i haven’t been a fan of myself lately.
motherhood, parenting, humaning… has kicked my butt the last couple of months.
i feel like i have had a mild bout with postpartum depression. delayed onset or something. just writing that out loud, publicly outting myself, is equal parts liberating and completely batshit scary.
everyone told me (when i was experiencing some depression about being prego my 1st trimester) that the feelings of sadness would all go away as soon as baby came. i am here to say that although i absolutely adore my baby girl (and i mean LOVE her), it did not go away. the sad has been here but not how i classically understood PPD.
these feelings of being overwhelmed, irritable and the rage (oh my god, the rage) that i have experienced is really freaking scary sometimes. it’s not what i ever expected to feel. especially because i don’t have any trouble bonding with my baby. i don’t ever feel unhappy or ungrateful for my family. it’s not what i expected but it sits and waits until suddenly leaping out in my voice or when my husband forgets something simple. i get angry and i have to count to ten and come off it. it’s scary you guys.
my psychology degree does absolutely nothing to help me, other than the occasional mockery and “pffft” that happens when i think about therapy. so ironic. admitting that yes, this has been an issue, and yes, it isn’t necessarily how i thought it would be, took a month. because illness, particularly mental illness, is never black and white but often a million shades of grey (god I hope that’s not the name of that book, too tired to check) with no clear definition, start or finish, size or weight. it just creeps in and settles and sometimes starts to become part of you, familiar and common, without every really announcing, “I’M HERE!”
so there’s that. and it’s kind of here and i don’t know for how long. i don’t like who it’s making me though, even if it’s only an hour in the morning or at the end of the day. i don’t like how at the end of some days i look at my sleeping children and wonder how they got here or how they’ve grown so fast. because honestly, i feel sometimes like i’m not even in my body. the mornings i’m too tired and discouraged from getting dressed are the worst. i muster just enough energy to make my son breakfast before laying on the couch and try with all my might only to sleep partially unconscious until his little forehead is pressed so hard into my own that i jolt awake to his tiny voice saying, “hi mama.”
it sounds like the classic first year with a new baby though. and i have tried, frequently, to tell myself that. but i can’t deny that i never felt like this with wryter. middle of the night feedings were a celebration, i welcomed them. now… now i don’t know how many times i feed story. all i know is that the sound of crying or the feeling of wry’s leg touching me makes my skin crawl. not always, not every night, but enough to make me look in the mirror and realize there is something off.
admitting there is a problem is the first step, right? i hope so. i hope that, along with my hair falling out (Story turned 3 months last friday, so it’s right on cue) and my skin acting a mess, this too shall pass. but i foresee some talks with my midwives, bringing out the placenta pills (again), and seriously facing this unwelcomed thing one on one. just pray for me that it’s not permanent.
that is the scariest part.