Anxiety, Faith

It’s a Girl! …And It’s Also a Dog

itsagirl2

I feel like this post is going to address a lot of things. Partially my fear of judgment, as I recently blogged about. Partially my experiences as a 26-year-old married woman. Partially about my anxiety. And partially about my future dog. 

This post is also about to get pretty personal. I (lightly) debated writing it at all, but as the goal of my blog is to bring awareness to how…all encompassing…anxiety disorders can be, I decided I wanted to write this.

A few months ago, my husband and I moved into our own home. Immediately, I was hit with the most severe baby fever of my life.

Now if you know me, you know I’ve been on the fence about having kids since forever. I love kids. They’re awesome. But pregnancy terrifies me and so does giving birth – so, that has always been in the way of being ‘totally sure’ I wanted kids.

When we moved, it was like somehow, all those fears magically disappeared. I just felt ready. And I knew it was time to start seriously talking about having children with my husband. So, we did. And then, I went to my doctor.

Now, before I went to my doc, I had some concerns. I already have severe anxiety – what happens when all those pregnancy hormones start to kick in? What about post-partum depression?

I talked to my doctor about my concerns, and a huge wave of reality hit me. I was right to be concerned – because my doctor was too. This wasn’t a case of overreacting or worrying about nothing. My severe anxiety could cause problems. A lot of them.

So, I told my doctor that I wanted to truly get my anxiety under control (yay?!) and she referred me to a pretty intense anxiety clinic that I requested. And when I told my husband all of this, we decided that now was just not the right time for kids.

Now was a time for MY healing. For my mind (and body) to recover from the relentless panic and anxiety that has caused me so much (physical and mental) pain over the last 20+ years. I needed my life to be in a better place before I (potentially) dedicated it to taking care of another.

Because sometimes I forget how severe my anxiety is. Because I’ve always been this way. But barely-functional is just not good enough anymore – and if I can avoid it, I would like to be more than just barely-functional when I have kids of my own.

I have the means now to do it. And I’m scared, but excited. My first appointment is in August, and this is really the first time I’m taking my recovery seriously. If I continue with the treatment, I will have to go through CBT for my emetophobia – a.k.a exposing me to my worst fear. And that’s terrifying. But I’m ready.

And since we have decided to put our kid-plans on hold for now, I’m getting another dog. And this is where the whole ‘fear of judgement’ thing plays out.

I know some people probably don’t understand – we already have one dog, why get another? Why spend so much money on animals?

But throughout my life, animals have been the ONE thing to consistently bring me peace. To distract me from myself. So yes. Dogs are work and they are messy and they are expensive. But they are worth it.

puppy-1624446_1280
A German Shorthaired Pointer pup

I am planning on getting a German Shorthaired Pointer, the breed I have desperately wanted since I was 13 years old. I am planning on taking up dog sports or obedience trials – which may seem like a snooze to most people, but this is a hobby I have DREAMED of since I was a kid.

This is hopefully a time for me, my husband, my recovery, and my (maybe kind of weird) dreams to unfold a little. 26 feels very old and very young at the same time.

I know there is no perfect timing – for dogs, for kids, for hobbies, for jobs, for anything. But right now I need to work on getting myself better. And that means putting certain things on hold until I have healed a little.

This has also reminded me to pray through the waiting. Waiting is okay – and even though I’m a little scared, because I am the kind of person who feels like “IT’S NOW OR NEVER!” about everything, I am trusting in God this time. About all of this.

P.S. If you are dealing with something similar, remember that having kids should be on YOUR timing. The only two people who should have a say in when it happens is you and your partner. Also maybe your doctor. So, I guess three people.

14 thoughts on “It’s a Girl! …And It’s Also a Dog”

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing anything (not illegal or immoral) that keeps you happy and secure. Enjoy the new dog!

    I did CBT exposure therapy for my OCD and it was very helpful. The anticipation was actually worse than the exposure therapy itself. Good luck with everything!

  2. So great of you to share your heart and your struggles Lauren. So many people reading this will be encouraged. I know I was.

    1. I know right. When my parents finally caved and bought me a dog when I was 13, he helped ease my anxiety more than anything else we had ever tried. It was then that I knew I could never live without a dog!

  3. Good luck with your journey and the new puppy. I’m sure you have researched the breed. I have family who have one, and they are a very high energy dog that needs constant exercise and engagement to be content. If you have a treadmill, dogs can be trained to use one in the event you can’t get them outside as much as they need. There are a few FB pages dedicated to the breed.

    1. Haha oh, I have! That is partially what I love about them. I had an American lab growing up, so I am used to endless/extremely high energy. I am planning on getting involved in dog sports like agility and/or obedience, so that’s why I am super interested in this breed. And thank you!!

  4. I’m so proud of you for getting help. Good for you for taking care of yourself first. You are already showing how you’ll be an amazing mom someday! And I can’t wait to see pictures of the new dog!

    1. Thank you so much! And heheh yes, it won’t be for a while – probably next year sometime, but it’s already giving me something to look forward to. And I LOVE the entire process, including talking to breeders, getting everything ready, etc.

  5. I’ve just finished a period of CBT, and my wife is seeing someone herself at the moment. This was my second lot of sessions. Depression, anxiety etc can make no sense at times, but that does not make it any less important or real. I think you’re doing the right thing, and I also think that having a(nother) dog is a great idea.

    We are each of us different, even although we sometimes go through similar things. I know what you mean about having a child. however, it was not to be for me. There is barely a week goes by that I don’t think about it (what if . . ?) but I can do nothing about it.

    My wife and I have two dogs now. We rescue them, and although I do not think that they are a substitute for having kids, it is true that they are great to have around. Ti care for and love, and to interact with.

    i hope and pray that you do have a child (or more(!)), and that things can improve for you (slowly, if need be) over the coming months, and maybe years.

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