an alternative treatment plan

I called in sick to the outpatient program today. I really just needed a break to catch my breath and be home by myself. I haven't been alone in over two months. It was so needed. It feels great

Tomorrow we meet with my therapist. Mr Fox is coming. I am going to propose a revision to my recovery plan. I don't think that the program I am in is a perfect fit for what I need. The structure is great, but I am in such a different place than everyone else that it is hard to connect. Here is what I am going to propose:

I want to go to the mountains. I want to go stay at the condo I grew up visiting. I want to sit outside in the hammock. Sit on the porch and listen to the birds. Bundle up to watch the milky way at night. I want to get away from everything - the phone, the internet, the tv, all of it. There is essentially nothing to do up there except be. just be. read. listen. rest.

It is a 4 hour drive from where we live so it's not like a simple proposition. Mr Fox and I can go up on a Friday after work drive home Sunday evening. My mom could come up on Sunday afternoon and stay with me through the week, or until we decided we wanted to come home.  Mr Fox and I could go up just for the weekend on Friday 5/6 and drive home Sunday night 5/8. (I have a board meeting on Tuesday 5/10 that I can't miss). We could go up again on Friday 5/13, Mr Fox could drive home on Sunday 5/15 and my mom could come up to spend a few more days that week. In that case, Mr Fox could actually come up the following weekend and we could come home together on Sunday 5/22.

I'd like to do that as soon as possible and again in a few weeks.

In the meantime, I am going to propose that I go to the Outpatient Program either 2 or 3 days / week. On the other days I will:
- sleep in and nap
- do my writing assignments
- work in my garden
- do a youtube workout and/ or walk around the lake
- read my poetry books
- do other appointments like massage, nails, hair, etc
-  write gratitude/birthday/anniversary notes to friends
- Cultivate and listen to music that inspires and rejuvenates me.

I think that this sounds reasonable and responsible. I hope that the others agree.




Reducing Benzo's

I want my life back. I want to drive again. I want to be present and engaged with my son, and my husband. I want to go back to work. I want these things desperately. Like seriously I want these things back.

I talked to my therapist about this yesterday and yet when she talked about the resulting need to reduce my use of benzodiazepines I panicked. Like snort cry panic cry.

I get it. I understand that these things are in direct conflict with one another. When I say I want to drive, I know that it means I can't take my benzo's. But it scares the living shit out of me to think that I would be giving up the one thing that has gotten me through the past two months. Through the past 3 years really, if you consider that I had a  postpartum klonopin prescription.

In my mind, and in my conversation with my therapist, I had come to a conclusion that I might be able to drive in the morning (ie take little fox to preschool etc) if I didn't use benzo's in the morning. This felt like a step forward, a step towards regaining my independence without giving up the medication if/when I needed it later in the day.

Afternoons and evenings are usually the most difficult, so this felt like a reasonable step in the right direction.

I had a full meltdown, panic attack, at the Psych appt later in the afternoon. Mr Fox says that I was was not hearing what the dr was saying, but all I heard was that he was reducing my prescription and that I couldn't drive if I was taking any benzo's. I had asked about driving in the morning if I reduced my morning benzo, and he was responding to my lead, but the fear took over and I ended up sobbing and frozen - unable to speak, unable to engage, unable to do anything but curl in my seat and hold my head which hurt. Even after the appt was over I was frozen, Mr Fox had to pack up my bag and escort me out. It was horrible and exhausting. I took two valium in the car and cried the whole way hom. I avoided little Fox and went to the shower. It was only then that I felt like I could calm down little.

Speaking of little Fox, I feel terrible that I am harming him by allowing him to see me upset. The other day, when I burst into tears while talking to Mr Fox about something, my sweet little boy came over to me and used his shirt to wipe away my tears. I told him I felt sad, which seemed oversimplified in a way that is probably causing him fear. A while back when I was crying, I told him that it was because I wanted to have a baby in my tummy and that there wasn't one there. I think he needs the concrete understanding of why mommy is sad, but it has become so much more than that and so much harder to explain. I worry that I am fucking up my little boy and feeding into the cycle of anxiety that he is already genetically predisposed to. I feel like a horrible mom when I think about it.

So that conclusion, I guess, from the appointments yesterday, is that I will be reducing my benzo's on a schedule that feels manageable to me. I know its what I want, but holy shit am i scared. terrified really.



So, I figured out today that I totally have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. No official diagnosis, but based on the handout we got today I've had this for as long as I can remember. It explains SO much.

I'd love to write more, but am exhausted (in part from a major meltdown panic attack at the Psych office this evening) and off to bed for the night.


my dad

My assignment is to write about my dad, my relationship with my dad, my memories of my dad, and how that all might affect my life now. Big assignment, and I've been putting it off all week.

I have the most loving memories of my dad as a child. Early memories were when we had to leave the house so my mom could teach a class. He took me to McDonalds and then we would eat in the car and look up at the stars. He would should me all of the different constellations and he would point out the different planets. Venus was my favorite, apparently, because often when we returned home I told moms class that my dad had take me out to see "penis". After eating and looking a the stars we would go swimming.

My dad always very rational conversations with me. He taught me how to negotiate, a skill which he came to regret because I was so good at using it with him and my mom to get a better deal than what they offered.

My dad was an Army Officer,  which meant we moved often, I think it was 12 times by the time I turned 12. I reflect back on how difficult that must have been on my mom, with three little ones starting over in new communities again and again.  I recall thinking that moving was kind of fun. Empty houses to run around in, new friends to meet, there was always something new and exciting everywhere we lived. I can only believe that my mom was a superhero because I have no memories of boxes in our house, ever. We've move and everything would be put away by the time we arriv
ed at the new house. It was normal.

My dad is a highly functional alcoholic. He achieved great things in his career and was a great father. One year on father's day I wrote that he was the best dad because he didn't travel a lot (like one friends dad), and he never yelled (like another friend's dad did). In my view he was perfect.

I don't have any specific memories of he and my mom, but I have a sense that they were loving and caring towards
each other. I do remember seeing them sneak little kisses, and my dad had a bunch of pictures of my mom when she was younger, beautiful pictures of her at the beach, in miniskirts, and long hair. I never doubted that my dad loved and adored my mom. and I know that my dad will always be my mom's first and only love.

They were a strange pair and I always wondered how they ended up together. My mom was very responsible. She was taking some summer classes, maybe at a Junior College, and walking to school everyday. She could not afford a car and was cleaning bathrooms to afford tuition. My dad has some family support and a car. They story as they tell it is that my dad saw my mom walking up the big hill to class and offered her a ride. Turned out they lived in the same apartment complex, fell in love, and when the Vietnam war ended (meaning that my dad would not get drafted), they married. The
church they married at is just across town from where we live. It is where my grandfather's memorial service was held. It sounded like a simple wedding. My mom sewed her own wedding dress, and they honeymooned right here in the town where my dad grew up.

Back to my relationship with my dad.

My dad had always been there for me. Always available to talk. Always there when I needed him. When he has his heart attack  and bypass surgery I didn't leave his side for a week at the hospital, sleeping at the foot of his bed. He was there for me when I needed him and there no where else I would be. (It was the first week of the final quarter of college and I was crashing half of my requeired 24 units. ). When My dad got to come home, the rules had all changed. Whereas he used to be able to chain smoke in house, he was no longer allowed to smoke inside. And whereas there were no restrictions on his alcohol use, it was now constantly questioned and challenged. The Doctors has told us that they could fix his heart, but unless he changed his life habits it would only last a decade.  My dad retreated to the unattached den, that had been his office, and spent more and more time there, where no one would bother him about drinking nor smoking.

For a long time I was angry at him for choosing these substances knowing that they would hurt him (and knowing that I would do anything to protect him). After some time, I had a revelation that I could either hate him for the choices he made, or love him and hate the choices. He was not his choices, they were different.

A few years after my Mr Fox and I got married, my parents
announced that they would be divorcing. It was shocking, but not necessarily a surprise given the previous 5 years, since my dad's heart attack. What I, or my mom and sisters, was not prepared for was that my dad had decided to move to across the country to Florida, Nor were we prepared for the possibility that he had another family and was reuniting with his possible adulterous partner in Florida. Theses things all remain unclear, mostly because, no one wants to ask the questions, and frankly, I don't want to know the answers.

Most of all, we were not prepared to lose our dad who had been such a source of strength and stability.

My grandpa had passed a year after Mr Fox and I married and I felt like none of this would have been happening if he were still alive.

For a few years, my sisters and I would fly out to florida to visit my dad. It was always a grand adventure, where we spend most of our time at the Crab Shack bar or on 'Rocky's' Boat, drinking until the florida bars shut down at 4am. We spend time on the beach, played in the waves, rode around on the boat and then spent the evening at the Crab Shack where where ate and drank. It was bitter sweet  - to spend time with my dad, yet see that he wasn't doing anything productive and had essentially escaped my moms 'control' of his drinking.

One year we met the mistress. It was strange and she reminded me in some ways of my mom - Making sure that he took his heart medicine and nagging him about how much time he spent at the Crab Shack drinking. My sisters and I were not kind to her.

Another year, after the mistress had gotten upset with my dad because he had apparently started dating another woman from the bar, and asked her to move out, she set his car on fire and stuck the garden hose in the window of his house and turned it on high while he was gone for a weekend. From what we gathered from the phone calls, he returned to a flooded house. There was a period of time around then when I got phone calls from creditors who were looking for him. Those poor creditors got an ear full.

We quit visiting my dad after he didn't come to my sisters wedding. He claimed it was a financial issue, but even when we offered to pay, he didn't come. If I could have given her his walk down the aisle at my wedding I would have done so. I will love my dad forever but I will never forgive him for missing my sisters wedding.  It wasn't fair, it wasn't her fault, and it was never anything we could have ever imagined as little girls envisioning our weddings.

He did come out here a few times - my mom flew him out for little Fox's First Birthday, which was really special.

He also flew out for a big family reunion last year. It will probably be the last time he sees my grandmother.

I actually quit calling him for a time. In fact I can't say that i call him often anymore. We talk a few times a year, when he calls, which is usually near my birthday or a holiday. We talk about politics, which is interesting because we are on polar opposite sides of the issues (but it is my work). We talk about family, the weather, our puppies, stuff like that. I love it when he calls me. I love hearing his voice. I wish he could call more often. I would call him more but he doesn't answer his phone, so its kind of a waste of time and expectation.

So, I'm sure that there is much more to say but this is not what's on my my mind write now and I need to start a new post. I'll share this with my therapist and be back for more soon enough.


Evenings are the Worst

I thought it was just me, but then in group the other day the therapist called 9pm the "witching hour" -  the evening time when all the urges and addictions take over and all of the resolve to withhold from those behaviors somehow disappears.


I thought that i was feeling better, but I'm not. I'm losing my shit.

For example,  this morning I felt so good I thought, I don't need the valium. Next thing I knew I was in hysterics because Mr Fox left and I didn't get to say goodbye to him. I felt like a 5 year old. Ridiculous.

This past weekend we hear from very close friends who had done a successful IVF cycle earlier this winter that there was no heartbeat at their 7 week ultrasound. I can't stop saying FUCK . I am so god damn Fucking sorry, and SO fucking sad that they are on this hell ride of infertility. I was SO excited for her. and now I feel helpless to do anything as she miscarries her baby. FUCK.

I am trying to use my skills. I had been trying to watch TV while cruising and started to feel bad. So I got my sewing stuff out and am working now on a quilt. I even tried some new yoga poses.

How is it s possible to have a good day, and yet still have everything fall apart at night.
I just don't understand what happened or how to make it better.


March 14

I've been out of work since March 14. It was the weekend before that Mrs Grandma Fox (Mr Fox's) mom had visited. It was that following Friday, March 11 that the cramps started, that my post failed FET cycle started, that the passing of clots started. It was that Saturday that I stayed in bed, with the heating pad, and wore the heating pad for comfort.  It was that evening that I called my GP to tell her i was passing clots and having significant cramps. Her response was so normal, so appropriate in some way, that it would be normal to have more cramps and pass clots after a chemical pregnancy, that it was nothing to worry about. But it wasn't what I needed to hear. I needed to hear that she was so sorry, that it was going to to be hard to have physical symptoms that made you think about the emotional symptoms. I needed her to acknowledge the pain and loss that I had and was experiencing. I needed her to not 'blow me off' when I was calling to get ... to get what? ... She is a GP and was going to address the medical issue, but I expected something that would validate me and acknowledge that I was a whole person and that the physical pain could trigger some of the emotional pain that i'd done such a great job of holding together.

A poppy flower just before it blooms.
On Tuesday March 15, we had our re-group with Dr G.  I'd called in sick to work already that week. He was so kind and gentle and explained that we just don't know why these things don't work sometimes For some sad reason we fell into the 5% of pregnancies that start but don't continue. no one knows why, its just thats the way is it. He said that we would add an antihistamine protocol to our next attempts, but otherwise I responded beautifully to the medication and everything else would stay the same. He suggested we take a month break before starting another cycle.

I'm not exactly sure how the rest of the week deteriorated but by Friday my mom and Mr Fox had made an appt to take me to my therapist. I was a mess. Crying about anything, desperately holding onto Mr Fox, I wasn't me. at all. I was lost, far gone. The conclusion at the therapy office was that I needed to see a psychiatrist ASAP, and the only way to do that was to go to the Emergency Dept. So off we went to the ED, where I was met at the door by the L&D director whom I work with professionally. Somehow Mr Fox managed to keep me from being admitted and getting me into an appt that afternoon. So off we went to the Psychiatrist who prescribed me a shit ton of drugs and made a n apt for the following week.

Its all a big fucking blur. I actually felt pretty good today, but writing this, it brings it all back, It makes me feel that hopeless nothingingness. That feeling like they might as well admit me to the Hospital Psych ward because at least I'd be taken care of there. Like maybe they have better medication than I do here at home.

It's late, and this was not my writing assignment. I should just take another xanax and put on a video.

I just want my life back. I just want it all back. It feel so fucking unfair and confusing.



One of our sessions today was about "containment". and my homework is to write about it, how I felt, how I contain, what it brings up for me.

For me, this blog this blog this been a container for me. I can share things here, anything here. I have of fear of judgment, and only feel support. It is a safe place to where I can share essentially anything.

They talked about a physical container that we could write or draw things and put those things away. I thought about my wicker box that has help all of my fertility medication, and now holds all of the psychotic drugs that I take 4 times a day. I thought about taking a paper and writing a great big F. U.C.K on the paper and putting it in that god damn wicker box.

My other homework assignment was to walk around the block, which I did.

I keep having this feeling of; how did we get here. What the fuck happened? It turns out that the failed FET may simply have been a straw that broke the camel's back. The stress of Mr Fox's drinking given my own personal history of my dad's functional alcoholism has been building.

Mr Fox and I got into a massive argument last night. I just hate the fact that he drinks every night, I hate that he is not fully present, I hate hate hate it. This came up in group therapy today and other than the one woman who felt like I was an ungrateful bitch for feeling like I wanted more, everyone else in the room understood what I meant when I said that I needed him to be there for me 100%, 100% of the time. It felt good to be understood. and validated.

I am supposed to write about my dad, about his drinking, the secrets that existed in our family growing up. I'm not sure what to say though. Does a tree count as a container of sorts. a really complicated container that has beauty on the top and a complex system of hidden roots?


btw - all I want to eat are cookies.

another day

I am loving pandora radio. Music is so soothing. I'm carrying my ear buds in my purse everywhere. I am also loving a few of the free meditation podcasts. "My Thought Coach", "The Meditation Podcast" and "My Meditation Station are my favorite at the moment. I'd love suggestions for others.

I am slowly realizing that i may not be able to drive this summer, due to my medication. Which means I will have to rely on my husband to drive me to work, and my mom to take little fox to all of his fun summer programs. It is a hard pill to swallow. I need to talk to my therapist about it - al least so that I can feel like we have a plan. Everything feels so much more manageable when we have a plan.

This vacation has been really amazing. But I am going to pay for it next week. I get the feeling that this is the kind of progress where you take three steps forward and four steps back. The next steps come more easily, but still, I am going to rebound from the exhaustion of this excursion.

We gave Mr Fox his dad's ring last Night. It was one of the Surprises that I was able to pull off in coordination with his sister and step mom. It was emotional asking his sister if it would be okay, it was emotional for her to ask this step-mom to send it. and it was emotional having his sister giving it to him last night.  I knew that it would be heavy, and it was. But i know that he know how much we went through to get it here and that he loves having this tangible memory of his dad to carry with him.

We have to pack up today. We are going to stay to play at the beach, but i won't have a safe place to retreat to. maybe the car. Maybe we can park in a shady place and I can hide there is need be. I'll also max out my medication again today to help keep the panic away and keep me functioning.

Shit I hate that his is so debilitating, and invisible. But on I go.

Oh yeah, I'm still working on my gratitude journal, so send me an email to with your email address if you want a postcard from the beautiful central coast paradise that I am visiting. It would give me SO MUCH pleasure to send you a little love.



I just woke up. Everyone is going to breakfast. I did it. I wore my jacket and did it.
Little Fox had his first sleepover, with his cousins in the loft. He loved it.
I woke up, in this strange place, thinking to myself, what medical thing am I dreading today. I was anxious waking up in a strange place.

I want to get a tattoo - well a few actually. I need to ask my mom and dad to write me a note that says “I love you forever” and have those done in white ink. Not sure where to have them put though. Also really considering a white ink tattoo on my inner wrist that says "this too shall pass” That slogan has gotten me through so many hard toes and reminded me to enjoy the good times as well.

I am am worried that this weekend was too much. And is going to put me back. It’s just been so much and I feel myself wanting desperately to hide in my bedroom again, to recover. On the phone everyone says - look how far you’d come, you’ve made so much progress. But I don’t feel that way.


The Alaska Fleece Hooodie

Why why why is this so f;ing hard. I am a f;ing wreck. An irrational wreck.

Just got into a huge fight with Mr Fox about a jacket  - the Alaska Fleece Hoodie that i lost sometime in the last month. It made me feel safe. I could pull the hood up, put on my sunglasses and hide from the outside. I wore it then we did our ODWU (One Day Work Up) at CCRM.

I am so scared about this program that starts tomorrow. I am so scared that I am simply overwhelmed.

He wouldn't take me to the store to get a new jacket tonight, so I called my mom. She came right away and we got a new jacket, one with a hoodie so that I can hide in my hoodie tomorrow if I need to.

It's so stupid. But I feel so abandoned by Mr Fox.  He was trying to be rational with an irrational being who was in a full blown panic. It was a losing battle for both sides.

We just got home and had a brief talk. I told him that I felt abandoned, at least in that moment.

I told him that his drinking is going to come up in this program. He is rationalizing that it was okay to lie to me  about it because I put a 'condition' that I don't want to know about it.  In him mind that means he can drink whenever he wants and hide it from me. The truth is that he broke his promise to me.  The only thing I left our last conversation with with that he promised to NOT LIE to me about when he was drinking.

I am scared that this is going to end our relationship.
I am scared about tomorrow.
I am so f;ing scared that the drugs I'm taking can't touch it and the tears keep coming.
f. f. f.


Partial Hospitalization Program

I'm exhausted. This morning we took a tour of a Partial Hospitalization Program. It's like intensive outpatient therapy. Then we had lunch and saw the Psychiatrist. I doubled up on the Valium before we left the house, and thank god I did. It was an intense morning. But I did it.

And it looks like I will be starting the program on Monday. They are suggesting 6 days/week, but my god, the thought of three days makes my head spin. We agreed to take it own day at a time. So I will go on Monday and see how it goes.

I just don't understand how it got so bad so quickly. Part of me feels like I should be able to just 'suck it up' and get over myself. But then reality of leaving the house panic sets in, the reality of work stress sets in, the reality of marriage and family responsibility set in, and then it all crumbles.

They said to start a grateful journey, so I'm sending some love out to those of you whose address I have. A little lavendar love from our garden. Hopefully it survives the journey from my heart to yours.  (and if I don't have you address but you'd like some love, send me an email at foxypopcorn at gmail.)

Love and hugs to you all, and wish me some bravery and strength on Monday.

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