My Anxious Life

** NOTE:  The cover reveal and pre-order have been pushed back to tomorrow due to some issues getting the book up on certain websites. Sorry, but I promise it tomorrow!!! In the meantime, it’s been a long time since I did an emotional dumping on you so prepare yourselves. ;)

hello-my-name-is-anxiety (1)

Earlier this week I sat in my doctor’s office complaining of a host of ailments. As I fidgeted on the table atop the crinkly paper sheet I ran through all the things that COULD be wrong, but deep down something reminded me that most likely whats wrong is what’s always wrong ever single time I feel like I’m dying-

My anxiety.

My people are an anxious tribe.  There is certainly something genetic and chemical about my long struggle with an anxiety, as proven by the prescriptions held and nervy nature those I love and that are genetically linked to me.  I have been on and off medication for my anxiety my entire adult life, and just now am I coming to grips with it’s true affect on my health and life. Late is better than never I suppose.

I honestly don’t know what it’s like to not be anxious or full of worry.  I envy those, like my husband,  who do not operate with a daily current of dread running through their system. That relentless tug in my gut that says “what if what if what if what if”.  EVERY. DAMN. DAY. I worry about being on time. If my dogs are being walked/have run away/ eaten something poisonous.  Did I turn the oven/ curling iron/ iron off? What if someone I love gets hurt? What if a client hates something we ordered and I have to pay for it? What if my house explodes? What if my husband gets sick or gets in an accident? What if we don’t have enough money?  What if my book fails? WHAT IF.  I have convinced myself that this kind of behavior prepares me for the worst, so when it happens I’m ready, and when it doesn’t I’m relieved.   But Andrew sees this is suffering twice instead of once or not at all.  Why freak out about something that may not happen? Somehow my DNA can’t compute that kind of thinking.

But most often and dramatically my anxiety likes to manifest itself as hypochondria.  It’s kind of a family joke that I am always dying of something. Like that time I thought I had a neurological disease and after a MRI it turned out to be my new handbag rubbing a nerve in my elbow and cutting off circulation.  Or the time I had to go to the emergency room because I was having a panic attack that my hair was all falling out after a bad dye job.  Or the year long back pain that turns out, was caused by muscle tension from stress.  Or my sometimes severe TMJ (temporarily cured by the best thing ever, “Jawtox”, by the way). Or my horrible bout with insomnia after getting married. I would gladly take a full body scan over a Birkin bag any day of the week.  But it’s always something that turns out to be “nothing”.  Except anxiety isn’t nothing. It’s a whole lotta something and it’s hell to live with and oh-so-real for those of us who struggle with it.

But back to my doctor’s appointment- while I had come in pretty sure I had a brain tumor, the doctor did not seem so worried. In my book, dizziness + sinus pain +  full ears +  vision weirdness = BRAIN TUMOR. But she knows something you don’t. That about three weeks ago I went through something incredibly shitty and painful and anxiety provoking and that’s oddly when these symptoms started.   And I have a feeling it’s all related. Farther back and wider spread than I had imagined.

As you know, we have been trying to get pregnant for a few years with no success and no explanation.  We decided it was time for intervention and planned to have our first IUI in the end of January. All was looking positive- I had two great eggs, a “impressive” sample from my husband (he’ll be super psyched I put that in writing) and timing working in our favor.  We got the green light to come in for the procedure and what happened? I freaked out. Big time. In the garage elevator at the hospital.  Were we really ready? Could we really do this? I mean, REALLY? A baby? I was so used to not getting pregnant the the concept of it actually happening hit me like a ton of bricks. I was practically hyperventilating and Andrew was about ready to kill me.  After all, this was what we had talked about wanting so badly how could I be second guessing it now after all the drugs, shots and horrible invasive 7 am ultrasounds?! I was shaking while waiting to be called in and could almost fell the adrenaline pumping through my blood when finally I was laying on the table.  I thought how negative an effect all this anxiety probably had on this expensive procedure and honestly, after it was all over (a shocking 2 minutes later), I thought to myself ” it probably didn’t work anyway, I was way too anxious”.

Except it did work.

About two and a half weeks later I took a test. The two minutes clicked by like hours and when I ran to look at the test I was defeated to see one stupid blue line. I chucked it in the garbage and got ready to take a shower, and then as I stepped into the shower I looked down in the trash quickly and there it was.

The test facing up with TWO blue lines clearly visible.

My stomach lept into my throat. I had to blink and look a couple times before I walked out of the bathroom and called for Andrew. I was shaking like a leaf as I told him and the joy in his face was indescribable. My reaction however, was horrific.  I started crying, and fell to the floor, a bundle of nerves bleating things through my sobs like “but the baby will be due the month my book comes out” and “I’m gonna get so fat” and “I can’t drink wine on vacation!” All stupid, stupid concerns but all very visceral in the moment. Andrew really wished we had been recording it because it was an oddly entertaining mixture of pathetic and incredibly hilarious.  I finally gathered myself together and we laughed about it for hours later as we settled in with the thought that I was, indeed, pregnant.

With this knowledge I made the decision to taper off my anxiety medication.  I had consulted with many doctors who said the risk was very minimal to the fetus to remain on it but I believed I was totally fine without it, as I had been in the past.  We were in a good place, I had a lot of good stuff going on and I thought it would be best.  I didn’t want to spend my whole pregnancy worrying about what my meds were doing to the baby.  But I didn’t think deeply about what my anxiety could do.

We excitedly went to get a blood test to doubly confirm our news, as we were leaving for a family trip to the Dominican Republic a few days later.  That night I sat with a sparking water instead of wine as I searched maternity sites planning for my future wardrobe.  The next day I got a call from the fertility doctor’s office and the brusque and em pathetically-challenged nurse told me that yes, the test was positive, but it was a “low positive”- which mean one of three things, this  it was very early, that this was an ectopic pregnancy or it wasn’t going to be viable and fail.  She followed that up with “and you aren’t going on vacation- we need to monitor this”. I didn’t quite know what to do with that information.  We chose to be hopeful (not normally in my nature) and went back in 24 hours later for another test.  My hormone count had risen but not as much as they liked to see. This happened once more two days later when they said they needed to do an ultrasound to see if they could find the location of the pregnancy.

As I laid there in the dark I watched the nurse’s face for any sign of a smile.  Instead I got a lot of prodding and squinting eyes in front of the monitor after which she finally said “I don’t see anything”.  I walked out of the room and my heart broke and a sobbed into Andrew’s chest.  The doctor said I had to watch my symptoms carefully as ectopic pregnancies “could be fatal”.  To a normal person this would sound like a casual warning, something that rarely happens. To me it was like yelling in my face “YOU MIGHT DIE!”  I spent the next few days tortured by the unknown, my baffling rising hormone levels and the sheer panic I felt from every slight cramp in my belly.  Even through the worry though,  I still held out a teeny bit of hope that it would work out somehow.

And then one day, it was over.  And I wasn’t in danger, I wasn’t in pain and it all went as it should naturally.  And I felt like a huge failure.  I felt (and still feel sometimes) like my level of stress and anxiety caused me to lose the pregnancy.   And perhaps it’s been my issue all along in our quest to be parents since medically we appear to be the perfect candidates to get pregnant.  I know it’s good news that I was physically capable of it, but the whole ordeal has left me a bit of a shell of myself right now.  The emotional roller-coaster I went on and the health scare that accompanied it set me back ten steps in my life-long quest to quell this horrible affliction called anxiety.   Previous to this I had been feeling relatively happy and almost never checked to see if a headache was anything but on WebMD. So I went back on my medication.  I have to accept that I need it and that there isn’t an evilness about it.  There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to psychiatric drugs- for some people diet, exercise and meditation may work fine, but for me and many others, it’s just not enough.  And it’s about time I also accept that I need to find a shrink I want to hang out with on a weekly basis so I can make cognitive changes too.  I am working hard to regain my health, my peace of mind and hope that as I do, our second try at this whole parenting thing goes as planned.

I know I’m not alone in this struggle. I know there are so many people who live day in and out with worry and paralyzing fear (of different things and with different manifestations).  I know that parenthood is way more stressful than most things I’ve experienced and I need to be in top form to conquer it.  I also know that we are all a little broken in parts.  We all have our bullshit and our weaknesses.  But I also know that talking about them makes it SO much easier to heal, deal and cope.  Keeping quiet does no one any good.  Writing is my catharsis and a form of therapy, and while this may be the most unflattering portrait I can paint of myself, it’s my truth.  And I think we all need to be a little more truthful and open so we can judge each other less and empathize more. No one is perfect.

221 Responses to “My Anxious Life”

  1. Alana says:

    You are a strong and brave woman, Erin Gates.

  2. Kelli says:

    Erin,

    This is a great post. I was just having a conversation with my fiance about how he went out of town and I had a huge anxiety attack over something that really wasn’t necessary. His family lives in Europe and I cannot fly over without meds. Seriously. I keep telling myself not to worry about every little thing, but I do all the time. You are not alone and things will get better. Your time will come for family I am sure of it.

    Kelli

  3. Pru says:

    Oh Erin, this is not an unflattering portrait of yourself at all. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but I was so excited to read that you did get the two blue lines and I know that sometime in the future you will be telling us all about the two blue lines and how you are now busy thinking up pregnancy Fashion Friday posts.

    Love to you both. xx

  4. Blair says:

    erin, i’m sorry for your loss, i know the feeling all too well. i’ve had 2 miscarriages in the last 2 years, the last one the week of my wedding this past summer (talk about shitty timing). we have struggled to get pregnant since. every month is full of anxiety and then disappointment. and with every announcement that a friend is pregnant (on their first try of course) i want to bury myself deeper into the hole i’ve already dug for my emotions. i too have a career that i have built and am proud of, and i struggle each day with trying to meet the demands [i put on myself] at work and in my own life vs. the deep want for a child. thank you for being so honest in your post today. you are not alone. i wish you the very best of luck and i know someday you will get the child you so deserve.

  5. Liza Miller says:

    In the middle of reading this post, my alarm went off to remind me to take my Zoloft. Beside that bottle sits my “emergency” bottle of Klonopin. You are not alone. I am often the first commenter on your blog because it’s one of the first things I read in the morning and I often think, “What if she thinks I’m a stalker, haha.” The “what ifs” never end.

    I totally get your struggle and I’ve got the medical/cardiologist/therapy bills to prove it. I suffered with OCD, anxiety, and panic attacks for almost 20 years before I sought treatment. It’s still a daily battle.

    My heart breaks for you and your loss. Please don’t blame yourself! That fact that you were able to get pregnant is HUGE!

    I was on Zoloft during my entire pregnancy. My psychologist explained that the anxiety would be a bigger risk to the baby than the drugs. I just had to stop the Klonopin. Like you, I was afraid, but his words really put it in perspective. My son was born perfectly healthy.

    Major prayers and thoughts are headed your way. I admire you for being so honest and sharing your experiences. Just one of the many reasons why I love your blog! Chin up. You’ve got this!

  6. Erin Gates says:

    Liza- we take the same magic combo of meds :) HA!

  7. Karen says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a good long time now, but haven’t commented because we don’t know each other and well, I thought it would be weird.

    I have always found you to be profoundly charming and funny, and in posts like these, profoundly honest and moving.

    I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story. Anxiety, depression — disorders of any form, really — can feel so isolating. Another voice out there always helps. (I’ve suffered from depression most of my life. I chose to get off medication a few years ago. Very hard. But for me, worth it. I wouldn’t ever recommend it for anyone else. That’s a personal, medical decision between a person and his or her doctor.)

    I wish you and your family all the best. Thank you for having such an open and eloquent heart.

  8. Bianca says:

    So nice of you to share your “issues” and let others know what you’re going thru. I too have suffered with anxiety and it seems to get worse when I am exposed to new challenges, new experiences and the fear of new coming along with routines ending. I think my anxiety set in once I got married. Things seemed so concrete and being a creative person, routine scared me and almost made me lose hope. I have been on various medications and although it quiets my mind I feel that it also numbs my emotions too much. I have been off of meds for more of my adult life than on and I am still trying to figure things out. Here’s what helps me…making reasonable daily task lists, having an am routine which involves a healthy breakfast and hot yoga, giving myself quite time to daydream; meditation sounds so severe, but just creating a little place where I can lie still for 10 mins really helps, accepting I am who I am for a reason; god has given me this “gift” of anxiety to teach me, it’s not an illness, editing everything in my life; from my closet to the company I keep-if I continue to hang around people who are unsatisfied and always looking for more, I too will evolve into this type who is discontent. Also I limit the amount of screen and compulsive social media checking that I fall into when I’m too busy to notice life is passing me by. I just recently lost my job and although some people would be upset, I am using this time as an opportunity to regain my soul and understand myself rather than change myself. Good luck on your journey. Pray or meditate or just sit still and tune out for a few minutes. As you tune out the station will come in clear :)

  9. Erin says:

    Erin. I can relate. I can relate with all of this and just know this – your anxiety didn’t cause you to miscarry. You have an amazing outlook, take care of yourself and know that you are so not alone.

  10. Amy says:

    I have had similar experiences wih anxiety. I started seeing a therapist who specializes in CBT (cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It is different from regular therapy because it is directed towards anxiety/OCD. You can check the website of a doctor who has spearheaded CBT – ocdonline.com – just reading through the stories on the site put my mind at ease. Scheduling an appointment with a therapist was a huge mental hurdle but when I went i couldn’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.

    One other note- sounds like you had a chemical pregnancy – I had one too – positive pregnancy test followed by negative. My doctor explained that about half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and most of them early on. I am only writing this with the intention of easing some of your pain regarding that- statistically it doesn’t reflect on future pregnancies. I wish you well!

  11. Kristin says:

    Excellent writing on such a heartfelt and sensitive topic. Thank you for sharing. I wish you nothing but good luck.

  12. Elle says:

    Erin, thank you for writing this. I’m sorry for your loss. I always appreciate your willingness to put it all out there, and I can relate to your anxiety in every way possible. Wishing you and Andrew good health and the best of luck on your baby journey.

  13. CC says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you went through all this, and can empathize with your relationship with anxiety and worry. I want to share my attitude shift about worry in case it might be of help. A few years ago my two friends were talking about giving up coffee and alcohol respectively, because they felt too reliant on them and thought this reliance unhealthy. When they asked me what my addiction was, I had a revelation: worry. Worry is the safe place I always go to. Even though I know it’s bad for my health, unhelpful, and usually amounts to nothing, I just love to indulge myself in worry and, like you, justify it by telling myself it helps me prepare in case something does go wrong. Once I saw it this way — an indulgent, favorite hobby — I have been able to set it down more easily. When I feel that old and comfortable feeling, I just say to myself, Oh, worry, I’d love to indulge in you, my favorite past time, but I don’t have that luxury because I need to get this job done (or whatever).

  14. Bridget says:

    I tried for 4 years. i miscarried twice i injected and took temperatures and had 3 failed iui’s-, i quit drinking and made my husband quit too. i was going to attain the goal!! then i gave up. i decided to trust God with it. I just handed it over to him, the way i would hand over something i had to do to my capable, reliable, brilliant sister. And i, of course got pregnant. My 3 children were born 27 months apart. They are 9, 10, and 11- and i can hardly remember my struggle with fertility. I can tell you, there are as many girls like you and i who struggled with fertility than there are girls who get pregnant effortlessly. I’m not a religious woman, and i am not familiar with your anxiety struggles. You are amazingly accomplished and i imagine that is a result of hard work and an attitude of goal attainment. My advice to you is to leave it in God’s (or the Universe’s) capable hands. I believe you’ll be a mother. I believe you’ll let go of your need to “achieve” pregnancy and become pregnant. And then once you are a mother, get ready for anxiety (and joy) greater than anything you’ve ever experienced!!

  15. Zoe Royall says:

    Anxiety. The great saboteur in my life. What a brave, beautiful post, Erin.

  16. the zhush says:

    Reading your post this morning took me right back to my first miscarriage. All those sad, intense, scary emotions and a lot of (pointless) blame. Same “low level” pregnancy situation, (so much for the expression you can’t be a little pregnant…I can’t stand that expression) then it happened again, another miscarriage and then I sought a out a psychiatrist to deal with the emotional fall out and depression and anxiety. This was one of the darkest times in my life, my husband’s too. Long story short, we now have three kids (7, 11, 14) I was in my thirties when I had them. I still suffer with anxiety, your description is so completely relatable to me. But, for what it’s worth, anxious women with fertility issues can and do come out the other side of this ordeal…stronger! Best of luck and health to you and Andrew…you’re an inspiration for a million different reasons.

  17. Carina says:

    Hi Erin,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I did have an ectopic pregnancy, lost a tube and almost died from it. I lived in fear of having one again every month after. After about 6 months, I got pregnant again and had a miscarriage. My third pregnancy was successful and I now have a wonderful 2 year old boy. Nothing can erase the losses that I had. I too worry about every single thing at home and at work. You are definitely not alone in your worries. I wish you and your husband the best of luck in your journey to become parents.

  18. MBlack says:

    Erin,
    Just a quick note of encouragement. Last summer I had my fourth (!) child at almost 44. This baby was completely unplanned. A gift from God, really. Before I got pregnant with him I had two miscarriages. One was thought to be the type that could cause cancer (strangely I can’t remember the name–you can tell I’m sleep-deprived!) so I had to get a D& C, and the second time there was everything there, except a baby. Placenta. etc. Still devastating. You never know why some pregnancies don’t work out, and you just never know when such joy is right around the corner. If you had told me that I would have another child, I would have told you that you were CRAZY. And yet here he is, with me being almost 45. I have also been on anti-anxiety meds for many years. I did cut back on them for the fourth baby, because I got a call from the ob nurse when she was refilling my prescription in which she told me that I could only take half of what I was taking if I was pregnant. Really? NOW they were telling me? I had three healthy children and spent way too much time Googling various issues to make sure I was doing what was safe in each pregnancy, all while taking the same medication. I am pretty extreme when it comes to using all-natural EVERYTHING. That means detergents that don’t really work, etc. Just ask my family. Hahahaha. But I also found that it was better for me to continue with my meds, although I did cut back. But don’t feel like you have to suddenly come completely off your medication. That is not good for you or your future children. Anyway, you still have plenty of time and I’m sure you will be blessed with a child when the time is right. And when you do have a child, your honesty and openness, as well as your sense of humor, will make you a terrific mom. :)

  19. Lara says:

    I feel like I could have written much of this. I don’t ever remember not worrying or being anxious. I too miscarried my first pregnancy. I would be due this month … wow it hurts to say that. It is without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever gone through. We wanted this baby badly, but like you, I was so overwhelmed to find out I was pregnant. I believe “holy sh*t” was my reaction ;) All of what you said echos how I felt. Would I be able to do this, would I be a good mom, how do I do this with a high stress job, no wine!?!? ALL the questions … and then at 8 weeks, the baby was gone and I realized more than ever how badly I wanted that baby. That is the one silver lining to this awful experience. It solidified our desire to be parents. You are so strong for sharing this … the stigma of miscarriage is terrible, and I let that isolate me for a long time. PLEASE know you will get through this a stronger, better person and ultimately be a better mom (whenever that may be) because of it.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Thank you for your transparency. Your story is a mirror image of mine – long struggle with anxiety and worry followed by infertility followed by a recent chemical pregnancy. I felt a little less like a failure when I read this post and a little more a part of “team anxious”. Prayers for you during this journey. I so appreciate your willingness to share. It certainly inspired me this morning.

  21. Stephanie says:

    I also have had my fair share of anxiety in life. Not unsubstantiated either.
    Never on meds though. Last year a “just in case” MRI did actually lead to brain surgery. Not a moment has passed where I don’t count my blessings OUT LOUD everyday. This has helped tremendously. You have to have faith and true belief that everything that happens in your life is for a reason whether you will ever cognitively understand it or not.
    Having anxiety about something you have no control about shows a lack of faith (I don’t know where you stand on the religious spectrum).
    When I was getting IVF after finding out my husband and I had the same debilitating genetic marker during my first pregnancy (talk about anxiety!) I imagined myself surrounded by positive energy and light. I believe all this positive imagery strong affects your mental well being. If perhaps you took time out of your day to imagine yourself pregnant and imagined yourself holding and kissing a baby and imagined decorating a room, etc you would feel much more comfortable and in control when that time does come because you have already envisioned it.

  22. Michelle says:

    Thinking of you. Thank you for sharing. You are amazingly brave and strong.

  23. Becky says:

    Stay strong, when I found out I was pregnant the first time it was exactly 9 months before my wedding. Talk about anxiety attack.

    One thing God shows us, he only gives us what we can handle, and then he pushes us a bit more to grow. When you do share the news that you and Andrew are with child, the WHOLE ID blog world will celebrate with you. And a baby will teach you to SLOW DOWN like you have never imagined you would be able to. And guess what, you will love it. And everything else will fall into place. Great clients will wait a bit longer for that sofa because they will be so happy for you to take maternity leave (take longer than you think too… trust me). xoxo – B

  24. Lauren says:

    I relate to you on many levels here, and applaud you for being honest and speaking your truth.

    Anxiety is a powerful and very real thing.

  25. Sorry to hear…But you are now on your refreshed way and I wish you all the best and peace of mind!

  26. So glad you shared your issues with anxiety. It tends to run my life and I have yet to go to a doctor for it….anxious that they will prescribe me all types of meds. You are one strong lady!

  27. Liz Giordani says:

    You are an incredibly strong and beautiful woman and this is something that is not easy to share. I actually just sent this article to my husband as I relate so much on the anxiety attacks and wanting to be in control and worry. Thank you for sharing your story.

  28. Irene says:

    Erin – I am one of millions who can relate. Been there, felt that, experienced that etc. Everything, EVERYTHING you feel is what so many others do. Shots, hormones, daily doctor’s appointments, excitement, dissapointment, miscarriages, missed pregnancies, feelings of failure, the whole nine yards. And men can be the best supporters, but don’t really get the pressure we put on ourselves. Just sharing this has to feel freeing and knowing of course, you’re not alone.
    I feil, that especially being an anxious person, I want to control everything. If I can’t control something, it makes me feel scared, anxious, terrified, and well, out of control! Parenthood and the process of getting there is the greatest lesson on how you trying to control things all the time, just won’t work. It’s such a hard lesson I work on every single day, but the most important thing is to just be aware of it and yourself and how you’re feeling. Thanks for sharing and know that you have great support out there. You can face and tackle anything put before you.

  29. CJ says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can tell you that after multiple miscarriages and untold months / years of heartache I am now the mom to three (!) awesome children. (Not all at the same time!) Don’t give up….and if sharing is cathartic…then share away!

  30. Marianne says:

    Erin we come from the same tribe of people with prescriptions;) Its really hard to deal with life long anxiety. I am so sorry you miscarried. I miscarried once too and it was such a strange time of disconnection for me. Its not your fault. There are no words of comfort that anyone can say. Its such an unfair thing. I recommend treating yourself to something special. You have been through a lot.

    I also take medication for my anxiety and took meds through both pregnancies and my boys are healthy so don’t worry.

  31. Debra says:

    beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Angela says:

    You are so incredibly strong and brave for sharing your life with your readers. It is a continuous journey to figure out this thing called “life”. I wish you the best on your journey.

  33. G says:

    This is SO refreshing!! I recently got pregnant and am happily through my first trimester, thank the lord! BUT, I went cold turkey on my ADHD meds and it is no pretty picture especially because preparing for a baby is a laundry list of to-do’s or ELSE! It’s such a catch-22, happy to be pregnant but can’t wait to be my old self again and take my meds :)

  34. Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing and stay positive. Sending you well wishes.

  35. Debra says:

    This sounds alot like my story of getting pregnant and having a career! The good news is that I am now 45 years old and have 2 beautiful children. It took my husband and I several tries and miscarriages to get pregnant with our first child and those 9 months were some of the most anxiety ridden days I have ever had. I only tell you this just so you will know that it will happen to you and that you should never beat yourself up. 15 years later, I still have anxiety daily, but I have learned to manage it better and I have realized that are some things I just can’t make work in my life some days. I have also learned that prayer is a great answer to anxiety…..it allows me to give it up and let someone else be in charge! Just remember that there is a great plan ahead for your family and it will come at the right time! Wishing you the best…

  36. Alissa says:

    Sending you hugs and wishes for more calm and joy :) The issues we don’t want to talk about, or feel like others will think less of us for, in reality, we are all feeling and experiencing–so thanks for being brave enough to share, you are not alone!

  37. Kathryn says:

    Proud of you. (Effexor + Wellbutrin over here!)
    xo

  38. LISABETH says:

    You are an exceptional person…you can and WILL do this…you are halfway there. Thank you for your bravery and honesty…what an amazing example you set.

  39. Lisa says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It will all work out for you and your husband. I KNOW it will. Your way of handling things is just different from some others. Different is not bad, or less. You go on, you are doing things your way! Go ahead and worry, it is part of you. If you need to get through things by worrying about being worried, go ahead. But, it will all work out the way it should, it always does. :)

  40. Oh Erin….my heart breaks for you, because I know exactly how you felt. I had the same type of “false hope” pregnancy and early miscarriage after trying to get pregnant for many months. An exceptionally unsympathetic nurse called me with my bloodwork results and informed me about the impending miscarriage *while I was in the car with my dad driving to a Patriots game, my husband was away on business, and husband’s best friend was crashing at our house that night*. Horrible timing. It was awful, then I had a close friend’s baby shower to go to the next week and I just wanted to die.

    Then I got pregnant with my son two months later, and in an odd way am grateful that first little soul stepped aside so I could have my son – although I still think about who that person would have been. Miscarriage is a special kind of heartache, no matter how far along in the pregnancy you are. Sending hugs your way!

  41. Sarah says:

    Erin and Andrew, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know firsthand the pain of miscarriages — including one threatened ectopic — and the heartache of trying month after month for a baby. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to endure with your anxiety. You will be amazing parents, whenever and however it happens. Thinking of you both during this time.

    Also, I just wanted to point out that a “chemical pregnancy” is still a pregnancy and with it comes all of the love and hopes and dreams of your future child. Someone mentioned it above and I wanted to be sure that you do not let that term (if it even applies in your case) invalidate in any way what you are going through.

  42. Kara says:

    I read your blog a lot because you post beautiful things and beautiful places. However, I identified the most with your post today. I also suffer from anxiety. For so long I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I worry about EVERYTHING. In the last few years I finally started getting the help I need through talk therapy and medications. However, I’m not cured. Sometimes I will confide in a close friend and often get blank stares back. People without anxiety often don’t understand it. They think or say “you seem fine”, “it will be fine”, “you worry too much”, etc. I really admire that you put yourself out there everyday and, in particular, when it comes to things like this. I know there are soooo many others that suffer anxiety but it feels comforting when you hear someone speak out so “thank you”. : )

  43. Heather says:

    My husband and I also struggled with fertility for no reason that they doctors could come up with. We are both healthy people that work out a lot and eat very healthy. We also did an IUI and I got a positive on a home pregnancy test. When they did they blood test, like you, they also said the levels were low. However, they gave me progesterone to make sure the eggs would “stick”. Luckily, it worked and I now have 4 month old boy/girl twins.
    If you’re faced with a similar situation again, ask your doctor about progesterone

  44. Charleigh says:

    I’m so sorry Erin! Anxiety certainly is this awful thing we struggle with, and it seems so annoying that we can’t tell our bodies and our fickle brains to do what we want it to do. Don’t we know best?? This too shall pass though, and as Debra above described, there’s always try #2.

  45. Jennifer says:

    I never post comments to blogs, even though I read a lot of them. But, your story sounds so much like mine, it brought tears to my eyes. I have struggled to get pregnant, i have had an early miscarriage, while off my anti-depressants (i went off for the same reasons you did). I did get pregnant again, and had my son. I then had another later miscarriage, this time i had stayed on my medicine. And even though that miscarriage was much more traumatic physically, i handled it so much better emotionally. so many hugs to you–a former Bostonian now living in NC

  46. lisa merrick says:

    Erin, As a style and design lover, your talent and taste are a feast for the eyes.What i love about your blog is that you keep it real. Life isn’t always fun or pretty. Sometimes we have events or trials that just make us feel depleted. i know for me, before i let the world in on my day, i take time to talk to God, and ask Him to hear my heart. Waiting for direction on all matters. The peace i recieve is the best medicine, allowing me to enjoy the journey.Trusting more ,joyfully. Thank You for sharing whats on your heart, as we are to carry each others burdens,so we are not alone. Remember to take time to just, be. Bless you sweet girl.

  47. Elizabeth says:

    As I read your post tears stream down my face because I’ve been where you are and it’s an incredibly empty feeling. We too tried IUI with no success and IVF, twice. The 2nd attempt ended in a an ectopic pregnancy. i still remember sitting in an ER crying my eyes out. However, we succesfully became pregnant on our own and now have a gorgeous 11 mth. baby boy. Don’t EVER give up on your dream of becoming a mother. Every sacrifice will be worth it. Know that there are many women out there who have gone through what you’re going through and come out the other end with a happy ending.

  48. Jill says:

    Hi Erin. While I don’t suffer from anxiety, I did suffer from a “blighted ovum” miscarriage almost a year ago exactly. So I feel like I can empathize with you. Trying to get pregnant is stressful enough, but then when it does happen and fails, it’s incredibly heartbreaking. My husband and I are still healing from our loss. I can’t imagine dealing with this along with anxiety. I applaud you for trying to accept it and get back on your meds. It sounds like you have a strong support system in your husband and family, which is so important. I know you will work through your pain and I’m sending prayers and positive thoughts for you (and me and all the other women out there yearning for a baby) to get some positive pregnancy news in the future!

  49. Molly says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Erin. As many other readers, I can also relate to a lot of what you are going through. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life and I also went through a miscarriage- it is so painful. I just know it’s going to work out for you though. Your blog is the first thing I check in the morning and one of the many reasons I love it is because of how inspirational and “real” you are. I may not know you personally, but I really do look up to you. Thank you for that.

  50. Patricia says:

    After spending years feeling like an avalanche was going to come crashing down on me at any minute, I slowly and painfully changed myself from a chronic procastinator to someone annoyingly early and organized. People sometimes shun me in the run up to the holidays because I’ve already gotten everything done.

    I wish it were that easy for you and all the people I love who struggle with their personal beasts. And many do. Once, while visiting family, I realized I was the only cousin who wasn’t on antidepressants.

    You are a creative, intelligent, accomplished, talented and beautiful woman who not only writes a fabulous blog I look forward to five days a week; you also have written a book, decorated your home beautifully, and run your own business helping others create beautiful homes and offices. Please know that you are admired and respected and liked by us.

    And you deserve it.