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.
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.