Friday, September 10, 2010

This too shall pass

Ok, so no one could ever accuse me of being current with all things hip. I understand that this video was "everywhere" in January, even though it came into my universe this morning. My husband couldn't believe I had never seen it and pulled it up on YouTube. When we should have been finishing the kids lunches and getting shoes on, the five of us watched and danced a little before heading off to work, school and the playground. Everyone lovingly rolled their eyes when they realized that the end of this song brought tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why - maybe it was the big band finish (I was in the high school marching band), the fabulous creativity or the fact that music bypasses my brain and goes straight to emotion for me.

I love the message of "this too shall pass - let it go" and thought it fitting to share in this space. This phrase reminds me to be ever present and move slowly through all of life's moments. We can find comfort in the fact that emotional turbulence will not last forever. And, an equally, if not more, important message is to wake up to the joy and beauty in our every day lives, because those moments pass, as well. We don't have to feel calm or "together" to be awake to our lives, we only have to show up.

What moments have you been awake to today - what beauty have you seen?

Hugging my girls, looking into their eyes and telling them that I love them; laughing with my handsome husband this morning; holding my 3 year old's soft, tiny hand; watching clouds roll through the breezy sky; taking time to listen to the sounds of outdoors and feel the crisp morning air; making home made pizza dough at my child's pace as she stirred the flour up to her elbows and snitched dough; children racing through the grass to see brilliant green caterpillars at our school garden; listening to a foreign language being spoken; people connecting and reaching out to one another; etc.


amy said...

I'm at work, so I can't see the video. However, what a beautiful post!! It just made me smile and made me feel good :) Ok, I'm getting off work now, gotta go! Have a great weekend...I'll check back!

Meredith said...

What a lovely post! So I have some news that I really need to share with you ladies. I recently found out that I am pregnant with my third child. It wasn't planned but we are definitely excited about it. I am only about 7 weeks but very nervous about how my anxiety will be during the pregnancy. I have been much better over the past 6 months but it definitely still creeps up on me. My husband reminds me that my having anxiety has never prevented me from being a great mother before and it won't now. It is hard right now because morning sickness feels a lot like morning anxiety and I have to tell myself that this will pass! I would love any feedback or encouragement you ladies can offer! Kristen- I know you have three little ones as well so I would love to hear any suggestions!!! : )

Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Amy - I'm glad the post made you smile! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Hey Meredith -- Congratulations! What great news!! Yes, the shift to three children can be a big one, but I feel like our third was such a gift to our family. There's more chaos, but lots of laughter, snuggling, flexibility, affection, etc. Our older girls are so sweet with our 3rd and even though they're 10, 8 & 3, they play together.

The morning sickness will pass, but I know it feels crappy now and mimics anxiety symptoms. Does yours normally lift around 13-14 weeks? If so, I would expect this one to be similar. Sometimes you can take meds to help w/the nausea. My sister in law took Unisom at night (recommended by her midwife) and it helped w/morning sickness overall & she slept great. It's less intense then the prescription meds, but definitely check in with your midwife/doc first, of course.

Thinking about pregnancy/postpartum anxiety -- I wish the Mom I am now could have talked to the anxious Mom then and said - it's not only going to be ok, it's going to be great and you can do this. I spent a lot of time worrying about things that never happened (as my counselor said "wasted energy") -- I had an awesome home birth and life with three is hard work, but I can't imagine life without her.

Do you feel good about your midwife/doc and birth team (doula)? Being surrounded with great support can help alleviate some worries, as well.

I could go on forever, so I'll stop here for now, but I'm here for support!

Oh, one last thing. I know your anxiety has been better these past 6 months, so I would encourage you to keep up what's been working -- being willing to face anxiety provoking situations with the attitude of "I'm willing to show up, I'm willing to feel anxious and I'll handle whatever happens." Looking forward to hearing about your pregnancy!

Ashley said...

Congratulations Meredith!!!! I second everything that Kristin said. Having three is so hard at times but I love it too!!! Mine are 6, 3 and almost 2 so life is hectic at best. I didn't really struggle with anxiety until after my third was born but it had nothing to do with her. My mother-in-law had my oldest for the weekend and passed out while she was driving him to the park. they were in a bad car accident (both were ok) and that caused me to obsses about passing out and hurting one of my kids (I always wore my babies in a sling all day. I was so afraid that I would pass out and suffocate the baby). Everywhere I went all I thought about was passing out.

Anyway I say all that because I don't really know how being pregnant affects anxiety. Can you stay on your medication? I did have severe morning sickness for 20 weeks. The unisom and B6 helped with that though. Sounds like you have a great husband. Focus on what is true. Yes you have anxiety but you keep living your life. Being pregnant is part of your life now. I couldn't agree with Kristin more about worrying over things that will never happen. Enjoy your pregnancy. Can't wait to hear about it.

Ashley said...

Kristin: Great post! I had never seen that video either. I'll write later about my driving experiences. It's been a little (ok a lot!) frustrating and scary.

Meredith said...

You ladies are great. Thanks for all the supportive comments. I think what I am struggling with is that feeling sick kind of triggers my anxiety so right now the morning sickness is not helping at all! I also think that every time I get a cramp or pain I think the worst! I think those of us with anxiety are so tuned into our bodies that sometimes it isn't good! I will have to ask my dr. about the unisom. I was taking Celexa and I got a few opinions from doctors who said that I could stay on it while pregnant. It does make me a little nervous that it could have side effects but I am also nervous that if I go off it my anxiety will get worse. It is a tough decision.
How are you ladies doing with your anxiety? I would love to hear how things are going with you these days?

amy said...

Meredith...I'm sooo excited for you, that is awesome!!

I have no words of wisdom, as I have no kids. But I'm working on it, currently unsuccessfully and it promotes more anxiety unfortunately :( So, of course that anxiety turns into all the "what if's" about a future pregnancy and motherhood. So, I can kinda relate to your anxiety about adding to your family!

Remember, no matter the anxiety level, this precious growing baby is a blessing and will only bring so much more love into your family! Hopefully that yucky morning sickness will subside verrry soon! Praying for lots of strength, peace and an easy-peasy pregnancy for you!


P.S. PLEASE keep us posted on how you're doing b/c I'm just plain curious, but also want to keep you lifted up in prayers as you go along!

amy said...

Oh, Kristin and Ashley...great advice!! It also helps me as well, so thank you ;)

Meredith said...

Hi Amy. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I checked out your blog and I was sorry to hear about your struggles with trying to have a baby. My best friend went through the same thing and it eventually all paid off. She has a happy healthy one year old now! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hopefully you will have some good news soon! I keep telling myself that this morning sickness will pass and that in the end I will have the greatest gift so it is worth it! I wish we all lived in the same city so we could have our own support group! ha ha : )

amy said...

Thank you Meredith for your prayers...I didn't want to overshadow your comment with my struggles by ANY means :) I'm very excited for you and looking forward to hearing how your pregnancy goes!

And, YES, how awesome would it be if we all lived close by to eachother! We could all go to Target together for long periods of time and then go eat lunch (my trigger) until we all overcame our "junk" ;)

amy said...

I always forget stuff! Also, very uplifting to hear about your friends success...thank you for sharing! That's awesome!

paprikapapaya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Paprikapapaya,

Welcome to The Adventures of Anxiety Girl and I look forward to "seeing" you soon! We would love to hear about your experience with anxiety and what's been working for you, too.

Meredith -- the decision to take meds or stop during pregnancy is a difficult one. I went off lexapro by the end of my first trimester and went back on 3 months postpartum & have been off meds now for quite a while. Here's a great article to peruse (sorry for the long cut and paste):

And, yes, wouldn't it be fun to have our own anxiety exposure club -- meet for lunch, hang at target, go out for drives, take on some big bridges, and maybe make a few presentations. :) We might need to figure out a yearly meet up.

Anxiety Girl said...

Ashley - thinking about you & would love to hear how the driving is going. What a crazy story about your mother in law getting in an accident with your child -- it makes total sense that driving your kids is a trigger for you now. We're here to cheer you on as you work through it and especially on days where it's harder than others. Take care & "see" you soon.

Ashley said...

Driving has been hard!!! I have horrible morning anxiety so the 8am trip to school is the worst! I obsess about whether or not I might pass out and how horrible that would be. I have mentally broken down the trip into five sections and I am constantly trying to cheer myself on to the next piece of road that I have to go down. I had a full blown terrifying panic attack last Friday on the way to school. I left the house and thought that I had forgotten my cell phone. WOW!!! I can't believe how that thought tormented me. What if I pass out! What if I need help! Who will help me! I was hyperventilating by section 3 of my trip and feeling like I would actually pass out and kill us all by section 5. I resisted the urge to pull over and run from my car screaming and by the time I arrived at school i was scared and shaken but O.K. After I dropped T off I pulled into a parking space to chill out before heading back home and found my phone. I burst into tears. The release of emotion helped.

I don't know why I only have horrible anxiety in the morning. I drive the same route in the afternoon and I'm fine. It is so frustrating!!!! On a positive note...going to large stores has gotten much easier.

It would be so much fun to hang out with you ladies. It would be so nice to actually see other women living their lives with anxiety. A yearly meet up would be nice. To bad the thought of flying/driving somewhere produces waves of worry and anxiety :-)

Kristin: I am passionate about music!! You said it best when you said it goes straight to emotion. I loved that song in the video. I looked for it on i-tunes to add to my anti-anxiety playlist (your Stevie Wonder songs are already on there)but can't find it. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I havn't really blogged about my anxiety. Sometimes I want to but don't really want my family to know how bad it can get.

Meredith: Hope your feeling O.K. What triggers your anxiety(I think you mentioned being sick)? Do you have panic attacks? Just curious.

Amy: Will be praying for you this weekend. Hope everything goes great!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Meredith said...

Hi. Kristen- thanks so much for the link to that article. It definitely helped me put things into perspective. I am really trying to make an informed decision about medication and it sounds like weaning off before your third trimester is the best thing to do. I will have to see how things go.
Ashley- it sounds like you are making a lot of progress and really challenging yourself with driving. I get panic attacks as well but they aren't as situation specific. I have more of a generalized anxiety and when it flares up I get scared to do things like go shopping, drive far from home, go to the movies.. basically anyplace that I feel trapped. I get scared that I will have a panic attack while I am out and that I will embarass myself or go crazy. For some reason my biggest fear is going crazy. I know that in all the years I have had panic disorder that has NEVER happened and that is what I need to tell myself when I am thinking that way. Of course in my mind I always think that there can be a first time! Anyone else struggle with that feeling?
It would be wondeful if we could all meet up for a yearly gathering! I can't imagine us all getting there since we all seem to be afraid of traveling long distances by ourselves! ha ha. I live in PA, are you guys all on the East coast?

Ashley said...

Hey Meredith.
I thought I was going to go crazy for about a month solid and that was the absolute worst time for me. I was afraid to be in my own skin!! That has passed and now it's just fainting. I need to find a non-threatning nurse/Dr (I'm afraid of nurses and Dr's) to explain to me why someone would actually pass out. I think I know just enough about it to scare me. I went to dinner with a friend tonight that was on prozac (I think) until her third trimester. I know that is a hard choice to make. I'm afraid of taking medication so it's not one I have really considered. Sometimes it gets so bad I think I'll have to take medication but the thought really scares me. Again, I do not know enough about it and for me a little bit of information is BAD!!!Has the medication helped you?
I live in GA. Part of me thinks it would be so much fun to just get on a plane a fly somewhere to meet people I kind of know. If I could do that then surly I could go to Target and drive 20 minutes to get T to school. :-)
Hope you all had a great weekend. Oh yeah...Meredith-how old are your kiddos? Boys or girls?

Paul Dooley said...

I love this song and video, very uplifting.

I think it's so important to not focus so much on the negative and make sure that we pay close attention to the beautiful things life has to offer. Thanks for that.


Anxiety Girl said...

I'm east coast, as well (VA), so we could pick somewhere central & either make a drive or a short flight. :)

Ashley - thinking you you & your driving. It's awesome that you're taking it on, even though it feels awful many mornings. Isn't it interesting how our brains create rules about when we're safe and when we're not? (i.e. I can drive the route in the afternoon, but it creates panic in the morning) My brain does this too and it makes me think of the mind trap concept -- we create meaning when we're not sure why we got panicky in a certain situation. Sometimes I'll say to myself, "OK, once I get to this point on the highway I'll be ok - or, if I can settle in after 15 minutes of teaching, I'll be fine", etc. Keep up the good work, girl, and let us know how it goes!

Meredith - how goes the pregnancy? And, yes, my biggest fear is going crazy -- that this panic attack or moment of anxiety/stuck thinking will push me over the edge & I won't return. It's interesting - most people with panic either fear that a panic attack will cause them to lose their minds or have a heart attack and die. After 14 years, I've never "lost my mind" and still look pretty normal to the outside world when I'm anxious.

Amy - how are you doing - how's the anxiety related to getting pregnant?

Paul - nice to see you -- hope all is well!! :)

Anxiety Girl said...

Ashley -- "This Too Shall Pass" is on iTunes under this album name: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky


Meredith said...

Hi ladies! Sorry it took me so long to respond. My husband has been traveling a lot for work so I have been busy on my own with the kiddos. I feel like crawling into bed by 8:00! ha ha

Ashley - To answer your question, I have a little girl who just turned 5 and a little boy who will be 3 in October!

Things are going okay so far with the pregnancy. I think the morning sickness should pass soon and that will help a lot. I think the biggest thing triggering my anxiety right now is thinking about how I am going to handle 3 kids! I always worry what will happen if my anxiety gets worse, but I keep telling myself that it was the worst it ever was a year ago and I still never had a problem taking care of my children.

Kristen & Ashley - it sounds like anxiety is worse for you guys in the morning too. Mine is like that as well. I wonder why starting the day can be so hard? I definitely think music helps a lot! I have a handful of "happy" songs that make me feel better, and dancing around with the kids is always fun!

Amy - is your anxiety just centered around going out to dinner? I was wondering if you had panic attacks as well or any other triggers? I am sure the stress of trying to have a baby really adds to the anxiety. I hope your doctors appointments are going well.

I am going to try to put my picture on here with my google comments so you can see who you are talking to! I feel bad I have seen your blogs and pictures and I have nothing to share! It is always nice to put a face with a name!

allsion said...

hiya Anxiety Girl

was thinking of you and stopped by your blog--you are so right that "this too shall pass" and today was MUCHO better than yesterday. volunteered in krk's room for colonial day and all the kiddos were so sweet.

much love!

Anxiety Girl said...

Ooh, I love you Allsion! So glad you're next day was better. I bet your class (and parents) next year will all be incredibly well behaved, creative, bright and lovely, with just enough fiesty to make things interesting. xoxo

Sarah said...

Oh you aren't alone in getting teary at the end of this song! It gets me EVERY time. For me it's a mixture too: the creativity and cleverness of all these people coming together to make such a great song and video, the big band finish and children's voices chanting, the fact that it makes me want to buy a trombone and play in a band again....and of course the message of the whole song.

I watch this clip whenever I feel in a rut and it always manages to pull me out, even if it's only for 10 minutes.

I'm new to your blog, so am about to read through your other posts. Not that I like the fact that other people live with anxiety (other than me), it's just comforting to know that you aren't alone in the things you think and feel.