I have a lot to say. My head is full of many thoughts. Some of them are important, some are trivial.
I don’t want to write them down.
The thoughts that are important – I think, anyway – deserve a response. Deserve more than the four or five readers that occasionally stop by here.
I know that my life is very boring. I don’t have the resources to make it any more interesting than what it is. I live a pretty simple life and it is not going to change any time soon.
So, I know that no one really comes here. I write this mostly for me and it will likely always be that way.
But what I’ve been feeling, what has been torturing my thoughts for the last several weeks feels bigger than this space. Bigger than the tiny world of this one stay-at-home mom.
I don’t know how to go about this.
I don’t want to write down something that is important and difficult for me to say and see no response.
Over and over. There are no comments.
Yesterday was officially fifteen weeks into this pregnancy.
I’m not doing so great right now.
It’s finally quiet. The inconsolable crying that has kept our entire household up for the last two hours has (mostly) died down. Brian is with her, trying to get her to sleep in her crib again.
I just can’t deal with it. What’s worse is how much I hate myself for not being able to deal with it.
I should be trying to sleep. That’s why Brian went in there. He’s trying to give me a break and help out. He knows I’m exhausted and burnt out. But I can’t. I’m wound up.
In the middle of the night like this, I feel the worst. During daylight hours, I mostly have my depression under control or, at least, I don’t let it control me. In the darkness, however, I feel it trying to get out. The thoughts that I can ignore (mostly) when the sun is shining and my daughter is happy and smiling, choose the late nights to come out an play around in my head, upsetting a very fragile balance.
I’m not good enough, they tell me. I’m a bad mother. I’ve done everything wrong so far. I’m a bad wife, for making my husband get up in the middle of the night and sleep on the nursery floor. I’m a bad wife because our house isn’t spotlessly clean. I’m a bad wife, I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad friend, I’m a bad person. It’s what I hear over an over in my head.
My depression tells me to not even bother writing this down. No one cares. No one reads this. I’m not important. My depression points to all the other people who have all these friends rushing to their aid whenever even the slightest thing is bothering them when no one notices me. No one cares, it says.
It’s supposed to get better, right? People say it gets better.
I’m not better.
Today is day six without antidepressants.
If I had a choice, believe me this is not how I would have wanted to stop taking them. Despite daily calls to both the pharmacy and the doctor’s office, it took nine days to get my prescription refilled. This past Thursday evening, I finally got the call that my medication was available for pick up. I didn’t go in that night because I was tired and just wanted to laze about the apartment in my pajamas – and I don’t take them at night anyway. Friday morning, on the way to story time with Lorelei, I finally got my refill.
And then I didn’t take it.
Honestly, I didn’t have a reason to not take it. Not really. I had planned on downing it with a cup of water before we settled down on the floor in the children’s section. That didn’t happen. Lorelei was in one of her moods. One of her I must run around and investigate everything I see and pull everything off the shelves OH-EM-GEE I’m hyper moods. I spent the ten minutes pre-story time and all of story time trying to get her to settle down for longer than a minute. The pill bottle stayed in the bottom of my bag and by the time we got home it was, once again, too late in the day.
Saturday? Nope. We hit the ground running, trying to accomplish all the chores before Brian left that night, and I didn’t realize I had forgotten (again) until lunchtime. I know this makes me sound really irresponsible but, after a couple of days of interrupted routine, it’s really hard for me to return to normal. (I used to take them, without fail, as part of my morning shower/face washing/tooth brushing ritual.)
I made a probably stupid decision this morning: I’m going to wait one more day – making it a full week – and, if I’m not in a dark hole of depression and self-pity, I will hold off on restarting them until I see my doctor. Note: I am most definitely not a doctor, if you are here looking for advice on quitting antidepressants please don’t listen to me. Consult a licensed professional. I’m serious.
Want to know my reasons?
- I was on a pretty high dosage – hence, the total nervous breakdown on Wednesday – and I’m afraid of how my body might react going from nothing to OH MY GOD DRUGS!
- I’m afraid of how Lorelei might react. I’m still breast feeding so she gets some of the medication and I realized this morning that maybe part of the reason for her pain in the ass crankiness the last couple of days is because she too is going through withdrawal.
- I was crazy productive yesterday and today. I haven’t felt like doing this much work in I can’t remember when.
- The fact that Lorelei didn’t want to nap today didn’t bother me nearly as much it used to. (Still bugged me, but I wasn’t as desperate for a nap myself as I usually am.)
- I’m almost over the full-body aches. The last few days it’s felt like I have been working out really hard and I hurt in places that I didn’t know it was possible to have soreness. It’s started to ease now and I feel almost human again.
My number one biggest reason for not wanting to start taking them again: I feel.
While I was on medication, I didn’t really have normal emotional responses. Most of my responses were on the darker side of the spectrum. I was really good at crying because I was angry or sad. I was really good at yelling. These last few days, I’ve actually felt happy. There are some really great things going on with people I know and I’ve found myself grinning like an idiot. Or tearing up. But they’re tears of happiness which is a nice change.
I don’t promise that I’m going to be all sunshine and unicorns and rainbows and puppies now, but I am feeling so much better now that I can’t help but be optimistic. Maybe I can figure out a way to live without having to be medicated. Anyone have any suggestions for me on how I can be happy without antidepressants?
I like to pretend that I’m fooling you. I like to pretend that the demon depression does not have a hold on me. I talk about it sometimes and I admit that I spend a lot of my life fighting to get out of bed. I can have happy days and that’s what I would rather write about.
Today is not one of those days.
Last week, I went to refill my anti-depressants – those little pills that keep me from completely succumbing to the darkness – only to discover that my prescription had “expired.” I still had one refill left, but I was too late. For the last seven days, I (okay, mostly Brian) have been playing phone tag with the pharmacy and my doctor’s office trying to get an extension until I can go in for an appointment three weeks from now. I admit that it’s partially my fault since my appointment was cancelled because the doctor was going to be out of the office and I never got around to rescheduling but still.
Monday morning, I took my last dose.
I’ve missed days before. It’s not fun. In addition to feeling non-functional, I feel sick. Every part of me hurts. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to do anything. I’m going through the motions today. I’ve put on clean clothes and combed my hair. I’ve made lunch for Lorelei and made sure her diaper is dry. I’ve let her cuddle against me as I lay on the sofa and didn’t want to move.
I’m so tired of feeling like this.
I’m tired of feeling like I’m screaming into the void. I’m in a lot of pain but it feels like no one cares. Have I alienated everyone in my life? What can I possibly do or say or change about myself so that I don’t feel so fucking insignificant and alone? How can I make them understand?
I don’t want attention or sympathy. I just want to not feel like no one cares. I want to smile and mean it. I want Lorelei to not have to see my cry.
I want to write something. I want to be able to share what has been going on today. But I can’t.
I want to. I want to tell you that I’m mad. I want to tell you that I wanted to yell and throw things and punch holes in the wall.
I want to tell you that I’m sad. I want to tell you that it feels like my head is about to explode from holding back all the tears so that I didn’t break down in front of Lorelei. I want to tell you that I did cry and it didn’t help.
But what would that accomplish? Telling you all these things. I’m mad and sad and feeling so unbelievably shitty, but I can’t tell you why. I’m not really shy about sharing personal details here – and on-line is one of the few places that I’m not shy – but it isn’t really about me. The reason for my mood, the reason I’m mad and sad, has to do with Brian.
And just to be clear, it’s not him.
It’s a little bit him, but mostly in the way he handled the situation. It is not, however, my place to go into details that he probably doesn’t want people to know. That’s fine.
I have spent all day in this rage. I want to talk about it. I want someone to be able to talk me down from the ledge, but I feel like there is no one. I can’t call any of my friends up in the middle of the day and have them come over and keep me company and talk about this. I called my mom, but it didn’t do a whole lot to help (actually made me feel worse, sorry Mom).
Then there’s you, dear Internet. I come here and share my daily life. My struggles with depression, my struggles with parenthood. These are all things that you know. I want to talk about this. I want to write it down. I’m trapped. The words I need to say, I can’t say.
I’m so fucking angry.
In one day, I have been made to feel worse than I have in a very long time. I’m sorry, Internet, I’m in a bad place. Tomorrow will be better.
That dark day two weeks ago was one of the worst I’ve had since Lorelei was born – dear Lord, almost a year ago – but since then I have been trying to keep myself from burrowing deeper into my pit of depression. Everyday, instead of battling with myself to just get out of bed – although that is still a struggle – I tell myself that it will be a good day. I say it over and over in my head. It will be good, it will be good, it will be good…
I admit that there are some days that are easier than others. If Lorelei has slept well the night before and, by extension, I have slept well the night before, it is easy. I can be up and fed and (every other day) showered and dressed by nine. I know that seems late, but that’s when I’m dressed, I will have been doing things already. I just enjoy my time in my bathrobe. I can go whole hours without wanting to burst into ugly tears. I might even go a whole day without wanting to yell at Brian.
(Side note: thank goodness for my understanding husband who, most of the time, does not take it personally that I’m being a bitch to him. It’s just that my frustration gets the better of me and he provides a convenient outlet. Or punching bag, although not literally. I’m working on not doing that anymore; however, I know it’s going to take a lot of time.)
This is me. I’m recommitting myself to a positive attitude. I’m trying a new thing. As a self-proclaimed list nerd, I’ve broken out one of the thousand notebooks I own. Everyday, I write down my menu plan for the day, the things I need to do – errands to run, chores around the house – and then any activities/appointments or calls I need to make. It seems a little OCD and, for people who juggle work and family and a thousand other things, I’m sure they wish they could organize their days so easily. But for me, struggling to even get dressed some days, having a list that can be crossed off – even if it’s just “make the bed” – helps more than anything else.
I’m finding my balance. Sometimes I falter and fall. Some days, nothing gets crossed off the list. But the next day, I try again and a few more things are accomplished. Lorelei has her story time and her crawler class. We go to the gardens or the play ground. She’s happy and sometimes that’s all I need to make me feel better.
Now matter how terrible I feel some days, when she smiles at me, I can’t help but smile back. When she laughs, when I tickle her belly, when she wobbles as she learns to walk, when she chatters “bweeb bweeb weeb.” I know I’ve made the right decision. This is where I need to be and though some days are downright painful, I will continue to try my best.
For your amusement, a couple other things:
- I found someone else’s lacy thong in the laundry I was folding this morning. One of the downsides of coin-operated machines in an apartment complex. That and the pillowcase that went missing and we can’t replace because Target DOESN’T MAKE THEM ANYMORE!
- Last night, there was a shriek outside in the parking lot. This is still a better place to live than where we were before.
- Old Navy needs to stop sending me e-mails with NEW! SALES! every single day, I do not need to spend anymore money on clothes for Lorelei. But, it’s so cute I can’t resist!
- I don’t have a forth thing
- Or a fifth
Happy Wednesday everyone!
I don’t like to talk about it a lot. I hide it and gloss over it. I don’t want people to know. It’s hard to even write about it here because so many family members read this and I don’t want them to worry.
Sometimes I am not fine, though. And it sucks. It sucks a lot. Even the word suck seems like a completely inadequate description of how I feel.
There are mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed. Mornings when I feel that every single ache is a stabbing pain. I feel dizzy and shaky and sick. But I get up. I take my pills, I make my breakfast. I play with Lorelei and we watch Yo Gabba Gabba. I go grocery shopping, I bake and cook. Sometimes we go to the park. Sometimes I curl up in the rocking chair in her room and read while she crawls around playing with her rings or her stuffed animals or her books.
Sometimes, in the afternoons, when Lorelei doesn’t want to take a nap – when I spend 20 minutes holding her and rocking her until she falls asleep only to have her wake up the second I put her down in the crib – I break. I call Brian and I bitch at him. I complain about stupid shit that doesn’t matter. I get mad at him and hang up for no real reason.
But I keep going. I don’t succumb. I find a way to make it through the day, even if it’s just marking time until the end of the work day when I can hand the daughter off for a precious few minutes of just me time. I feel guilty about it. I love Lorelei more than anything in the whole entire world and I would do anything for her. But I’m so exhausted. I’m tired of the two hour increments of sleep at night. I’m tired of falling asleep during her (rarely does it actually happen) nap time only to have her wake up mere minutes later. I don’t want to be unhappy and stressed all the time because I know she can sense it. I know that when I’m tightly wound it upsets her.
But – and here’s where the deep breath comes – one time I stood alone in the kitchen in the darkness and I pulled one of the knives out of the block and put the edge against my wrist. I didn’t break the skin. I couldn’t do it. But I did stand there crying in the blackest hour of the morning. Three am, insomnia. I know I’m stronger than that. I know that I wouldn’t go through with it, even after the hardest day. I couldn’t do that to Lorelei. I couldn’t do that to Brian or my family or my friends.
It’s been better recently. I wouldn’t say it’s been perfect but I have managed to go the majority of a week without feeling the crushing weight of sadness.
I embraced the part of me that likes to be spontaneous and drove to Hannibal. The daughter and I sat in a coffee shop where she was (naturally) cooed over by little old ladies on their senior citizens bus around America tour (or something like that). We walked around the quaint little downtown and saw Mark Twain’s childhood home. We went down to the river and I saw this sign:
Dear sign, I will try to remember that. I think, for now at least, I have stepped back away from the edge but just in case I have you to remind me.
I wish there was something happy and magical and uplifting that I could write in this space today.
I worry that my blog is too depressing and people will think that all I do is complain.
I try to be better. I try to find something positive to say.
But today I’m really down.
This morning, we set the Pack ‘n Play up on the front porch and let the daughter go to town. She had her rings and her monkey and her lemur that makes a weird noise when you squeeze it. She was happy. I was happy. It was early still and the heat of another July day in St Louis hadn’t set in yet. A light breeze drifted through the big trees in front of our building, shading us from the worst part of the glaring sun. It was one of those perfect moments when, for just a few seconds, I was completely content with my life. I was able to forget the things that keep my up at night, sick with anxiety. I could ignore that dull icky feeling that is a constant part of my life. I had my husband, I had my daughter and they were happy.
I don’t know what happened. I can’t pinpoint what it was that made me want to just crawl into bed and shut the door. I don’t know why I just wanted to be alone.
I don’t know why I often feel the desperate need to be alone when I barely see anyone other than the baby and Brian and the cashiers at Target. I want so badly to have a connection with other people but, at the same time, I’m afraid to go out and find it. I am not a very outgoing person. I’m not one of those people who is comfortable striking up a conversation with a random stranger. Yesterday, there was an older lady in the laundry room with me and, since Lorelei was with me, she started talking about her grandkids and asking questions about my daughter. It was nice, but at the same time I wanted to disappear. I felt awkward and stupid.
Even online, with the relative anonymity that the internet provides, I feel like that nerdy girl in high school with the poor fashion sense and bad hair who hated wearing make-up and preferred to be over-committed after school than have a real social life. Sometimes, I remember so clearly the feeling I had at all the senior parties as I sat mostly in the background and wondered when one of my (very few) friends was going to show up so that I wouldn’t be all by myself. There are a lot of really wonderful women who’s blogs I frequent that I feel like I know. I want to meet them in person. I want to hug them and tell them how awesome I think they are and how much I appreciate everything they’ve written. I feel really lucky that I stumbled upon one of their sites which led me to another and another so that everyday I get to feel inspired or I get to laugh or even I get to cry. But what do they think of me? Do they want to meet me? Do they come here and read my whining and ranting and even my gushing baby loving posts and think I am a big fat loser?
I know that they probably don’t think that. In fact, I know that they don’t think that. But I’ve always been the self-conscious shy little girl and I don’t think that’s a part of me that will ever change.
But I will try. I will take risks and try to forge friendships and try new things. Because I don’t want Lorelei to have this crushing feeling of insecurity. I want her to be brave. I want her to be the girl who runs up to the kid who is sitting alone on the sidelines and ask to be their friend. We need more people in the world like that because there are already enough of us who are too scared to be the one to make the first move.
Today was one of those days where you start out thinking that maybe, just maybe you’ve got this whole parenthood thing down and then that idea goes straight into the crapper.
Yesterday, we had a really good day. Lorelei took a nice long nap in the morning, she behaved herself really well while were grocery shopping and then took a nice long nap in the afternoon. We went swimming kind of late and, as usual, she was having the time of her life. She pretty much passed out as soon as she was fed and then didn’t wake up until seven this morning (not counting the few times she had binky-related whine issues). And I had a pretty good night, too.
So, I was feeling good. Until I’d been up for about two hours and as I was standing there changing her diaper for the millionth time this morning, I had this sudden wave of nausea. We’re talking food poisoning-level nausea. I rushed to get her dressed again and down off the changing table so I could dry heave over the toilet for a few minutes. Now, I know my body. Sometimes when I don’t eat frequently enough I can get that want-to-throw-up-feeling plus shaky hands. Just so we’re clear, that was not what this was. I had eaten (and recently). I spent most of the day wanting to die, but joy-of-joys I’m a stay at home mom and I got to take care of another person all day. Did I mention that the husband was teaching his test-prep class tonight? And that he had the car? So, there I was trapped at home, feeling like I was going to pass out and so fucking angry at Brian.
I whine a lot. I know this. But when I say I feel sick and shaky and then you give me that “Why don’t you have a snack?” line as if that will magically cure everything, I tend to react badly.
I could have done it. I could have made it through the day but as I was sitting there trying to feed Lorelei her pureed veggies for dinner, I couldn’t stop my shaking hands. And what was worse, I was afraid that I would end up hurting her. Unintentionally, of course. I would lose my balance as I was carrying her back to her room. And I know that there are plenty of other parents who have to take care of their children while they’re sick, but I already did it for six days while Brian was out of town and I had the flu. Maybe it’s selfish of me to want him to come home, to want him to find a way to be there for me so that I don’t always feel like I’m doing it all, but today I really needed that.
I don’t like seeing my hands shake in weakness but I like it even less when they shake with anger. I could feel this rage building up inside of me. I was so sick of being crawled on all day long. By the baby, by the cats. Sick of hearing her whine for no discernible reason. I was so sick of putting on that happy, everything is fine face. Everything is not fine. And I don’t know how to fix it.
This week has been really hard.
My emotions have been swinging way way down and then back up again.
I’m still fighting this sinus infection/migraine/maybe-I-should-give-in-and-admit-I-have-allergies thing that I’ve had for the last two weeks. So, I’ve been exhausted and cranky and (if I’m really honest with myself) a downright bitch to my husband.
But I’m lucky. My husband is sweet and loves me more than anything and he doesn’t complain when I yell at him about stupid shit that seemed much more important than it actually was. And despite the fighting this week, I think it was ultimately helpful. I tend to keep things that bother me to myself until I just can’t take it anymore and then I explode (which is why I may seem like a nice person 95 percent of the time but that other 5 percent HOO BOY! you’d better stay out of my way).
But I wouldn’t want anyone else for my husband:
(It’s a little bit of a blurry, crappy shot but I was trying not to wake her)