Monday, February 11, 2013
I'm down with PPD (yeah you know me)
I've written this post a thousand times in my head, but when it comes time to put actual pen to (digital) paper, I'm at a loss for words. To put it bluntly, I've been miserable for a while now...and when I haven't been feeling so overwhelmingly sad I've been either angry or numb from crippling apathy. There have been a few instances here and there when I've felt close to being happy, mostly when I was enjoying some one-on-one time with Sammy or Charlie, but for the most part, my emotions have been limited to sadness, anger or numbness. I've felt like a bundle of raw, exposed nerves--the slightest thing could set me off into a raging, yelling mess one second and a sobbing, heaving wreck the next. The guilt that I felt was overwhelming; I felt guilty because I wasn't able to care for Charlie to the best of my abilities because I was constantly having to police Sammy's toddler antics; then I would feel guilty for not being able to give Sammy my undivided attention any more because I was busy with the baby--no matter how I looked at it, it seemed that the entire set up was a lose-lose situation. I joked to my friends that my only hope was that I was neglecting the boys equally--everyone laughed, but they didn't realize that behind my laughter I was quite convinced that I was causing my children some sort of emotional trauma due to my shortcomings as a mother. I dreamt about running away from home on nearly a daily basis as I believed that everyone would be better off if I weren't there to ruin their happiness with my complete and utter lack thereof.
Two weeks ago I worked up the courage to mention these feelings to my OB/GYN; I cried as I told him about my daily struggles to feel anything other than melancholy and how difficult it was just to get out of bed each morning and face whatever the day might have to bring. He listened to all I had to say and then told me what I had suspected all along--I was in the throes of postpartum depression. He then gave me a hug and we discussed my treatment options and decided that a low dose of Zoloft (which is safe for breast feeding) was the way to go. At this point I've been on the medication long enough that I'm beginning to see its effects on my day-to-day interactions with my family; my patience has been restored and I'm actually starting to enjoy things again. I still have quite a way to go before I'm back to my old self but at least I now know that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train.