Posted by: Hannah | 08/25/2015

the bottom

No posts for ages, I know.

I can make excuses, like that it’s hard to write in the summer when I have a houseful of energetic kids to manage. Or that when it’s very humid, my favourite writing perch on my leather couch becomes a sticky throne of misery. Or that  I don’t have the energy after a day of work and then an evening on the baseball field with one kid or another.

These are just excuses, though. Not great ones. The fact is that I waste a lot of time doing non-productive things and I could be writing, but I don’t.

Yesterday I found an online research tool that helps you discuss your mental health with your doctor. I know I have anxiety and I’m pretty sure I’m depressed, so I took the quiz. It diagnosed me with agoraphobic avoidance without panic, obsessive tendencies, PTSD, and chronic depression. I ended up even more anxious about how depressed and broken I am, and even though I know some of the responses were very either / or – not much room for nuance in a multiple-choice quiz on the internet – I also know that I am not healthy, physically or mentally, and I feel like life is passing me by while I worry and fret.

I know that things are bad because I’m starting to fantasize about selling our house and moving away. I’ve been looking at real estate listings in other cities and wondering about employment options. I only ever get like that when I’m really agitated and feeling trapped. As a kid, I used to periodically rearrange all the furniture in my bedroom; I’d spend a day cleaning, purging, dragging the bed to a “better” spot. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out not everyone did the same thing. Now, with five people and the dayhome to consider, I can’t do that easily… so instead I just want to scratch the whole house and start over.

This is not practical.

I think my problem is that I am always able to convince myself that external factors are causing my anxiety and depression. Right now, I’ve only got one more week with Louis and then he leaves for big-kid school. I have no one to replace him. Months of advertising, replying to listings, and beating the pavement have only yielded three wobbly inquiries and no interviews. Supply of care spaces is currently outstripping demand, and new dayhomes are opening up on a daily basis. Three opened in my catchment area YESTERDAY. So I’m worrying about money.

There was a crisis in my extended family a few months back, and while things have quieted down it was an incredibly upsetting time for everyone. It was not handled in a way that made any sense to me, and I still have a lot of residual hurt and unresolved feelings about it, but hey! everything’s fine now! so act like it’s all cool beans and move on!

One of my dayhome clients screamed at me in the driveway one morning because she was over an hour late dropping her kids off and I was not happy. Long story. She apologized, but it wasn’t sincere, and since then every drop off and pick up is tense… it’s right in my contract that verbal abuse will not be tolerated, but I can’t afford to terminate her and she knows it.

I gained back all the weight I managed to lose last summer, and the older I get the more I feel those extra pounds.

I sleep like a dead woman from 11pm – 7am every night, and yet I never feel ready to get out of bed.

I’m short-tempered and then feel guilty for snapping at people.

In short, I’m a fucking mess and paralyzed with fear that when I go to the doctor, and get put on some pills, and maybe have a few therapy sessions, that I will still be unhappy, and that’s when my mind goes to a very dark place indeed.


Reading back over this it’s clear that I need help, and soon. This post is my accountability. You guys need to get after me to call the doctor and make an appointment. I will make excuses, likely, until school starts next week (after all, I can’t very well go to that appointment with half a dozen kids in tow)… but you need to keep asking.

I might get angry. (I will get angry). I will be defensive and scared and feeling like a failure until I make that call.

You all have gotten me through some shit already. I know you must be tired of hearing it. Believe me, I don’t take you for granted. You are my support system and I need you maybe more than you realize.

I hope this is the turning point.



  1. Hi! I would hug you if you were close enough – or more likely I would warn you that I want to hug you and respect your need to not be hugged.

    Anyway. Call your Dr. today. Immediately. You don’t have to go today with all the kids in tow, but you do have to go and the sooner the better. If you call today you will have made a choice to do something good for yourself. That is sometimes all it takes. Even if the appointment isn’t this week, but after most of the dayhome kids are at school, it’s still a positive move.

    Please call. And at the risk of ticking you off – call now.

    It will get better.

  2. Urging you on… I made a hard choice this summer to get off pills I’d been on for eleven or twelve years, and there were some pretty nasty withdrawal symptoms. Just seeing the other side now. So some of those symptoms you mention are waaay too familiar to me lately. I understand. We all support you, Hannah. Feel better, and yes, your network will hold you accountable, because we love you.

  3. Hey you. I am no stranger to any of these things — anxiety, depression, PTSD. I agree with Peady – the time to make a move is now, while you’re telling yourself that you will. It’s all too easy to just sweep it under the rug if you’re having a good day or two.

    Hang in there. And take care of yourself. xo

  4. I’m a random follower and an almost never commenter but I really felt the need to delurk here – I’m also a caregiver, and 6 months ago I finally saw my doctor after two years of profound anxiety and depression.

    We did decide to try medication, and it took about 6 weeks but the difference is astounding. My husband keeps telling me how nice it is to have “me” back.

    It’s so, so, so hard to care for others from this place – we pull it out of somewhere to be competent, even excellent, from the outside looking in but from the inside it’s all exhaustion and misery.

    You DESERVE to be happy ❤
    Please go see your doctor – however you decide to go about recovery, you absolutely are entitled to it.

  5. You can do this. Start by making the call. Then you can go from there. Sending you strength.

  6. You go to the doctor, you get some kind of help (medication was incredible for me, I have been stable for over a year after more than a decade of struggling) and then step by step you will unpick the knots in your mind and feel better. Getting help is incredibly hard in itself, but I promise you that it is worth it. We’re here for you, and you can do this.

  7. This is being written a week later because I too have been a fucking mess. I fell apart in early June, saw the doctor and tried a new antidepressant. Within a week I was feeling AMAZING. (I’m wondering now if it was some kind of hypomania because I had crazy amounts of energy–I cleaned out ALL the closets and cabinets, bought school supplies and uniforms early, which has NEVER happened before–and just generally had one of the best summers ever. The day after school started: anxiety. It eventually got to where I was only sleeping 3-4 hours at night. And then came the depression and believing that things will never get better even though my doctor adjusted my dosage.

    I’m sorry to ramble so much about me, but it’s pretty humbling when you quit your teaching job to improve your mental health and it turns out that the job wasn’t the real problem, it was your own fucking brain, It was a wakeup call that external situations aren’t always the problem (though God knows I’m glad not to be teaching freshmen.)

    I hope you went ahead and made the call even if the appointment has to wait a little while. You DO have one of the most demanding jobs I can imagine–you’re constantly on call. I also completely understand the fear that taking the meds and going to therapy won’t do any good and everything will be awful for the rest of your life–yes, that is the darkest pit I have ever been in, and it just seemed so freaking UNFAIR that I was doing so much better and then there I was back in the pit.

    Tonight was the first night I was feeling well enough to laugh without forcing it or obsessing about how anxious I was feeling at any given moment, and to get online. So I hope you will go to the doctor and the therapist and know that you deserve to feel joy again.

  8. Baby, I’m always just a keyboard away. And that’s interesting about rearranging furniture – my thing is I always start looking for a job – any crappy job, just to have a job – and then realize I need to settle the fuck down and take care of things at home and finish my diploma and look for the RIGHT job. Same impulse to action, I guess. And the sad truth is I DID go through years of meds that didn’t help a WHOLE lot, but I think they helped a little, and now I’m going long stretches where I feel pretty good. Regardless, it’s a good thing to start moving in the right direction. Now if we could just go for a walk together every night – hm, carrying our phones, maybe?

  9. Hi. You don’t know me me, but I’ve read some of your posts on the Throwing It Back blog and I already read Allison’s and Nicole’s blogs so I thought I’d look for yours. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough patch. I hope the steps you’re taking help.

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