Tuesday, July 31, 2007

going through the big D

and don't mean Dallas...not divorce, either. (not yet...thanks Bunny!) heehee

A couple months ago I started noticing that I was having to pep talk myself through a lot of my day. Stuff that was normal to me was feeling harder and my days started feeling longer and longer. It took all of my energy to maintain some patience, and even kindness, with my children and I was exhausted from it. I figured I was going through another low point, kind of like last winter, and I began doing the basic things...more prayer, eating better, getting a babysitter, exercising, etc. to make myself feel better. (okay, not a lot of exercising but some.)

I was plugging along, feeling kind of bewildered and guilty. My faith is very important and real to me and I feel pretty close to God on a day to day basis. Why did I feel this way then? I always have felt so thankful for all of my blessings and really enjoyed my life. Even after the hardest days with the kids I would usually wake up looking forward to another go at it. I loved staying home with them and was grateful to be able to. Life got so much busier, and yes harder, after Ruby but the joy she brings (mostly - ha!) made up for it. I know that these years pass quickly and the stuff that is a struggle now will most likely be over in another 6 months or so...sometimes even one month. Yes, the old struggles are replaced with new ones, but you know what I mean...everything is so temporary with small children.

After James had his reaction to that darn little cracker, everything changed. That experience was terrifying and I think it was the proverbial straw for me. I felt such sorrow afterwards and had to accept a fresh fear that he has this constant danger with him. I know he is healthy and many have worse, but this is my reality and it was shocking for me to see how serious it is. I felt drained afterwards. I suddenly didn't have the energy for the pep talks anymore. My baseline of well being felt like 0 (expressionless face, if you will) instead of about a 7 (hopeful, with a good bit of joy.) I know that sounds dumb, but that's the best way I can think of to describe it.

I also started noticing that my time away from the kids no longer left me refreshed. That was a HUGE sign for me because that is what always kept me feeling like I could get through another week. I had heard that breastfeeding & having your period could really mess up your hormones so I decided to go on the pill.

Depression runs deep on my mother's side of the family. I didn't think I was "depressed" because I did still have good times, throughout all of this. I noticed, however, that after the fun was over, I would go right back to feeling that blah way. So, now we have irritability, guilt and indifference. Hmmmmm. Starting to sound a bit familiar?

A couple weeks ago the sermon at church was all about depression. (July 15th, if you're interested) The pastor talked about how a person wouldn't go around with a limp & broken arm but they would go around for months not feeling right inside themselves. He talked about the guilt Christians feel when they are depressed and how to deal with that. I had recently told Patrick that I thought something was off with me and as we sat there that morning holding tight to each other's hands, I began to feel a little hopeful.

It took me a few days to accept that I might actually be depressed and not just hormonally messed up. I cried a little, talked to my husband, mother and a couple friends. I then made my appointment and headed up to Duluth, alone with 2 kids, to spend a week in a very hot house. (I am so freaking stupid sometimes!) Like I said, I'm really glad we went but it wasn't all giggles. (thanks for that, Ellen)

I saw this psychologist last night. I didn't particularly like her but that didn't surprise me. Years ago, when we thought a giant tumor was eating my mom, I rushed out to a therapist to deal with my mother-angst before she passed away. Turns out all my angst was pretty standard and I was given the all clear right after my mom's surgery showed only a big ball of bones & hair. (hahahaha!) That woman bugged me though, with her chit chat. I guess I feel like if something is wrong enough with me that I go pay someone professional to talk to me about it...I want to spend those minutes talking about me. I don't care if you liked Tin Tin as a child or how you used to listen to Chapter A Day on WPR. Heartless, maybe, but I think there is a time and a place for everything and that time and place should not be on my dime.

So. Moving right along then...This woman feels like I have some post-partum depression going on. She said they diagnose that for up to 2-3 years after a woman has had a child and mine sounds pretty typical. She would normally prescribe more rest, therapy sessions, exercise, and just general take-care-of-me stuff. However, with my family history, she thinks a low dose of Zoloft would be just the ticket. She said that they like to see me feeling back to normal for 6 months before going off, as she thinks that I will go off eventually as I'm probably not a true nutter, but that would fall in January. She then said that they would never take anyone living in Wisconsin in January off of an anti-depressant so it would probably be more like March or April. (Fine by me, winter does get a little long.) She couldn't prescribe this though, as she never finished school (KIDDING!), so I'd have to see my primary. Fine, next Wednesday it is.

Except, come this morning, next Wednesday felt about a year away. I called and made an appointment with the first available PA for tomorrow morning. Thank God. I know things won't happen immediately, but I think just knowing that something is starting will make me feel better.

There it is...all the gory details. I wanted my friends and family to hear this in case you've been wondering about me lately. If I don't post a lot, it's probably because I just don't have much to say on that particular day. This blog is generally a lot of fun for me and I feel happy & creative when I am posting. I have definitely used it as an outlet for my mothering traumas, but usually it's fun. If I do post and sound really happy, then I am! I won't be faking anything. xoxo

8 comments:

  1. Stephanie, you just described me six months ago! I too went through all that, happy, sad, happy, sad. I too felt a lot of guilt about it. When I finally broke down and talked to my husband it was such a relief. I've been seeing a therapist since that time and it has helped me a ton. Unfortunetly, anti-depressent drugs are not a choice for me. But I have friends that went on them for six months or so and it really helped them get back on track. Good luck.

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  2. Thanks you for sharing what you have been dealing with so honestly and openly. I'm glad you are seeking treatment--and that you don't seem to be a true nutter :)! I agree that even though you may not feel the medicinal effects right away, you will feel like you are taking steps toward feeling better. I hope you have better days soon, and you feel better inside Stephanie too!

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  3. good job, bob.
    i love you,
    your mama


    p.s.
    no shoes......sorry. i will look closely after work, but i think i'd have noticed them.

    oh, yeah, it was NOT hair and bones.......it was something more interesting than that, something rare and facinating.......i don't remember that you had angst....cool :)

    i hope to talk to you sometime today. please kiss the children and tell james gramma misses him terribly, that i found his rocks on the porch and will save them for him.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  4. Dearest Cousin,
    I am glad you shared about all of this on your blog. You need to have a conversation with Jess about this if you haven't already. A lot of similarities. It sounds like a really good choice to make right now. Jess, Ryan and kids have a condo in Wisconsin Dells that sleeps a lot until Friday. I know you just got home, but she tried to get ahold of you a couple times. I love you and am glad that I better know how to pray for you. Thanks for organizing the mail thing for Grandma. xoxo
    Sarah

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  5. I did some Wellbutrin many years ago when I was pretty low- it did take the edge off the worry, and long since stopping it, I've never been that angst-ridden. Maybe in other ways, but not that particular way. Do what works for you- I remember feeling the same way, like once I'd committed to a treatment, I needed to get it started, NOW! Good luck and know we're thinking of you-

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  6. Stephanie-
    It's awesome that you are so honest about the whole depression thing. I've struggled with this off and on for awhile. I hate thinking about going on meds- but I think I'm going to make an appt at least...I've felt exactly what you wrote about. Thanks for sharing not only the happy times, but the hard times as well.

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  7. Hey Mique - I kind of hated the thought of meds, too. There seems to be other options (flaxseed, vitamin b, exercise) but I wanted a quick fix...for my kids and myself. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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