Friday, September 12, 2008

Episode 15- When the Sun Goes Down

4:00 in the afternoon became my least favorite time of day. I could feel it in the air and in my bones. When the temperature reached it's peak and began to fall, I knew that night time was imminent and I tried to keep my anxiety at bay.

Night time held new meaning for me. It meant that another round of insomnia was beginning and it was a battle I could not win, no matter how hard I tried. As I made dinner each night I would look to the cabinet where my drugs were kept. My hands would start to shake as I looked to my next dose. I would count the hours until I could feel the Ativan seep into my blood. It felt like a warm bubble bath encompassing my body. Then the Trazadone on top of that and maybe a Xanex....oh it was pure ecstasy.

The days were getting shorter as it does after the summer solstice and it only made my anxiety worse. Autumn has always made me feel a little blue and I feared for what lay in store for the next six months. I didn't know how I would cope once the cold weather hit and I was no longer able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But it was still August so I tried not to dwell on that.

Each night I found solace in three things. The TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond" was one of them. On one particularly bad night I was on the verge of a massive attack when Cody sat me down on the couch and began rubbing my shoulders and helping me with my breathing exercises. We were watching TV and this show just happened to be on. I recall sitting on the living room floor with him as he helped me through the attack, all the while hearing laughter from the TV. Despite the drama I was experiencing, I felt safe and I appreciated the comic relief from the sitcom. From that night on I turned the TV on to that show and it instantly took some of my desperate feelings away.

The second thing that brought me comfort was the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Again, one night I was having a hard time and Cody turned this movie on and we sat there together and laughed and it relieved the pressure from the attack.

The third thing that brought me comfort was the movie "The Sandlot" and that was for the same reasons already mentioned. Are you beginning to see the pattern here? I found that TV or movies was a great way to distract me from my depression and anxiety. It was a superficial and temporary fix, but it was a great way to keep a massive attack from occurring. I found that the key was catching it before it got out of hand and that's what these shows did for me.

I started watching each of them (at least in part) on a nightly basis and it quickly became routine for us. In fact, I would pop my pills, grab a pillow, then lie down and let Hollywood do it's thing. I would soon drift off to sleep, then about halfway through the show I would wake up, go to the bathroom, wander into bed and I was usually able to go back to sleep in very little time (thanks to the high doses of drugs of course). This is how every night played out for us for weeks.

One thing I wanted to mention is that Cody and I were no longer sleeping in the same room by this time. Since my sleep patterns were so sporadic and restless, I began sleeping on the spare bed in Ethan's room. For some reason being in the same room with him took away some of my anxious feelings. I guess it was being in there listening to him breath that helped me.


Jenni said...

Thanks so much for sharing your blog. I have also struggled with depression/anxiety during and after pregnancy. It hasn't been as extreme as your case, but its good to know I'm not alone.

Jenni from BBC (themamamonster)

Griffithclan said...

I think that you might also have felt relaxed with those movies/shows because you were able to feel comforted by the familiarity of your husband's touch. Sure, you were having a rough time but I know with my hubby that there are times when I feel stressed or whatever (definitely not to your level!) and just having his touch helped calm me down. I think that's the similar thing here. You could be distracted enough to relax with his touch and then watching those shows/movies helped remind you of that relaxing time. That's just a guess though.