Solid Ground

When they carried Goose out of the exam room where she had taken her last breath, I started to panic.

The past few weeks (months?) have been so overwhelming and intense. The heart palpitations and anxiety were getting worse along with my feelings of depression. I saw a doctor early last week for a referral to mental health services, which was both terrifying and a relief. Terrifying because it reached the point where I knew I needed to talk to a professional, but I did feel a sense of relief that I was taking steps that would (hopefully) start helping me feel better.

Then, my period started on Friday and it was sort of strange. The fog started to lift. I had a bit more energy. For lack of any better way of explaining it, all of a sudden I started to feel a bit more like myself.

We were on our way home from a really lovely faux anniversary brunch on Sunday when my mom called to tell me that she thinks she needs to take Goose to the vet. In an instant, my delightful champagne buzz melted away, and I switched into dutiful daughter mode. When we got home, I changed quickly and headed straight to my mom’s house to help her with Goose.

I stayed pretty focused on my mom and our Goosie all afternoon—until it was over. As the door closed behind Goose and our tears intensified, I wondered what this was going to do to me. Would it push me back toward that edge I’ve been teetering on since June?

We stepped quietly out into the dark evening without our big red dog and drove home to my mom’s house in silence. Inside of me, a voice was screaming that this year, the fall season was supposed to be about life, not death. Almost everyone Catch and I have ever loved and lost has been lost in the fall—and it’s not a short list. Would the progress I’ve been noticing the past few days disappear into a pumpkin spice black hole?

As it turns out, no—it won’t. Don’t get me wrong—I am still grieving for that goofy oaf of a dog. Even though I no longer lived with her, she was a huge part of our lives and I feel her loss tremendously. What’s different is how I’m coping with those feelings. I am sad, but I am okay. I am functioning better than I have in weeks. The heart palpitations have lessened along with the anxiety. I am getting work done. I am slowly emerging from the shell I’ve been hiding in. There is no black hole in sight. Even with this new grief, I feel better than I did two weeks ago.

This really solidifies my belief that my depression and anxiety were closely linked to my hormones. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started to feel better on day 1 of my cycle, nor do I think it’s a coincidence that all of this started with those birth control pills in July and worsened throughout the IVF drugs and the subsequent polyp removal.

I am grateful that I was able to force myself to reach out for professional help. I am grateful that as I cried on the couch a few weeks ago while seriously considering all of the ways it would be better if I didn’t exist, I recognized that what I was feeling was both wrong and scary. I am also grateful for whatever CD 1 did to bring my life back into focus.

I would love to change this season from something we mourn to something we cherish. I would love to see some life come from all of this death. October 30th, we’re more ready for you than I thought. Let’s plant those seeds Reese’s Pieces.

7 thoughts on “Solid Ground

  1. I’m really feeling for you right now. My wife suffers from anxiety & depression, which means that I suffer from it, too, even though it isn’t my hormones or brain chemistry that’s wonky. We just came out of an awesome 6 months and have hit a wall- not sure if something situational triggered it or if it’s just chemistry. Anyway, no words of wisdom or advice, just sending love to you & Catch both.

  2. I totally believe hormones can contribute to depression and anxiety. Some people are maybe more sensitive to them. I’ve seen a few clients in therapy whose symptoms significantly improved when they went off hormonal birth control and others whose symptoms worsen as their period approaches and go away once their cycle starts. Glad you are feeling better.

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I tried to comment earlier about Goose but I couldn’t get WP to cooperate. She sounds like she was an amazing dog.

    I think hormones are a big factor in things for me, too. I see other gals do IVF and they seem to breeze through. I id my best on our first cycle (probably cuz I thought I’d only need to get through 1 so I gave it my all with nothing left over – ooops!) but it does make me kuck-koo to have all those hormones swirling around. Same for bcps, which is why I never take them. And then being pregnant under bad circumstances also was proof for me that hormones can really rule my roost 😉

    Fingers x’d for Oct 30. Come on cherished baby!!

  4. So sorry about your sweet pup. And glad you’re feeling better, too. (“A pumpkin spice black hole” – you’re funny even in the midst of the tough stuff). You deserve some lightness. Here’s to those Reese’s Pieces.

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