Downgrading a “Meltdown” to a “Moment” through Proper Perspective

AUTHOR: | POSTED: December 3, 2012 | COMMENTS: 27 Comments
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Carolyn Savage

Sunday morning started with a full on melt down. 

If you’re not familiar with a “full on” melt down, let me acquaint you.  It starts, for me,  with a piece of unwelcome news, followed by the rising of my blood pressure, resulting in numbness in my extremities and climaxes with the yelling of the grand daddy of all curse words.

In a nutshell, it’s not pretty.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had one of these melt downs.  In late 2009, I had many of them as bombshell after bombshell landed in our lives about “happenings” regarding my mistaken pregnancy.  Those 2009 incidents catapulted me into a battle with anxiety that left me, more often than I care to admit, seeking refuge behind the chair in my bedroom, huddled on the floor, with a blanket over my head.  (Yes.  I know.  That’s a sad scene, but anxiety is a relentless and very scary thing.)

Sunday morning was the first time in a very long time that I had to repress the urge to hide behind my chair.  It’s amazing how an unexpected development can, in a matter of seconds, transport me back to such a horrible time in my life.

I’m actually a little mortified to share this news with you.  Some of you may read this and think it’s no big deal.  Others may read this and wonder how stupid we could be to allow something like this to happen…again. I’m hoping most of you will read this and offer some words of wisdom.  It’s those wise messages that I really need to hear.

As many of you know, our family shot a program for Discovery Channel this past summer.  Sean and I give great consideration to participating in programs like this.  Shooting is time consuming and invasive.  That being said, we agreed to this production for the same reason we’ve agreed to the others.  Sean and I feel that it’s our calling to do two things with our experience.  The first is to shout from the proverbial rooftops about the importance of patient safety protocols. 

Medical mistakes like the one that resulted in my pregnancy with “L” shouldn’t happen.  Period. 

Secondly, we want our story to inspire others to push through life’s unwelcome curve balls.  We all experience hardships and challenges.  During the throws of a clusterbomb, it’s natural to experience all kinds of negative emotions.  Depression, despair, anger, jealousy, are all part of a journey through something tough.  It’s our hope that if someone reads our story, they can see that it’s possible to come out on the other side as a stronger, more compassionate person.  There’s always a way back to grace and gratitude.  It can take a long, long time, but there’s always a way.

So, we agreed to the production.

Fast forward to last week when we got word from the producers that our show would be airing December 6th on Discovery Fit and Health.  That was the first unexpected piece of news.  I’ve never heard of Discovery Fit and Health.  We don’t get the channel through our cable provider. 

Oh well.  No big deal.  We thought is was for Discovery Channel but live and learn.  We should have asked better questions with regards to the network.

Then the news took a turn for the unsettling when I started receiving messages via Facebook from friends who’d seen commercials promoting the show, which is titled, Shocking Family Secrets. 

Shocking Family Secrets.

Oh my goodness.

Cue meltdown.

I immediately panicked because the title of the show implies that we kept a secret, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In fact, our decision to be truthful about my pregnancy is how the media got the story in the first place. 

My mind immediately started racing.  How could our story be lumped into a show about family secrets?  Then it hit me.

During the taping they asked me 360 questions.  It was the most demanding interview I’d ever done.  When I think back to the line of questioning there were many surrounding the first trimester, when we were keeping the pregnancy a secret.  We decided to keep the situation on the down low during that time because there was a risk of miscarriage, and we didn’t want to stress our family and friends about our situation when there was a possibility of me not carrying the baby to term.  In fact, we’ve never told our friends and family about any of our pregnancies until after the first trimester for the very seem reason. So, the only thing I can surmise is that the show is about that time period and the burden of keeping my pregnancy a secret.  I admit, it was a very dark and difficult time in our lives. 

 That’s not what we thought we  signed on for. 

I’ve done a little research with regards to the show.  Apparently we are one third of the episode.  Our segment is called “The Ultimate Gift”.  Acceptable enough, but I’m still worried.  I don’t like being misled. A few months after “L” was born, we were lied to by people we thought we could trust and it put me in a terrible place for a very, very long time.  I don’t exist in that place anymore, but this little incident immediately conjured unfortunate feelings. 

I’ll say it again.  Anxiety is a nasty thing. 

Over the course of the past day, my “melt-down” was officially down graded to a “moment”.  I’m still concerned, but life continued, and luckily, took a turn for the exciting.  Drew made a verbal commitment to Ohio University for cross country about an hour ago.  That’s reason to celebrate.  It’s a big deal in the life of our first born.  We are so proud of him!

 So. I’m choosing to focus on Drew’s accomplishment, hoping that it will drown out the warning sirens currently buzzing around my head.  Thursday might be a rough evening, but given what we’ve already been through, I should consider this a pin prick in my life.  I have a choice.  I can dwell on the situation or I can choose not to feed the anxiety monster.  I’m choosing to keep my eye on the blessings we’ve already been given.

I guess that’s called “proper perspective”.

 I’m hanging my hat on that.

 

 

 

27 Comments on “ Downgrading a “Meltdown” to a “Moment” through Proper Perspective ”

  • Robbin | December 3rd, 2012 6:25 pm

    I’ve found the older I get the more anxiety grabs me. Prayer helps me cope till it passes. Remembering I’m not in control, worrying never solved anything, I could be wasting time worrying for nothing, etc… A great book is “Breaking the Worry Habit….Forever” by Elizabeth George. Prayers are coming your way. Congratulations on Drew’s college choice! What a blessing and joyful time ahead.

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  • lynda crossman | December 3rd, 2012 6:34 pm

    Caroline,

    Anyone who has been pregnant- usually keep that news for themselves for the first tri-mester because of the risk of misscarriage. That is NO BIG Deal!!, you also got some unexpected devastating news. You had alot to contenplate- especially with the legal status. I think I might initially respond the same way as you. I can totally relate to all of your writing. I wouldn’t let anything spoil your joy!! you people are one of the least deceitful people in the public eye..I would not worry about anything. I might in the future BEWARE of any interview and who it really is..but lesson learned. You are a good person/couple- no worries. fondly Lynda

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  • Carole | December 3rd, 2012 8:41 pm

    Dear Carolyn, The title of your segment says it all! I don’t think the show is going to say that you had a secret. You have a very unique family story that they want to showcase. It will turn out great. Loved your book and I read your blog. I live about 40 minutes from “L”. I love it when you get to see him. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

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  • Rachel k | December 3rd, 2012 11:41 pm

    Hang in there!!!

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  • Jen D | December 4th, 2012 8:59 am

    Dear Caroline, People will judge you and twist your truth to suit themselves. There is nothing you can do about it except take it for what it is…misguided people. You and your family know the truth as do all of your supporters ( me included). Let people think what they will. Focus only on what you know to be the truth and all the joy in your lives and ignore all the negative aspects. You are a wonderful family and I wish you, your family , and “L” all the blessings this holiday season has to offer. Chin Up Girl!

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  • Teri | December 4th, 2012 9:55 am

    Wow, given the title of the show I think you were pretty much well within your rights to melt down!! But kudos to you for concentrating on the positive (congrats to your son, by the way!) rather than dwelling on the potentially negative. I’m sure it’s cliche but that which doesn’t kill us, (while sometimes making us want to kill others,) eventually DOES make us stronger. Good for you, Carolyn!

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 5th, 2012 12:26 pm

    Teri, I have lived by the cliche’ for almost four years now. SO true! I’ll just keep an eye on your FB feed to keep me laughing! Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face.

    For those of you interested, follow Teri at Snarkfest on FB. Her status updates are hilarious!

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  • Grandma Honey | December 4th, 2012 1:22 pm

    I would be very upset too! We learned in our own lives, unfortunately, not to trust the media. They are all about selling stories. I am so sorry. But maybe it will still turn out well. Your story is so sweet, so incredibly about doing the right thing even while being the innocent victim. So i’m thinking….how could they mess that up? It’s too perfect …your good light will shine through.

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 5th, 2012 12:24 pm

    You know, I’m thinking the actual story will be fine. What upset me was the bait and switch. We went from a special on Discovery Channel, to being a part of a show about “family secrets” on a network I’ve never heard of. I don’t like being duped. LIve and learn, I guess! THank you for the reassuring comment! You are always a welcome friend over here!

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | December 5th, 2012 11:45 am

    Congrats to Drew! That is a wonderful announcement!

    Blegh on the way your words have been warped a bit. I have hopes that the segment will still come out true-to-you and your mission.

    If the clip is available online, I would love to see it. Kudos to you for reducing a meltdown to a mere moment.

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 5th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Yes, warped is a good word, but honestly, I feel more duped by the people who pitched the project to us. So unsettling! Thanks for the comment!

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  • Justine | December 5th, 2012 12:51 pm

    I hate that they did this to you … that they feel like they can do this to people in general. It’s true that we have license as storytellers, but it hurts when we who tell stories too are so careful with the stories of others, and others are so inconsiderate of ours.

    There should be a social contract, or at least more of an feeling of moral obligation!

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  • Kathy | December 5th, 2012 1:32 pm

    Oh Carolyn, that would bother me (to put it mildly) too. But I am so proud of how you are handling this and hope that you are pleasantly surprised tomorrow night when it airs. I will have to look and see if we get that channel and/or please do let us know if it will be available online, that is, if you want me/others to see it, depending on how it turns out. (((HUGS)))

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  • Beth Noe June (Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:02 pm

    Beth Noe June Carolyn, our family learned in 2005-06 that the media, whether print or TV, never “let the facts gets in the way of a good story”….and we also learned that ‘things’ that we always thought were fair and just (i.e. the judicial system) are, simply, NOT. That being said, you, Sean, your family and friends know the truth. I have had my share of ‘crawl behind and chair and hide’ moments — it’s true. The more important thing is that you (and I) crawled OUT from behind the chair and got on with it. We are survivors AND, I hate to say it but, better than those who mislead and speak untruths. Head high, deep breath…..and carry on. As for Drew — good for him! That is really reason to celebrate — AND if the “Inconceivable” had not happened, those precious twins might not be blessing your lives!

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  • Peggy Flint Farrell (Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:03 pm

    Often when we were are open and honest it feels like it comes back to bite us in the butt! I hope you find peace in a decision made for the right reasons and the program accomplishes the goals you hoped for! Sometimes it is helpful to scream at injustice then move on to love and Joy!

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  • Karen Copenhaver (Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:04 pm

    Carolyn… you and Sean are awesome people… don’t ever forget it. GOD is so good and clearly works through you!!!

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  • Debbie Byroade Schaaf (Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:04 pm

    Dear Sweet Carolyn…..Anyone who knows you, know that “L”was no “secret”. It’s good TV to sensationalize the crazy events in inocent people. To hell with them!!! The truth is out . Hold your head high, cuz you KNOW you did everything right!!! Celebrate Drew. It’s so maddening to think other people think they “know” you. This crap will either convince people they were right, or make them see the truth, the pain , the angst that everyone involved went through. For God ‘s sake, Will and Kate kept their “secret ” for 3 mos. Well guess what?? So did Debbie and GAry and LOTS of other mature people who knows that a pregnancy is something we have no control over. Scew em!!! Hate to be blunt (oh wait.no I dont!!) Enjoy Drews news. hug all the kids tonight as you tuck them in, and go to bed yourselves knowing you did what was right and just. The world LOVES you all

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  • Pam Byroade Kinser(Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:05 pm

    I’m so so sorry

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  • Kimberly Doula Sebeck(Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:06 pm

    Anyone who has read anything about you knows it wasn’t a secret.

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  • Angela Bonner(Facebook Comment) | December 5th, 2012 5:06 pm

    I’m so sorry about the TV program! Congratulations to Drew!!!!

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 6th, 2012 9:40 am

    Thanks, as always, Angela!

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  • Kristin | December 5th, 2012 11:23 pm

    Wow, it seriously sucks that you were duped like that. I can understand it triggering a meltdown moment. But, I think you are handling it admirably.

    Huge congrats to your son, Drew.

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 6th, 2012 9:39 am

    Thanks, Kristin. That means a lot to me…coming from you! XOXO

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  • Fifty Shades of Grace | Mama On The Fly | December 6th, 2012 11:30 am

    […] Monday I wrote about the reasons Sean and I continue to share our family’s story.  For us, it’s a calling to inspire others, when faced with an unwelcome circumstance, to […]

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  • Pamela | December 7th, 2012 2:08 pm

    I applaud your ability to downgrade so gracefully. While no where close to confronting the scrutiny you’ve faced in recent years, I have a small understanding about how it feels to be thrust under a microscope and have your life judged and in the spotlight in an anxiety-producing way. Kudos to you for sharing so openly here and in your work on behalf of patient safety protocols — and for refocusing purposefully on the things that bring you happiness not anxiety. It’s no small feat. ox

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  • Heather | December 7th, 2012 3:44 pm

    I saw your segment today on the program and it is what led me to this website. :) I have been through some really tough times this last year. Seeing your story gave me so much hope and peace that I too can get through my difficulties with grace. It was very inspiring to me.

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  • Carolyn Savage | December 11th, 2012 8:58 am

    Heather, I haven’t seen the segment yet. I am glad you found it inspiring. Makes me feel better about the whole thing. I hope you stick around here. I love connecting with new people on the site! Thanks for reaching out!

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