Monday, October 27, 2014

Depression: Where my heart is at

The last few weeks have been very hard. This struggle with depression and anxiety feels like more than I can handle most days. I have a lot of help during the day with the kids when Steve is at work but I still feel unable to manage. I have a tenseness in my chest constantly. I have no energy, no appetite, I am barely sleeping. I feel like I am in a fog. I can't keep things straight. Steve keeps having to remind me who is coming over to help me each day. I usually have a good memory but right now I need everything to be written down. This just doesn't feel like me.

I can fake happiness. I have done it too much lately. I feel like hey, I am feeling like me , FINALLY only to realize that no, I am just not being real. I don't know what to say to most people when they ask how I am. I don't want to turn into a blubbering mess but I also want to be real with people. I can't seem to figure out when to do and say what.

My thought life is bad. I think SO often (especially in the night when I can't sleep) that my kids don't need me. That I am ruining them. That what I am going through will affect them long term and I want to protect them from me. I have gone into Jacob's room in the middle of the night and just laid in his bed with him holding him while he slept thinking that that would be the last time I would do that. I wanted to run away. I don't want to kill myself but I want my kids' lives to be better than they are right now. I then remember that the trauma of losing their mom would be worse than having a mom who is sick right now. I have to keep reminding myself how much worse it would be for them if I just up and left. I have a friend whose husband took his own life a year and a half ago. I have seen how it has destroyed her and how it has affected her young children. I can't do that to my kids or to Steve. I think about my friend SO often because I need to remind myself to stick it out. To keep being patient with myself while I get better.

Some days I feel like if I was just REALLY injured then it would be easier to accept help with my kids. Because no one can see my sickness it feels so weird to have help. Especially when I act fake and act like everything is ok when I am dying on the inside and crash when Steve gets home. It's SO hard right now to get myself out of bed each day. On Saturday I didn't leave my bed until noon and I only got up because I had a counselling session to go to. I was promptly back in my bed when I got home.

I am having awful tension headaches which make me want to stay in bed even more. I feel so alone but I am not really reaching out to anyone. When I do go out it's to escape. I go for dinner, or go shopping with a friend and try not to think too much about it or say that I am ok because I don't want to break down in public, or be a burden to anyone to make anyone uncomfortable. I don't know what anyone can do for me right now so I feel silly even talking about it because no one can actually help me. I just need time. I wish I knew how much time. I wish I knew if I will ever get through a day without being overwhelmed. Without thinking "I can't do this." Will I feel joy? I am not sure I have felt real lasting joy in years. There are moments of joy, like when Livia learned to sit up last week. But it's so short lived. Will I feel joyful for an hour, half a day....dare I even suggest a whole day? I feel like there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I have been depressed for years and just tried to cope but felt pretty awful and empty the whole time. I am in this pit right now and I am not sure I will get out of it. It's pretty dark and lonely down here.

I have to take it day by day right now. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week in our home (Steve has Sunday and Monday off so Tuesday is the beginning on his work week). I am feeling pretty stressed about tomorrow. I have a great babysitter who will be here with me for the morning and then Jacob will be in preschool in the afternoon and then if I need to I can go to a friend's place after I pick up Jacob until Steve gets home. I want to start trying to do some small sections of time alone with my kids and see how I handle it. So there is a plan in place and that helps but it's not as ideal as having Steve here. He knows everything to do with the kids so I don't even need to think. But of course he needs to work. Life can't stop because I am in a crisis. I am having to rely on SO many people right now and I HATE it!

I am reading a book right now called The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and these two sentences have been running through my head a lot lately:
"Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgement to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgement to giving help."

I love to help people. Always have, always will. But receiving is hard for me. It's time that I change how I feel about it. I need to just accept that this is where I am at right now and I need to let people help me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mental Illness: My own stigma

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."
-Bill Clinton

Anxiety and depression. Something so may people don't understand. I am someone who suffers from chronic anxiety and that anxiety unfortunately claws at me until I am depressed. I don't really understand what I am going through or how to get out of it. It feels like trial and error. Last time I was deeply depressed I hid away in my bed for months after admitting myself to the psych ward. I was too anxious to actually stay in the psych ward for help because it was new to me and I don't do new well. This time I am trying to go about my day to day life while I cry, crumble and panic. Some days I feel like I can get through and other days I don't know how to even get the strength to get myself out of my bed. It's more than exhaustion. It's a lack of happiness. I feel horrible even saying that because I have 2 beautiful and amazing children and a wonderfully loving and supportive husband and yet I am not happy. Nothing makes me happy. Everything is clouded by this overwhelming sense of hate for myself and feeling like an utter failure. 

When I think about telling people that I am struggling right now with anxiety and depression I worry about the stigma around it in their mind. But even more than that I get caught up with the stigma in my own mind. 

My doctor has told me over and over again that I need to stop thinking about this as something that will just go away or something that is just a case of mind-over-matter. I am sick. Taking medication for mental illness is no different than someone taking medication for diabetes. And yet it feels like it is different. With diabetes you can have a blood test done that shows if your numbers are not within the range of "normal' and therefore justify medication. You can't take a blood test for depression or anxiety. I feel like everything is based on what I tell my doctor I am feeling and thinking. So what if I don't give an accurate description of how things really are? What if I am given a prescription for meds because I have a bad day and just happen to have an appointment that day? Well I will tell you what happens. 

About 3 weeks ago I took my daughter in her for 6 month check up and made an appointment for myself for something completely unrelated (or so I thought) to anxiety and depression. Well my sweet, calm baby girl screamed for the entire 20 min appointment. My 3 year old son laid on the ground holding my leg begging to leave because there was a poster of a skeleton on the wall and he was scared of it. I stood there doing whatever I could to hold it together. Trying to talk to the doctor about my symptoms, console and distract my son (I was trying to give him snacks and the iPad with ZERO luck) and rock my baby. I made her a bottle and tried to feed her. I put her clothes back on (she was undressed to be weighed) in case she was just cold, I gave her her soother, I gave her toys, I rocked her, I bounced her and she continued to scream. I did what I do in these moments. I started crying. I said "I can't do this. I don't know what to do." I then continued with "I hate my life. I don't want to be a mom anymore." I cried and I cried and I cried. The doctor typed as I spoke. He left the room and came back with prescriptions for the same meds I was on for anxiety and depression almost 2 years ago and told me to come back in a week. I packed up my kids and left. I cried the whole way home and continued to cry for a long time at home. The next day I decided that he just caught me at a bad time and I didn't need the meds. I went to my appointment the following week and told him that I hadn't started the medication. I was quick to cry when he asked me questions about my anxiety and overall happiness. He told me that I need to get rid of the stigma that I have about mental illness and it's treatment. I had never thought that I had a stigma about it but clearly I do because I wasn't willing to take medication because I felt like I should just be able to feel better and be happier on my own. 

I started the medication. It takes about 6 weeks before knowing how the meds will work for me. I have been on these pills before but hormone levels change over time so getting the right dose and medication is still a process that needs to be monitored by my doctor. I haven't spoken to many people about what I have been going through for months now (dare I say even years....?) because frankly, I am embarrassed. I feel like I shouldn't be this way. I compare my life to other people's lives and think that I have no excuse to be falling apart. Other people have more kids. Other people don't have such supportive husbands. Other people have less money. Other people are single parents. Other people have children who are handicapped. Other people have real visible illness themselves. So if they can do this parenting thing, if they can handle life then why can't I? 

I don't know. I just know I can't. I just know that regardless of their realities, this is mine. This is where I am at. I am struggling. I get very overwhelmed by my kids. I get very lonely and feel isolated. I am starting to have social anxiety (which is really lame when you are an extrovert and need to be around people). I don't really want to leave my house and yet I hate being here all the time. I feel exhausted all the time. I have low energy. Nothing really excites all. I have no hobbies or interests. I feel overwhelmed by my thought life because it is constantly in overdrive and yet my body is in slow motion. I never feel like I am doing anything well enough when it comes to being a wife, mom or friend. 

I have such high expectations of myself. Expectations of perfection. I can't quantify what is "enough" so I overachieve and always fall short. How do I know that I spend enough one-on-one time with each of my kids? Do I show them enough love and affection? Do I balance praise and discipline well? Is the home environment I am creating one that will help my children to grow and feel happy, loved and safe? Am I spending enough time engaging Jacob's mind? Does Livia have enough floor time? Is she on the floor too much? Should I be working more on her sleep? Should I be working out or spending my evenings resting and with my husband? Should I be working or continue to stay at home? Do I spend enough time praying an reading my Bible? never ends. I never have answers to these questions and always worry that I am not doing a good job. 

Will pills fix all of this? Heck no! But they should level out my anxiety a bit and take the edge off the sadness so I am not in a state of tears at any given moment. I am in counselling and I have a lot of work to do to get to a place where I can just be at peace with me. I want to be real. Be honest and vulnerable. I don't want to be ashamed. So here I am. 

When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to The Rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jacob vs. Livia

Our 2 kids are SO different. There is almost nothing about them that seems the same. Jacob cried for months and months. Livia is the calmest baby who wakes grunting or cooing or we just hear her rolling around in her crib. She cries a little here and there but if she is crying hard something is REALLY bugging her. Jacob was slow to gain weight. Livia is packing it on. Jacob was a horrible sleeper and Livia sleeps from 7:30pm-7:30am with only one feed... They just have completely different demeanors as babies. It's really neat to experience.

When Jacob was 3 months he had a routine check-up and the doctor noticed that his arms would shake and he seemed unusually stiff. We hadn't noticed anything because he was our first baby and didn't have anyone to compare him to. After an appointment with a pediatrician he was sent to see a neurologist at Children's Hospital then had an EEG, 2 rounds of blood work and an MRI. We were told he had high muscle tone and was presenting with spastic quadriparesis. If you want to read more about his story you can do that here , here and here. He is fine now. Such a stressful time and we are very thankful that it's all in Jacob's past and not part of his present.

We never experienced a "typical" baby. Jacob was often stiff, uncomfortable and upset. Here are some pictures of him having some stiff moments (his legs would straighten, knees would lock, hips would lock and his arms would often shake.

Now that we have Livia we are experiencing what a baby "should" feel like. She loves to have her legs curled up. She kicks her legs a lot. She loves to jump. Jacob didn't do these things. He had to be very relaxed to have his legs curled up. As a newborn he was rarely as curled up as Livia was. Steve and I have said to each other so many times how different Livia feels. We feel silly for not realizing how uncomfortable Jacob really was. We just didn't know. And no one else really noticed either. You needed to be around him a lot to get a clear idea of how he was. Many people told us how "strong" Jacob seemed because he loved to stand and we barely had to support him because he would rarely unlock his knees. Others would comment on how much his arms shook and it wasn't until the doctor was concerned that we really started to notice it too. We didn't know what was "normal."

Tonight I watched a little video of Jacob as a baby and his arms were shaking so badly. It brought tears to my eyes. Tears because I am SO thankful that he is 100% healthy now and tears because I am sad that he was struggling and that he had to go through so much as a little baby.

I am over the top thankful that our little Livia is so different than Jacob. It's an amazing kind of different. A difference that only Steve and I can truly appreciate. As she grows up we hope she is like Jacob in a lot of ways. We hope she follows his footsteps when it comes to how he loves people. He will be an amazing example to her in so many ways. Siblings is a beautiful thing. We are glad they have each other for life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Birth Story: Livia Jayne

This is a post I have been thinking about A LOT over the past (nearly) 7 weeks and yet this is the first slot of time I have had to sit and begin to write it. Oh life with a newborn is busy when a toddler is involved. (this actually ended up being written over a few days...ha!)

**If you wish to read Jacob's birth story you can find it here.**

My due date was March 17th. I had told myself that I would expect her to arrive about a week late because that's how it went with Jacob. As I crept further and further into the pregnancy and the weeks passed by I was CONVINCED she would be early. This pregnancy was hard on me. Quite different than with Jacob. Pain every day, most of the day, with extremely worse pain at night. I barely slept from 20 weeks until the end. The exhaustion was overwhelming. I averaged 2-4 hours a night of very broken sleep. I often cried at night because the pain was so terrible. Despite my discomfort my little girl waited until 40 weeks and 6 days to make her arrival.

On Sunday, March 23rd we started our day with grocery shopping and then church. My brother was quite surprised that I was at church that morning. He said "What if your water breaks while you are here?"....I was worried about that too. I made it through the service without that happening....phew! After church we went home for Jacob to have his nap. It was a beautiful sunny day so we took him outside to play for the afternoon with the neighbour kids. I sat most of the time feeling sorry for myself (haha) and then we headed in for a bbq dinner. Right before dinner Steve's mom called me to see how I was doing. She told me, "We think today is the day," I laughed and said, "Even if I went into labour RIGHT now she wouldn't arrive today. My labour with Jacob was long and I am expecting that again" (it was 5:30pm). We had a yummy dinner and then I went up to the bathroom. I felt a little pop on the top left of my belly followed by a small trickle of fluid. I figured this was it but knew that my water could break up to 24 hours before going into labour. I went back downstairs and sat on the bottom step to chat with Jacob. After a couple mins I stood up and then my water broke BIG TIME. Still no contractions though. I changed my clothes while Steve called his parents to come and be with Jacob. This was at 6:15pm.

Next I called the maternity ward to inform them that my water broke and to see if I needed to go in or not. They told me that they were on diversion (meaning that they are sending incoming patients to other hospitals because they don't have space and/or nurses) but asked me to call them back once Steve's parents arrived at our house and they would give me instructions. I quickly packed the remaining things I needed for my hospital bags and then Steve's parents showed up at about 7:00pm. Just before they got there I started having some minor contractions. I called the hospital and they told me to come to them and get checked and then they would tell us where they were going to send us. I wasn't happy but there was nothing I could do about it. By the time we left at 7:10pm I had had 4 contractions just trying to get from the kitchen to the car. They were short but close together. By the time we got to the hospital at 7:25pm I was needing to breathe through them. I felt a bit panicky because everything was happening so fast. It took me 7 hours to get to the point where I needed to breathe through the contractions when I was in labour with Jacob. I was still thinking that this was going to be a long labour but was now scared that it was going to be harder for longer then with Jacob. That was a VERY scary thought to me.

We got up to the maternity ward and they took me into a room immediately (not the normal evaluation room that labouring women are examined in when they first arrive). The nurse checked me and said I was 3.5cms. I had been that dilated on Tuesday when I saw my doctor. Shoot, no change! The nurse told me that they couldn't find a bed for me at any other hospital so I would be staying at LMH and she would be staying overtime because of me. She made MANY comments about how she hates overtime and told me "You better have this baby fast, I want to go home"....I was very disappointed that this was my nurse. She was not kind like the other nurses I had had when I delivered Jacob. I did my best to remind myself that she was exhausted from her 12 hour shift that was should have ended when I walked in the door and that she was possibly having a bad day. Throughout the course of my labour she made comments that either made me cry, uncomfortable or angry. I won't say any more about those comments (as some of them I can't even bring myself to share) but she majorly played into my anxieties and stress.

I found out that Dr. Mah was the doctor on call from my clinic. I hadn't had any appointments with her during this pregnancy but remembered her from when I was pregnant with Jacob. She was very busy with a delivery of twins so she was unable to come in and see me once I was admitted.

The nurse asked me why my forms stated that I needed an early IV. Steve explained that I got dehydrated with Jacob and the nurses had an extremely hard time finding a vein. He also told her that I hoped to have an epidural and wanted to avoid the 45 mins of pricking that I had last time when they couldn't get a vein. She came and put the IV in about 20 mins later. I was having contractions quite close together and was squeezing Steve's hand SO hard (something I didn't do the first time) with each contraction. I would apologize to him after the contractions because I was worried I was hurting him but I couldn't even stop myself from doing it in the moment. Then the nurse told me that I would need to wait a while for the epidural because the anesthesiologist was doing a spinal tap for someone. I asked how long she thought it might be. She said 45 mins - an hour. She asked if I wanted something else for pain and I told her no because I felt like I could handle it for another hour. My contractions were now about 2 mins apart and lasting 1-1.5 mins. It was now 8:55pm.Within 15 mins of her leaving my room the contractions picked up like crazy! I couldn't stay still. I felt so squirmy. I felt completely out of control. I needed the gas mask. Even between contractions I couldn't handle the way I felt. Every part of me was writhing in pain. I asked for something for the pain. She checked me and said I was 6cms. She said I could have fentanyl. I couldn't think. I couldn't remember what that was but I wanted it regardless. She came back and I vaguely remember her saying that she was going to give me half a dose and see how I did with it. I couldn't respond.

30 mins after getting the fentanyl I had felt NO difference in the pain. It was getting worse. I was moving all over the bed desperate to find a position that relieved some pain. I was still squeezing Steve's hand for every contraction plus squeezing the gas mask against my face as hard as possible. I was screaming into the mask with each contraction (with Jacob I was SILENT). The nurse would pull the mask away from my face between contractions because I wasn't even really aware that I was still holding it there. She kept saying to me, "You aren't getting any breaks. They just keep coming!" I had to push. My body pushed whether I wanted it to or not. Again I felt out of control. I knew I was only 6cm just over 30 mins ago. I knew that pushing before being completely dilated wasn't good. I tried to pant in order to not push but it didn't help. I finally managed to yell "I HAVE TO PUSH. I CAN'T HELP IT!!" She quickly checked me and said "She's 10. We're having this baby now." Steve said, "What do you mean?" (in complete disbelief). The nurse replied with, "She's having this baby without the epidural." I didn't want to do it. I didn't know how I would do it. She said to me (a little louder now so I knew she was talking to me this time), "Your baby will be out in 10 mins. She is SO low. I am going to deliver your baby. Don't worry, I have delivered thousands of babies." I still hadn't seen the doctor. I was thinking: How am I having this baby now when I haven't seen the doctor yet? And TEN minutes? NO WAY! I pushed for 2 hours with Jacob. I can't do 2 hours. I don't even think I can do 10 mins. Oh God, please help me!

I was still pushing without even trying. Within a couple mins I heard Dr. Mah's voice. One more push and that was it. Our girl was here. 10:16pm. 4 hours from when my water broke. and 3.5 hours since my first contraction. They put her on me. I tried to hold her but felt very weak. Everything went from being very fuzzy to being very clear. I finally opened my eyes after about an hour of squeezing them closed. I saw people in the room that I didn't even know were there. I couldn't believe my girl was here. I forgot about the pain. I felt nothing but this little body on me. I said "She's tiny." Within a couple mins I said that I needed to push again and within one push the placenta was out. I was so thankful to have it all behind me. I turned to Steve and said, "Never again." He nodded.

Livia was weighed and measured. 8lbs 5ozs (not at all tiny like I had thought) and 21.5". She didn't have the cone head like her brother had. She was perfect.

Within about an hour I was up and showering. That shocked me because it took almost 12 hours for me to be out of bed, and not passing out, after I delivered Jacob. That shower felt so good and so awful at the same time. I had forgotten how difficult it is to stand up straight. It felt like there was a big empty gap in my belly. I felt so uncomfortable. But the water felt so good. I was still shivering and shaking like crazy and got out of there pretty quickly but was so happy to feel that water even for just a few mins.

We didn't have any visitors that evening. We wanted to sleep when Livia had her long recovery sleep, and she did a long 6 hour stretch. I have no idea if this is accurate or not but I feel like sleeping from midnight to 6am that first night set her up for not mixing up her days and nights. She has taken her long stretch of sleep at night, every night since she was born. :)

I need to say that all of the other nurses (particularly Elva) were wonderful!! I am still so happy I delivered at LMH again. I had Elva for both day shifts that I was there for and she was BEYOND fantastic. Such a calming presence. Very encouraging. She asked a lot of questions about Jacob (which made me happy) and was so sweet to me as I bawled my eyes out to my family doctor. When he came to see Livia I cried a ton because feeding wasn't going well....again....just like with Jacob. She listened. Praised me for working so hard at it. I know she didn't need to do these things. They aren't technically part of her job but she did it regardless. And she helped me. A lot.

We went home on the Tuesday in the early afternoon. Livia needed an extra blood test because of some jaundice but thankfully she checked out just fine. The girl didn't even cry for the blood tests!!! (Jacob screamed. Hard.) She is such a peaceful baby. We are thrilled to have her in our lives. Couldn't imagine our family without her. The perfect addition.

Her name:
Livia - this name we heard when a friend of a friend named their daughter Livia (she was born a few months after Jacob). I thought it was such an adorable name. We had loved the name Olivia and Jacob would have likely been named that if he had been a girl. But Livia...just slightly different and yet it seems so original. Finding a meaning for Livia has been kind of tricky. It is a form of Olivia which means Olive, but I did some serious digging and found that it also has the meaning "peace and harmony." Isn't that a lovely meaning? I think it's perfect. Just what I need in my life. A little peace and harmony.
Jayne - I thought Livia Jane sounded nice. It just kind of goes together in my mind. I told a friend (Lindsay) that I was thinking of using Jane for the middle name and she suggested adding a Y. It made me go from "I like it" to "I LOVE it." Jayne means "Gift from God" which is also what Lael awesome is that?!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Depression round 2

Here we go again. A little over a year since my depression and anxiety got out of control. I am by no means in as bad of a place as I was last winter but I have been inching closer and closer the last few months. I have taken a different approach this time. I didn't talk about it. I didn't really even tell Steve how I was feeling. occasionally I mentioned that I felt like I was slipping back into depression but otherwise I said nothing...just a passing comment here and there. I didn't tell friends or any other family for a long time. I started crying every day again. Started feeling overwhelmed with life every day. Started feeling scared of irrational things again. It felt too familiar. I thought that if I avoided talking about it it would go away. It wouldn't be my reality. I could pretend nothing was happening. Maybe if I didn't talk about it I wouldn't think about it as much. This hasn't actually worked for me. (Surprise, surprise.) I am still struggling daily but I am just mainly doing it alone. Steve has caught on to how I have been doing because I couldn't control my emotions. I was crying at the drop of a hat over what seemed like such ridiculous things. I didn't want to leave bed. I would forget to eat meals. I started to care less about the normal day-to-day clean up of the house (Steve would come home to lunch dishes still on the table, laundry piling up and dusting that hadn't happened in days....very unlike me). He encouraged me a few weeks ago to reach out to some people. Just tell some people how I am doing instead of acting like everything was going as normal. I am not sure if that has helped me or not but I did it anyways.

I was recently at a counseling session and I told the counselor that last time this happened I was very public about what I was going through. I blogged a few times, went to friends' houses to escape what would overwhelm me at home, cried to friends, called people when I needed to talk and was generally an open book. She asked me why I wasn't being like that this time. I told her that I am embarrassed this time. I feel like this shouldn't be happening again. Did I learn NOTHING last time? Why can't I power through this? I feel weak because I have slipped back into this pattern. I told her that last time I felt like I had something valuable to share. I wanted other women to recognize what postpartum depression (or just depression in general) can look like. It has so many faces and I wanted to share what it looked like for me. I wasn't ashamed that I needed meds and counseling and help caring for Jacob. I wanted to share my journey through depression. Well that journey ended last march...or so I thought. This time I am ashamed. I hate that I am back in a similar place. I hate that I thought it was all over and it crept back in. I hate that I couldn't stop it from happening again. She told me that she thinks my experience this time is potentially more valuable then last time. Depression tends to be something that people struggle with for life. Sharing the first big low is great but sharing about living with depression on a longer term basis is actually more real. I don't like hearing that this is something I will likely battle for my whole life. I don't like not having complete freedom from this.

So....this is what I have to share. This is my experience. Depression, for me, comes in waves. Sometimes the waves are big and swallow me up, sometimes they are small and easier to wade through. I just have to keep going, keep pushing through. Steve, Jacob and this little baby girl inside me need me to keep going, keep battling and keep living life day-by-day. That's the key for me. Day-by-day. I can't look at the big picture. I can't look at tomorrow or months down the road. Everything feels like a domino affect if I do that. What happens today will mess with tomorrow and the next day and the next I need to stay present in today. No stressing over this baby that is coming. She will come regardless so worrying and stressing over how Jacob will adjust and how I will adjust to 2 isn't going to do much good. We have prepped Jacob. He is in a new room. He talks about his baby sister. We talk about how she will cry and mommy and daddy will need to hold her. Steve and I have discussed ways in which we feel we can best help Jacob adjust once she is here but until then there isn't much more we can why think and worry about it? That's incredibly difficult for me. My mind is generally racing. So to slow things down and actually be aware of what I am thinking about and forcing myself to not think about certain things is new for me. And finally I need to be ok putting up boundaries. I need to stop apologizing when I can't handle something. I need to know how much I can take on and be aware of when I have done too much. I need to take baby steps and give myself a break when I feel like I have fallen again or failed again. I need to ask for help. I need to put my pride aside and just simply ask for help.

It's a journey I didn't plan on being on but I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other because this is the path I have been given.