Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Survive {PPD Part 8}

The end! The end! Hallefreakinglujah! It's the end of the saga! I kind of feel like I need a "I survived writing about this and all I got was this lousy T shirt" T shirt. It's been really hard. H. A. R. D. But now it's out there. Now you know. And now, more importantly, I know. It's kinda priceless, the knowing. The acceptance of the jagged edges. The willingness to work at it.

Mostly, though, I'm just really, really, really unbelievably glad it's over. Thanks for sticking with me.

The Monster is Back and It Won't Do the Dishes {Part 1}


The first few months after Kellan was born were wonderful (as wonderful as sleeping in two hour increments can be, really). But the depression came back. And it got bad, really, really, really bad, before I finally took my own advice.

In June, I started feeling like everything from brushing my teeth to keeping up with housework was a Herculean task. Then I got the itch to dye my hair a crazy color (for some reason that's generally a warning sign that something in my head needs attention). Then I started spending massive amounts of time on the Internet avoiding life.

And then the thoughts started again. I was not worth the air I was wasting. My family would be better off without me. I was broken beyond repair.

I'm still floundering with my Christianity and what that means, so instead of being able to accept the great big grace of God, I just felt guilty. I should have figured it out by now. I had used up all the mercy for reals this time. There was nothing wrong with my life and I had no reason to feel this way.

I started crying about everything. Stopped taking care of myself. Let the suicidal thoughts build to a crescendo that drowned out all else. Everywhere I looked I saw a possible “out.” But this time, in LARGE part due to the prodding of my family, I managed to drag myself to the doctor. I told her everything from the beginning - the postpartum depression after Gracelyn, the suicidal thoughts, all of it. Instead of judging me, she gave me another lifeline. A diagnosis. Postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (which is basically PMS on crack and meth at the same time - craaaazy bad hormone cocktail).

And guess what? It was not my fault.

There was HOPE. There was HELP. Medication and counseling and doing this super-awkward mindfulness exercise thingy where you pretend you're a tree. So. Weird. And it's working.

I'm beginning to accept there is no “getting back to normal” from this point on. It's about finding a new version of normal, or even chucking the whole “normal” premise out the window and starting over with something else entirely. Stasis, maybe. Balance. Some days just straight survival.

But survive I will.


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