Friday, June 8, 2007

Save Me

Sometimes God or the Universe or Whom or Whatever You Believe In knows just what you need.

After feeling REALLY CRAZY thanks to the ppd for a couple of days, I had a crazy-busy-pretty-okay week that ultimately left me feeling pretty damned lucky. And loved.

I got a lot of support from three old and good friends. I heard from several friends (via e-mail) that I hadn't talked to in a while and ended up being unexpectedly social this week. Social and highly caffeinated. On Monday, I invited my friend Tara over for coffee in the afternoon. We had a really nice time visiting and I definitely feel closer to her. She's a warm and friendly, down-to-earth kind of woman and I just feel extremely at ease with her.

Tuesday was a drag, but I survived. Wednesday I received a spur of the moment lunch invitation from my friend Jennifer when I ran into her at our kids' preschool. We went back to her house and ate a delicious lunch while the kids ate their grilled cheese sandwiches and played outside.

That afternoon my friend Lucy called and invited me to coffee at her house on Thursday morning. We ended up making homemade guacamole and munching and laughing our bums off at our worst parenting stories while our babies napped and our big boys were at preschool.

Then, today I went for coffee with Lucy, Laura, and Stacey. Jennifer and Tara were also supposed to be there, but sick kids prevented them from joining us. This coffee date was the only thing I had planned all week. But, I so needed to be around other people and to know I have friends who don't judge me for feeling blue when I have everything to be happy about.

They're all moms. They get it, having been there or had loved ones who were there.

I am so blessed to have fallen into this social group. There was no guarantee we would all like and accept one another. But it has really worked out well. I think I've found some women who can become lifelong friends.

I am grateful. I am glad.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Hard to Explain

I really need to clarify something.

No one is to blame for post-partum depression. Mine or anyone else's.

It's not something you did. Or said. Or didn't do.

My body has a chemical imbalance. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Life events did not cause my ppd. PPD does affect how I react to things.

Please. Don't blame yourself. Don't blame me.

It sucks. But it is what it is. And I am working my hardest to make it all better.

Tag. You're It

Jen, aka Evilynmo, offered up this little meme today and tagged us all. So, having never participated in a meme via my blog, I thought why the heck not? It's a pleasant little diversion if nothing else. Oh, and by the way, Jeremy, A., and Suz...Consider yourselves tagged.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago this month, Scott, our friend J.ed, our puppy Cooper, and I were all moving into a house together. Scott and I had been together 18 months and in that time I had lived in four different places. The last of those homes was with a psychotic roommate who blamed me when her very, very bad dog jumped the fence and got hit by a car.

It felt great to move in with someone I could trust and have fun with, but also a little scary-exciting to think we were advancing our relationship in that way.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Trying to get Brendan potty trained, being about three or four months pregnant with Beckett, and pretty much the same thing I'm doing now. Sad how much life stays the same even when it changes. Or maybe that's good. Who knows?

Five snacks you enjoy
1. Cheese, please. Just about any kind.
2. Hummus with carrot sticks, red bell pepper, and pita
3. Fresh, juicy peaches
4. Rold Gold Honey Wheat pretzel sticks
5. Whole Foods veggie sticks

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to
1. Rockin' the Suburbs, Ben Folds
2. Wayside/Back in Time, Gillian Welch
3. Wrecking Ball, Gillian Welch
4. Silent Night (in English and German)
5.Penny Lane, The Beatles

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
1. Build a house or renovate a house in the City
2. Fully fund college funds for both boys
3. Do something really nice for my mother-in-law and my aunt and uncle
4. Buy a summer home in Ireland and use it as my summer hub while traveling throughout Europe
5. Donate a chunk to an animal charity of some sort

Five bad habits
1. Procrastinating (I have so many other things I should be doing right now.)
2. Losing my temper/yelling
3. Coddling people I love
4. Being unorganized
5. Wine

Five things you like doing
1. Hanging out with friends
2. Cooking/Trying new recipes
3. Reading for pleasure/Learning something new
4. Sleeping late with nothing to do/Lounging in bed with Scott while we talk and read
5. Making Brendan and Beckett laugh

Five things you would never wear again
1. Maternity clothes
2. Blue eye liner
3. Once I get there, nothing larger than a size 4 or 6
4. Business suits (although I can't seem to let go of the ones hanging in my closet that haven't been worn in 5 years)
5. plaid

Five favorite toys
1. My KitchenAid mixer with all its attachments
2. My Powerbook
3. Video IPod
4. Park swings
5. Fast cars

Kate: Which Classic Dame Are You?

Your Score: Katharine Hepburn

You scored 11% grit, 42% wit, 38% flair, and 21% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

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.