I mentioned in passing last week that I had been doing much better emotionally. It remains true. Now that I am starting to feel better physically as well (although still coughing and wheezing--whooping cough sucks--get your booster!), I am ready to blog about what changed.
I don't think it would surprise any regular readers to know that after I started this blog, rather than writing my thoughts on things like Sarah Palin, cell phone cancer, and chocolate covered bacon, I started to spill my guts. While I had been searching for a place to yell, what I needed was a place to cry my heart out, a place to put it out there without judgment. As I wrote earlier, I had been pouring my heart into posts on the Dancing Queen's carepage. Instead of being supportive, I had people feel sorry for me, judge my actions, or tell me I was doing it wrong. (As if there is some right way to learn how to be the mother to a special needs child or a right way to be told your child won't live to see kindergarten.)
Don't get me wrong. The vast majority of people weren't like that. It was only a couple of people who made me feel bad, but it was enough to make me want to hide inside of myself. That made me feel worse. I was isolated without a voice.
Then this blog was born. It isn't a tool to keep people updated on DQ's health, so I haven't told the vast majority of people in my life about it. That is freeing. So freeing, I started to spew my emotional baggage. I thought blogging was helping me work through my demons, but what it really did was make me realize that I needed more help.
I started seeing a therapist a couple of months ago. She had me start journaling separate from the blog and gave me several exercises. Some things didn't work. But some things have helped. I am learning coping mechanisms and tricks to help me meet my own emotional needs.
One exercise in particular turned a light bulb on for me. I seriously felt my entire outlook on life turn 180 degrees. Since that moment, I have felt better. I am no longer consumed with the fact that my daughter has incurable, life-threatening conditions. Rather than letting each set-back hold me back, I am taking them in stride, realizing that this is our life.
I'm not saying that I am totally zen or anything. I'm still seeing my therapist and working on stress relief techniques. But, for the first time since DQ was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, I don't feel like I'm treading water. I'm ready to start swimming forward again.
I'm sure I will still have days where it seems like too much to handle and days where I will cry because my baby is in pain (which she is most days). There will times it will be difficult to see past the day. And the true test of my new emotional state will not be until DQ is hospitalized again or facing another heart catheterization, but I am better. When the next crisis comes, I know I will be more equipped to make it through without desperation and all consuming anxiety.
And yes, I will continue to blog about my feelings or journal for the emotions that are too raw for here because those tools help me. I can't make it through without tools. I need help.