• medwards

    Just when you think you’ve got things figured out they go and change! I chant “just breathe” and find my “happy place” which is a beach on Maui that I was at 12 years ago. I can still see it, a perfect day with just me, no kids, husband or phone, and a book.

    Medication does help and so does getting out by yourself once in a while. I don’t see by your postings that you are out much alone. Katie is even taking out your recycling. I know it’s freezing cold and really miserable outside but it may be a good idea to just be able to walk away from it all and go recycyling, shopping or having a cocktail or two with a girlfriend. Sometimes it helps me.

  • becky

    We call it Shark Week.

  • QueenSarah

    Yes. Ugh. All of it.

    But everything is ALREADY alright, even if you can’t believe it.

  • rosieblankenship

    Boy, can I relate. I wasn’t even diagnosed with the postpartum depression that was totally ruining my life until I stopped breastfeeding entirely – which was when she was 18 months old – and my hormones readjusted. I plummeted fast. Thankfully, you know what you are dealing with this time around and can stay on top of it so it never gets as bad as it did before.

    I just want a pill they can give me to keep my hormones in the exact right place they need to be every single day!!

  • jon

    For the record I don’t name call. That’s what she hears, so I try to use words like,

    “why don’t you talk about what you are feeling?”

    “Is now a good time for you to talk to me?”

    “I’m going to leave you alone, is there anything you need?”

    Also: med reminders are allowed, but have to be handled nicely as well.


  • pxlchk1

    OH. MY. GOD.

    I am *exactly* there. Same exact spot. I SO needed to read this today.

    Made even funnier (funny=strange) because I got mastitis at the same dang time, too. Literally sat in bed, feeling like total (udder) crap and read the description of my symptoms. If this is the trend, could you win the lottery and go on a fabulous trip to Italy soon? I think we both could use it.


  • keithandjamie

    I know the feelings.

    For what it’s worth, vitex (chasteberry root) really helped level out my hormones when I was dealing with PPD six months ago or so. You might check into it. Everything gets worse for a week and then much, MUCH better.

  • William

    Uhhmmm…I think maybe Jon should call 911. Not for you but for his sake.

  • LifesBeenGood

    Hang in there kiddo. You’re uber strong even if you forget it sometimes.

    And by the way… the last picture of each of the girls are simply amazing. Their eyes. The greens and blues are breathtaking.

  • MissCaron

    God bless you and your family. I know it’s gotta be soooo difficult and as a person who suffers from anxiety and have had anxiety attacks … IT SUCKS. So, you too will get through this and will come out victoriously on the other side! :)

  • Le Musings of Moi

    Oh my word woman!

    In order to leave a comment, I had to sign up and I think promise to give you my left ovary, all in order to say….

    Anxiety sucks.

    Nothing worse. Period.

    I could give you all the ways and things and books (The Anxiety Cure, by Dr. Archibald Hart) that have helped me…

    But really, when I’ve been in my sucky place…I just want someone to agree with me.

    It sucks.


  • BexBrown

    Heather, You are so awesome. The End.

  • Daddy Scratches

    Tis the season to have a mental breakdown. I’m in the midst of a *spectacular* one. Weaning myself off an anti-depressant that I’ve been taking for a number of years while simultaneously crashing headlong into 40 later this month. The breadth and depth of the midlife crisis I’m working up to is awe-inspiring. Glad I have a blog to puke it all into.

    The nice thing is, I posted about my current state of mental instability/meds cessation/general fucked-up-ness, and got a slew of “Oh, me too, girlfriend!” replies. Nice to know I’m not the only basket case out there.

    Hang in there, my little Doocester. At least you can blame hormones; my only excuse is that I’m a freakazoid mess.

  • SOLO dot MOM

    Having had my share of anxiety attacks and dealing with the recent crisis where my brother was having them daily.. no make that hourly; I can soooo relate!

    Great post… and yes learning what they are… letting them run their course and knowing you will live through them is part of the battle!

    And interesting synopsis there… that yours are related to uhum, hormones kicking back in.

    Loved this and Jon’s reaction is priceless!

  • sillywhitney

    Between “Falling to the Communists” and “Shark Week” (snagged from #14 above), I’ve got a much funnier arsenal of euphemisms now for this bit of inner workings.

    For that (and so much other entertainment over the years), thanks! Happy 2010!

  • PLMsMama


    I can’t tell you how much I love your RAW look at this stuff. I have anxiety (I like to say suffer . . . but I think people think I am gonna jump off a bridge when I say that)! All started after I had my daughter. It was HORRIBLE for about 8 weeks . . . and somedays I feel it creeping in. Especially when it is time for arts and crafts at panty camp! I am medicated – struggled with it for a long time – because of guilt and also my MOM! Anyway – I want another baby so badly – my daughter is 7 – but am TERRIFIED of going back in that deep . . . . I love reading that you have bad days and good days and you are still moving along.

    You make me feel NORMAL (well, normal is relative, right?). Seriously anxiety sucks and seriously hormones SUCK! Why do we as women get to have all the fun? LOL

    Keep breathing . . . you got this sistah!

  • mommica

    My mom used to call it George. That doesn’t even make sense…

  • Becca

    OK, go get a mirena…you’ll never have a period again, its awesome. as for the panic attacks, all I can say is Jon is a quick learner! hug

  • gingerale

    I once thought I had a panic attack. I was completely certain it was a panic attack. I had just gotten home after spending 4 months in the hospital, had a nephrectomy, back on dialysis after a failed transplant AND my boyfriend had just taken a job across the country. Why wouldn’t I be having a panic attack? But nope. It was just a seizure! Good times.

  • Lauren – louisianagrown

    I have never heard a single one of those euphemisms – hilarious. Thanks for never being scared to share any strange/embarassing/private part of your life with us. It’s what makes this a good blog, and it’s inspiring to the tenth degree.

  • TurdFerguson

    Been there, done that. An unwelcome visitor that drops in uninvited, even when it seems that all is right in my world. After a few trips to the ER I saw a pattern. Now menopause is my unwelcome visitor. My anxiety has turned to anger & aggitation, someone even suggested a book they read about managing anger. I’m not angry, really. So please don’t suggest such a book or I’ll throw it at you. I’m sending good thoughts your way, Heather.

  • Leball

    O, that fuckin sucks. I remember that happening to me. I get REALLY hormonal. Hormones suck ass! I become very mean too.

    I was not fond of breastfeeding then having a period! Unfair!

    I hope you feel better. Crying helps. Hugs.

  • agablack

    I’m reading this and tearing up a little, cuz about 2 months ago I also had my very first panic ATTACK! It was the most bizarre experience, as it hit me while watching Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” in a theater. I felt like the building was about to collapse and an earthquake would hit any second now. I couldn’t breathe, I cried and sobbed and cried, and couldn’t calm down for 2 hours. It was terrifying! So I’m reading Heather’s words and tearing up just remembering the fear that overcame me.
    You’ll be alright, Heather. And it’s really GROOVY you have your Jon there with you.

  • JosieC

    I agree with the commenter that said hormones can suck it. I had full blown panic attacks daily, several times a day, for months before I had an epiphany and stopped taking my birth control shot (hormones! I was on Depoprovera at the time). All the doctors told me emphatically that hormones would not cause panic attacks but at that point I didn’t care what they said. I stopped the shot, let my body get back to its normal state, and I haven’t had a panic attack in about 13 years.

    Realizing your situation is half the battle. It sucks, but just breathe, let your body find its equilibrium, and you’ll feel normal before you know it.

    Commenter #14 – Shark Week! Bwaahahaaa! I love it!

  • lisafashionista

    Dooce, you can do this. Just like you do everything. One step at a time, one breath at a time. Your sanity belongs to you.

    Ok, enough for the cheesiness. But seriously, one of my most effective panic attack stoppers is a mantra.

    I suffered through YEARS of panic attacks as a child and a teenager back before they were trendy, so no one knew what was happening. As an adult I have been able to get treatment and that combined with medication makes me a lot less afraid. I had a setback a couple of years ago that nearly derailed my progress, but one of the main ways I fought back was the mantra. Something you can say to yourself right when you start to feel the first itches that something is not quite right, before you get to the point where your legs don’t move. It’s about taking control, which is, I know, almost impossible to do, but you can do it. You’ve lived through more.

    Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, following your blog is one of the main reasons I am confident that I will be able to have children with my anxiety problem. I believe in you, so you just need to believe in yourself too.

  • Kate at Savour Fare

    In addition to the hormones associated with Aunt Flo (and don’t even talk to me about that — I’m still breastfeeding my two year old (on a very limited basis) and I got my period back at NINE WEEKS POST PARTUM) weaning is a bitch. Seriously — the fluctuating hormones associated with dropping breastfeeding sessions turn everyone I know into a psycho, including myself (which is one of the reasons I’m loathe to drop that last session). You can find an equilibrium, but as long as it’s in flux (ie, from the time your kid is 6 months old until about a year, when she’s slowly ramping down on the milk and up on what my husband calls “people food” (although I pointed out that as human milk is the only food that is exclusively produced by and eaten by humans, it’s pretty much as peopley as people food can get), the hormones are rough.

  • lafriddle

    I had my first–recorded, that is–panic attack five months in to my first pregnancy. It began in my sleep, so consequently I would not allow myself to go to sleep out of fear of whatever was after me (my hormones, I guess) would get me when I wasn’t watching. It took a great deal of effort to get me back to sleep, mostly on my husband’s part. He, at the suggestion of my therapist, took on the role of watcher, and after a period of time I was able to go back to sleep. That was nineteen years ago and unfortunately I still have panic attacks, usually at night–probably aggravated now by menopause–but holding my husband’s hand, even as he sleeps, takes the edge off.

    They say that practicing deep breathing will stimulate the body’s relaxation response, but you probably already heard that.

    (Oh and on another topic…did you see that they have developed a kudzu-killing fungus? Maybe the South will be freed in the near future.)

  • EOMama

    I. Hate. Hormones. Yeah yeah yeah, I know we need them to live and everything, but all those hormones we need to reproduce and nurse and stuff totally suck. Also, I got my “monthly visitor” back while I was still nursing, and it pissed me off beyond belief. WTF?!?!? So just sayin’, Heather, I feel your pain. Oh, and also, the Pill (Yaz, to be specific) helped me tremendously when my body was trying to normalize after my babies. So talk to your doc, because the post-baby PMS can be a doozy, as it seems you are discovering. Good luck! xo

  • kelseywithak

    Heather, I hope the days to come are easier. I too suffer from depression and am dealing with similar issues, minus the children. I’ll be 100% functional and happy and for seemingly no reason (or a really stupid one), depression takes over for a week, a day, sometimes even a hour. Regardless, it seems like the worst hour of my entire life. And then it’s over and I feel like it will never happen again… until it does. Hang in there – it’s hard but it’s worth it for the beautiful family you have.

  • alissametzger

    Even growing up in Tuscaloosa, I’ve never heard “Gameday for the Crimson Tide.” I absolutely love it.

    You’re the best. I hope that writing about things makes you feel a teensy bit better, cause you’ve inspired me to start a blog and it sure helps me.

    Thanks for providing hilarious and meaningful study breaks!

  • amie

    I think a started having a hormone shift when my daughter was about six months but rather than the return of “the bloods” as I prefer to call it, I got huge boulder zits. Lovely. And some anxiety too. Now, my daughter is 15 months and still nursing at night so no Aunt Flo yet. Which is weird if I think about the fact that I haven’t had my period since December 2007.

  • sandi

    So….. My timing was perfect? I am so sorry for the added stress. When Aunt Flo’s visit ends and your legs are working….. Well, I just hope you feel better and I didn’t make it any worse.

  • Sarah Aubrey

    Remind me why my husband and I are feverishly attempting to GET pregnant every month?

    Oh, yeah. Marlo’s smile. That’s why.

  • Celestia

    What?!! You mean you didn’t get a period the whole time you were breastfeeding? Okay I really got ripped off in that deal because I got my period 6 weeks after giving birth and I breastfed exclusively with both my kids. Life is just so not fair!

    And just to let you know when you hit the 40′s your body will start to go through puberty again just backwards. It’s pleasure to have pimples and migraines again. Oh and those massive hormone shifts that make you insane are back again just like when you were a teenager. Fun, fun, fun!

  • DoulaKaren

    jon is a prince among men, honestly. and heather, i am right there with you. don’t go chalking it up just to pms though. stay vigilant please :)

  • thejenson

    You are such a good story teller.

    Thanks for sharing. I love reading your posts every day. I’m not a mommy yet, but I hope to be and you are HONEST so it really let’s people know what to expect.

    PS– periods suck ;)

  • Amy.Melby

    Heather…I think we’re living in parrell universes. Reading this post was like putting narration to my world.
    My daughter is Leta’s age and my son just turned one the day after Christmas. I have been dealing with my anxiety disorder all my life but was not diagnosed until 2000.
    I still have anxiety attacks and I have had to work VERY hard to stay aware of my inner monologue. When the boots by the door piss me off to no end and I want to throw them one-by-one at my husband’s head…I know it’s time to step back and put myself in a timeout.
    I want you to know that you are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful husband like Jon that ‘tries’ to understand and ‘tries’ to make things better.

  • lizvelrene

    I had my first panic attacks this year also.

    This was the most helpful thing ever:

    I recommend this book to everybody wholeheartedly. It helped me so much.

  • twyclark

    H, I just want you to know I think your awesome. I’m not trying to kiss your ass or blow your head up any larger than it is :) . I just love the raw truth you tell, the reality that I and every other Mom goes through. Thanks, really.

  • kmortensen

    Anxiety has been a part of my life for many years. After 33 years of waiting for the next panic attack, I started taking BuSpar. It has changed my life–I no longer worry about a thought sending me into the state of panic that I have dreaded for so long. I know their are many people who think that taking drugs is just a way of covering up problems, but I’ve done my work in therapy and I COULD NOT fix it on my own. So. Rather than let the panic attacks take over your life and affect your family, maybe it would be worth a try. Of course, BuSpar might not be effective for you, and perhaps therapy would be enough alone. I think a combination of therapy and medication has a good chance to give us Anxietacs (new word!) the relief we need to live the best life we can, for ourselves and our families.

  • coffeemomma

    First? Panic attacks are so terrifyingly awful…I get them related to hormones as well….they were particularly bad post-partum…I guess the only good thing about yours is you weren’t dealing with the post-partum hormones at the same time.

    Second? Did Dooce just rip on breastfeeding? So hilarious. Can’t wait to see the comments you get on that one. :)

  • Mizrakins

    Everyone said how much fun it would be to have a break from your period while you’re pregnant and breastfeeding……what they don’t tell you is that everything starts leaking so you’re walking around uncomfortable anyway! Then AFTER the baby, oh Lord. The stuff you have to deal with in the hoo-haa department! My husband’s most frequent phrase after our daughter was born: “Could you talk about that less? Or not at all?”

    To top it off my period came back at 12 weeks. Twelve weeks! Forget the fact that I was breastfeeding 20,000 times a day. She came back, and back with a vengeance. I wanted to choke a puppy. (And that’s not slang for anything. I actually wanted to choke a puppy.)

    The most insane part of it all is that none of it really bothers me because our seven-month old little girl is nothing short of THE BEST. All snuggles and cheeks and delightfulness. Almost makes PMS worth it…….GOOD LUCK!

  • lizvelrene

    This is a recording of the author I recommended talking about anxiety. I find her very soothing.


    note: whoops, link is broken, trying to find a new one.

  • junecarter

    I read the headline and thought, “Heather & Jon had a lovely roll in the hay to bring in the New Year”. Very disappointed to find that that was not what this post was about AT ALL.

  • Greta Koenigin

    The pilgrimage along Hormone Avenue is a true Trail of Tears: periods in 8th grade (no more white jeans), pregancy (Pizza, Pizza!), breastfeeding (cry, cry, cry), quitting (cry, cry), menopause (dry, dry, cry, cry). Oh to be a woman! Sorry about the anxiety. Thankfully, you are in good hands (last line of your post shows expert-level husbandry).

  • Star

    Oh god, don’t tell me this. I’m exactly a month behind you and we just started solids today.

    They can pry my paxil out of my cold, dead hands.

  • The Dalai Mama

    I haven’t dealt with depression. I do know what it is like to feel like the world crashing down around me when Aunt Flo visits–I felt like that very often as we failed month after month to get pregnant.

    Your honesty is refreshing and helps so many not feel alone. Your lucky to have a man that learns quickly how to help and stand by you.

    Thanks for sharing your life and infusing it with laughter. It helps me find the laughter in mine.

  • hopelds

    When my first baby was just six weeks old, I started bleeding. I panicked – assumed I was hemorrhaging – called my OB/GYN – “Oh, it’s probably just your period!” WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN MY PERIOD – I JUST gave birth, I am nursing TWO babies (a friend of mine was having to do her student teaching, our babies were almost exactly the same age, and she wanted to keep her on breast milk, so…) – this is NOT POSSIBLE.

    Having my uterus removed three years ago was one of the best things that every happened to me.

    But depression still haunts me (no pun intended) – thank God I have never experienced a ‘true’ panic attack.

    Hang in there! We are all rooting for you because so many of us have BEEN there!

  • sybann

    Oh dear my heart! I understand. Coming from a long line of women who are hormonal wackadoodles I can say how much more I enjoy life (and my mother) now that we both have “‘Paused.”

  • kristanhoffman

    It feels mildly wrong to get to laugh at all the difficulties in your life…