January is my least favorite month. Every year it seems like January is hard for one reason or another. Last year I was pregnant – not sick, but exhausted – and Evan was finishing up his three-year-old mischief with enthusiasm, usually enlisting June (who was just barely 2) to help carry out his demonic plans. Last January was also when I realized my anxiety level was not normal and went to see a doctor about it. (Yay Zoloft!) I struggled with sleeping and with my mood.
For the past few months everything has been going so well. Better than I would have thought I could feel after Christian’s death – probably better than most people imagine they’d feel in the same situation. Up until about two weeks ago, I was coping well with life and being productive and keeping things running smoothly.
Who knows what changed? The prolonged inversion (thanks, Utah)? Seasonal affective disorder? A new year? The thought of possibly being pregnant later this year and the terror that will go with it? New babies and announced pregnancies all around me? Hormones? Or the dreaded no-reason-at-all?
Well, whatever it is, I’m miserable. I left church meetings twice yesterday to go cry. Every night for the past week I’ve spent at least an hour crying (usually after Jarom has gone to bed). I got yelled at by a neighbor a few days ago (for something that was completely my fault) and then cried while I made dinner. I feel absolutely awful. I want everything to stop existing.
To be fair, I don’t feel this lousy constantly. I do still get up and interact with the kids and sometimes even do housework. I visit friends and read books and crochet. Life does happen and I can wonder why I’m so emotional the other times.
Those other times, those moments of despair, end up with a thought pattern like this:
It feels like no one ever asks me how I’m doing anymore. No one cares that my baby died or seems to realize I might still need help, or even just need to be remembered. So many families around me are being showered with help and attention when their babies are having trouble – meals brought in and notes of encouragement and people asking how things are going. But even right after Christian died, I felt ignored. And now maybe more so.
Let me be clear, in the rational part of my mind I know I’m not really being ignored and I know it’s good for everyone, including me, to help others who are going through difficult times. Unfortunately, I can’t talk myself out of how I feel. I truly feel like because Christian’s death was an awkward topic for people, they avoided (and still avoid) bringing it up by asking how I am or if I need help. I missed out on a lot of the support I see others getting because no one knew how to deal with the death of an infant.
I realize this isn’t a very well-written or coherent post. It’s emotional. I also realize that there are plenty of exceptions to my “I feel ignored” sentiment – people who check in on my emotional well-being often or who send notes to let me know they’re thinking of me. It means a lot.
Part of what terrifies me about having another baby someday is the thought that everyone else will forget about Christian. That even in my family, no one will talk about him or acknowledge that he existed. Sometimes I already feel that way.
Emotions are dumb! And right now they’re making me miserable.