Friday, April 12, 2013

I Have Issues

     Something I don't talk about a lot is my issues. Granted everybody has issues but for me it's been affecting my life for awhile now and the weird thing is I never realized it until Roxas was born. I suffered from a pretty nasty case of post partum depression (PPD) after Roxas. I am really, really, good at putting on a front and never revealing how I'm really feeling in my head. Heck, half the time I could talk myself into saying I was fine and I'd believe myself. After Roxas I had a hard time keeping my happy face on and things began to show through the cracks. People began noticing, family, friends, and mostly myself.

     I had always wanted to be a mother, it was a passion that burned in me for a very long time. So when I actually became one I had the idea that I was going to be an awesome mother who never got upset when her baby cried, let alone allow him to "cry it out". I would never have a nasty feeling towards him. I would never secretly wish for my life back. Truth be told...I've done all those things. I know I'm not a terrible mother. Roxas is loved, well cared for, happy and healthy. We're doing something right. Still, the birth of Roxas and resulting depression spurred me to actually get some help.

     I found myself in my primary care physicians office telling her how I felt. All the nitty-gritty, awful, feelings. We talked more and I walked out with a prescription and a referral to a counselor. I met with the counselor and learned a lot about myself. It was odd, she would ask a question and I'd go yeah, you know what that is exactly what it's like. Then she said something that, if I'm honest, I have wondered about before. She said "You sound exactly like you have a mood disorder". Great. I'm crazy.

     What I found was looking back at my behavior and feelings there were somethings that were perfectly normal but then there were some things absolutely not normal. I had never been able to explain the weird feelings I would get and I kind of assumed they were just normal for a growing teenage girl. They weren't normal. I have cycles of hypomania, which are not as severe as a full-blown mania but they are the times where I get excited, hyper, can't sleep, and want to do 8 projects all at once. It's great really. I have energy, I want to do everything and anything, those states I'm not too bothered by. Then there are the depressive cycles. These suck. I get into a "funk" for usually 3-5 days where I don't want to do anything. Food doesn't sound good, so I don't eat. I am almost constantly teetering on the verge of tears, I will feel worthless and usually this is when the "I'm a terrible mom" thoughts start in. I have no joy anymore, and I just want to lay there and slip into oblivion. This is also the state where I can become angry very quickly and with no warning. One of Kenny's favorite stories is how I shook him while we were working on our house one day. I hate this story because I remember the feeling. Yes, I was frustrated about something but in a nanosecond I went from just annoyed to so full of rage it's scary. I've been known to scream, yell, throw things, break stuff, and my famous trick of just leaving when upset. I overreact and once it starts I'm pretty worthless at stopping it. That is the worst thing- I can't just snap out of it. It's like asking a paraplegic to wiggle their much as they really want to...their body just won't let them. That's how it is. I realize I'm in a depressive state but I can't stop it.

       Thankfully the majority of the time I'm balanced between the two states but it can tip one way or the other instantly. My medication gave me some relief, although other types of medications were discussed to try and really get these mood swings under control. The problem with the other meds was their potency. They have serious side effects and many of them are unsafe for breastfeeding (let alone pregnancy). I went off of my one medication after finding out I was pregnant because even though it's considered to be "OK" for pregnant women...I don't trust anything. The benefit was not worth any possible risk to Lucy. Thankfully it has been studied to the max concerning breastfeeding and they've found it's just fine. So I'll be back on it after delivery, but I'm also going to give the placenta thing a try (again). I've read so many stories from other moms with mood disorders that have benefited, I just have to try it. I'm doing it myself this time though, the last "professional" I had just stole my money and organ. Long story for another day.

     Anyways, as a result of being off medication for the pregnancy all of my crazy has come back. Pregnancy hormones don't help one bit, they tend to shift me into one cycle or another. It was really, really, bad in the beginning when the hormones were at their craziest and I had just come off my meds. It got better for awhile but recently I've gone through another hypomanic cycle and begun my depressive cycle. For me they do tend to happen almost back to back, like my body over-corrects the mania and goes depressive. It is a constant struggle to keep myself from totally losing it, and having a family to care for (oh and then there is school) can push me to my limits during these times. I've been trying to learn how to cope with my moods better and learn what helps them and what makes them worse. It's a huge challenge, and one that I'm pretty quiet about but I feel like I shouldn't stuff it away anymore. It's a part of me and it's made being a mother more of a challenge that I ever thought it could be.

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