I've always been torn between being extremely guarded and being extremely honest. As I've aged, the honesty keeps slipping further and further into the most guarded places of my heart and mind.
I think that's my new definition of growth.
As a Mother's Day gift to myself, I'm going to allow myself to grow a little more.
Please, let me start out by formally announcing that I absolutely love and adore my daughter. It's likely that it may seem otherwise after reading this. I assure you, that is not the case, I love her as intensely as I have ever loved anything.
I was pregnant.
I didn't have a glamorous pregnancy. I didn't have a particularly complicated pregnancy either. I think it was a pretty standard, run of the mill pregnancy.
Then, I gave birth.
I didn't have a glamorous delivery. I didn't have a particularly complicated delivery either. I think it was a pretty standard, run of the mill delivery.
Now I have a baby.
Somehow, the hospital let me leave with this thing. I mean, I had to prove I could make it gain weight and that I could change diapers, (both mine and the baby's), but they totally let me take her home. I'm still shocked by this.
6 weeks later.
This is just baby blues.
The baby blues should be gone.
The baby blues aren't gone?
I'm not depressed, this is just new.
This is hard.
She's just being difficult today.
I'm just tired.
I can't sleep.
I don't think that anyone would call me an overly emotional person, but I am someone who knows how they feel despite the fact that I rarely express it. I was expressing it all over the place. I didn't realize to what extent, and I didn't realize how abnormal for me it was.
My husband's friend was the first to question my mental state. My friend, his wife, had been through this, and he recognized similarities in me. He mentioned this to my husband, who mentioned it to me.
I spent an entire evening processing, crying, researching, crying, writing, crying, crying, crying.
It didn't click at first, until it did. One visit from those caring friends and one doctor's appointment later.
I opted to get some medicine to help me while I determine what other help I might need. It worked quite well at first. I cried less, and my mind didn't race as much. The little voice inside my head became less negative and more forgiving. I felt a positive clarity, one that I didn't even have before all of this.
I'm glad someone pointed out to me that I wasn't okay. I'm glad I know myself well enough to recognize that they were right. I'm glad I'm not scared to admit that I need help.
I have Postpartum Depression.
I say have, because I still have it. It hasn't gone anywhere.
The medicine I'm on isn't working was well as it was. I'll be addressing that with my doctor shortly.
Right now, I feel as though I am present, but nothing else. Majority of the time my head feels like a quiet, absent place. I feel like if I were to walk on a marble floor with stilettos on, I would make no noise. Feeling like a noiseless version of myself isn't the worst thing, but my mind likes to make me feel like shit for it, and then I go dark.
When my head space goes dark, it's brutal. I wanted to type out an example of the thoughts that run through my head, but I'm in a decent, noiseless spot right now and I don't particularly want to spill the negative stuff all over it.
What's important here is that I'm smart enough to know that the things I'm telling myself are false. I know, logically, there isn't a reason for me to feel what I'm feeling. There isn't a reason for me to be so critical when I have evidence that I am doing well.
I fully intend on working with my doctor and adjusting my medication until it works for me. I'm also coming to the realization that I probably needed therapy before all of this and that if I want to pass this hump in my life, I'm going to need to talk through some things.
I said it before, but I truly mean it:
Learning to take care of my daughter is teaching me how to take care of myself.