Drugs (don’t worry it’s natural) 😆

I’ve started taking meds for depression and anxiety. Even if this postpartum stuff is temporary, I didn’t want to spend one more second wasting away the moments with my family and friends, good or bad.

It’s a natural one called Travacor. Certain amino acids and some vitamins to go with it make up the ingredient list. One of my best friends recently went on Zoloft for postpartum depression and it (literally) made her want to kill herself. Thus I’m trying the natural route first.

I’ve been taking Travacor for about a week now and I’ve already started to feel a difference. Believe me I was skeptical about it even helping, so I don’t think it’s a placebo effect. It’s not like you can just “snap out” of depression. They say it takes 2-3 weeks to really take full affect. Already I’ve been feeling more energetic, motivated, calm, happy, and hopeful without any groggy or mind numbing side effects. I’d say that’s winning.

Most importantly I’ve been sillier and more openly loving towards my children and my husband. I’ve been interacting with him more, calling him on the phone more (he’s on a long work stent right now), and I even feel my sex drive start to go up a bit. Winning plus bonus!

Except for me.

Postpartum depression is no joke. It had slowly taken over my life without me even realizing it. I’m not out of it yet… But I can see the light, and as I look back at that inky darkness, it’s terrifying to think about living in that place forever. Or even one moment longer. Swallowing my pride and denial was worth it already. 

Hold Me

I feel like a papier-mâché shell. One that’s old and cracking, with pieces blowing away with each gust of life’s storm. Empty, all but for some dust and sand that’s happened to blow in through the cracks.

I once held life. Now I’m tired. Too tired.

If I could just rest. If they would just let me sleep for more than an hour at a time. If I… Could I…would it…

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I get glimpses of life and love surrounding me and I feel they’re warmth. My baby girl, who can’t help but smile, giggle, and coo at 4 am. My youngest son, who loves to cuddle and tell me he loves me. My oldest, whose imagination is bigger and wider than space itself. My husband, whose love has surpassed these walls countless times.

Their warmth permeates my skin and I feel right again for an instant. “How could I have ever felt so disconnected and blue?” I ask myself as I sip hot coffee.

Then my coffee turns lukewarm as if to mimic my insides. My passion… My drive… I know you’re there. Why have you hidden yourself from me? Anger. Why can’t I just follow through? Why can’t I be the glowing, giving soul I know is in there somewhere? Then the look of betrayal and hurt in my loved ones’ eyes.

I can’t do this. I can live, but I can’t do life well. I have so much more to give and it’s blocked by the ugliness in my mind.

Lord clear the path for me to come out of this empty shell. Give me strength to hold and love others. Imprison the impatience and anger that are sisters to this depression. Shackle their lies. Water down and wash away their thick sludge. Hold me for I cannot hold myself.

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Prelude to this post HERE

Defective 

I don’t want to write this out. Writing it makes it real. I want it to just be my imagination. I want to keep it as a passing thought each time I have to wake in the night for the kids. Wouldn’t it be easier to just not say anything about the numbness inside, the feeling that something is wrong and it must be all my fault.

But keeping it to myself isn’t fair to my husband, who just wants me to love myself as much as he loves me. It wouldn’t be fair to my kids, who just want their fun, happy mommy and not one that yells so much.

It’s been creeping into my every-day for a while now. It doesn’t just show up all at once. It’s been 6 months. Some days are better than others and so it can be misleading…having me think maybe nothing’s wrong really.

Postpartum Depression. Such an ugly label in my mind. I’m stronger than that. Right? I can rise above. I can do this. I’m not a whimp. My faith can carry me through. I can do everything my other mom friends are doing. I can handle it. I…I…just can’t.

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I can see my normal, bubbling, sarcastic, laughing, silly, fun-loving self. I see glimpses of her. I remember her. Why can’t I get back to her?

Snap out of it! Just don’t feel this way. Exercise more. Take more vitamin B. Get more fresh air. Talk about your feelings. Read your bible more. I try. I promise you, I swear, I do. I try it all. And it does help for a time. But it’s still there in end. That haze.

The fog of sadness disguised as frustration, anger, numbness, un-motivation, forgetfulness, and anti-social disgust. 

Postpartum Depression. So common and yet I feel so ashamed. I love my baby. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love myself.  But with it, it’s impossible to control how I feel or, sometimes, to even feel anything at all.

 I feel like a failure. I feel weak. I feel overwhelmed. I feel defective. I feel like an outcast. I feel alone.

Now that I’ve said it. It’s real. It’s right in front of me and it’s ugly and not fair. But at least now I can get help. I feel lucky to have a few very supportive and understanding friends, along with my mom, and my husband.

I’m just tired of it defining my life. You can’t have me or my mind anymore you bastard. I’m gonna fight back. Not by my power, because right now I have none, but with the love from my loved ones, God, and the knowledge of those that have trudged this road before me.

I can’t be embarrassed or ashamed anymore. I have to be humble and brave all at once. For my kids. For my husband, my family…for me.

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I luckily don’t have extreme PPD and so I don’t have every one of these symptoms. (Like not connecting with my baby or wanting to harm myself or my kids.) But if you have any of the following, please seek help for your sake and the sake of your kid(s). It is SO common and IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

So…If you are wondering what postpartum depression looks like, here are some symptoms: 

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You may [also] have postpartum anxiety or postpartum OCD. For a more complete explanation of PPD and PP anxiety/OCD, this is an extremely accurate and easy to understand article.

You ARE NOT alone. 

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The morning after this post is here.

Cookies Are Forever 

I heard somewhere the other day, or maybe I read it, that “change cannot happen without change.” This keeps popping up in my head as the days have gone by. Why?  When you want to make major changes in your life, do you instantly think of every single thing that needs to change and try to mentally take it all in at once? I do.

I do this and then I fall apart. I become an angry, frustrated, exhausted, unhealthy person…The exact opposite of what I want to be. So really what needs to happen is for me to just take one step at a time. Cliché. Easier said than done. Sometimes it’s too easy and it doesn’t seem like I’m gaining any ground. One tiny step…does it even make a difference?

It makes all the difference in the world. Without that one tiny decision made, you won’t get anywhere. You cannot change without change.

I woke up tired this morning and didn’t want to finish yesterday’s tasks. (Totally my M.O.) It’s Saturday right?! Ugh. All three kids have been crying at the drop of a hat, which makes me wanna cry too! (Or pull my hair out… Whichever comes first.) so we started today with TV and coffee with cookies for mommy. I could let this go on all day. I’m the boss right!? Because…cookies.

But I know how days spent in front of the tv end. Lifeless and devoid of any energy or meaning.

“But I have so much to do!” It’s so overwhelming to look at everything all at once that it’s tempting to freeze and simply do nothing at all.

Okay. Here we go. One step. What does that mean today? What does it look like? At that moment all I could manage was to just get up! Things in motion are more likely to stay in motion. Just get up!  All the other tasks, worries, changes… They can come one at a time after that.

So if you’re having one of those days like I am today, be kind to yourself. That doesn’t always mean completely vegging out all day (some days call for that for sure). Sometimes being kind to yourself means taking one more step, just a tiny one in the direction that you want to go. And if all that you have accomplished for that day is keeping yourself alive, standing on your own two feet, and facing in the right direction… then that is something! It counts, believe me. Because all those somethings will add up, all of those little decisions, all of those small changes will make a change.

Now I’m gonna go make change for a $20 and buy some more cookies. Hey Judge Judgington, cookies don’t change, cookies are forever.

A Series Of Failures

I feel like I’ve been tumbling down a spiral staircase that never ends. Like I’m trying to swim to save someone’s life but I can’t keep my head above the water.

I just got over a massive 2 day headache. My MIL and mother were so kind and helped me so much with the kids. I was in so much pain… I felt helpless. Like a child…. Having waves of panic attacks at 4 am because of the pain and no sleep and thinking about my responsibilities as a mother of three (with my husband gone for two weeks at a time for work). A child taking care of children.

Any normal person would call in to work sick, pull the shades, pop some pain pills, and sleep/rest until the migraine was gone. No guilt. The pain is incapacitating… You can think, you’re nauseated, you can’t even open your eyes.

But a mom is always a mom. Sick or sailing through. You can’t call into work and say you won’t be coming. 

So when my MIL told me to go lay down and she would take the three kids until I felt like I could handle the day… I cried. To be able to recover in a dark quiet room was like handing me $5,000 and expecting nothing in return. Except better. Money couldn’t buy the relief and love I felt. I was able to stay in bed until 1:30 pm! My headache was still there but no longer blinding.

To all those out there who have to deal with chronic pain. My hat’s off to you. I don’t know how you live every day as a functioning, motivated human being. I pray you get some relief.

Depression and Anxiety: Sometimes you just can’t see it

My husband has been asking me for the past couple weeks what is wrong. “Are you mad at me?” No I’m not mad at him… Although some things that he does make me infuriated. Namely–waking me up 10 million times a night. My husband has insomnia, and although I know he suffers, it makes me suffer as well. I have 3 kids including a five-month-old daughter who wakes up 3 to 4 times a night to eat. Nursing her isn’t bad but between the two of them I haven’t been getting any sleep. When I don’t get sleep I get depressed and anxious. I didn’t think anything was wrong until this morning when my husband let me sleep in I felt a bit better and it made me realize that an old demon was visiting me.

I’m a glass half full kind of gal and I’m quite silly, but lately I have been feeling worthless, inadequate, disorganized, lazy, angry, and unattractive. *Cue my tears as I write this…admitting it is sometimes half the battle*

It all adds up to anxiety and depression and it stems from stress and lack of sleep. Lack of sleep being the number one culprit. I really wish that I was one of those people that didn’t need any sleep and yet can keep on trucking. I feel like a toddler who throws tantrums when they haven’t had their afternoon nap. Granted I can’t actually remember the last time I had an afternoon nap.

I feel like moments with my husband and children are slipping past me. I reach out to try and grab them and they just dissipate like smoke between my fingers. I want to have sex, I want to interact, I want to play, I want to teach, I want to love. But when I feel this way it’s like I’m floating above my body watching her go through the motions. I urge it to put forth more effort but she can’t hear me.

People call me and I look at my phone with disgust. They want to get together and I try my hardest to act excited. I AM excited… but this smog surrounding me, filling my brain makes me unable to feel.

Lucky for me I’ve been here before. I know I can get out of the smog. For me the answer is sleep, expressing the truth out loud, and looking to the Lord to remind me of my worth. Having other people and my husband tell me that I am not inadequate sometimes just isn’t enough. For me I have to dive into the word and remind myself that I am a daughter of the Almighty Lord. And He IS a good Father.

I realize in all of this chaos I have forgotten to look for him, I have put off talking to Him. I have watched Bachelor in paradise instead of drinking in His word. Ha! Why!?! It’s SOOOOO stupid and I think that’s why… We love to numb ourselves don’t we? Like a mind-tranquilizing breeze to blow away the chaos. The problem is, watching shows and other distractions only last so long.

I need a true peace, a joy that lasts and endures through times of unhappiness and relentless self-hate. For me it lies in the Lord. It’s gonna take time and my life still goes on but somewhere in my muddled, foggy mind, there is a little girl with a little candle and she’s smiling because she’s knows where to find a match.

Mulligan Pt 2

So I dropped the boys off and planned to rush home to sleep while the baby sleeps. Ha! She had already fallen asleep in the car. So I pull over in a nearby neighborhood, thinking I could rest my eyes too.

Just as I’m pulling over I see a young man (late teens early 20’s) carrying a heavy sack of groceries in one hand and a pizza box with a cake precariously stacked on top of it in the other. “Just park and close your eyes” my mind said. “Hello! Offer him a ride and change his day!” Says my spirit. I still had nothing left to give.

But he didn’t know that.

I was on the verge of tears because of pain and because I was so close to rest I could almost taste it’s sweetness. Another road block? No.

This in itself was a form of rest. Remember selflessness and kindness? It looks like giving, but really it is gain in disguise. After I dropped Tristin (the young man) off at his run-down apartment, he thanked me for the 5th time and scurried up to his apparently un-air conditioned home. The door was being held open with a large box fan.

I don’t say all this to show how awesome I am. I certainly didn’t feel awesome. I say it to encourage. If there is a situation where you find yourself saying “not today, just don’t have time” or “not now I just can’t!” Maybe just go a little bit further. Do one more thing.— you can do so little and yet do so much at once!

Or you can call a mulligan. I’d totally understand 😝