Friday, January 23, 2009

Biting the Big One

I'm not quite sure where to begin. It's not like when I was younger and I could just go off for a few days, write some deeply unprofound thoughts in my journal, break a few things and take a series of long drives. I barely have time to remember to turn off the burners on the stove these days much less time to figure out what is normal.

That's the thing- I don't know what is normal anymore.

I don't think it is normal to keep thinking such incredibly sad, circular thoughts. Thoughts that don't even make sense. Like sitting down feeding Dash Two and remembering the death of my 6th grade friend's mother. The crack in her twelve year old voice as she called from the hospital to let me know that it had finally happened. Suddenly, that memory is playing over and over again in my mind and I feel the tears welling up - again. For the bazillionth time that day.

Is it normal or just being the mother of two small children to be making lunch and realize you forgot to turn off the shower over an hour ago? When you run upstairs to turn it off you hear the water running but instead you just stand and stare at it and get lost in some sort of brain fuzz until your kid comes up to ask you what you are doing. You don't know what you are doing so you just head back downstairs. Later you wonder, "Did I finally turn off the shower?"

I'm a New Englander born and raised and we seem to be genetically programmed to Seasonal Affective Disorder. So is this just the winter blues or something more? The something more is scaring the crap out of me these last few days. OK, weeks. It's been creeping up like a sullen child from the dark, dank corners of my mind for a while now. I've been fighting it tooth and nail and I think I'm finally beginning to feel too weak to combat it anymore.

I know that lack of sleep and all the hormones can contribute to Postpartum Depression. I want this to not be it so badly, for it to just be the winter blues because really? What on earth do I have to be depressed about?! My kids are healthy. I have a roof over my head, my health, a loving H and a great family. BUT MY GOD I JUST CANNOT STOP CRYING. Except between the hours of 6-11 pm when I try really freakin' hard to keep it together and make jokes and feel normal and keep it all so neat and tidy. Who wants to come home to a crying mess every day? Then yesterday as I sat idling in traffic and the tears started again over something so ridiculous as remembering a moment in the inauguration (a very happy day damn it!) I could just picture my heart and it was gushing this black goopy mess all over the place and I could see this one thread, one stitch just keeping it all together. Keeping it all from falling completely apart. I thought, "Just one tiny pluck of that thread and I'll be done. I'll be completely unraveled and I don't know how to stop that from happening."


I want this to just go away. I keep thinking like a chant in my head, "Just be happy. You are fine. Shut up whiny little girl. Suck it up!" For a while that works. And then it just doesn't. Then I feel like I'm going to explode and instead of feeling hostile and violent like last time I just feel incredibly weepy and unmotivated. The sadness is overwhelming. It leaves me harried, exhausted beyond comprehension and like I've been stuck with a tranquilizer dart. I don't even want to look people in the eye anymore and I have no idea who I am. I want nothing to do with anything. One minute I'm ready to tackle the day, the next I just want to hold my kids and not leave the house, ever. Suddenly I'm roaring to go, the next I want to call the whole day off. If this is winter blues, so be it. If it is something else, I don't even want to know. I don't have time for it. I don't have time for the drugs, the therapy, the journal writing and everything else they prescribed last time. I don't want to talk to my parents about it. I don't want to talk to anyone about it. I don't want it to be real and if I say what I'm thinking aloud then it just might be true and I just don't think I can handle it.

But I don't know where else to go or what else to do. And I'm tired of feeling alone.

If anyone has any advice please let me know. I can't even bring myself to look up stuff up online these days. I realized I had a problem when I wrote this for Honest Baby this week.


  1. I think you should talk to your dr. It may be nothing, but you never know.

    Good luck.

  2. I REALLY think you should talk to H about this. Instead of pretending everything is okay when he comes home, let him know it's not.

    And a call to your doc couldn't hurt either.

    Please take care if yourself, V.

  3. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Aw, man. I think the pretendingy ou're ok only lasts so long until you can't pretend anymore, and you're backed into a corner. Better to get help now, while you have some "reserves"-- some energy, some will, some perspective-- than wait and have it get all-out crazy.

    I went through this with #2. I have absolutely no advice, other than ignoring it really didn't work for me. I am not sure how I ever got dug out. But eventually, I did.

    Thank goodness you see yourself clearly to know that you need some kind of something-- some kind of support. Even if it just ends up being us, out here on the blogs.

  4. I know you said you don't have time for the dr., meds, therapy, journaling, etc...but you have also been thru this before so it's not like me saying "but it will make you a better mom/wife/etc." after is going to come as a surprise. So I won't. I'll just say that I totally 100% understand where you are coming from right now. I put it off for 2 years. I am doing all but the meds right now and facing reality SUCKS big time. I know I personally don't need my imagination running errands for me. You are not alone in your imaginative thoughts. Just tonight *if you don't mind my sharing*...I was driving home and thinking how I was going to go take my purse and the grocery bags into the house before taking the kids in *let them stay in the driveway while I do it, I know BAD MOM, right?* but then my imagination ran away with me and suddenly I am wondering if I taught the Girl (who's almost 11) enough about safety that she would know what to didn't come back out from the car cuz someone was in my house and stabbed me. Random, right? Not for me. This kind of stuff happens DAILY. It's scary and I hate it. So, please, don't feel you are alone in the strange thoughts or tendancies. But do DO something...dr, a close friend, journal, something...I'll be checking in on you.

  5. This is such a tough time, the 9 weeks-happy-euphoria-fades and all the sleep deprivation torture catches up. Oh, and the weather blows in DC Jan-Mar. But you shouldn't have to forge through it and ignore it.

    I felt similarly when my second child was a baby and I called my dr frantically. He called in a 1 week prescription to get me through until he could see me in the office. I also called in all the drop off playdates for my oldest that I was owed from fellow moms and made deals with my friends that were expecting to help them out too when their babies came.

    And I designated every single freaking Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon as days off by myself or just me and newborn in order to temper the stress and tedium of Mon-Friday mommihood. My husband worked harder in addition to supporting the family, but this made our marriage stronger. I gave him a concrete way to make it better.

    I will sincerely pray for you that this malaise goes away and that baby learns to sleep!!

  6. Hey...there's an award for you on my blog. Go get it!

  7. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Hi V,
    Being a Mom is the hardest thing in the world, being a good one is exhausting sometimes. Be kind to yourself and don't worry about H, he can deal with all of you.
    Do what you know you need to and get yourself back.
    Can we come visit, wana come here??


Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.