Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Anxiety Spiral

Well. We got Gus and sh*t hit the fan. I started having anxiety pretty quickly after bringing Gus home, and I didn't understand why. Yes, it's stressful to have a puppy, and the mornings were especially stressful trying to watch him {so he wouldn't go to the bathroom in the house or eat something he wasn't supposed to} while getting the kids ready for the day, but overall Gus has been an easy pup. He quickly adjusted to his crate and has been sleeping/staying in his crate for 8 hours/night in the office since week 2. He eats great and is almost accident free. 

I felt like a giant loser having anxiety over a dog. I partially blamed it on the amount of reading/watching videos I did about bringing a dog home and was trying to do ALL THE THINGS. Brent kept saying 'it's just a dog, it'll be fine'. But I kept getting worse. I called Kristen one day hysterically crying and cried a lot. It culminated in me crying for hours on Brent's birthday and reminded me SO MUCH of how I felt having post-partum anxiety. I ended up having to take Xanax and scheduled an appointment with my doctor for last week. I also had an already scheduled appointment with my therapist for last week as well.

My doctor said basically I have PTSD from post-partum and my nervous system can't tell the difference between bringing a baby home and a dog - it's a living thing I have to take care of, and it triggered an anxiety response. I talked to her about taking an SSRI again {I took Zoloft after both Trent and Paige} which I didn't want to do but was willing to if she thought it was warranted. Thankfully she did not think I needed to be on one! She prescribed Xanax to use in emergencies and also a blood pressure medicine that does a similar thing as Xanax without the side effects. Luckily, so far, I haven't needed to take either. She also wanted me to do EMDR therapy to process my post-partum trauma and hopefully break that anxiety cycle. And what do you know - my therapist just got trained in EMDR! So I was able to text her after meeting with my doctor so she was prepared for EMDR for our appointment. I'm also taking a bunch of supplements {a lot of the ones I took after Drew plus another my doctor recommended} that focus on stress/worry/anxiety.

We did our first EMDR session on Friday, and it was super helpful! We worked on creating a safe place in my mind to go when I'm feeling anxious and focusing on my 5 senses for that place. I chose my parents' porch swing. Luckily, every day since Brent's birthday weekend has felt better and better. I was nervous today about teaching my class {I didn't teach last week I was feeling so bad}, and it felt really good and today has been the best day so far since bringing Gus home.

We still have some work to do on our new normal - summer routine with the kids home plus having a dog - but I feel much better about being able to do so! I'm no longer thinking 'WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?' on a regular basis ha! I already love Gus, the kids are over the moon, and I think we're going to have years of fun with him!


Natasha said...

Oh Allena -- I'm so sorry this has triggered post-partum for you. I'm praying things will continue to improve. And thank you for being open and honest about how hard this has been. Thinking of you and sending hugs.