Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In the Muck

I've been keeping pretty quiet about something lately. I guess I haven't exactly been hiding it. But I haven't exactly been forthcoming either. Which is silly because the whole reason I do this blogging thing is to keep it real. This is therapeutic for me and if I make anyone else out there feel a little more normal in the process or at the very least, not alone, that is awesome.

So why have I been tight lipped and what about?

Why? – probably because I was slightly in denial. Because admitting it out loud and in writing even, made it too real and I wanted it not to be happening.

What? - In the past couple of months I have been slipping into... (deep breath) a depression. (there I said it. why is it such a hard thing to say?) I have been feeling similar to the way I did in the months after A's birth. Which was bad. Not to mention that I have been coming to realize just how bad I was actually feeling back then. I think I had suppressed it or decided it wasn't that big of a deal. But those feelings have come rushing back with thoughts/plans of having another baby. (thoughts/plans which are currently on hold)

It's like my brain was all like “Are you nuts!? You can't have another baby! Don't you remember how sick you were, how depressed? How hard it was on your marriage? Let me take this opportunity to remind you.” And then BAM! Like a ton of bricks had fallen on my head the memories came flooding back. Often when I was lying in bed trying to sleep or when I was up with A in the night. This is around the time when I noticed I just wasn't dealing well with stress of any kind. If Miss A decided to boycott a nap my world came crashing in. A small argument with Peter was in my mind the beginning of the end for us.

The loss of his father has made things even more difficult. Peter is also, not at his best. Last night was one of those horrible, the world is ending kind of nights. The kind of night that even though we talked, a lot, before going to sleep we still went to sleep feeling miserable. Or at least I did and I'm pretty sure he did too. I didn't wake up feeling much better.

What I recently accepted is that these feelings are not going away. And that I better do something about it. Soon. So I had made a counseling appointment which was yesterday. I think that I had convinced myself that once I actually talked to a professional I would feel better. The really awful thing is that I didn't. Last night was almost worse because I'd been to the counselor and it obviously hadn't helped. I couldn't help thinking that nothing is going to help me.

I know I have to give this counseling thing a chance. I can't expect to be 'fixed' in one visit. It just seemed as though when I got talking about 'stuff' it seemed trivial. She gave me a lot of photocopied stuff to read. About communication skills. Turns out I'm passive and passive/aggressive. No sh*t. I knew that already. Tell me how to fix it. There are also hand outs on how to be assertive. Which is what you want to be. Or something. I'm going to try it out. Can't hurt.

So anyway. Now it's out there. Not a secret anymore. Don't feel bad or worry about me. If you like tell me you've had these crazy feelings too, even if you haven't I'll never know and I won't feel like such a total freak. And if you really have felt like this or are feeling like this, I'm sorry. It sucks doesn't it. Feel free to drop me a line. And stay tuned. I plan to document how I dig myself out of the muck. And I will. Cause I'm stubborn like that.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am sorry you feel this way, but it is encouraging to hear that you're already looking at it with a positive point of view. Just in the past couple weeks I've noticed a change in myself. For me it comes with the changing seasons. I don't like how this feels either. And for me, it's more like an "unfeeling" time and numbness. I don't feel like doing anything. At all. And this is the first time I've ever told anyone about it, too!

On another note, a midwife recommended 900mg of St. John's Wort daily and that does help me a LOT.

I hope after writing this you're already feeling on the upside.

Lynanne said...

I really feel for you - I've been through something similar more than once. I've even had to resort to medication when things got particularly mucky. There is so much I could say but I'll try to keep it short (hah!). ;)

First I applaud you for talking about this. I know I've said it before, but I REALLY admire you for talking about the warm fuzzy moments of motherhood AND the not-so-fun mucky ones. One of the worst things about depression is the isolation. The feelings that it’s easier for everyone else and there is something not quite “normal” about all the negative feelings. By talking about what you are feeling, others will realize they are not alone. Hopefully it will be a source of support for you as well.

About the fears of having another child - You’ll probably hear how common this is. But each experience is different. You might not go through what you did last time. Even if you do, you have so much more knowledge about what to expect, about what works and what doesn’t. You know where to turn for help. It sounds morbid, but you could plan for being sick and depressed again (this is different for being convinced you WILL be depressed). Outline what supports you will need. After you tackle the nastiness of what went wrong, look at all the things that you feel you did well. I think you will find you are stronger than you think. Hopefully this will give you confidence. Also know that you probably will never be completely “ready” to have the next child. Life is like that.

About the counseling – My personal experience is that it made me feel much worse before I got to feeling better. Rehashing your past for the counselor brings memories to the surface that you’ve probably worked very hard at suppressing. So many emotions went through my head during those early visits. I felt stupid for feeling the way I did (the problem was so obvious – why couldn’t I just “Get over it!”), I got mad at the therapist (she OBVIOUSLY doesn’t understand.), I felt awkward (what am I doing here, anyhow?) I was impatient (I don’t want to talk about this - I just want to feel better NOW). I don’t how long it took me to “connect” with my counselor. I do know that she didn’t have the answers that I expected her to have. I had to find those for myself. Some I’m still seeking. She was great guide along my very rocky path. She couldn’t tell me how to pick myself up again when I stumbled but she was right there to hold my hand.

Whoa…I’m writing a book. I better stop here for now.

Nikkie said...

Oh Mama D, I so understand. I've been there and I'm still there. I admire your courage for talking, and doing something about it, rather then fight a solitary battle like I do.

Dawnyel said...

I think admitting it is a GREAT place to start! I've been struggling with admitting to my own depression. I thought I was a fairly happy person, until recently. People who knew me would comment about how I've not been myself.
The thing that HELPED me was cutting back on things I felt obligated to do. Not things that I loved to do.
I hope beyond hope that you can overcome's something that many people I know personally have struggled with...Just know that we are all pulling for you! *HUGS*

Rachelle said...

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. The days after Cam's birth were very dark depressing ones too and I too feel sometimes I am slipping back in. I know you will overcome this. hang in there and know there are so many of us out there who care about you.

babydmama said...

This post makes me want to email you and introduce myself, cuz I could have written it myself. Sometimes talking to someone about a shared experience can help so much! I hope you can find a counselor who has had personal experience with depression. I think that can make a big difference . . .

Jenn said...

After reading your posts I just wanted to offer you **HUGS***


Melissa said...

I agree with Lynanne, I, too, could write a book on this subject. Depression is something I have had to deal with since childhood. I believe my parents were both depressed (undiagnosed).
One of my parents self medicated in a very common way: substance abuse. The other just withdrew from life, staying home all the time.

As an adult, I've had to face the double stigma that I am depressed...just like my parents. I hate even writing that. I've not handled it well in the past, and have currently been trying to muster up the courage to admit I need help, and finally get it!

Talking about things openly helps tremendously. Be kind to yourself. Don't feel you are alone in your feelings. Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon.