It’s a weird phrase, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” But I feel like that describes how I feel today. I looked up the phrase. Because it’s been going though my mind all day as I’ve been contemplating how to put my thoughts into words. It comes from the early 1900s when people would hear their neighbors shoe come off as they were getting into bed. They knew to wait for the second one because they would inevitably hear it next, right? If one shoe is coming off, the other one should come too. Something that’s expected that you are waiting for.

I don’t feel like this all of the time. But I’d say it happens often. Waiting for it. It’s weird how it works through me now though. Because one day I’ll feel it and the next day I won’t.

Today felt great. Today went great. We didn’t have melt downs. [[ Well except one. She broke something because she didn’t put it away how she was supposed to (despite me telling her a thousand times #momlife)… and this girl has a strong conscience because I wasn’t even mad and she still was sobbing. I just explained to her that mommy tells her to do things for a reason and it’s important to listen to me and be obedient when mommy asks. ]] I got to spend time individually with each girl. I got work done. Kept my house moderately clean. Did art and crafts with Winnie (which is her favorite thing in the world). Basically it was a day I’d put in the “win” category.

We went to the therapist and I talked with her about how Winnie was doing. Good news. (Click here to see what that was). But I talked to her about how I was doing too. I have graduated to every other week or a few times a month. Which is amazing. I’m doing well. I have good days and bad days. Every day is HARD. It’s so dang hard. I would use expletives if I could. It’s so so hard. All of the time. BUT… I’m getting out of bed. I’m accomplishing things. I’m able to help people. I’m keeping my kids as happy and carefree as I possibly can. I am keeping them as my top priority. I have happy moments throughout every single day. Despite the hard, we are silly, we do fun things, we love and snuggle all the time, we giggle often, we play games, we dance, we sing a lot. Winnie loves to sing. We are blessed. We have support. We have people. We are surrounded with love.

So with all this, I said to our therapist, “Sometimes I feel like I’m handling this too well. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m constantly scared that I’m going to have a melt down and not be able to come back from it.” And as a good therapist (she’s amazing) does, she talked me through it. She reminded me of some things.

She reminded of when I came into therapy last November. I came in because my mom died of cancer unexpectedly when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Piper and (as you could assume) got moderate postpartum depression after she was born. By November, P had been alive six months and I still was depressed. I was falling apart several times a week. I had been the most amazing mom to Winnie and loved every second of parenthood, but it was like the hormones flooding my system after birth did something and caused me to not love being a mom. I hated that I didn’t enjoy it most days. I hated that more often than not I was waiting for Denny to walk in the door every evening rather that being surprised it was already 5:30. So I went into therapy and I went hard. Balls to the wall as the cool kids used to say in 1999.

I decided one Sunday that I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I was sick of it. So Monday morning, I called. A therapist with no openings for weeks had a random cancellation and i got in. I immediately started by going 2 times a week. I remember the therapist saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever had someone volunteer to come twice a week.” Although she also said it would be good for me if that’s what I wanted to do. Then I actually did the homework she gave me. I worked my butt off. I gave everything I could to therapy. I wanted to be happy again. Not just some days but most days. I knew I would have bad days and grieve my mom or hard days where it was overwhelming to have two kids. But I wanted to feel like my content self.

I got a lot better. And by January I was going weekly; March bi-weekly. Denny noticed a huge difference with each passing week and month. So did I. I felt lighter. And more capable and strong. I had worked through my mom’s death and some other big traumas I’ve experienced in my life (these two deaths were the hardest but definitely not the first. My life is weird. Ask anyone who really knows me). I was doing better. Denny was happier. The girls were happier and Winnie was absolutely thriving. Piper had eased up a bit and wasn’t so difficult (she was one of the hardest babies in the history of babies). She was happier. We were all doing so well and were finally getting some relief. We just wanted normalcy.

And then life hit again. Clearly. Family stuff. Old addictions and habits from his childhood. Finding out about past abuses. Just a lot. And then the worst trauma of my life. By far. Times infinity. Which is probably what has brought you her.

But back to what my therapist was telling me… I had just worked so hard. I was in such a good place before this all came down. Denny and I were in a great place in our marriage and individually. I learned so many coping skills. I learned how to process things. I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I learned when I need to power through and when to go into a therapist. I learned what I’m capable of.

Today when I said, “What if I fall apart? What if I get depressed and can’t dig myself back out?” She said “You have fallen apart and you’ve put yourself back together. You won’t get to that point because you’ll know to come in.” And she’s right. I know that now. I know how to do this. My mom’s death was insanely hard and this was 1000000x harder. But I did it. I got through the worst of it with her. I miss her so much. But I was still healthy and happy and whole. And so now I’m working through this much larger loss. And I know that I will again feel healthy and happy and whole even if I miss him for forever. I can still have a great life. I fall apart all of the time. Every few days. But I pick myself back up and keep going. Because I have had to learn how to.

So yeah, it still kinda feels like the other shoe could drop. And yeah, I’m still scared of it. But I also know that if (or when) it does, it won’t be permanent. I’m not going to be stuck or feel that way for months at a time. Because I have been there and I know how to stop myself from going there again. I will let myself be sad and grieve and have bad days. But I know that it’ll be okay again. In a few hours or in a few days. And I’ll use the skills I’ve gained to get out of it and get back to work.

So come on shoe. Drop. I dare you.

But I’m okay if you don’t. It’s much more convenient that way.

But it’s fine. Whatever you wanna do. Shoe, you do you.

TLDR; Everyone needs therapy.

8 thoughts on “The Other Shoe

  1. You continue to amaze me. Your positive your intentional. And your Mom would be so proud of the amazing young woman you’ve become.

  2. That is amazing Dani. You keep going, you are doing just fine. You are an inspiration for others!

  3. Dani, I understand that anxious feeling about when the melt downs will come. Mine are usually when I least expect it, but over the past year I’ve learn to embrace the emotions I feel. If I feel joy, I take a few minutes to soak it in and don’t allow myself to feel guilty about it. If I feel sadness and can feel the tears coming, I embrace that for a few moments too. I’ve been learning to give myself enough grace to feel it but not letting myself stay there too long. You are so strong! Continuing to send prayers y’alls way! God bless!

  4. Been praying for you & your girls since I came across this like an hour ago. You are an amazing, strong, beautiful woman and a great mom, for sure!! I am a stranger to you, but I am proud of you just the same!
    Through my own individual traumas, this is what’s gotten me through. I hope you find Blessing here as well.
    “May THE LORD Answer you when you are in distress. May THE NAME of THE GOD of Jacob PROTECT you.” PSALMS 20:1,2
    “O Jacob, how can you say THE LORD does not see your troubles? Israel, how can you say GOD ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? THE LORD is the EVERLASTING GOD, the CREATOR of all the Earth. HE never grows weak or weary, no one can measure the depths of HIS UNDERSTANDING. HE gives POWER to the weak and STRENGTH to the powerless…..those who Trust in THE LORD will find new Strength. They will soar high on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
    For I hold you by your right hand–I, THE LORD your GOD. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I AM here to help you. Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I WILL HELP you. I AM THE LORD, your REDEEMER. I AM THE HOLY ONE of Israel.” ISAIAH 40:27-29, 31, 41:13-14
    “GOD, THE LORD, CREATED the Heavens and stretched them out. HE CREATED the Earth and everything in it. HE GIVES Breath to everyone, Life to everyone who walks on the Earth. And it is HE WHO SAYS, “I, THE LORD, have Called you to demonstrate MY RIGHTEOUSNESS. I WILL take you by the hand and GUARD you….You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. I AM THE LORD [YAHWEH/YEHSHUA/JESUS]; THAT IS MY NAME! I will not give MY GLORY to anyone else….Everything I have PROPHESIED has come TRUE, and I WILL PROPHESY again. I will tel you the future before it happens.” ISAIAH 42:5, 7-9
    YEHSHUA/JESUS is already using you! I hope you recognize, give HIM Praise and continue in HIS STRENGTH, bcuz HE IS so FAITHFUL! Thank you so much for your open heart and efforts, Dani! Please claim much of this as your own by substituting your name for Jacob’s. This can be done & claimed as we place HIM on the throne of our lives bcuz HE CARES about it all!!! HE’S proven it to me (& I was previously suicidal, then got within seconds of getting drugs for myself (@end of the block) for the 1st time, even as a married mother.
    HE’S DELIVERED me 1st of a spirit of grief, then many others such as fear (my anxiety), self-loathing, unforgiveness (my depression), false -humility, confusion….I was HEALED in JESUS’S (YEHSHUA) MIGHTY NAME of abandonment, came to understand my worth through Prayer & reading HIS GOSPELS (MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, & esp JOHN), as well as reading “The Cross & the Switchblade”, and “Captivating”.
    As you continue your journey, may THE TRUTH set you FREE! Please see JOHN 8:31 & 32.
    Sorry so long! I just see you are Annointed yourself to do amazing things under JESUS (YEHSHUA) AUTHORITY & NAME!!!
    Be Blessed & guide your children in HIS LOVE & LIGHT! Don’t listen to the devil, for you all have great potential! πŸ™πŸ“–πŸ™πŸ“–πŸ™πŸ“–β˜πŸ™ŒπŸ’–
    Ps 20:1, 6-8; Is 43; Is 38:15-20; John 14:11-21

  5. You’re truly an inspiration!!! Keep going mama!! Stay strong! Be proud! You’re doing great!! Your girls are so very fortunate to have you as their mom. ❀

  6. I love this article!!!! It seems every new blog I read is my new favorite one! I’m not a deep thinker like you, your writing gets me thinking deeper! Exercise my brain alittle, and looking at the bigger picture! I’m so sorry for your loss! It hits close to home and I feel massive empathy for you. AND massive gratitude for knowing you and coming across your blogs! You are an instrument in Gods hands helping others heal and with your mission to stop suicide! You are saving soo many lives everyday!

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