I usually edit my thoughts on this blog. I realize that it's a public forum and that while many people who read it are strangers to me, many know me in real life, either in a personal or professional setting. I generally choose not to share everything or to leave out certain aspects of my life as a way of keeping some personal things personal. Right now, however, I feel like I don't have another outlet for what I'm feeling and so I'm going to tell it like it is and hope that my readers understand that I'm sharing this out of desperation and a need to vent and that for almost three weeks I have kept it under wraps and secret (except from Derek and my mom)...
I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager. I started counseling when I was 16 and have been on some form of antidepressants or another since then. I won't detail my whole history here (see, editing again...) but it's been something I have struggled with for years. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy I started worrying about dealing with postpartum depression because of my history and the fact that I went off my medication during pregnancy. I read all about it, knew the warning signs and causes, and thought I was prepared. Now, however, I feel much less than prepared. Since giving birth I've been riding a roller coaster of emotions that has been exacerbated by exhaustion.
I look in the mirror and gag - I hate the reflection that is looking back. I never appreciated my pre-pregnancy body but now, looking at what is left after nine months of pregnancy and 50 pounds, I'd kill to have my old body back. Add to that the fact that I generally don't get to shower or brush my teeth until 5pm and maybe you can see why I feel less than attractive. I've got stretch marks that look like I got into a fight with a mountain lion, a layer of flab (that weighs approximately 10 pounds) wrapped around my gut preventing me from pouring myself into anything but maternity clothes, and painful boobs that make me look like Pam Anderson (which might be appealing if the rest of me didn't look like such crap). Add to all that the hemorrhoids, stitches, and generally worn out feeling and I feel like shell of who I used to be.
I've lost my appetite. Completely. I think I could almost go all day without even thinking about eating - not as a weight loss ploy but simply because I'm too tired and busy doing other things to make a meal. I know I need to be eating to keep breastfeeding but during the week when I'm home alone I have trouble getting to the kitchen for anything other than grabbing a bottle. If I was dropping pounds left and right maybe I wouldn't be complaining but I'm not. I'm holding steady at 141 and I should weigh 125.
Sleep. Oh, sleep. I'm exhausted all the time but when I lay down at night my brain starts going a million miles an hour and I'm ticking off a list of things I should have gotten done, things I want to do the next day, or just dreading the clocking ticking toward the next 2am wake up call. I tried to lay down today during the 20 minutes of sleep that Addison got this afternoon but I couldn't fall asleep then either.
And finally, hormones... stupid freaking hormones. I cry all the time. I cried over the cell phone ad where the college student sends out a pic of a missing dog poster and reunites the pup with his little girl, I cry when the cat steals a chicken breast off the counter and runs down the hall with it, I cry when Derek asks me to turn on the AC because I know that I have to do all that crap by myself all day and I'd kill to have someone there to hand me burp rags or fill the bottle or give Addison her medicine instead of trying to do it all by myself. I cry because I know I'm not being the kind of wife I'm supposed to be because I'm trying my best to be at least an adequate parent. I cry because I haven't seen any of my friends in forever or even talked to them in weeks. Before Addison was born I was tired of people calling and emailing all the time asking if she was here and now that she's arrived, no one is around. To make things even more confusing - I don't want to make the effort to see anyone. I've turned into a homebody and I'm just as guilty of not calling them as they are of not calling me. And then, when I get in the shower and I'm alone, I cry without even really knowing why.
The only thing I'm thankful for right now in regards to how craptastic I'm feeling is that my feelings toward Addison aren't negative. I hate getting up at 2am but I love every chance I get to hold her and cuddle her. I don't love poopy diapers first thing in the morning but I love knowing that I can make her happy by changing her and getting her cleaned up.
I just want to have an afternoon where I can get a good cup of coffee, peruse the bookstore, and feel like a normal person again... and not cry. Not crying would be a good start.