Off her meds

Me: Hi-

My Mom:  Did you get a hold of your father?!  Why didn’t you call right after I called?!  If he doesn’t buy it now, he won’t buy it at all!  I want that iPod!

Um, hi Mom.  How are you?  How was your nail appointment?  Guess what your grandsons are doing.

Breathe.

Me: I didn’t call right away because I was in the middle of making breakfast and scouring the kitchen.  Since you asked me to talk to Dad about your Christmas present, let me do it my way.  If he doesn’t get it today, there are other days.  If he doesn’t get it at all, you can buy it after Christmas.

My Mom: I need it for line dancing classes!

I think she growled.

Breathe.

Me: Ok, Mom.  I’ll take care of it.  How are-

My Mom:  I have to go.  I’m going to help your Grandma make pizzelles.  I’ll talk to you later.

Me: Ok.  I lo-

Click.

What the f-k was that?  I didn’t give a sh*t about her Christmas present.  She should have made a list weeks ago.  And if she wanted my help, then she should let me do it my way.

I dialed my cell phone.

My Dad: Hel-lo

Me: Hey.  I’m calling about Mom’s gift.  I was going to be sly and subtle and awesome, but she’s nagging and yelling.  She’s set on bitch-

It clicked.

The pieces all fit together.

The nagging.

The picking of fights.

Her need to dictate a solution for whatever problem I was facing.  Forcefully.

Expressing her every opinion about every subject.  Forcefully.

The last time I noticed this I told my dad, “She’s set on bitch.”  She overheard.  She was unhappy.  But it turns out she had gone off her antidepressants.

Crap.

Me: She’s off her meds.  Again.  Isn’t she?

My Dad: (sighs) Yes.

Me: Why?

My Dad: She hates taking so many pills.

Me: I get that.  But she can’t be happy this way.  She makes us miserable.  She’s miserable.  Doesn’t she see she has a problem?

My Dad: She does.  She just doesn’t want to take pills for the rest of her life.

Too late for that.

Me: Then she needs to see a therapist.

Silence.

That was the problem.  She wouldn’t.  And she would keep hurting, following dark paths that I had already traveled.  With any luck, she would never go as deep and dark as I did.  But I hurt for her.  She’s my mother.  She didn’t deserve to be in a dark place.  But she wouldn’t seek help.  She didn’t think “talking to someone” (said with a sneer) would help.

Me: So want to know what she wants for Christmas?

Ray of Sunshine

I learned a lot about myself when I became a mother.  Actually I learned that I had a few gifts in more abundance than I thought.  I had more patience and energy than I ever thought I possessed.  I could roll with the punches with ease.  I could take deep breathes and channel some inner peace during the fights, cries, and whines.  I could be up most of the night and dance all day.  Sure there are days when I’m crashed or at the end of my rope, but they’re not every week or day like I assumed they would be before motherhood.  I thought I would take up smoking, have kids addicted to TV, and drink a few shots after I put the little demons to bed.  None of that has happened . . . yet.

So when I started to feel the darkness growing around me, pulling me into a life-sucking muck, I was pissed and scared.  I didn’t want to give up what I had.  I’ve been done those dark roads before, and I didn’t know how I could be a good mother while fighting to get out of bed, fighting to smile, fighting to move, fighting to feel.  And I told you all about it, and I was amazed by the outpour.  I wasn’t looking for comfort, just throwing a bottle out in the sea to know that I wrote it out, I spoke out those words, I still had a voice.

The good news is it’s been three weeks since I’ve felt depressed.  I don’t know what changed.  Sure I got out in the sun more, and I made sure I always added thankfulness to my prayers.  But I never did much exercise.  I never got around to going to church.  (Sleep or church; sleep or church; sleep or church; guess which won?)  Instead I kept my finger on the pulse.  I faked being normal.  Somehow my hormone levels must have balanced out.  I have my energy back.  I don’t feel sucked of life at the end of the day.  Granted, I’m tired as hell,  but I’m hugely pregnant, so I figured that’s the reason.

Thank you to all of you.  I’m still on guard for post partum.  My doctor is still keeping an eye on me.  But I’m glad I’m able to meet the rest of my pregnancy fully armed and ready to roll.

Dark Confessions

I wanted to write this post last week because it was bad last week, but then I stumbled on some truths that I didn’t know if I wanted to share.  Once I open my mouth, it’s like an avalanche.  Ask anyone who knows me.  But I feel I have to write because it’s going to seep in, like it always does every time, like smoke seeping into clothes, furniture and walls.  It’s seeping into me.

I noticed I was loosing patience with the boys.  It wasn’t like I had a hard day or they were being especially on the throttle.  I couldn’t smile when they were being actively cute-crazy.  I just wanted to be done.

Then I noticed I was tired.  Bone wary tired.  In a time when I shouldn’t be.  Even if I napped or drank lots of water, even if I took it easy.

Then I noticed I was sad.  Not sad in that was a sad movie or the sadness that comes from watching horrible events on the news that make you feel helpless.  No, this was a sadness that went to the core of my soul.  A depression.

Crap, I’m depressed.

Since I have a history of depression, I know I have to take this seriously.  I have to mark on my calendar when I’m depressed.  I have to analyze my thoughts.  I have to do something or I slip away, slowly but surely, from everything that I love and everything I am.

I’ve made a brief nod to my teenage depression, where it got so bad that I was actually coming up with plans of killing myself.  Frightening plans of when, Monday nights because everyone would be at the Boy Scout meeting, where, my bedroom, how, cutting.  I was able to ask for help when I realized I was starting to look for the perfect dress.  Stupid and creepy.

Then I had depression in college, but my parents were able to cue in the warning signs, insisting I go to a counselor, who helped me tremendously.

So last week when I began writing, I was going to say that I never was depressed during pregnancy.  I had the two bouts before, and I had a bout of post-partum after Tornado E.  But other than that I was fine.

Then I started thinking.  When I was pregnant with Tornado E, I insisted that The Husband and I start martial counseling.  We needed it.  We weren’t able to go more than a few times because I had a horrible work schedule that was never posted until the day before the week began.  You can imagine how hard it was to set a haircut appointment, much less a counseling appointment.

Then during my pregnancy with Tornado S, The Husband and I had our worst time in our marriage.  We fought a lot.  He would yell and call me names, but the worst part was he would just leave, disappearing how ever long he wanted, never calling, leaving me to worry.  I wanted us to go back to counseling, and he refused.  I went any ways, learning more about myself and about The Husband.  It looked like all Hell was about to break loose when The Husband all of a sudden reigned in the month before Tornado S was born and for some reason I never got post-partum even though I was waiting for it, ready to battle it.

(As a side, we did end up going to counseling for a year, a year after Tornado S was born.)

Now I’m pregnant again.  Even though I knew our marriage wasn’t strong to begin with (And yes, people, I debated, prayed, meditated on this little fact before I got myself knocked up).  Now there are other issues, like The Husband having to work in California weeks at a time (which I understood and we make the most of) and money is tighter than it has ever been in our marriage (which causes stress on both The Husband and I).  And now I’m depressed.

I want to rail against it because this is not the right time.  I’m pregnant!  I have two boys that depend on me to be strong and with it, ready to play and laugh, moving at the speed of light with them.  I have a household to run.  I have other issues I have to deal with, like the real possibility I’m co-dependent.  I need to be strong.

If money wasn’t so tight, I’d march myself into a counseling office.  But that’s not really an option right now.  So I have to come up with other ways to deal with this.  Don’t worry; I plan on telling my OB/GYN this week at the appointment so she is well aware of the situation.  The Husband has been informed.  I figure I should cram in some exercise somewhere into my schedule and make it a real point to actually be out in the sun to soak in some rays, since I hear that’s suppose to help.  And I might have to use you all as a sounding board as I try to work through this because the best therapy I ever had was just to talk.  I hope I don’t come off as bitter when I do.

I’m just so upset over the whole thing.  I really didn’t need this right now.  I don’t want to cry every day.  I don’t want to feel like a shadow.  I don’t want to disconnect.  Depression is a horribly selfish disease because you can’t look beyond that stupid disease no matter how hard you try.  The twist is that you no longer take care of yourself because you are the disease and you just want it to die.

So here I stand in front of you, not knowing what to say, wondering about how lame this post is, wondering if I said too much or too little, knowing it really isn’t my best work, worrying about what you’ll think.