Lately, I have no idea what makes me so determined and hopeful about this baby stuff; I got a migraine last night for the first time in ten days or so and through the pain found myself wondering how I will do when pregnancy makes the triptans (migraine medicine) too dangerous. When the triptan (Frova is my poison) took effect and I was capable of thought once more, I found myself thinking very sad thoughts about medicine, pregnancy and breast feeding. I am lucky that the medicine I really need, the stuff that keeps the crazy in check, is safe–we think. Or at least safer than no medicine. But I worry about the migraine thing–what if the pregnancy hormones make them come back frequently? How will I parent an infant if all I want is darkness and silence?
I will let you in on a little something if you are unfamiliar with the kind of anxiety that comes with a full-on mental disorder (or two, in my case): anxiety loves a downward spiral. I start off thinking “Wow, this headache really hurts” and, before you can say “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” three times fast, I’ve already moved on to “I should not even try being pregnant. What are am I thinking?!”
Trying to argue with thoughts like this is like trying to argue with a crazy person, so the only thing to do is ignore them until they stop. But not unlike the crazier people in my life, they have a way of hanging out in the background. So, I was not surprised when this same thought occurred to me again, this morning, when my head still hurt. Then, I saw a quote on a Facebook page that can always cheer me up; it’s called I Am That Girl. I had forgotten about this quote, but I have read it many times before: [quote]I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. -Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee.[/quote] Mental illness can seem like a gun to one’s head. I do not exaggerate. But friends, here is what I know in my bones: this time, I’m going to win. I am going to grow a happy, healthy family. Don’t tell me what the odds are, because it just doesn’t matter. This time, I win.