Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marathon Man

Hello friends!! I'm happy to report since my last blog I am feeling MUCH better. More and more like my old self every day. It's great.
This past weekend Mr. Mayer and I traveled to Virginia to check something off of his bucket list he has been working very hard for. Thanks to our "Kewah" we were able to go kid free. The journey actually began last New Year's Eve when Mr. Mayer's cousin, Ryan, convinced  (I'm pretty sure whiskey was involved in the persuasion as well) him to run a marathon. Not just any marathon-the Marine Corp. Memorial Marathon. It's the 3rd largest marathon and participants are picked on a lottery basis. Mr. Mayer signed up thinking that his chances of being chosen were slim. However, in early spring Ryan text and said he had been chosen for the marathon. Mr. Mayer hadn't been notified so he thought he didn't get picked. Well, later in the day he got the text saying he was picked. Let the training begin!! Ryan created a training plan for he and Mr. Mayer. Mr. Mayer began running, and running, and running. I joked I became a running widow. Hahaha....you guys know it's true. Mr. Mayer kinda slacked off the past month or so. Life happens and running takes a lot of time. The date for the marathon drew closer and closer. Mr. Mayer became more and more nervous. By last week he was hardly sleeping he was so nervous. We flew to Virginia on Friday and stayed with our cousins Ryan and Elizabeth. They have two of the cutest kids ever. One being a new baby I was dying to go squish. And Miss Emily is very squishy. I. Hated. Every. Minute. JK! Friday night we celebrated grown up style with dinner and drinks. Saturday we all went into DC. Mr. Mayer and Ryan went and picked up their packets and gear. Elizabeth and I went to the Eastern Market. Now- I have had a long love affair with the east coast. I have often said if it weren't for the traffic I would move east in an instant. Spending the day in DC and going to Eastern Market did nothing to diminish my love for that part of the country. And fall time in the east is absolutely breathtaking. Later in the day we went back and hung out in the backyard enjoying the sunshine and perfect weather. It was so rough. Especially since I was told it was 90 in Oklahoma. The next morning we were up at 4am to begin the fun. Ugh that was early. Mr. Mayer was beyond nervous. He and Ryan left around 5. Elizabeth and I planned to leave around 7:30. This was my first time going to a marathon and let me just say that spectating is an event in itself. Elizabeth and I covered over 7 miles just trying to catch the guys at different mile markers. We started at mile 5 1/2. We missed Ryan but were able to see Mr. Mayer run by. He was looking good. Next we raced over to mile 10 in hopes to catch Ryan. The problem is Ryan runs a 7.23 minute mile. Needless to say we missed him there too. After that we ran back to the Metro and went to miles 18 and 19. There we were able to see both the guys. At mile 18 Ryan was looking great and still smiling. By mile 19 he was looking a little worse for wear. At mile 18 Mr. Mayer was looking pretty good. He said he had fallen apart a few miles back but felt like he had collected himself. We gave him some Gatorade and a banana at mile 19 and sent him on his way. Then we raced to the finish line. Hole. E. Balls. That was overwhelming. There were over 30,000 marathon participants and probably 3x that many spectators-all at the finish line. The finish line was at the top of a steep hill at Arlington Cemetery (Marathon began at the Pentagon). The runners belongings were in UPS trucks at the bottom of the hill around a corner. Ryan being a super fast human finished in a little over 3 hours. We met him and went to collect Mr. Mayer's belongings. We may or may not have told the people at Mr. Mayer's UPS truck he was in the medical tent so we could get his stuff for him. I plead the 5th. Then Elizabeth and I hiked up the hill to the finish line to see Mr. Mayer run across. Problem is (and I totally understand the safety reasons for this, but still irritated) they had a huge chain link fence blocking spectators from the finish line. So I had to stand some distance away and watch as Mr. Mayer ran across. I was so proud. This is a goal he has had for a long time. I know he's proud of his accomplishment as well. You could visibly see the relief in his face as he finished his race. His official finish time was 5:49:30. It was not the time he wanted (he wanted 5 or under), but I have to remind him that's still a HUGE accomplishment. Mr. Mayer is already saying "in my next marathon." I suspect there will be a few more in his future.
I had no idea what to expect when Elizabeth and I left Sunday morning. I was prepared for a lot of waiting around. I had no idea how much fun watching and cheering would be. The people watching alone was fantastic. Add in the patriotism of the event and it was a fun day. There were Marines at all the aid stations and cheering the runners on. There were Air Force and Coast Guard planes and helicopters flying around. All in the Nation's Capitol.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Down The Rabbit Hole

Life has been pretty tumultuous for me lately. I haven't been myself. I've given up on a lot of things that I love and enjoy doing. Such as my blog. It had just become too much of an effort. Which is sad since writing has always been something I have really loved to do and been a great escape for me. Then my Mother has had another health crisis. This time it's pretty bad. That was the straw that broke this camel's back. I went to the doctor this week. I wanted to cancel a 1,000 times. I convinced myself I was just imagining things. But as each day passed I felt myself slip further down the rabbit hole.
I come from a very long line of mental illness. It's scary stuff. Suicide, substance abuse and inpatient facilities unfortunately were something I was familiar with at a young age. Not for me, but for a lot of my loved ones. I have been asked the question for years "How did you turn out so normal?" I always laugh and say "I don't know." All the while I am freaking out on the inside that someone would figure out that I wasn't normal. I have always felt I kept a pretty good handle on my crazy. There have been times in my life when I probably go through binges where I drink to much, get a little to sad or sleep too much. I have always been able to shake it off. Until recently. Actually, no, I take that back. It hasn't been so recent. If I'm being honest it's something that started 18 months ago. I have spent all of my adult life in Social Work and mental illness. I KNOW the signs, symptoms, what to do. I will be my loved ones and clients biggest advocate to get help. Yet, somehow, when it came to me I would wake up every day and think it will just go away. I thought if I "faked it til I made it" I would be okay. I wasn't okay.
After I had #2 and #3 I got depressed. I knew I was depressed. I had a traumatic delivery, two new born babies, a 3 year old and I was suddenly a SAHM. I remember the conversation I had with my OB (who by that point was a good friend rather than doctor) clearly. He was worried and I assured him I would pull out of it. And I did. I worked really hard to get back to myself. I felt like I maintained a pretty even keel for a long time.
Then 18 months ago my Mother spent 6 weeks in ICU. Doctor's told us she wasn't going to get better and we should make funeral arrangements. It was devastating. At the time I thought I was handling it well. Looking back I realize I was a mess. She did get better and eventually went home. Things were different though. Life became harder it seemed. I became angrier and angrier. If I wasn't angry I was crying. I started yelling at the kids. Losing my cool over really silly things like they didn't put on socks with their shoes or spill their cereal on the table. I started worrying that I was not doing enough. I started feeling like everything had to be perfect and I had to be one of those Pinterest Mom's who can do everything and make it seem so easy. I really put up a good front. Overachieving became my motto. I often get comments to the tune of "I don't know how you do it. You always have so much patience." These comments would kill me. Inside I was crumbling. I was so worried the cracks were going to start showing in my veneer and that I would be a disappointment to a lot of people. That's the root of it. I didn't want to disappoint anyone. Then my Mother fell and broke her neck. She literally broke her neck. I fell apart. I started having panic attacks on a daily basis. I started falling asleep during the day and not sleeping at night. I wasn't showering. I haven't even changed the sheets on my bed in over a week (which is unheard of for me. I like clean sheets). I felt hopeless. I made an appointment with my doctor.
I had to wait 2 weeks for the appointment. I wanted to cancel so many times. But I didn't. I went and cried through the entire appointment. The doctor diagnosed me with moderately high depression and general anxiety disorder (GAD). I started an antidepressant that day. Today is day 4. Yesterday wasn't a good day. I had another panic attack because I was taking a little time for myself instead of doing a chore at home. Today is better. I don't feel angry or like I want to strangle someone. I'm still feeling pretty anxious about life, but I haven't yelled at the kids in a couple of days or lost it because they made a mess. I'm horrified at how far I let myself go. I've always been a pretty laid back person. This isn't me. My family deserves better and Mr. Mayer deserves a medal for putting up with me and my neurosis. I am going to have a little more understanding the next time I have a client or loved one tell me why they delayed treatment or they thought it would "just go away." It doesn't just go away.