Friday, September 18, 2009

Counseling

Well I finally did it. I saw a counselor. I have been going back and forth on the idea ever since Avery was born. People kept suggesting it and I would brush it off, thinking that maybe this was something I could deal with on my own. Well after hitting a new low a month or so ago I called up a therapist that a friend suggested. I had to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment but finally met with her this morning.

I didn't know what to expect, and honestly I felt a little silly at first. I kept thinking, Do I really need this? Is she just going to laugh and tell me that I need to get over myself? Well she didn't laugh at me but in a way she did tell me to get over myself. She wasn't rude about it and she didn't minimize my feelings at all. She just told me that I am in a vicious cycle and I need to break out of it. I am dwelling on what I don't have and if I continue to do that I will continue to not have what I don't have. I know it sounds strange but it makes sense to me. I am so upset about losing Avery and about not being able to try again that I am constantly dwelling on that. Because I am always dwelling on that I continue to get upset when I see pregnant women and babies which makes me dwell on my loss and my anger even more. She said unless I start focusing on better things, like my blessings, I am never going to pull out of the cycle. (Mom, you were so right... what a smartie you are!)

She also suggested that I start back on Wellbutrin. I started taking this antidepressant after Avery was born but it was not available in generic form back then so I was paying $80 every month to get it filled. She said that it is now available in generic form so it will only cost me $5. This was the only antidepressant that I tolerated well because it didn't make me feel numb to any and all emotions like the others seem to do. Plus it has less side effects. She said that I have a chemical imbalance that needs to be corrected before I can really start to change my attitude.

In addition to focusing on the blessings in my life, she explained that if we really want to try IVF again I need to start focusing on making it happen. I need to stop thinking about "what if it doesn't work" and just do everything and anything I can to get to a point where we can try again. I am not really sure how to even begin this. I would think that taking a second job to increase our savings or pay off our debt (from IVF #1) would be ideal but I work 8-5, because I am taking 9 credits this semester I study 2-3 hours a night, and starting tomorrow I will be volunteering at the hospital 8 hours a week. Add on top of that trying to keep my house clean (which it very rarely is these days), keeping my husband fed, and spending quality time with him and my family. I just don't have a lot of time to commit to a second job. I thought about selling something but I don't have any talents and don't have the time to develop any that could make a profit. I am at a loss (ANY SUGGESTIONS IN THIS AREA WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!) and that frustrates me a little bit. I have looked at getting grants (yes they do those for IVF) but Skeet and I make too much money (don't even get me started on that - it's ridiculous!). Dr. D is keeping me in mind for any clinical trials that they have coming up so I will continue to bug him on a monthly basis. I need to be creative I guess and try to come up with more that I can do. What I have been doing is putting everything I can into savings, collecting spare change around the house to cash in, and I signed us up for a debt management program so that we can get some of our debt paid off a little bit faster. I have thought about selling the Tahoe (that we bought before we knew we'd have to do IVF) but we are upside down in it and it is our only vehicle that we can really rely on. If we did have a baby we would need a safe vehicle to drive it around in so I am holding off on this for now. I thought about getting rid of our Internet but I need that for school, and our satellite but I am still trying to convince Skeet that he could survive without it. (We have the most basic package but he loves his Simpsons) I have gotten so much better about my shopping habits and even though I slip every now and then I usually send it back for a refund.

So, I will get started on the Wellbutrin and go back to see my therapist in a couple of weeks so start talking about the things that I can start focusing on instead of dwelling on what is missing. I am really optimistic about this and hope that I can start going to church again and going out in public without the major anxiety I get from the thought of running into a pregnant woman or new babies. She did say something that I didn't want to hear, about accepting that I might never have children and being okay with that. I can't even imagine being okay with that but I guess if I didn't have a choice I might be able to. Right now I won't think about it though. Right now I will focus on my blessings and try to have hope and faith that someday soon Skeet and I will be the parents of a healthy, living child.

I want to thank all of you out there for your generosity, your prayers and your friendship. I feel so overwhelmed with the love I have been given from those of you that read this blog. You have kept me going for so long. Thank you! Also, a special thanks to my sister, to Lisa, and to everyone else involved, you have given me a reason to have hope again. It means so much to me.

7 comments:

Natalie.Rob.Branson said...

Candi
Hey, honestly when I saw the title of your blog post on my blog list today I was filled with excitement for you.

About a month after Branson passed away our LDS family rep for our branch called and asked if we would be interested in going to counseling. At first we were like you...why do we need counseling? Isn't that for crazy people who can't deal with life on their own?

We just felt like we really had no idea how to do the whole grieving thing...we knew we were grieving, but what we didn't know is if we were doing it in a healthy way, or if what we thought was allowing ourselves to grieve really wasn't. What we did know is that we wanted to do this the "right" way so that 10 or 20 years down the road we didn't have some type of break down or crysis from not fully dealing with all the different emotions and baggage that come from loosing a child.

So anyway, we talked about it and decided to give it a try...we could always go once and then not go back if we felt like it wasn't for us. We knew it would be expensive, but we looked at that as an investment in our future...for our family.

Needless to say, we feel that going to counseling was perhaps the most important thing we did to help us begin the journey of healing our hearts, our minds, and our souls. We met with our counselor together once a week for 6 months, then twice a month for two more months, then eventually just once a month until we moved.

Our counselor was a perfect fit for us, which we felt was really important. He was LDS, and we appreciated that he had that perspective, but we also appreciated that he didn't "shovel" the gospel down our throats. He helped us realize that it's okay to ask why...it's okay and normal to be angry with God for a time...it's okay to wonder if it's really all true. He let us go there, and just helped us, as we were ready to move away from those feelings, emotions, and thoughts. He helped us see that although it's okay and normal to feel that way, that it was a place we didn't want to get "stuck"in.

Anyway, I am so happy to hear that you are doing this. I truly believe that it will help you in ways you can't even imagine at this point. I pray that your counselor will be guided as to what you need personally to heal, and that together the two of you can work through some of those hard road blocks that we face through loss.

Although counseling didn't "make it all better" I think it taught us how to begin accepting our new "normal". There are still days I don't want to accept it and it still really sucks that all this happened to us...I do feel progress though, and progress feels good.

Sorry this "comment" was more like a novel, but if you ever need to talk or would like to email I'd love to.

We pray for you daily and hope with all our hearts that the desires of your heart are granted.

All my love,
Natalie

ncnataliecall@gmail.com

Kate Glenn said...

Candi I am so so so proud of you. I think what you are doing is very very smart. I know that counseling really helped me thru my divorce which is nothing compared to your loss....but it really helped. I love you and will be here for you every step of the way. Love Kate

The Schexnayders said...

Candi I am so proud, happy, elated and relieved to see that you FINALLY went to a counselor. Of course your not crazy! Maybe you will start listening to Mom more often? Wink Wink... Love ya SIS and keep it up!!!

Jennifer said...

Wow, sounds like your therapist is quite good! That's a lot to get out of just one session. Must be "solution based" therapy. Really a great step for you Candi. Congratulations on making the committment to yourself and your future. I'm still praying for you and will continue to do so.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

Good for you for trying counseling. I hope that your counselor is exactly what you need, as you need it. It's hard to ask for help, no matter what it's for- good for you for getting it! I know what you mean about beating yourself up over money. I bought a new washer and dryer, and had this guilt that I didn't need it. (Which I really did.) It's so hard to spend money, when you're trying to save for such a huge goal. My local Dr. told me that they do have grants for IVF that are not based on income, but you have to have five people write letters on your behalf, and they do a home study. She's getting me the information. My boss has been talking with other legislators to see what he can do about getting the laws changed concerning IVF, and I REALLY hope that they make some progress there. Such a huge financial obligation for a young couple is not very fair!

Clare Dungey said...

Hi Honey,

I think getting help is a great idea. I was really reluctant to go but when I did at the end of last year, itb really helped me gain perspective and a new attitude.

I really do know how you feel right now. You and I are two years on and both still longing for that child. We are now having tests because we don't seem to be able to get pregnant. To top it all, my two best friends are both pregnant again with their second child since Theo died!

None of it seems fair but we have to fight the urge to give in to bitterness. I truly believe that God wants what is best for us - its just really hard to see sometimes!

Miss you honey!

Clare xxs

Miche said...

Therapy, Counseling, etc. are all perfectly acceptable. We found out about Megan Grace in March and I started counseling in May. I'm still in counseling.

You are doing what you need to do. Take care of yourself and just remember I'm an email away if you need to chat.