it’s electric

February 1, 2012


{photo credit}

Everything was too hard yesterday. Like how the dish rag was in the bottom of the sink under all the dishes that were filled with water. Uncovering it and rinsing it out and ringing it out would just be too hard so I walked away and left it all there.

By three o’clock I was so tired of my own tired with pressure behind the eyes, so I decided to be good and cheerful by making cookies. Except by making cookies I mean the pull apart kind but even then, they kept pulling apart not along the lines so there were big and small ones after baking even though they were supposed to be all one square-gone-round size.

Miles thought they were taking too long. Ten minutes from start to finish. Cookies. Done. Not too long. But I understand, I want start to finish now now now, too.

We can’t have that.

These are the small things that don’t bother me on a good day. I mean, the dish rag and the pulling apart wrong. These things bother me when my insides feel like electric butterflies. Everything is too loud and frustrating when your insides are plugged in to some unseen socket of nerve endings. And then to mother? Oh my heart. The noise and the not listening the first time and how I can’t take it. I hate that part of this so much. I just don’t want to be ruled by something ugly that makes me ugly. I’m not ugly, but when I feel this way I feel very alone and that can make a person think they’re ugly.

I can surrender and give it up and let go of control and be kind to myself and still it sneaks up

because what-a-ya-know, I’m human. A human with a body that thinks it should leave a whole lot of space for the kind of anxiety that leaves a person standing still and trying to remember how to breathe, even though she’s been thinking happy thoughts all morning and is terribly in love with her life and has faith and all that. It is anxiety that provokes depression and anger and too much self focus and I’m so exhausted.

You see. I’m in here, I’m all covered up. I thought it was sleep-deprivation and the typical postpartum stuff, but I see it over my whole life when I look back. I see a girl with electric butterflies, biting her nails and feeling on edge almost all the time.

The edge is something like a constant ache that can sometimes boil.

Ryan made The Phone Call for me and I don’t want to feel ridiculous or needy or weak. Those are lies. So I took a deep breath and said thank you and then felt relief because getting help is the opposite of weak. 

I saw myself the last time I got help, after I quit drinking. I was more even and peaceful and it took on-going help. I want to go back to myself again because it was so good to meet the real me and I am so sad that she’s always acting like someone else. This is not beating myself up. This is me beating up anxiety because it is not who I am.





dearabbyleigh February 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

heather friend, i have such love and respect for you sharing this peek into the inside, the butterflies. so glad you had ryan to make that call and my heart is with you as you seek a butterfly garden for that anxiety to flutter in, out of your way and out of you.

MaryLauren@My3LittleBirds February 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

Heather, you aren’t alone. Anxiety makes everything seem so…well, big. Unmanageable. It sounds like getting some support is exactly the right thing to do, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re on your way to “yourself” again.
MaryLauren@My3LittleBirds recently posted..Motherworries

Leslie February 1, 2012 at 9:25 am

Hugs. I’m reminded of being newly sober, when I wanted to have 10 years’ sobriety RIGHT NOW. It took a while, but I finally realized it didn’t work that way.

I have the butterflies too, and have most of my life. Lately it’s been getting the best of me, and I brought it up last night in a meeting. I’m glad you opened up about it here. :)

Heather February 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

This post, like most of yours, really resonated. I too have been feeling the “electric butterflies”. Wondering is this just motherhood? normal life stress? Monday I went and checked in with my doc, it’s more sometimes. It can feel so frustrating and like I’m fighting against myself. The wanting to just be “normal”. A “normal drinker”, a “normal, creative, activity filled Mom” a fully present Wife, Daughter, Sister…etc… You are right about getting help, it is not weak. We know when things aren’t quite right. I hope both of our butterflies migrate soon. Wishing you well.

In kindness, Heather K. (of Wisconsin)

Jess February 1, 2012 at 9:48 am

Heather, you are brave and strong and so refreshingly honest. That edge is so painful and you are doing the right thing. Prayers for you.
Jess recently posted..the truth of onions

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity February 1, 2012 at 10:09 am

There’s no shame in looking outside yourself to find your best self. Answers to prayers can come from all kinds of places, even a husband’s well-timed phone call.
Steph @ Diapers and Divinity recently posted..Coping and Mothering: Overcoming Discouragement

molly February 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

Good for you, Heather. There is no shame in seeking help. Only freedom.
molly recently posted..Vlog: Questions Answered #1

Heather t February 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

I have those nasty butterflies, too, they come and go. I’m impressed with your courage to take them head on and opt for peace.

Stephanie February 1, 2012 at 10:43 am

You’re so lucky to have Ryan. I put off making the phone calls to find a therapist for 6 months, even though I knew I needed to do it and had announced my intention of doing so. Finally, I told my husband I needed him to make the calls for me. It just wasn’t going to happen if it was left to me. Well, he did, and I found a wonderful therapist, and it’s really helping.
I’m sure the help will give you the strength to get through this and find more peaceful times again. Good luck!
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christine February 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

Good for you for getting the help you need. I have many days like these too (although mine is depression that provokes anxiety and anger). It is SO hard some days. Horribly hard. And I had a four day stretch last week where all I felt like I did was yell at my children. And then the guilt, because as you said, you love your life. I wish you all the best and hope that the healing moves quickly.
christine recently posted..The Gift of Friendship

Erica@PLRH February 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

Good for you! It takes courage to ask for help and strength to not let those anxieties define you. I’m glad Ryan was able to make The Phone Call for you. My husband has done that for me as well. Great guys, aren’t they?
Erica@PLRH recently posted..Sent with Love

Bea_OT February 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

I’m new to your site, but I’m impressed by your candor and your readiness to seek help. I hope that you find relief soon.

Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

It takes great strength to say “I need help”. You’re a tough cookie, m’lady. You’ll be back on your cute feet in no time.
Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) recently posted..Operation Spiritual Airlift

designhermomma February 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

you are NOT alone. I am on edge all day, pacing my day away, wishing I could feel normal. It could be postpartum, I mean, I have a two week old. But in reality, I’ve been down this road before, it’s well traveled. I am so glad you are searching out help, and I’m glad you share what you share. Makes me feel less alone…
designhermomma recently posted..A (Super)Bowl of ice cream is just as good

Eileen February 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Oh Heather. One thing that continues to bubble to the surface for you is strength. It’s what pushes you to get you back to who you are. Keep up with the work. You’re worth every bit of effort, you beautiful person, you.

Lisa Rae @ smacksy February 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I get you, I so very get you. Thank God The Help is there when we’re ready.
xo L
Lisa Rae @ smacksy recently posted..The List

robin February 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

it seems like such a fine line of…is this daily stress or is there something more here? Is today just a lot more stressful for random reasons? Or am I freaking out inside over stuff that shouldn’t be a big deal? I feel that all the time, and reading this gives me courage to seek out if there really is more to it. Thank you for sharing your life. It helps.
robin recently posted..Sober Doesn’t Suck: a guest post

Varda (SquashedMom) February 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Oh babe, I’m here, I hear you. Fighting the thousand swirling gnats of doom myself these days, big time. What runs as a small dark thread through my life, usually workaroundable grows big enough to blot out the sun sometimes, and it seems for me winter is a big catalyst in the cataclysm.

You are brave brave brave to write about this, and also to do something about it. I am in the muddle of the middle of trying to write about mine. Also I want you to remember that there will be people who will judge, and you just have to step past them & pay them no mind. they know not. It seems sometimes there are 2 kinds of people in this world: those who get in their own damn way and those who don’t. And those who don’t often have no understanding of and scant little patience with those of us who do. Screw ’em. I’m here. I get it. I love you. {hugs}
Varda (SquashedMom) recently posted..January Round-Up: What I Loved on OTHER People’s Blogs

Katybeth February 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Sometimes life just sucks and everything falls into the too hard category. Like you, I have found letting other people help is one of the nicest things I can do for me and for them. Glad TKW introduced us…those babies sure are cute :-)
Katybeth recently posted..February 1: Working Naked Day, Serpent Day, Baked Alaska Day

alita February 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Anxiety is a thief isn’t it? I had to hit my reset button in 2010 around the end of September. I even (gulp) went on antidepressants to stabilize my internal struggle. And it took almost 4 months until I felt back to “normal” but it happened. Getting help is so key, as you know, and those electric butterflies will lose their electricity very soon. Push that reset button, girl. Hugs!


lisa February 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Your writing is powerful. It helped me stop drinking. This post helps too in untold ways. I am glad you are on te path to gettin gsome relief from your anxiety. I can’t believe how little sleep you have been funtioning on since Ellie’s birth. I know you are dealing with a lot of stress but the lack of sleep alone would and has sent me over the edge– Sleep disruption and lack or sleep is do destabilizing.

Fiona February 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

So many lovely supportive responses. I just want to (again and again!) commend you on such a fine blog. The finest, I think, out there. I too feel the anxiety exponentially lately. I will look forward to hearing how you mangage/triumph and will be with you in cyber space every time you post…because you speak for all of us so perfectly. Feel better, you are so lovely Heather. xo

Kelly February 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Heather, I have been reading your site for awhile, I found it through Ellie’s “One Crafty Mother”. First can I say how incredible it is that even through your troubles that you put that video together for her in her time of need, eveybody needs a friend like you. Second, 3 kids are hard no matter how you slice it. Before my 3rd girl I was the happiest mother ever. After my 3rd baby at about 6 months i was really struggling with depression, anxiety, everyday things that made me happy were a challenge & weight gain. Have you had your doctor check your thyroid, I finally had it checked after seeing a therapist and she recommended it. My thyroid was so underproducing my doctor was surprised I didn’t seizure. Just a thought that might help, once my levels were regulated I was back to myself. It did take 6 months before we found the right dosage for the hormone.

Barb February 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Wow. So much of this post resonated with me and that feeling of on a good day this would be no big deal but the dish rag and the pulling apart and the not-listening-to-me-the-first-time all building in to a massive mommy meltdown. Very brave post. I could feel the exhaustion right away. Thank you so much for shining a light on this part of your life. I’m glad you’re reaching out and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Barb recently posted..Boost Versus College

Kristen @ Motherese February 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Amen, sister. Getting help is the opposite of weak. And you know what else is? Telling us all about it. Because I really believe that every person who speaks up to talk about things like anxiety and depression and PPD makes it that much easier for another of us to get help. You bravery makes me braver too. xo
Kristen @ Motherese recently posted..Birth Story

Ann February 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Love you. All your electricity.
Ann recently posted..The State of Our Union

Pamela February 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

My appointment for the electric crazy was today.
It was such a relief.
You are a warrior.
Pamela recently posted..this is what’s up

Cheairs February 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Oh Heather……you are being held. We are holding you. You are not alone. Fall back into the arms of your readers, your family, your friends…..feel their hands on your shoulders. We are with you.
Your writing…..your spirit is a gift. You share your journey with beauty and grace. You help us with every word that you type.
Your community is here. When you can not stand we hold you. Fall back….we are here and we hold you tight.

Galit Breen February 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Heather, I look up to your strong and your transparent and your knowing-of-you.

I’m glad that Ryan is who he is, and I’m glad you’re taking care of you, too.

Because oh my, you are so very worth it.

Galit Breen recently posted..Loosen, But Don’t Let Go

Gina February 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

You are so brave!! Thank you for writing candidly about something so many of us feel. You made that step to ask for help, and that is huge.
I recently came to terms with my struggles with alcohol, and read about your struggles and support. Anxiety is my trigger. Anxiety leads to drinking, the drinking leads to depression and depression leads to much more drinking.
There is a plastic toy sold in museum shops called an expanding sphere. Your electric butterflies are my expanding sphere. My problems and worries expand to surround me and seem insurmountable. I try desperately to get centered and pull the sphere back to its original, manageable size.
You asked for help and you will get it, and it WILL get better. You are not alone.

Tiffany February 3, 2012 at 7:01 am

Thank you for sharing this. I really needed this today…you’ve said it perfectly.
Tiffany recently posted..Generous

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