About a month ago, my Mom and Dad moved from here to Nashville. Dad finally got a job -- one that he can tolerate and still feel he's using his gifts and making a difference -- teaching math at a public high school. For the time being, to save money, they are renting a house w/ my brother and sister. Jonathan is owner of The Shepherd's Guide there and Risha had decided she wanted to be closer than CO, so she found a nursing job there too. Overall, these are really positive, good things, but how they've affected me is not so great.
I went from having everyone around a lot, to having an empty house, save me, Laney and the baby. I went from having lots of help cleaning, babysitting, etc., to having not so much. And after a week or so, I realized some bad things had been building up inside the last few months. They were easier to ignore as long as people were around and I had things to do and look forward to.
After a particularly challenging day, I had John come meet me at Laney's gymnastics class. We were in the parking lot when I finally said to him, "I've got post partum depression."
His response was, "Is this a new thing?"
Well, you can't really blame him, I'm not too great at letting people know what's going on. (At least not while it's actually happening. Usually, it's after the fact; and more often than not, with essays written for the internet rather than, I don't know, words spoken face to face.)
So he took the two boys and let me have 30 minutes to myself while Laney was in class. I drove to Chick-Fil-A to get a diet coke and decided to call a good friend. She laughed when I told her John's response and said, "Well no, I just woke up this morning and decided I was gonna be depressed!" To which I said, "Thank You!" because she understood, as only another woman could, and like a good friend, she knew that laughter was what I needed to really open up and talk about stuff.
I cried a little and we talked about being crazy and we laughed some more. I tried to rationalize, saying I hadn't made a good friend like her here in TN, and things would be better if I just got more sleep. She said, "That may be true, but it's pretty irrelevant don't you think?" Then she said something I really needed to hear, and will hopefully remember without having to stitch it on a freakin' pillow. She said, "After having known you and been your friend for awhile, I think your dark moods are darker than you let on."
And I started crying again because I knew she was right. I mean you can't let other people know you don't have it all together, 'cause then what would they think about you? I don't have the moody teenager or pregnant and hormonal excuses anymore. Now I'm just supposed to be superMom, right?
Well it was time to pick up Laney so I promised Angie I'd call my doctor the next day and we hung up. And it was probably a good thing she made me promise because I would have talked myself out of it. I woke up the next day and for half the day was doing really well, then things unraveled unbelievably fast in the Wal-mart parking lot and I knew I had to call as soon as I got home.
After a painfully embarassing interview, I had my prescription refilled, and John picked it up on his way home from work. It's really not fun answering questions like, "Do you have thoughts of harming your children or your husband?"
"Well, no, I don't have a plan to put them in the car and drive off a bridge or anything, but I can get really mad, really quickly and, you know, in those moments . . I . . worry . . ."
I have an appointment later today with a counselor. John's coming home early to take care of the kids so I can go. I joined the Y last week and have worked out 3 times since. (It's so nice to be able to take a shower while someone else cares for your baby.) I've also gotten out a bit more, tried to spend time with women whom I might open up to. If there's one thing I've learned is that I just can't sit around waiting for things to get better. It only took 3 babies, 2 miscarriages and 9 and a half years. Not so bad, huh? At this rate, I'll have this depression thing licked by the time I'm, uh, let's see . . . 40? Then I'll have teenagers and really be ready to drive off that bridge!