By Lucie Dickenson ~
We bought a house three blocks from the ocean. It was our first home, and how blessed we were to live there. The home was full of character and charm, as the previous owners painstakingly updated both levels just before we moved in. There was nothing that needed to be done, except to decorate with our own unique touches. We slowly made the home ours over the next year, and that is when I learned I was pregnant. Decorating the baby room was fun and life changing. It was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, and we welcomed it with open arms.
My son was born in September of 1999. He was a very serious and smart child, and I was so in love with him. Unfortunately, during this incredible time, I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety. I did the best I could as a new mom, but it was clear that my husband had to step up and take on some of my “mommy” roles, while I was learning how to deal with debilitating symptoms of anxiety. I felt like a shadow of who I really was, and I followed behind my new-born son and husband just existing, but not really living.
Dealing with anxiety was hard enough, but the guilt of not being able to truly celebrate our new family and feel joy in the everyday with my son was crushing. The anxiety spilled over to every part of my life, and there was not a moment that I did not feel overwhelmed. I exhibited excessive, uncontrolled and irrational worry, which created more stress, and in turn, bizarre symptoms. There were panic attacks, but those were the least of the symptoms to me, the crazy thinking and odd disturbances were so far from my old reality, I actually thought I may be going crazy.
One day, holding my 2 month son close to my chest in his baby bjorn, I followed my husband to our shed. There were some things the previous owner left behind, and he was trying to sort it out, and move what was no longer needed. As I looked in a corner of the shed, I saw a white plastic circle poking out from behind a paint can. I moved closer and saw it was a carbon monoxide detector. My anxiety went through the roof, I immediately went to thinking, “we don’t have one of these in our house, why don’t we, we need to put this in the house now”, and on and on. I hounded my husband that it needed to be immediately installed in the house. He explained, he would, once he was done out back. By the time he was done, evening was approaching and it was pitch dark (it was winter time). He plugged the detector in the hallway, by our bedroom, and within the hour we were fast asleep.
We were no sooner woken by the loud shrill of the carbon monoxide alarm. My husband said there must be some malfunction with the device and he unplugged it. He was getting ready to get back in bed, when once again my mind went to what I first thought to be anxiety, but realized it was more a quiet calm knowing, to call the gas company. My husband thought I was overreacting, but understood and called. When they came, they said if we did not have the detector, we would not have made it through the night.
I truly believe me finding that carbon monoxide detector was a beautiful, loving intervention and miracle. And I was able to finally find the blessing in the anxiety suffering, for without it, I may not have asked my husband to plug in that life saving piece of plastic. What was even more incredible, even under extreme anxiety, my intuition was working and just waiting for me to listen.
Our lives were saved in more ways than one that evening. The obvious was that we fixed what needed to be repaired in our heater. The not so obvious, was that I began to learn to quiet the anxiety, and ramp up the volume of my intuition. Although I did not understand at the time, but this was the beginning of healing for me, and for the family. It was when I started to look for the good and the light in every situation, to listen to the still voice within, instead of the voice of fear. I have also been blessed to pass this thinking onto my children, who have benefited greatly in learning to see all through the lens of love, and I am joyed in watching as they have grown up with that vision of the world.
Find the blessing in EVERYTHING, it is there. I promise. It is all miracles, sometimes though, it takes some time to see them.