I could talk for hours on my worries. Hahaha. I was diagnosed with having instructive worries and ocd. When I get fixated on one worry it’s all I can think about. Even though I know the reality of the worry is silly, it stills seems to magnify itself. That’s when the anxiety takes hold. When something traumatic happens most times its normal and you get through it but for me and my ocd I can’t stop the worry that something will happen to cause the trauma again. It’s called triggers. I developed them in the nicu with Sidda. That’s was such a traumatic experience that it’s forever in my mind. Although each trauma that has happened has come out positive, the worry that it won’t is far greater. I write a lot a lot. I have always loved writing. It frees me from my worries and later on I can process what I wrote and analyze it.
Example number 1:
Each time Sidda catches a cold or shows any sign on sickness, my trigger kicks in and the old nicu days come flashing back in my mind. The process of her being there, although it was a needed experience and she is a happy healthy two year old, I still experience thoughts like any cold or diaper rash or any sickness will result in a nicu stay. The beeps and monitors will alarm again and she will be soley dependent on the hospital staff. Then the intrusive worries gets broader and my thoughts lean toward this; The staff will see she has a cold or diaper rash and it will be my fault. I caused this to happen and I’m a shitty mother –
Even though the reality of it is she is a baby. She will continue to get colds and possibly a diaper rash ( I pride myself in her only having two small ones before and am battling one now). The worry of something else even more traumatic happening surfaces the mind.
Living in Saudi Arabia can be beautiful and exciting and the most awesome experience ever. Learning and knowing the cultures and traditions is a must when living and working in a country as secret as the land of Arabia. The people are polite but often times one wouldn’t speak to someone they don’t know. I get stared at a lot and I mean a lot. I don’t cover my hair and I have blonde hair and blue eyes along with Sidda. Many times I’ve been asked to have my picture taken and or course have my most perfect smile along with a firm handshake. I would hug, but hugs are forbidden. 🙄 Being polite and smiling and thanking people and telling someone to have a nice day is well…. Normal. It’s natural for us to show this type of expression. So being here and me being polite can sometimes seem different and odd. I don’t take offense to it at all. It’s their culture and their way of life but one can’t help to stand out from the crowd and seem different. Anyway, we were leaving for a return trip home to America and passing through immigration at the airport, when for some reason not known to us, Jays visa was cancelled. The guard matter-of-factly said “you can’t leave”. “You stay and your family can go”. I froze and didn’t know what to say or do. How can he not leave? How can someone say he has to stay and not fly home? The concept is unheard of to me. But sure enough Jay could not leave the country. Me and the kids had to fly back to the states without him and it threw me into the holy hell of panic and trepidation. Jay suggested firmly that me and the kids return home and he would fly out as soon as possible. I panicked and knew I needed to go. I was scared and worried something terrible had happened and work for they control the visa process. We left and flew home and sure enough all was fine. Just a technical glitche in the system and he flew out the following morning. His work was very apologetic and made sure all paperwork was still in order and it was on their end. The airport made the error but it’s one error I can’t erase. The feeling of panic and doom as I’m leaving my husband was sheer torture. The not knowing factor was all over my brain.
Once we all made it home and were able to talk about what has happened I mentioned to him that I was too scared to return back. Something was wrong and I didn’t want to be stuck. I was safe at home and did not want to return. The whole year I have been in Saudi I have loved it. The excitement of the new environment. Meeting new people. Seeing things that are unheard of to me, it was the best time in my life, but I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. We planned a trip to California to visit some family and take our children to Universal Studios. The drive was two days there and two days back with a total of 8 days being in California. There was not one worry I had. I felt totally at ease over the trip and never had an anxiety attack because there was nothing to worry about. My life was back to normal for a while and we were having the time of our lives. Once we returned back to Texas I had a doctors appointment for yearly lab work and to change my anxiety medicine. My dr agreed that my Zoloft was no longer working for me. So Prozac was prescribed with a six month supply to take back to Arabia. Once I thought about going back, the anxieties happened all over again. I went home and told my husband if he wanted to come home for good that it was okay with me. I had always wanted to be in Arabia. To him it was work and a job. He missed his family and home and I was looking for an adventure. So we have always stayed because of me and the kids. I knew us relocating back to Texas would make him happy. A few emails to and from colleagues and the waiting game started. Although we were fully prepared to return, in the back of our minds, we knew God was playing a role in this.
After two cancelled trips because of trouble in Turkey, we flew out of Houston to Dubai then to Arabia. All I could do in my mind was pray that our visas worked. I kept saying “My faith is stronger than my fears”. At the customs section of the airport, the soft looking man in his traditional thobe, took our passports and began to run them through the system. I was holding Sidda and watched another worker make faces at her and tell her “ello”. All while fear was inside me that something was wrong. Slowly watching each passport run through he says welcome back and enjoy your stay. What???!!! Did I hear that right??!!! Everything is fine???? What the fuck have I been worried about then???? I had never in my life felt more happy and the grin on my face was very apparent. My husband, on the other hand, rolled his eyes and told me see you are worried over nothing. If something was wrong, work would have told me. We got our baggages, watched them bein scanned for anything improper then off we went to a taxi. My fear ended that day but only for a while.
I was happy to be back and forgot about the admission I told my husband. One week later we received the email he was waiting for. A new job back at home. My anxiety had returned and with a vengeance. I was panicking. I was pacing. I kept thinking how can we leave again. How can we go through the airport again. Will we be able to leave? Will my husband be released from work? Can they keep us here?
When I have anxiety I like to tackle it. I think cautiously and find the reasoning behind my thoughts. I get to the root of the problem. I can’t sit and do nothing for being too afraid of the fear. I have to find out why it’s happening. So for two weeks I have found the process of leaving, how it works, what needs to happen etc. As Americans I’ve always been told that we will never ever have problems here and true to form, we are very much catured too. But still the thought of being told we couldn’t leave was always in the back of my mind. I mean hey, they did it to Jay right? (In my mind at least) so I’m racking my brain with anxiety still even after realizing that all is fine. It just won’t go away. I wanna sleep early to not think, I’m adjatated with the kids, I can’t stop talking about what I’m feeling to Jay and it’s the worst anxiety I’ve ever felt in my life. Even worse than the nicu and that was pretty bad. I was cooking one evening and lookin around my kitchen. I noticed my Medicine. Thinking maybe my medicine isn’t working I googled the little white pill for answers. And there is was in black and white. Right I front of my tired and worried eyes was the answer to all of my confusion. The side effects of Prozac is increased anxieties, adjitation, increased fears, troubled thoughts. A lightbulb went off in my head. Having been taking this medicine for close to a month now and my anxieties not going away, but instead they are getting worse by the day, I realized its having the opposite effect on me. In an instant, the racing in my chest stopped. The off the wall worries and anxieties stopped. I found the problem. I immediately phone my doctor in the states, explained what was happening and he strongly advised me to stop the Prozac immediately. Some people have the adverse side effects to the Prozac and I was one of them. As well as a few members of my family. Two have tried Prozac for depression and anxiety and have had the same outcome.
I’ve had a few days to process all the thoughts and worries and see it all in a brand new light. I am no longer worried of the diluted possibilities that Something wrong could happen. Now I am perfectly fine with the outcome. I know it is time to return home. Return to the family and life and school and work. My sudden panic attack caused God to work his wonders for the good and bring us back to where he wants us to be. I have always known that he watches over us each and every day. I have a miracle with me. Sidda Leigh Noor. She is my miricle. My light. Cameran Faye. She is my miracle. Bradyn Jameson. He is my miracle.