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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

I have a confession. This is really hard for me to write for fear that those who don’t have children won’t understand and those that do have children will look down on me. I’m feeling regretful that we had a second baby. Of-course I love Bella. I wanted Bella. We tried for four months to have Bella. I have never, not even for one second, considered giving her up by abortion or adoption. I wouldn’t “pawn” her off on anyone even if I had a willing receiver. I am just feeling like a horrible mother right now – to both of my kids.

My patience has been tested and it is wearing very thin. Max is an amazing child. I would say (naturally) that he is absolutely brilliant. I fear that I did him a huge disservice by having a second baby before he was no longer my “baby.” He has become blatantly insolent – testing me every chance he gets – rarely obeying the first time I ask/tell him something. Yes, I know this is normal behavior for a two year old but I still feel responsible for it in some way. He’s cooped up in our house all day with only a porch and back yard to escape into… and I have to be a willing party for that to happen.

Bella cries more and longer than I ever let Max because half the time I just want to ignore her and the other half, I’m genuinely involved with something I can’t break away from right away. I swat Max more than I ever in my life thought I would and my bond with Bella is nowhere as strong as it was with Max when he was her age.

Every day is a struggle to be gentle to my children. Every day I struggle to talk calmly so Max will listen and feel respected. I just want to feel like I can handle this. I want to feel less annoyed by my kids. I want my kids to be older so I can have a break during the day while they are at school.

And then there is my poor little dog, Oscar. Clearly, he has some brain damage. I am filled with so much sadness today.

I had to push his leathery tongue back into his mouth.

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I really did know better than to try and level with my MIL. If there is one thing she can’t handle, it is hearing that someone is depressed. So scary for her. She and my BIL talk about depression as if it is a weakness or disorder. The only reason I said something to her is because I wanted to give her a chance to hear the truth. I didn’t like how she reacted to it so she pretty much lost that privilege from me. In my heart, I know she does care and she does love me. She just isn’t aware that normal people get depressed and see therapists and that it is OKAY. Maybe she’ll learn a little from knowing?

I started to feel better last week – probably due to going outside more often – and *almost* decided that I didn’t need to see a therapist. Then I thought, no, there is a reason beyond my understanding that I have been feeling so sad and just because the sadness comes and goes, doesn’t mean I should ignore it. Because we all know what happens when we ignore important emotions… they come back in the future to bite us in our respective ass.

I’m still in the weaning process with Max. I don’t mind nursing him anymore. I feel like since there is so much that I can’t do with him right now I can “make up” for it by allowing him to nurse. I’m careful to not nurse him when I really don’t feel like it because I don’t want to be sitting there hating every moment. He nurses maybe 2-3 times during the day, to go down for a nap, and first thing in the morning. No night nursing. Hey, it’s a start.

Okay, verdict is in… I can not eat eggs or soy products. They have a negative affect on Bella’s skin. Next week, once her skin clears up from the recent soy introduction, I’ll reintroduce dairy to see what happens. That day, I’m going to Whole Foods with a friend and ordering a cheese sandwich and taking home a pizza for dinner. It takes about two days to see if her skin reacts. I’m really hoping I can at least eat dairy! If I have to give that up, welp, that is what I will do. A part of me finds it fun to come up with a variety of foods that don’t have those three ingredients as the staple.

Yesterday I let Max run around our back yard nekked. And by “let” I mean, I couldn’t get him to keep his clothes on. He was playing in his pool and decided it was just not comfortable being wet and having on clothes. When Hal gets home tonight I’m going to run up to the store and buy batteries for my camera – it is killing me to not have it! He was so cute with his curls bouncing up and down as his pudgy little legs took him all over the yard. I love how wild and true kids are to their nature – so beautifully primitive and free.

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Me: Do you know what kind of doctors appointment I am going too? I’m going to see a therapist.

MIL: OH NO!

Me (trying to ignore the mortified look on her face): Yeah, I’ve been feeling some depression lately…

MIL (interrupting me): OH God, I hope you aren’t going to turn out like your mother!

Me (wishing I hadn’t opened my big fat honest mouth): that’s different…

MIL (interrupting me): well, you better go.

I keep trying to remind myself that she has the mentality of a very young girl who has little exposure to anything intellectual. And she doesn’t advocate simple honesty and genuineness from others or herself on any level. She is the most superficial person I have ever met – and I’ve known a lot of people.

When I came home from my appointment I ate some chips and cookies. I liked my therapist.

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Slept in today, but really, it’s not “sleeping in” so much as “catching up” on much needed sleep. A difference I had to explain quite tartly to my husband when he pouted, “why don’t I ever get to sleep in?” Once he heard the answer to his question, he said, “ahhh, you make a powerful argument” which in Hal-speak, means, “you’re right.”

So, while Hal played outside with Max and took care of Bella, I got some sleep. When I dragged myself out of bed close to 11am, I felt refreshed and ready to take on the world – or at least my kids. Hal only had half a day off so left around 12:30 to attend a work meeting a few towns away. He’ll be home around 5, which is lovely.

The letter I wrote to Monica brought out a lot of buried feelings. I think writing (about all this depression) is helping me a lot but doesn’t take the place of speaking to someone. I’m having a difficult time finding a therapist who takes my insurance and has a private practice. I don’t want to go into a large system like an outpatient hospital for the mental.

Next week on Wednesday, I think I’ll brave the YMCA with both kids. I’ll be able to take the stroller that Bella’s car seat attaches to in with me which will be very helpful. Plus, it is only a 15 minute drive from my house. I REALLY need to find stuff close to my house that I can do with both kids. I love all my mama friends and feel like when I make the trip to see them it is worth the time and energy, but lately I just don’t have the energy to make a 30 minute drive. Eventually I will. I just gotta be patient.

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Dear Monica,

Hi. I know you are no longer here with us (unless you are hanging around waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and say, Boo!) but I had to write you this letter. I was up for hours last night composing it in my head. Remembering all the details of our 15 year friendship was like watching a mind-film, it came easy. There is so much I want to say to you, all of it equally important to me, all of it stuff I wish I would have said before you died.

I think I will start with your death. Why? Well, I guess I know why. You had a chemical dependency to the prescription medications you were taking. You went too far. You took too many. I hope there was no other reasons that drove you to overdose. I hope that I didn’t make you sad. I hope that you can forgive me for putting so much distance between us after Max’s birth, after we last spoke (fought), and for not telling you when I became pregnant again, for not inviting you to the birth of my daughter. I hope that if you knew all along (because you were secretly following my blogs) that you can let go of the hate you must have felt towards me.

I guess it is a little too late, now, to explain why I put so much distance between us. I know explaining it is more about me healing and forgiving myself than anything else. I think I’ll save those words for later.

You admitted it to me – once – that you knew you were a “drug addict.” We talked about it quite frankly, even discussed NA meetings in your area. You made a slight effort to get involved with NA. It never happened, though. Their answering machine asked for your name and number and you hung up, never to call back. Forgive me for not setting up an intervention to save you from yourself. I wish I would have.

I had a dream about you the other night. We were attending Hal’s cousin’s wedding that was being held in a theater. We sat next to one another and complained/laughed at how cramped we were (not enough leg room). When we got up to leave we had to walk through a weird path that took us onto the stage. Somehow we got separated and I couldn’t find you again. That morning when I awoke, the dream still fresh in my mind, I cried. Hal was there for me. He held me tight in his arms, speechless over my suffering.

I remember your dreams. Your dream to be an actress. Not just any actress, a FAMOUS actress. I remember the play you were in. This was when you were dating Ricky, the guy who physically and mentally abused you for four years. It was a miracle that he “let” you do the play – you had to fight to make it happen.

I was so happy when you two broke up. Knowing what I know now, I probably could have been a better friend to you during those years. I didn’t understand abuse or why a woman would stay in an abusive relationship so I was probably pretty harsh on you. We didn’t speak much those four years (during our early twenties). He isolated you from your friends and family. You isolated yourself. However, when you two broke up, we reconnected like there was never a separation in our friendship. That was the second time we came back together after a period of estrangement.

The first time we took a break from one another we mutually agreed we needed time apart. I was 17 or 18 years old. I remember being so frustrated with you because I felt suffocated by your love and need for our friendship. It felt like I was breaking up with you. You were equally frustrated with me because I wasn’t being the kind of friend you needed me to be. You also wanted space from me. I remember having “the talk” with you as we were walking from the gym at MCC to our next class together. I remember when the conversation ended we walked our separate ways. I think that break from one another lasted a couple years. When we became friends again, you introduced me to my future husband. Though, at the time, he was the dude you wanted to hook up with. Lucky for me he wasn’t the aggressive type, didn’t move “fast enough” for your liking. Lucky for me, another guy came along and caught your eye. I remember, and I know you do too because we often would laugh about it years later, you telling me, “you can have Hal, Michelle, I’ll let you.” And to that I say, thank you.

There are so many things I could write about. So many things spread out in my memory right now. Topless time, Ricky (movie theater manager), Chicago (and how cynical I was while narrating your video footage), looooong conversations over the phone throughout our entire friendship, crying in my shower the first time you overdosed, fishing, public telephones (I’ll leave it at that, but you know what I’m talking about!), Cypress Cove, the back massager (I won’t say anymore on that one, either), all your secrets, the book you made me, the poems you have written me, the awe you frequently expressed over how many times I have changed throughout our friendship… and so much more. I have a lock box in my heart filled with thoughts of you, of us.

Now that I am a mother, I so wish I had been there for you when you became a mom. I wish I could have brought you home made dishes the way my friends did for me. Hal and I were living in Chicago when Darren was born. I still have the Polaroid you took for me of your mama-belly.

I was disconnected from you as a mother. You never talked to me about being a mom or talked about your son. We would spend hours on the phone, yet, I knew nothing of your life as a mom. I remember you telling me that that was why you loved talking to me so much, because I allowed you to talk about yourself, your life – separate from your child. Everyone else seemed to only care about your son (your perception) and never asked how YOU were doing.

I’m glad I was there for you during those times the way you needed me to be. I’m happy to know that I was a good friend to you for some fraction of the time we knew one another. I just wish I knew more about what mothering was like for you. I’m so sad that I won’t have an opportunity to tell you about Bella’s birth. That I will never see you healthy again -like you were when we first met. I’m sad that I will never know the woman you could have been. I’m sad that your son will never know that woman.

It is so hard to not believe in heaven, hell, God, or an afterlife when you loose someone you love so dearly. I want to believe so many beautiful things but you know how I am, Mrs. Cynical – the one who is comfortable with “not knowing.”

At your funeral I spoke with your Uncle Bill. Oh, that uncle of yours. He told me that you were standing in the church service looking at all of the people who came to honor you. He said you were happy and that you were with your first true love, Darren, and an unidentified person. I wanted so badly to believe him. I let myself believe him, even though as I was looking into his eyes I wondered if he was crazy. I want to believe you are no longer suffering. I want to believe that when we die we are released from our bodies and our spirit goes down what-ever path it is meant to take. I want so badly to believe that you overdosing the day after my daughter was born is just a coincidence. I want to believe that we are all spirits and not just this clump of flesh and bones – the bone-dust I watched the priest pour into the ground and your family throw dirt on. I want to believe that I will see you again and we will give each other the biggest hug ever.

I love you. I will never forget you. I have more to write but this is it for now.

Love,

Michelle

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I’m getting agitated with all the well meaning advice to my depression problem – and it has only been two days since I started talking about it. I’ve never been so annoyed by people who are just trying to “care” for me. I feel like such a bitch. I know my friends want to help but really, the only help they can give me is empathy or sympathy. If one more person tells me to go for a walk I’m going to shoot THEM in the head. Exercise may help… if I was able to do it. It may help to get out of the house… if I was able to do it. Should I feel even more depressed because I can’t??? Physical activity and RA do NOT mix well. Its hard for people to “get” that I am in pain all the time and moving is a risky venture.

I love that my friends and Hal are concerned because it means that they love me. However, I kinda think people take it personally when they can’t get a depressed person to “feel better.” Or rather, they take it too personally when they do. And so what – I’m depressed, possible PPD, it happens. I know it is only temporary. Gawd, I can’t wait until my first session with the therapist. In the mean time, thanx for listening to me gripe.

And now one of my mama friends who doesn’t know me very well (and visa-versa) – someone who I haven’t known for very long – is calling me all the time to “check on me.” She is well meaning and I’m being too harsh and judgmental, I know. What can I say, I’m also very cranky. She told me that she too is having difficulty with depression and is at the point where she feels like she needs to do something about it. Her efforts to help me are backfiring because its only making me feel bad. She is so giving and caring towards me but I keep the gigantic wall up and don’t return the concern for her wellbeing. I am such a jerk. I just really need her to stop calling all the time without taking it personally. A phone call every few days is enough, really. Again… I know… sounding like a total bitch.

I actually feel a bit better today than I did yesterday… believe it or not. I think just “announcing” that I’m not feeling good is helpful. I have made contact with a psychotherapist who was recommending to me by a friend who’s partner is also a psychotherapist – so their recommendation seems hopeful.

This experience is making me think about how I deal with other people I love being depressed.

This is my first brush with depression where I actually know that what I’m going through is called *depression.* Doesn’t make it hurt any less but it makes it seem more manageable – like giving it a name means there is a way to get through it. It also helps me to not lash out at people – even though I’ll still lash in the form of journal writing. Anyway, rambling now… thanks if you are still reading.

PS – low and behold, not even 30 mins after typing this, my overly concerned friend called again. I answered the phone this time and found out she was calling to tell me how helpful she finds walking. You know, she says, you can just throw Max in the stroller and Bella in the sling and go for a 45min to an hour walk every day! When she stopped talking long enough for me to get a word in I reminded her of my RA and she said, “Oh God, just kick me in the butt for being so insensitive. I am so sorry.” She made me laugh and I offered to punch her in the face or shoot her in the head, instead. I think she was a little unsure of my tone. We hung up on good terms, though – no harm done – I hope.

Man, I can be such a shit when I’m down.

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I’m starting to feel something that is familiar and unwanted. It is located in between my heart and my throat. That place where stuff wants to come out but it is too abstract to make its way through the mouth. I used to feel this way and blame everyone and everything around me for it. I use to blame Hal. Now, I just feel it and want to run away. The problem is, I don’t know what it is I would be running from – other than this feeling. I think it is Depression but I’m afraid to see it as a problem. If it’s a problem that means I need to fix it and can’t just ignore it. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t want to fix it if the only way to do so is to take synthetic moods. I don’t want to talk about it with anyone because that would mean I’d have to actually pick up the phone. Then, I’d have to listen to advice that I’d agree with but won’t be able to follow. I don’t want to talk about it with Hal – even though I know I’ll tell him what is going on with me. I don’t want to be disappointed in him because he can’t help me. He won’t have the right words or the right questions and I don’t want to find a reason to blame him for not being able to help. I haven’t started taking it out on my kids but I’m afraid if I don’t cry soon, that is exactly what will happen. I don’t want to cry because it gives me a headache and that makes my day 10x’s harder. Wait, I have started “taking it out” on my kids – I feel numb around them. I do the bare minimum to care for them. I think this has been going on for a while but I’m just noticing it today. I tell myself that I am okay. That if I can just make it through this next year my RA medication will come to the rescue and life will be “normal” again. How am I going to make it through this year feeling this way??? I think I may need to see a therapist.

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