Packing Tape, Panic Attacks, and Pelvic Exams

Wow… that’s a title, huh? I love alliteration, always have and always will. Also – you clicked, didn’t you? So it worked on you 😉

Let’s just go ahead and say that the last two months – not my favorite. January 2016; you laid me out… and then February; you kicked me while I was down. It’s looking like March will have some positives, but may end up being that kid that goes to high five you and ends up pulling their hand away, saying ‘too slow!’ Cynical, yes? But really – when March 2016 rolls through, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

So, I already know that I have *bombed* one of my resolutions – blogging every week. I know why I haven’t. I know that it’s probably going to be a challenge all year long; I hate being open and telling people how I feel and what’s going on in my life.

The fact that I actually feel like God is telling me to be open and vulnerable doesn’t really make me want to do it, either. It feels like a whole lotta pressure. Which, let’s be real, I’m perfectly capable of putting on myself anyway.

However, I did have two Mil So’s from a website I frequent tell me that they loved getting to read what I post, and that they miss me when I don’t. I am not saying that it motivated me more than knowing God has put it onto my heart (for whatever reason) to share my story and be open with my people (online and otherwise). But I do absolutely believe he had so many people mention to me that I start blogging again and ask about it for a reason. I have yet to figure it out yet, but hey, maybe that’s not the point.

I went into 2016 thinking it would have its challenges but I was kind of hoping that they would be a little spread out. Now, I’m hoping that maybe God is just setting me up to have a slower end of the year? Truthfully I have no idea, but with everything going on I can only hope that’s what’s happening.

J and I are moving – gotta keep up my one move a year average that I’ve had going since I turned 18. Nope – that’s not an exaggeration. The difference is that I’m now moving two people, on a time crunch. It’s not my favorite. I have a system that has helped me in the past, but truthfully I’ve never really appreciated how difficult it is to organize a full household into boxes, and coordinate them into storage. Props to my mama who did it not only as a soldier, but wrangling three kids and with a deployed husband!

Really, moving is the smallest thing we have going on, But, when you have boxes on boxes on boxes of stuff around your living room, it makes the apartment walls feel like they are actually closing in on you, and adds that nice little extra added bit of anxiety. I read somewhere that moving rates in as one of the most stressful experiences a human being can go through. While I think that it’s definitely not as high on the list as some others – I feel like the reason a move is so stressful is that it disrupts all of the normal routines that you have going on in the first place, then adds so many little extra ‘to do’s’ that are so easy to forget until they become urgent. The move itself isn’t necessarily stressful – its the way that it impacts your normalcy that makes the stress so pervasive.

… And speaking of pervasive… (sorry – I had to.)

Truthfully, the thing that is keeping my brain completely occupied these days is the journey J and I have been on for the last 16 months to try to get pregnant. (TTC for those of you not spending late nights googling different things about this process.) If I’m being honest with myself, this is probably the reason that I don’t want to blog. Those of you who have gone through the process know – it sucks. It’s painful. (For those of you in doubt – go Google what an HSG is.)

It’s exhausting. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. You name a part of your life, and infertility affects it. Marriage? Yep- duh. Timing your “intimate time” is not sexy, guys. Walking into your husband’s study month after month (after month after month) and telling him in tears that nope – this month isn’t our month either. It’s trying and painful in a way that few people really ‘get’ and can understand. You feel like a failure as a wife, and even as a woman – this is so easy for apparently everyone else, but even though you’re healthy, eating correctly, working out, and financially responsible, nope – no babies for you. (But as SOON as you start going to a fertility clinic and really start recognizing that the ‘i’ word applies to you – everyone you know will get pregnant. At once. It will suck.) Finances? Yeah those are taking a hit. Apparently infertility is not something covered by insurance (in most cases). So – start pausing those dreams of vacations and home buying – you’ve got tests and painful procedures to pay for. Your job? Yeah – it’s gonna be a distraction from everything work related. Especially when you have to schedule around appointments and cycle days. Actual physical health – heck yeah. Every cold you’ve never wanted will come at your stress-weakened immune system.

If you’re hearing that bitterness – it’s a daily struggle not to have it come flying out at people. Possibly (probably) because I’ve been stuffing all these feelings down and just simply not talking about them.

At that point, it’s not surprising that the panic attacks I’ve been experiencing are frequent, and exhausting. Bitterness and panic attacks are things I have struggled with in the past, and in those moments (or months) where I need to lean into my community and my husband and my relationship with God the most, panic attacks and a bitter spirit act as an essential roadblock. Maybe even a wall. With concertina wire and an electric current.

For anyone who knows me – this is a pattern I find so hard to get out of. Bitterness and anxiety can just wrap around me and pull me down into this gross, yucky place. I can’t hear God clearly through the muck, and through my actions to be a ‘people pleaser’ and my desire to basically only allow people to see the ‘yes girl’ and the positives, I just distance myself further and further and further away from those people I really need to have in my life.

So. I don’t blog. I don’t write. And, in the past it’s taken a pretty jarring shock to the system to get me to even recognize that this gross spiral is happening. This time – I had some pretty compassionate people just speak into my life – specifically against bitterness and it was almost like getting thrown a life preserver. I have some wonderful wonderful women in my life, but there are a handful that I really truly believe were given the gift of compassion in a way that I’ve never seen before.

This post really doesn’t have some neat little bow or kitschy phrase to tie it all up together to end nicely. It’s rambling. And depressing, and probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to most people – but if just *one* person reads this and says ‘me, too’ then I’ve done what I set out to do.

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