Revelation, Brooke Shields Style – Pt.1

Family

Originally posted on The Anvil Tree

Sometimes, I feel like I make these grand assertions on here, and
there’s only grand to me.  Which is fine; it’s my blog.  I write it for
my own (lame) memory’s sake, anyhow, so any assertion I wanna make is
one I should feel good about making right?

But here’s one that I really am taking very seriously.  It’s not
about my hair, my weight, or even cleaning.  Well, it’s sorta about
cleaning.  Mainly, it’s about me.

See, I have lots of very strong, capable women around me.  Most (if
not all) of these women have given birth at some point.  And while
every woman has their very own birth story, there has been one thing
I’ve never heard anything about in my own circle, so I assumed it was
just an urban legend.

Then, as it all came crashing down around me this last week, I
realized that urban legends have to have some truth to them in order to
circulate.  So maybe it’s NOT so mythical.  Maybe real people DO get
Post-partum depression.

This last week, I got stuck in a very dark, very deep place.  I’ve
been doing that off and on since the baby was born, unfortunately, but
I was always quick to attach an excuse to it.  First it was
exhaustion.  “I’m depressed because I’m exhausted.” What new mom wouldn’t be?  Then it was the hormones.  “My body’s going through so many changes, so I’m feeling depressed.” Again, totally plausible.  Then, the reasons varied between plausible and completely ludicrous, anywhere from “The baby’s been so sick, so I’m just run down and blue” to “I can’t stand to wash any more bottles, I JUST CAN’T, and JesusGod, if someone doesn’t rescue me from this monotony..”

There is SO MUCH GUILT associated with this.  Because I don’t fit
the mold of what I think PPD should be.  I don’t hate my baby, I don’t
resent my baby, I don’t regret my baby.. any of that.  But there’s this
overwhelming heaviness, hanging over me like a little black raincloud.
Even on good days, it’s not that they’re GOOD, it’s just that they suck
LESS.

And I felt feel so guilty, because I KNOW how lucky I am.

As you can see, I still catch myself trying to clean up my language,
trying to bury what is gnawing away at me.  Because it’s not in my
nature to say, “I’m just sad and I don’t know what to fix and I need help.“  I shouldn’t need help; I’m a big girl with all the capabilities of any human being, and I should be able to handle this.  Right?

Wrong.  So horribly and obviously wrong.

I came in Monday night after a board meeting to dishes in the sink
and a house that needed cleaning, and it was too much.  I crawled into
bed without saying two words to my husband, my best friend, whom I
would usually share anything with.  And as he rubbed my head later,
trying to coax it out of me, all I could say was, “Does it ever get
better?  Does it ever become easier?  Less routine?”

He said, “Well, just try and enjoy the moments.  Each laugh of Tony’s is different.  So just enjoy each moment as it comes.”

I looked at him and pondered squeezing his eyeballs into his skull
with my thumbs, because I would’ve enjoyed THAT moment right then, but
instead, I just fell asleep.  Because it wasn’t that I was morbidly
depressed; it was that I was numb.

Last night, after shutting myself off from him all day, we fell into
bed again and I tried different words.  “I am just so sad,” I started.
Then the tears came.  And I was slightly excited, because it was the
most I’d felt in a LONG time.  “I love my son, and I love you, and
everything is so perfect, and yet I don’t feel happy.  I feel run-down
and tired and lost and numb.  I feel empty.”

“We’re going through a lot, you know,” he said.  “What with a new
baby, your new job, a new house, you going back to school.. that’s a
lot.  Of course you’re stressed.”

“It’s not stress,” I sobbed.  “I think I need to see a doctor.”

More to come.

Editor’s Pick by Marilyn from slackermama . com. This is such a sensitive topic to new mothers (and vetern mothers as well!) that I felt this post simply HAD to be featured. Sarah Lena often posts pieces of her life on her blog The Anvil Tree that speak to my heart and this post not only spoke but SHOUTED at me.  So I thought maybe this post would SHOUT at you too.  Go check out the original post, delve into the comments (which are nothing short of amazing on this post) and subscribe to her feed while you’re at it so you won’t miss out on any of her fabulous gems from here on out.


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3 Comments to “Revelation, Brooke Shields Style – Pt.1”

  1. MommyTime says:

    I wish I’d read this post, or even known blogs existed, back when my son was four months old and I was in this place. I couldn’t even identify it as “depression” because I was so sure that I should be able to handle this one little baby in my comfy house. I am so glad that you are getting help (I went and read the second half before leaving this comment), and I am very impressed that you wrote this because I am sure it will help some other women in this place at some point.

  2. Foolery says:

    I was there. Didn’t admit it for a while, but I was there. As soon as my husband left the house I sat down and sobbed, every time. When anyone was around, I was perfectly fine. Hope you can get some peace, and soon.

  3. Just left you a comment on your blog. But in case anyone was reading this who might be feeling the same way, I urge them to Google “Depleted Mother Syndrome” in addition to things about postpartum depression.

    All those emotions and physical feelings are so real. It breaks my heart when I read about women who think they have to soldier on despite it all. It breaks my heart, because I was there.

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