Sunday, June 3, 2007

Blues for Breakfast

Can I just tell you how sick I am of feeling sad and depressed? Of being on this roller coaster of emotion? It's so fucking annoying to know that I drew this card in life. That for whatever reason my body chemistry simply can't handle the normal changes that accompany pregnancy and that just because I brought a new life into this world I am being punished.

It doesn't just suck for me. It sucks for the thousands of women who suffer from post-partum depression. It sucks for their kids and their husbands and their friends. I'm sure it sucks for those of y'all who read this blog to have to listen to me bitch and moan half the time.

I am sick to fucking hell of feeling this way. I can't imagine what would happen if I didn't have the knowledge, the self-awareness to know this isn't right, the support system and love of a husband who is willing to say, "You're not acting like yourself."

I keep telling myself I should feel better by now, be back to normal, not feel so....worthless. Not feel like a bad mother and wife and friend because I can't seem to shake this, to get it together and keep it that way.

I keep having weeks of welll-being where I feel great and it seems like I'm back to normal, better than ever, even. Then, some curve ball comes flying my way and it's all undone.

I don't know myself anymore and I certainly don't like this person very much.

But I know that's not right. I know, intellectually, that it's not my fault. But, I can't help feeling like a failure despite that.

However, I also know that if you were my friend and you were going through this, I would tell you to be gentle with yourself. To love yourself and ask for help. To find something you love doing and try to do it as much as you can. To ask a friend or relative or sitter to watch your kids and come have a cup of coffee with me or lunch or a movie. I would tell you to find someone to talk to who is trained to help women who are going through this. And I would tell you to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make instead of beating yourself up.

If you were a friend and your wife were going through this, I would tell you to talk to her doctor, to help her out with chores and take the kids so she could have some time for herself. I would tell you to be patient and just let her know how much you love her and how grateful you are to her for having your babies. I would tell you to remind her that she is a good mother and a good wife. I would tell you to get her to laugh.

It's difficult for anyone dealing with ppd, whether it's the woman suffering or someone who loves her and wants to help. I think it's hardest to be the one with the disease however. You're already hurting and then to compound matters, you feel like you're hurting the ones you love.

If, like me, you are going through a period of post-partum depression, know that you are not alone and there are people out there willing to help you. Find a counselor, join a support group, don't be afraid to tell your partner, your friends, or your doctor how you are feeling. There is no shame in going through this. The only shame comes from denying your feelings and thinking you can get through something of this magnitude alone.

4 comments:

Jen aka Evilynmo said...

Wonderful post, so honest. I felt the same way you feel for months. It wasn't until I weaned that I started to fell like myself again. I am pro breastfeeding 100% but I noticed a direct correlation for myself. You are so perfect, the candor and bravery are truely blessings to all the other women that go through PPD.

rennratt said...

I have not experienced PPD to the extent that you have.

I am sorry, and wish that I could make it go away.

I believe that MOST women experience it to some extent. I thank you for being so honest, and hope that your honesty helps others that may be going through the same thing.

Hugs and love to you.

Jeremy said...

Dawn,

Here's what (who) I know: you.

You are my friend. You have been my friend for over 10 years. I love you. If there is anything I can do, if there is anything Teresa can do, it there is anything Nathan can do (destroy your house in under 15 seconds), please (seriously) let me know.

That's all I got. J

Dogberry said...

D,
Hang in there! I know how bad this stinks. I had it with both kids and it took until they were 7-8 months old before the cloud lifted for good. You're almost there!
Let's get together one morning now that the kids are out of school. You guys can come over and we'll let the kids play and have lunch.
Love,
T