Sunday, July 1, 2007

This is what depression looks like

There is a spot at the back of my head, about where I imagine my medulla oblongata to be, where my depression emanates from. I can feel it silently buzzing when I am having a bad day. I can feel it misfiring synapses, can feel it blocking seratonin from the rest of my brain. I can see it. It is round with a monotonous look on its face; it is pencil drawn, in black and white, like the ball on the antidepressant commercial.
There are times when I get so wrapped up in how my brain feels, I forget how to move my hands. I stare at them, wide-eyed with tears rolling down my face, while I try to figure out how to grasp something. This pales in comparison to the times my brain skips a beat, matrix style, and I suddenly can't figure out what stole the last few seconds from me.
My whole body is leaden. My knees ache. My teeth hurt. I always feel like I am hungry. Apparently I am not among the lucky few who can't eat when they are sad. I try to smile, and it looks like a slash across my face. It is unnatural. People notice and ask why I am holding my face like that.
I cannot get excited over anything. Not baby's milestones, not my upcoming wedding. I want to sit in my house and never leave. I don't even want to be in sitting position. I want to be laying down where I can see the baby and the television and Jason simultaneously. I don't want to die. I just want nothing.
I have rage bubbling inside of me. Always just deep enough where it is not noticeable. Until I cannot find my oven mitt or I dropped something or Jason tries to clean up the living room when I should be doing that, after all I am the mother and I am terrible at it and I am so bad at this and how will she ever love me because I cannot keep a house clean and I am not as cool as I want to be and I am so screwed up how can you ever love me baby I don't even LIKE MYSELF and boom. I throw something at the wall. Then I feel bad about it. But always think it is really Jason's fault. But not really, it is mine cause I am such a screw-up.
No one knows outside of my home. That would be unbearable. I hide it so well at work. They may think I am a bit hard, but all the better to boss them around with.
Until one night while watching a sitcom with one of my best friends...I realize it is not my fault. IT IS NOT MY FAULT. There is something legitimately wrong with me. It is no one's fault, unless you count medulla man, the infamous seratonin blocker.
I make a call to a psychiatric help line. They set me up with a psychiatrist. He only has to spend minutes with me before I burst into tears; by the end of the hour through which I blubber, he decides I have clinical depression, mostly likely the post-partum type. A trip to my family doctor, 1 prescription and less than a week later, I smile. Naturally.
I am not all better. I will be on the drugs for a long time. Recently, due to being in between insurance companies, I was without my drugs for a week and received a GLARING reminder of why I am on them.
Things seem much more manageable now. Plus, I don't always feel like Jason is cheating on me, which he was never EVEN CLOSE to doing, but was a constant fear of mine before. So bad a fear it was that I would check his email. Now I can believe he loves me.
The thing was, I never wanted to hurt the baby. I never thought about her in a negative way. Sometimes I wanted to punch Jason and a lot of times I want to injure myself (not kill, just injure); but no one was ever hurt.
It was all just sadness. Incompleteness. Like I was wrapped in that white foamy stuff they pack things with: I could see and I could move around, but I could never really feel anything unless it was bad.
I don't know who is going to read this. Maybe no one besides the incomparable Miss Ali. But if you do stumble across it and you can relate...I know how you feel. Do yourself the biggest favour of your life and talk to someone. Not your husband/boyfriend/partner. It is too easy to believe they are overreacting. Someone a bit farther away. Listen to them. And let yourself believe that it IS going to get better. We are all rooting for you.

17 comments:

the Girls' Moma said...

My depression probably started a couple of years ago when my 2nd daughter was born, but it's hit full force in the last 4 months. Thanks for writing this. I especially like the description of being wrapped in white foamy stuff and being unable to feel. It's a perfect image.

Good luck. I'll check out more of your writing so I am not just thinking you are sitting there wrapped in packing material. Ha!

Lisa

rochelle said...

Thanks for the post. I can relate. I had PPD with both kids, but didn't do anything about it until my youngest was 8 months old. Like you, no one got hurt, and I *had* to get out of bed in the morning. Very few people know about it, even now. I am still wishing for my normal self back (body and soul) but, due to a variety of circumstances, that seems far, far away. My main emotion is anger, but I try to keep that deep inside, away from my kids. It's getting better. I hope your's continues in that way as well.

SLRd said...

It makes me feel lame but I felt like that over a recent breakup. One that shouldn't have happened and still shouldn't be happening.

And while I've never been one to be exceptionally happy with life and everything in it, it was the first time it got that bad. The first time I was truely afraid I might hurt myself so that at least then I would have some control over it, some control over how I felt.

I know about the teeth hurting. I know about wanting nothing more than to curl up on the floor and cry until all I feel is numb.

But unlike you, the pain emanates from my palms, like a tingly, scratchy sensation.

Jodi said...

Wow. That was so awesome of you to post that. Moms need to know that they're not alone, and you have probably helped some mommies out there. You were very brave to share something so personal. When my kids were young, I went to a mom's group called MOPS for support. It's a faith-based organization, but for everyone. I'm wondering if it would help you to be in a support group? It's probably hard to think about doing that right now, I'm sure....Remember, any step is a step forward.

My prayers are with you!

Jodi

Binkytown said...

Wow. You said it perfectly. The nothingness. I get up in the morning and I don't want to do anything. It's so exhausting. I'm glad you are feeling better and encouraging others. You nailed it.

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