"No one ever told me that grief felt so life fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid." A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
I have never had anxiety before now.
The night that I delivered Gideon I felt extreme debilitating anxiety. He was gone. My sweet little boy was supposed to be still inside of me was gone. I felt totally lost without him, I still do. Thankfully, they gave me an anxiety med so I could actually sleep. Todd stayed with me and slept on the couch in the hospital room, while I was in the bed. I had to leave the TV on while I slept so I would feel less alone. It was too quiet and too dark. Had I not had the tv on or those meds I would not have slept that night, I would have just wept in my bed. However as strong as those meds were, I woke up very early the next morning with terror in my heart. I realized that was the first morning I was without Gideon. The first thing I thought when I awoke was "He is gone, this is the first day of the rest of my life without Gideon" and I burst into tears. Todd woke up to comfort me as my body shook with grief.
My OBGYN prescribed me some medicine for me to take for anxiety when I got home. I took it every night for the first 2 weeks.My anxiety level was so high there was no way I would be ableto relax enough to fall asleep. I didn't take it during the day because it made me groggy and I didn't want to get to where I depended on it. But, thankfully, it did help me sleep at night. I wouldn't have been able to sleep at all had I not had that medicine. Every night I have terrible nightmares. In every dream Gideon is gone and I am either searching for him, or crying and grieving him. I had one dream where I was holding Gideon and he started to move around. He kicked his legs, moved his arms about and was squirming in my arms. I was so excited because he was alive! The doctors had made a mistake! I ran to go get everyone and to tell them that Gideon was ok, but by the time I was almost to where everyone was, Gideon was limp in my arms. I woke up from that dream and cried out. It was the worst dream I have ever had. The awful part is, that dream is my reality... I have always had extremely vivid and detailed dreams, but now I have vivid and detailed nightmares. So even my rest isn't restful.
After about 2 weeks, I stopped taking the meds and I tried to sleep on my own. I would say I am somewhat successful. I stay up very late every night and only go to bed when I am exhausted because nighttime is a big time of anxiety for me now.
When I lay in bed at night, all I can think about is Gideon. I pray to God to show me how to handle this life he has give us and to give us peace...And I think about Gideon. The majority of my prayers to the Lord are about Gideon and how much we are hurting. I lay in bed after I have prayed and think about how it felt to hold Gideon and kiss him and to see Todd kiss him. I lay in bed while tears stream down my face and I cry silently so I don't wake up Todd. Todd has to hear my weeping all during the day, I don't want him to have to go without sleep because I am crying. My heart aches for my son, I long to have him moving around and kicking me from the inside. When I was pregnant with Gideon, I loved going to bed, I would lay in bed and rub my belly and he would move all around. It was always comforting and special that I had Gideon with me at night. I was never alone. However now, when the sun goes down, my anxiety increases because I will eventually fall asleep and dream horrible dreams and wake up the next morning with an empty heart.
Mornings are as bad as night. Every day I wake up and think "Today is another day without my son." It is always one of the first thoughts that comes into my head. I wake up every day to a world where our son is not waking up. And each day I am one day further away from when he was with us.
For the first 3 and a half weeks, I would immediately start weeping when I woke up. Thankfully, I do not always cry first thing when I get up. But, inevitability, it will come later. Honestly, I would rather just stay up all night every night and never sleep so I don't have to wake up to this reality every day. Waking up and realizing that this is my life every morning is horrific. Just this morning I woke up after having another bad dream and I became anxious immediately. I started to think about my sweet Gideon and I cried. My reality is always the same, he is always gone and he will not come back to this world. The pieces of our life are broken, never to be put back together again. Not this side of eternity.
I feel like I am waiting for someone to come who is never going to show up.
When I am feeling anxious, if I cry out to Him to give my heart peace, He does. I can feel Him take my heart in His hands and slow the pounding beats. I feel his arms wrap around me and my tight chest loosens. My pain doesn't go away, it won't go away until I get to eternity. But the Lord hears me. He hears every cry, every shout, every groan in agony. I thank Him for loving me and for loving my Gideon. I thank Him for loving us enough that He sacrificed Himself to give us eternal life. And because of that sacrifice and because I believe he is Lord, I will get to be in eternity with Him and with my son. I know that the Father will sustain us. He is the only reason I survive each day. He is the reason.
Wow, the last week has been really hard for me. I love our son so much and I miss him more every day. Today it feels like I am back to square one. I am told this is a normal part of the process. I am told that anxiety is normal. That this is part of it. But the last thing I feel right now is normal. I usually rarely feel anxiety or fear, but it seems that this is partially how my grief is manifesting itself. Honestly, there is little I can do about it really. I just have to let myself feel everything I am feeling. I cannot stuff it down or put it away because then it will only get worse. I must confront each feeling I have, and eventually the anxiety will subside. It will never go away for good. Grief will always be part of our life from now on. At some point, I will just learn how to live with this grief that is always in my heart. It has become a permanent part of our life. We just put one foot in front of the other, and when we can't, we ask God to do it for us.