Blessed (It’s not what you think.)

One of the last things my grandfather ever said to me will stay with me forever. “Does it ever just strike you how blessed we are to be here?” He was suffering from dementia, and it was pretty much the only thing he said that day that made any sense.

Some people might hear a dying man say something like that and feel like it’s some sort of ethereal truth about life. Not me. It stuck with me because I felt like he was full of shit.

Are we blessed to be here?

I’m not sure I can answer that. Not today, anyway.

I don’t deny that there is beauty in this world. There are moments that take my breath away. Moments when I’m so overcome with love for my life and this planet that I am (practically) speechless. (Let’s face it… I am never totally speechless.)

But in between those moments, there is a lot of “meh.”

Day after day spent sitting under the fluorescent lights of an office wishing more than anything that I could just be with my baby girl.

Struggles to pay bills and manage finances.

Traffic. Pollution. Overcrowding.

Sickness. Suffering. Cruelty. Brutality.

All around the world, children are neglected. People are starving. Homeless. Desperate.

Mothers fear losing their babies every day. Mothers do lose their babies every day.

Several years ago, a sweet basset hound was adopted from the rescue we volunteer with. He was later doused with fuel and burned to death.

This world we live in… it just doesn’t really seem all that blessed. And yes, there are lots of great people out there. People who work hard to do what’s right and bring some beauty into people’s lives one way or another… but will it ever be enough?

So while I appreciate the beautiful parts of my life… are we actually blessed to be here? Is this what a blessing looks like? Do we only fight so hard for the good stuff because the option is an endless string of “meh” or worse? What purpose does humanity even serve? We make films about aliens who invade planets and slowly suck them dry and destroy them… how are we any different from those aliens?

(Existential crisis, much?)

I know this sounds like the ramblings of a depressed person. I promise I’m not. I’m just sad today. Sad that my beautiful baby girl who positively radiates love had to wake up this morning in a world where people are gunned down at a music festival (or school—or the movies—or their workplace). How many of those people started their afternoon feeling like they were blessed to be here? And then what? They are shot at? Trampled? Why?

I am so incredibly grateful for all of the beauty in my life, but our world is broken. Humanity is not a blessing.

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My Flower Girl


Every member of our household exhaled in relief when my MIL, FIL and SIL left on Sunday. It’s not that it was a horrible visit… it was just too much chaos. I had reached the point where my MIL was driving me batshit crazy. She is so well-intentioned, but I was ready to have the toilet paper and paper towels on the holders the right way again. (She is an “under” person, and I am an “over” person.) The little things… they just get to you after a while. Especially when you’re exhausted.

Fun story: When I got home from work on Friday, the wood floor was slippery. Turns out she used Pledge (lemon scented furniture polish) as air freshener and sprayed it all over the house. I mean… I just… WHY?

For the wedding on Saturday, we were asked to have Charlotte there and ready for pictures at 2:30. The wedding started at 5. We cut her nap way short so we could get there on time. Then, they took a total of two pictures of Charlotte and both of them were at 4:30. So you can imagine how much fun it was to try to keep a 2 year old happy and CLEAN (in a delicate, light-colored dress) for hours. Also, her skin was not fond of her flower girl dress, and she broke out in a horrible rash all over her chest and back. That was fun.


It was an exhausting day. Charlotte never stopped. There were kids to play with and rocks to play in and trees to hide behind and an empty dance floor to run on. She was also overtired and still recovering from the Great Sickness, so as the day went on, there was meltdown after meltdown.


Charlotte asked for a snack shortly after we arrived. No problem—we came prepared with snacks up the wazoo. Naturally, she didn’t want any of the snacks we brought. She wanted cereal. We had raisins, applesauce, fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, veggie straws, honey graham goldfish crackers… none of that was acceptable. We made a desperate call to one of Catch’s aunts who hadn’t left yet, and she came through for us with a baggie of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (it was all she had!) that Charlotte did not allow out of her sight for the entire day/night. By the time we left there at 9 pm, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was pretty much the only thing she’d had to eat since noon. We ended up at a McDonald’s drive through after the wedding because Charlotte kept saying, “I need a burger? I need a burger?” So we got her a burger. She inhaled half of it and then fell asleep with the other half clutched in her hand like a lovey. When I tried to gently remove the burger from her grasp, she jerked her head up, gave me the DIRTIEST look and whispered, “I. Need. A. Burger.” Okay, kid. Understood.


I had grabbed some shoes out of my closet in a hurry before we left the house, and about an hour into chasing Charlotte while we waited for the photographer, my feet were KILLING me. I sat down to examine the damage, and realized that the shoes were absolutely shredding my feet. The backs of my heels were bleeding. It was awful. I grabbed the car keys in a hurry, walked the miserably painful two blocks to our car and peeled out of there hoping to find a drug store where I could buy some cheap black flip flops. I got lucky and there was a Payless shoe store just down the street. They had a pair of grey/silver flats that fit comfortably and I grabbed them and ran back to the wedding. I think the whole thing took me 15 minutes. Today, My feet are covered in bandages. Giant ones on the backs of my heels, blister bandaids on one baby toe and one big toe. Regular bandages on the other baby toe and big toe. My poor feet. I am going to BURN those shoes.


The bride and groom have a 5 month old baby girl. The morning of the wedding (at 4am!) they had to take her to the ER because she had a horrible ear infection. All day, she was either screaming or she was asleep. Our former nanny was on hand to be the baby whisperer and the two of them stayed locked up in the bridal suite all night. She never made it in a single photo. I feel so bad—they must be really bummed. When it was time for us to leave, we loaded up the baby’s car seat into our car so we could take nanny and baby home to grandma’s house for the rest of the night. The poor baby was crying and crying and Charlotte kept reaching for her and saying, “It’s okay, baby Amelia. I know.” Our hearts pretty much exploded. When we got to the house, we went in to help the nanny get settled. I had the baby in the rocking chair trying to comfort her, and Charlotte brought her a sheet of paper from a notepad. Amelia stopped crying immediately. She was thrilled by that sheet of paper. Charlotte was so pleased with herself. It was the sweetest thing.


Anyway, that is a lot of words to read and I commend you if you made it this far. In conclusion, I’ll just say that I kind of hope this is the last time our kid is ever asked to be a flower girl because that shit was EXHAUSTING. I’m proud of her, though. She made it about 2/3 of the way down the aisle before she stopped and burst into tears. The ring bearer was a year older than her, and he threw his pillow at his dad and ran the other way before he even reached the start of the aisle, so really—A+ for Charlotte.

Embryos: To Keep or Not to Keep

I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t seem to show up in my feed, so I’m trying again!

Last week, a “Mr. Oliver” from our fertility clinic left me a vague voicemail message while I was at work requesting a call back. I returned his call immediately.

First off, let me just say that this dude’s voice is creepy. Actually, I really want you to hear how creepy his voice is so I just figured out how to export the file.

When I called, that voice answered the phone. “This is Mr. Oliver.” I cheerfully told him who I was and that I was returning his call. “Ahh yes, Molly.”

First off… if you’re not going to use your first name, why the hell are you using mine? Does that strike you as rude? It really rubbed me the wrong way.

Anyway, he launches into a spiel about how he’s calling to collect a total of something like $2,000 that we owe them before we’re sent to collections.

I was confused. We paid up front for everything we did with them. I asked him what it was for, and was told that we haven’t paid our embryo storage fees since 2014. And actually, 2017 is due soon, so he’ll just add that on now as well.

Um… backup. You are trying to collect three years’ worth of storage fees right this second? Huh? I’ve never even seen a bill! Not one single bill!

So, upon further (creepy) investigation, we discover that the clinic has our old address on file. Apparently, they have been sending invoices to our old address, so we never received them, therefor they were never paid.

Wait… that’s THREE YEARS of unpaid invoices. I am quite certain that at some point, someone returned a piece of mail to them. Not to mention that we had our mail forwarded from our old address for MONTHS after we moved, and we didn’t move until I was almost 8 months pregnant, so it’s not like we just finished with the services and took off. Also, they have 4 valid phone numbers and two valid email addresses for us. Heck, the guy called and I returned his call within minutes. We have even exchanged holiday cards with our doctor and she mailed me—to our NEW ADDRESS—a nice note after I sent her our birth announcement. Do not even attempt to tell me that you couldn’t find us for three damn years. That is a load of crap.

I am BEYOND pissed off.

I hung up on him. I shouldn’t have done that, but he caught me totally off guard and I was seeing red… not to mention that this subject is a bit emotional and, well… I just couldn’t. Especially with Mr. Creepy.

Naturally, I called Catch immediately after I got off the phone with the dude. She was angry too, and she said something to the effect of, “I’ll call them and pay the outstanding balance and we’ll just tell them to discard the rest of the embryos.”

Silence.

Guys, we are solidly one and done. I am happy with one child. I did not particularly enjoy pregnancy, my birth experience was kind of scary, recovery sucked, breastfeeding was awful, and postpartum overall was just a barrel of shit. Not to mention that having a second child means walking back into that fertility clinic and going through that all over again and I have less than zero desire to do that.

Even better, I really love having one kid. I love that I don’t have to try to juggle my very limited available hours to stretch between two kids who both need me. I love that someday, when daycare/preschool are done, we’ll have our disposable income back. I love that we’ll be able to afford to enjoy our lives if we only have one kid. I love that we’ll be able to give her opportunities that she wouldn’t have if she had a sibling. I really just love my kid. I feel complete. Any hesitation I have is simply that sometimes, I think she’d love having a sibling. But we can’t have another child for Charlotte. We have to do it for us. And frankly, “us” is really enjoying parenting an only.

So why is it that I can’t just agree that it’s time to let go of our embryos? Why does the thought of that render me totally incapable of speech?

I am going to be honest with you guys, and it’s a bit dark, but I’ve spent the last week tossing this around in my head. Maybe I’m the only person to ever have this thought, but I doubt it.

I’m afraid to discard our embryos because I am terrified of losing Charlotte and not being able to have another child. I hated all of that early stuff, but I love being a mom. I worship that kid. She is the most amazing gift. If anything ever happened to her, I would never recover… but I would still want to have the opportunity to actively mother another child. Especially a child who shares the same genes as my baby girl.

I know that’s all ass backwards and totally wrong, but feelings aren’t exactly logical or politically correct sometimes. Those frozen embryos are like a lifeline to my Charlotte.

Also, those embryos were hard fought. They were literally blood, sweat, tears and so, so much money. They are—quite literally—a part of me. It’s sort of hard for me to just check a box and decide I don’t want them anymore.

So what do we do now?

I realize that I can’t live in fear of losing my daughter. It’s not healthy. I don’t want to think about those embryos and feel like they’re some sort of insurance policy for motherhood. They’re not.

Logically, I know that if Catch and I decide later that we would like another child, we have options. We can foster. We can adopt. We will figure it out.

I think we’ve agreed to pay for one more year of storage. Just in case. Will we change our minds about having a second child? Doubtful. I guess I’d just rather regret wasting money on storage fees than regret not having those embryos.

Boom!

That was the sound of my head exploding.

We’re all sick. Catch and I have been fighting through it, but Charlotte was practically incapacitated for a week. It hit her HARD. That meant she couldn’t go to school, which meant that someone had to stay home from work, and after several missed days of work, we had to raise the white flag and summon my in-laws. (You know I was desperate because it was even my idea.)

They were already going to come up on Friday for a family wedding, so they came on Tuesday instead and are staying until Sunday. My SIL will also arrive from Colorado to stay with us for the weekend. So it’ll be 5 adults, one toddler, and two dogs sharing 1200 sq ft and one bathroom. FUN.

We sent the kiddo to school today (first time in a week) for a few hours. Just a half day. My in-laws will pick her up at noon so she can take a nice long nap and have a quiet afternoon at home. She still seemed pretty out of sorts to me this morning, but she didn’t have a fever and I decided to just give it a shot. She’s not a morning person on a good day, so she may have just needed some extra wake up time.

In the midst of all of that, my mom had to put her sweet 6 year old golden retriever down very unexpectedly. She went from fine to unable to function in the blink of an eye. It turns out she had a tumor attacking her spine. We haven’t told Charlotte yet, but she will be heartbroken. She loved Buffy so much. We all did. She was just the sweetest, most loving dog.

Speaking of dogs, Rolo stopped eating a few days ago. We didn’t think much of it because he goes through phases—he’s old. We usually just chalk it up to age. Then on Tuesday night Catch happened to check his teeth and saw a huge abscess in his gums. No wonder he couldn’t eat—he was in pain. A vet visit yesterday revealed that it’s not an abscess, it’s a tumor. A very irritated, painful tumor. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we won’t know until it’s surgically removed and biopsied next week. Yay for vet bills.

And did I mention how pissed (literally) Twix is about Charlotte being in school and everyone being gone all day? She has decided to express her displeasure by peeing on every rug/carpeted room in the house every time we leave. She’s 11. She’s 100000% house trained. We have a doggie door. She is just acting out like a damn toddler. I have no idea what to do. Our whole freaking house smells like pee no matter how well we clean up. I am at my wit’s end.

I have nothing to wear to this wedding. Nothing fits me right now. I am totally at a loss. My MIL and SIL are so stylish and beautiful and I’m going to feel like tired (sick) mom frump next to them.

Charlotte is a flower girl, so we have to do the rehearsal on Friday night so she has a chance to practice. That means at least an hour in rush hour traffic with a toddler who’s still not quite 100%. Then we need to be at the venue for pictures by 2:30 on Saturday, which cuts right into nap time. She is going to be the cutest flower girl ever, but it’s going to be a long, hellish day.

Oh, and have I mentioned my foot? I fell a few weeks ago, and I’ve been pretty much unable to walk without severe pain since then. I’ve seen the doctor twice, they’ve done x-rays, and at this point all they can say is “give it time.” Just what you want to hear when you have a 2 year old to keep up with. It has felt a bit better the last few days, so I’m trying to be mindful and take it easy as much as possible.

We participated in a consignment sale last weekend, too, which meant a 3.5 hour volunteer shift for me on Sunday where I worked my ass off non-stop boxing up and moving the (heavy) boxed books in an un-air conditioned warehouse with a bad foot. Then I had to wander around and collect all of our un-sold stuff and wait in a never ending line to get out of there. I didn’t get home until 8:30 that night, and when I got home, Charlotte was asleep in our bed. Charlotte truly never sleeps in our bed. She was upset because we converted the crib to a toddler bed. It was great the first day. Then everything went to hell the second day. I ended up putting the crib back together on the third day. Bad timing. I don’t know what we were thinking.

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent. None of this stuff is the end of the world (well, losing Buffy really sucks), but when you pile it all together, it’s a lot. I’m so ready for life to get back to some semblance of normal. Soon. Really soon.

 

Friends

The other night, I told Catch about something in the blog world and her response was, “These people are not your real friends. You don’t even know them. You need to not care so much.”

In her defense, she’s being protective of me–of our family. She has experienced the effects of my anxiety/depression the past two years and her comments were reflective of that. She’s trying to minimize my worry.

The thing is that in this community, I do consider many of you to be my friends. Some of us are connected on social media. Some I email. Some I text. To me, you and your families are as real as anyone else in my life. We have supported each other through losses and gains and everything in between, and that has been an absolute gift that I truly cherish.

As Sammie posted yesterday, a family in our community has suffered a tremendous loss. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, and Cassie and Cherish are living that hell right now as they face the endless stretch of days ahead of them without their beautiful little boy, Leo.

I am struggling to find words to continue this because the enormity of Leo’s death is really beyond words. It’s wide-eyed, jaw dropped, weak knees, hug your baby closer, heart sinking sadness mixed with a desire to DO something. Anything. To help. To ease their pain. To lift them up. To shoulder some of their burden.

As the Ladd family struggles to make memorial plans for their baby boy, all I can do from a distance is donate my Starbucks money and share their story in the hopes that others will do the same. When your child dies, the last thing you should have to worry about is the expense.

Please consider donating to the Go Fund Me or Meal Train established for their family. They need it. This is how we can add some light to the darkest time in their lives. Believe me, I understand that we don’t all have money to give. Personally, I woke up to a zero (ZERO!!!!) dollar balance in my checking account this morning thanks to an error in my budgeting. If you can’t donate, maybe you can share their story by posting the link somewhere. Or maybe just drop by her blog and leave her some hearts to let them know that people out in the world are rooting for their family right now.

 

 

 

Zoloft – Week, um—I don’t know. It’s been a while.

Last week, I emailed my doctor and let her know that although I was feeling some improvement, I was not where I wanted to be in terms of controlling my anxiety. She suggested that I increase my dose to 200 mg. That’s the maximum dose of Zoloft. Beyond that, she said she would have to consult with their psychology department before deciding where to go. (She’s family practice.)

I cried. I felt like I was failing. I know it’s not logical, but I felt like it was my fault the Zoloft wasn’t working. I was scared. It’s pretty disheartening to have to keep increasing your meds for months until your doctor tells you that if this doesn’t work, you basically have to start over. I just wanted to feel better. I needed to feel better.

That night, I dutifully counted out 8 of those tiny little 25 mg pills. It seemed like so much. Too much. But I took them. I did it again the next day, and again the day after that. I asked my doctor for larger pills so that I didn’t have to take 8. She filed the prescription change immediately. It’s a total mind game, but taking 2 pills feels better than taking 8.

In the midst of it all, my in-laws arrived for a 7-night stay. Seven nights with my in-laws. I was sure I was going to break.

Except I didn’t. I was enjoying myself. We were working on the house, lounging in the back yard, cooking meals, and spending time with Charlotte. On Sunday, I ducked out for a few hours to go clothes shopping for myself—something I very rarely do. We really enjoyed having the help.

The things that usually get to me about them didn’t really get to me. I had a few moments where I struggled not to roll my eyes, but I was able to move past it quickly.

Catch just kind of took it all in. I think she was torn between enjoying the change and wondering when the other shoe would drop. It didn’t.

I feel fantastic. I mean, I either have a head cold or some severe allergies right now and that sucks, but mentally, I am in a place I barely even recognize. I am able to be so much more rational about things. I feel like my emotional response to challenges is more in line with that of a normal human being (whatever that is).

My in-laws leave this afternoon, and although I am grateful that we’ll have our house to ourselves again, I feel like that’s a normal response to having 5 people in 1200 sq feet sharing one bathroom in 100+ degree heat for 8 days. I can’t even imagine how I would have handled that without Zoloft. It’s working. Finally.

I am grateful for so much right now. I don’t think I could have done this without the support of my wife and this easy, affordable access to healthcare. I know how privileged I am to have both of those things, and it saddens me that access to support and healthcare (especially mental health) are privileges in the US. I’m giving that a lot of thought these days, and it’s something that I’ll probably touch on again in the near future.

 

Being Two

I never really wrote a proper “TWO” update and I feel like I need to because… well, TWO.


I told Catch the other day in the car that looking back on Charlotte’s babyhood solidifies the fact that I am just kind of meh about babies. I mean they’re lovely, squishy little bundles, and I appreciate the occasional baby snuggle and tiny clothes buying, but at the end of the day, babies are really freaking boring.


Two year olds, on the other hand, are the opposite of boring. Two is non-stop energy. It is go go go go go go go. Again! Again! More?

Charlotte’s teachers are astounded by two things: her height and her vocabulary. She is the youngest in her class but also the tallest and most verbal.


One day when Catch picked her up, one of her teachers said, “She knows so many songs! Usually we have to teach them the songs, but she already knows them all!” That, in a nutshell, is my kid. She never stops singing. She literally sings herself to sleep at night. It is not uncommon for us to stop what we’re doing and turn up the volume on the monitor because we suddenly hear a medley of happy birthday, Old McDonald and Wheels on the Bus coming from her room. She has even started making up her own songs.

Behaviorally, she is absolutely two. She is constantly testing limits and pushing boundaries. Overall though, I feel like we’re doing okay with things. Tantrums are generally pretty short-lived. Discipline and consequences have been a bigger struggle for us. Last night, kicking Rolo was HILARIOUS (to her.) Throwing sand is also fantastic (when you’re not the one having it thrown in your face).


I have a mole on my right cheek that she is obsessed with. It started during her bedtime routine one night. I was holding her while Catch read her a book and she looked up at me and pointed to my cheek, “What’s this?” I told her it’s a mole. Now, she likes to touch her finger to my cheek and announce, “It’s a mole.” I find this vastly preferable to her other habit of pointing to my chest and yelling, “It’s boobies!”


She is basically a walking bruise. Pretty much every part of her body is covered in bruises of some sort. She is so clumsy. (Totally my genes… sorry kid.) Last night as she was getting settled in her crib, she asked me to tuck her in. I told her to lie down, and she FLUNG herself down, totally misjudging the space between her body and the headboard of the crib. The crack of her head against the wood echoed through the room. At Target over the weekend, she was running down the aisle next to the one I was on (she was with Catch) when she caught her shoe on the floor somehow and face planted on that cold hard linoleum. SMACK. The screaming was instantaneous, as was the blood. We are basically trained to expect that anything that sounds like pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter will be immediately followed by thud/crash and then waaaaaaiiiiillllllll. The best part of these injures is when she offers you her sore body part, sniffles and asks, “Make it feel better?”


Nakedness is vastly preferable to clothes these days. This kid can remove her shorts and her diaper faster than you can blink. We hoped that her desire to be diaper-free might lead to an interest in potty training, but so far that’s a giant NOPE. No rush, kiddo.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has basically taken over our lives. Walks with the dogs have turned into bear hunts. I often wonder what the neighbors think when our child is running through the neighborhood yelling, “It’s a BEAR!”

“Alexa, play Let it Go!” We got an Echo a while back, and this is Charlotte’s primary takeaway. Alexa can’t quite understand her yet, but it won’t be long. Similarly, she will take a piece of junk mail, examine it thoroughly and then command, “Call Molly cell.” No clue how calling me got linked to junk mail postcards, but there we have it.


She now sits at the table in a regular chair with a booster seat. We love having her at the table with us.

She’s over 3 feet tall, wears a size 8 shoe and 3T clothes. Sometimes when I’m holding her I am totally blown away by how long her legs are. If I have her on my hip, her legs dangle close to my knees.


We still have no idea whether she is right or left handed. That’s probably strange at this point. I really don’t know. She goes back and forth. We often feel like she has a bit better control with her left, but we still just have no clue. I wonder sometimes if it’s something I should worry about, and then I decide that I have enough to worry about.


I could go on and on. This kid is pretty much my favorite person. She is so entertaining. So silly. So happy. So covered in mud, sand and paint. Two is so dang wonderful. 

Sunscreen

When we arrived at school this morning, I slathered Charlotte in sunscreen before I walked her to the morning care room. Drop off was hard for her today. She’s been a little clingy and hesitant at drop off every morning, but this was the first time there were tears. I think knowing how stoic she’s been every other morning made her tears especially hard for me to see today.

Now, I am sitting here with my legs crossed. I need to pee. I have had a lot of coffee. It’s not optional at this point. It’s just that walking into the restroom means washing my hands, which means that the smell of her sunscreen will be gone.

That’s weird, right? I mean, I probably need to get a grip. It’s just that the sunscreen smell is so her these days. She is always outside, so there is always sunscreen. The smell makes me feel like we’re just moments from taking those first steps into the pool together.

My little summer sunshine girl… it’s all moving just a bit too fast right now.


 

Anxiety Chronicles

By Friday last week, I had reached my breaking point. I wish I could properly explain it, but basically, I had spent the entire week wound up so tightly that I was incapable of functioning. Especially at work. Even my body was feeling the effects. I was tired and sore and so, so, tense. I’ve had a new jaw-clenching/teeth grinding thing lately, and my jaw was killing me.

Friday morning, I was up just early enough that I had time to sit on the patio with Catch and drink a cup of coffee. We talked and I tried to explain how I was feeling. I told her how desperately I needed to go into work and WORK. She said the right things and helped to get me in a better mental place before I walked into my office. I killed it on Friday. I worked so hard, and I felt so accomplished and organized when I walked out of there at the end of the day. It was a turning point.

On Saturday, we put Charlotte down for her nap and I walked over to the Y. As I walked, I downloaded a C25k app on my phone. At the Y, I hopped on a treadmill and completed Day 1. It felt amazing. I have missed running so much. It was incredibly hard, painful, and a bit depressing because I had to work so hard to accomplish what was probably a warm-up 3 years ago, but I did it again on Sunday and it felt even better.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was able to harness that energy and put it to work for me. I had a couple of non-stop days and kicked some serious ass at work. It felt great.

The sun rose this morning and I felt it from the minute I opened my eyes. I was done, but the day hadn’t even started. All that momentum I’d been building came to a crashing halt. Today has been a struggle. Two steps forward, one step back.

Those few clear-headed days are taunting me now. I want them back. Instead, I am going to put on my strongest mom face and pretend that I do not have a crippling anxiety disorder while I attempt to act like a normal human being at Charlotte’s school picnic tonight.

Fake it til you make it. The slogan of struggling moms everywhere.

Zoloft, Week 4

I thought I might be having a breakthrough on the anxiety front when I managed to pull off Charlotte’s birthday party while my in-laws were staying with us without completely losing my mind. In hindsight, I think maybe I was feeling better because I was off work for 10 days.

My staycation ended as Charlotte’s first week of full time school began, and I am a wreck. I have basically been mentally curled into a fetal position all day at work for the last 4 days. I am trying SO HARD to get my shit together, but it’s just not happening. I have zero ability to focus. I am sitting here silently reprimanding myself and willing myself to do something—anything—and it’s basically getting me nowhere. This cannot be normal.

Fortunately, I had a check-in phone call scheduled with my doctor for this afternoon. I told her what’s up, and she suggested we go ahead and double my dose. With any luck, that’s going to do the trick. She asked me to check in with her again in a few weeks and mentioned that there are other drugs we can try, but she’s hoping we’ll find my sweet spot on Zoloft because in her words, “it’s usually particularly effective for young women.” Young women. Hah. I thanked her for calling me young and she told me we’re the same age (36), so young women it is.

I’ve really been struggling to understand why Charlotte being in school all day has created so much chaos in my brain when it’s actually going pretty well. I do not need to be stressing about this. I’m not saying the transition has been perfect for her, but there is absolutely no need for my brain to be in panic mode. She is being cared for by the nicest people in a wonderful facility that is total nirvana for my kid. Animals, sunshine, swimming, dirt, music—I mean seriously, if I could have designed a custom school for Charlotte, this would have been my design. I have NOTHING to worry about. I can say with 100% confidence that once we work through the minor kinks that have arisen, everything is going to be totally wonderful. So it would be great if I could just chill. Seriously.

This shit is hard, folks.