Today I finally acknowledged something that has been going on. My mood is not right. I think I have Postpartum Depression.
It is very hard for me to acknowledge this. As a mental health professional, I know all of the causes and the treatments. I know that the people who come into my office often struggle to just make it through the day. I know that this is not weakness on their parts, that this is not how they would live if they had a choice. I know I have no choice in this...and yet...
The depression is steadily growing worse. It is not particularly disabling yet in that I am still able to function. I feel nothing though. I see my kids laugh, I play with them, I talk and laugh with my husband....all the while I feel dead on the inside. I have no motivation to clean my house, to exercise, to make sure my family is taken care of and eating their veggies, etc. Just tonight my husband and daughter went outside to practice hurdles for track and I had no desire to join them or watch. I even told Elizabeth that I did not want to go outside with them. I could happily sleep for hours on end and still be tired. I feel listless, overwhelmed, and yet so very very ice cold all at once.
I must be very good at hiding this because Charles almost fell over when I told him. He asked why I had not mentioned this before. I say it is because I thought it would go away. And I truly did, she who should know better. I thought that it was due to sleep deprivation. But wait...Charlie basically sleeps through the night. I thought I was being over dramatic. Then why is it getting worse? I still laugh, right? I still get out of bed and get the kids to school, go to work, maintain my hygiene. Why do I need to FEEL? I am certainly not ACTING depressed. But inside is a different story.
Inside I am screaming. I know there is something wrong. Just a few weeks ago, I was ok. I did not even get the baby blues too terribly badly this time around. I thought I was out of the woods. Not so much. Inside there is ice surrounding what used to be the warmest parts of my heart. I still love my family and I am NOT having thoughts of hurting them or myself...I know enough to make sure that this never ever goes that far. But what kills me is that I feel nothing now, and while I intellectually know that this should bug me...really, it does not. And that is not fair to my children, my husband, or me. I refuse to live my life like this when a few short weeks ago Elizabeth's accomplishments at school made me burst with pride; Alexis's antics made me laugh; Charlie's smile made me into a pile of mush, and Charles's touch never failed to turn me on. Now, I lack even the motivation to pursue the things that I know used to bring me joy.
That is not life. I saw how good things could be, and I am not going to let my brain's screwed up biochemistry take that from me. So I will get over myself and drag my ass to the doctor's. I will go on antidepressants. I will go to therapy if needed. I will not do that to my children or my husband. I WILL live life.
This will not beat me.