair would be, how much bigger he'd be now, how many freckles and moles would he have?  I would still have thick long hair, I really miss having hair.  Would he be swimming as good as Finn trying to keep up with his big brother.  Finn would never have to experience being lonely and our hearts would still be whole.  Would we appreciate what we had, I like to think we would. 

"If I fake it, then I don't have it"...sorry just had to throw in one more quote from Bob :)

20 comments:

  1. Kelly, I know that you might not feel like it, but you are the strongest person that I 'know'. So happy you found a therapist that you feel ok talking too. That in and of itself can be quite the challenge. Continued prayers for you all.

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  2. Kelly, I'm so glad that you found a therapist that is a better "fit" for your current needs - that is so important. Recovering from a trauma requires one to take "baby steps" ... just ask Bob he'll tell you all about "baby steps". Love you and thinking of you.

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  3. I'm so happy you are getting family time and continuing your recovery. You're climbing a mountain - you're really doing it. Bless you and yours in all your trials, in all your pain, in all your joy and your hope. Prayers and love to you always.

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  4. Kelly, Please don't feel "full of yourself" for thinking about writing a book. You are a fantastic writer!!! This blog is so well written, you draw us all in. We FEEL your emotion. You are detailed and concise. I know I am not alone in being someone who checks your blog regularly, HOPING you will share some more with us. We laugh with you, we cry with you, and we constantly cheer you on. I know the time may not be right just yet, but I really feel like you NEED to write a book at some point. It may not even be about this whole experience, but something else entirely. You are funny and witty and you could really produce something very entertaining. Or, you could also tell your story, which I know would be amazing as well. PLEASE don't give up on this idea! You already have more fans than you know.

    Again, thank you for continuing to share with us. You are amazing!!!

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  5. Kelly, I would read your book. I love the way you write. I'm, also, very partial to sarcasm :) I am so glad you found a good therapist. I hope Ryan's doing ok. Let me know if you need anything.

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  6. Your therapist sounds like the right person for the job and glad you found him. He is so right, time to step back and just cope as best you can without all of the external pressures. Hoping Ryan is feeling stronger in time, have been hit with anxiety so can relate to some level, but never to the extent you two are feeling.

    Be good to yourself, Ryan and your son. Hugs to you all.

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  7. Big hugs and lots of prayers lady. You are doing amazingly well given what you have been through in less than a years time. Things WILL get better. No, the pain of losing that precious boy will never go away, it will just become different. I have never lost a child, so I don't know from first hand experience, I only know from watching my own mother after losing my brother, my only sibling. I still struggle and have my own break downs, but I would say they are less than they were a year ago. And I know that a year from now that they will be even less than they are today. Your grief is still so very raw. As is ours, it has only been 15 months. But things will start to feel more "normal". As you said, "We are different now", so it will be a "new" normal.
    Lots and lots of prayers for you and Ryan and Mr. Finn.
    You are always in my prayers and on my mind. Baby steps my friend, one day and one step at a time is all you can do :-*

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  8. Dr. Leo Marvin!!!! I love What About Bob. I'm so happy to hear about the new guy. So happy. Love you guys.

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  9. baby steps, dont forget them......

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  10. Oh Kelly so glad you guys have been able to find a therapist that is a good fit for you guys. My heart breaks for Ryan it is so hard to feel all of these emotions that we have not had to experience before, but I'm so glad you are able to work through them together. I was a little sad for you Kelly when you first said Ryan had gone back to work because I know when I am having a hard time it's hard for me to have to be at home alone husbands are the best to lean on for strenghth. I think your both doing as well as can be expected you have been through so much! So glad you have each other and sweet Finn that is the best reason to get out of bed each day:) Continue to keep your sweet family in my thoughts and prayers. Charlene

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  11. I'm sorry you have to drive so far for a therapist that you both really like...but I'm so glad you found a good one! After meeting you and Ryan a couple of time, I can see that he's the kind of husband and dad to do what he needs to do to provide for his family. I'm sorry to hear that the anxiety had been so tough. I hope you will continue to have level 10 days!!!!

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  12. Thinking of you friend. I know in a lot of ways watching your husband feel that pain can be harder than feeling it yourself. I know when i'm struggling with something, Kris will often put his own feelings on the backburner so he can be a comfort to me but eventually the tables turn. Maybe this is what men do, or just awesome husbands. I know you are there for eachother and holding eachother up and that will probably go a long way to get you through. I hope this new therapist continues to click with you guys. Yeah, would literally watch that movie on loop with my sister when we were younger. Ahoy! hahaha, best part, I think we would just rewind that one scene and watch it repeatedly. Keep holing up with your little fam. Lot's of Love to you all!

    Heidi

    P.s., Do NOT listen to that new taylor swift song unless you need to cry, holy crap.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvN7BOAQn9I&NR=1&feature=endscreen

    I put the wrong link in my removed post this one should be right... I heard this song by Taylor Swift and thought of you and your little family.

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  15. First let me say... I LOVE Bill Murray. Jeff was really hoping he could track him down then talk him into officiating our wedding. Needless to say... it unfortunately didn't happen. Maybe for a vow renewal.

    So I think I am going to send you a message on FB asking for your therapist's name. I know I need to start seeing someone, but I have been afraid. I think I need to watch What About Bob again, now that I'm flirting with the realm of crazy too.

    Like so many of your posts, I can relate to the emotions. My family also has a whole new life. Of course it's different than your situation, but we also have days where we struggle, and days where we feel so strong. It's tough to accept a "new normal", and it totally completely sucks that so few people can truly understand.

    Thinking of you! xo

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  16. Hearing about Ryan's struggles going back to work just break my heart. He's such a good man and a hard worker. I am sorry you are both having to deal with this. You are such a neat couple, and I hope & pray that together you can truly heal. I am sure some days it seems impossible, but I do know that the human heart is capable of healing. I am glad you found a therapist that gets you and your situation. I hope he continues to help you both. Baby steps - a funny line but so true! (I love that movie!) Still thinking of you and praying for your family every day.

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  17. I wish I could hug both you & your husband. You two are so strong yet you are more deserving than anyone to not have to feel strong. (if that makes sense). I am so glad you've found this wonderful doctor. What About Bob is such a great movie. Your precious boy is looking down on you every single day and cheering for you. If you ever write a book (and I really hope you do) I'll buy it the first day it's out. :-) Hugs and prayers to you and your family. Thinking of you.

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  18. Love you guys and What about Bob. Baby steps...

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  19. My only suggestion is that no matter whether it is a friend, family, or a therapist telling you that there is a timeline.....there isn't one when it come to healing your heart and your mind. You will have to take things as the come....gradually....just like you named your post. Gradually, your body will heal. Gradually, you will find you can do some of the things you used to do. Gradually, the pain in your heart and mind will subside just a bit. Gradually, life will seem ok, never like it was but it will be ok. I lost my husband, mother and father within 7 months of each other, my parents 7 weeks apart. I thought to myself, oh, a year from now things will be better. Nope!! It took a bit longer. I told my friend I thought I needed a therapist. She said the most wonderful thing I've heard since all this happened. She said, you don't need a therapist, you have me!! I did have her. Everyday for lunch she would listen to me, cry with me, talk to me, remember them for me, remind me, hurt with me and laugh with me. Gradually....I healed. Am I all better? Not really but I know I have a lot of life still to live so I live for my son, my daughter-in-law and my wonderful little grandson. I would read your book for sure. I pray for you and your family and hope things go ok for all of you. The holidays for sure will be hard but don't let anyone tell you that after a year, you will miraculously be back to normal. The only normal you will find is your new normal. Take it a day at a time and know that many many people, some of us strangers, think about you all the time and care about you.

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  20. Okay I feel the absolute need to do a fundraiser of any sort to help relieve the financial burden. A yard sale, an online fundraiser through indiegogo or perhaps a car wash. I want to help!!!! Can you email me your contact info so I can get something rolling... I am a complete stranger but your writing and your story need to be shared. You are touching, brave, talented, and strong. Thank you. Time for us to give back to you for all your are teaching us about the gift of love.

    Thank you!
    Please email me: losgatosforsale@gmail.com

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