The change in weather. My crazy perimenopause periods these days. The fact that I have been overwhelmed with work lately. The fact that on top of Postpartum Progress and Babble and taking care of two children I’m trying to make all the decisions for the new house we’re building and will close on in early December.
I should have recognized it since I’ve been telling my husband for several weeks now how much our family needs a break. How much I want to run away to the mountains or the beach. I can’t, but I’d sure love to.
I should have recognized depression when my Trazodone stopped working to help me sleep. It has always worked.
Last week, I should have recognized it. But I couldn’t because on Monday I had a conference call for a new project and my son’s orthodontist appointment and my work to do. On Tuesday I had my dermatology appointment and my daughter’s OT appointment and all my work to do. On Wednesday I had to write my Babble Cares post about World Polio Day, along with all the other work. On Thursday I had the lighting appointment at 9:30, the landscaping appointment at 10, my kids school conferences at 1:30 and 2, a radio interview at 3, and then back to the house to type up my son’s book report. And there was still my work to do. On Friday, like Thursday, the kids had a half day, which means I wasn’t going to get any work done, but I still had my Home Depot post to write. On Saturday I was downtown most of the day at my sister’s birthday party.
And then Sunday. Sunday is when the levees broke.
We’re at a restaurant having lunch. Me, my husband and the kids. And I start sobbing. Out of nowhere, tears pouring down on my salad. It was so bad I had to excuse myself and go sit on a toilet in the women’s bathroom for a few minutes to compose myself. And then I went back to the table and wore my sunglasses for the rest of the meal.
That’s when I finally recognized it. Stress-related depression.
Even when you conquer PPD, it doesn’t mean life won’t become overwhelming again some day, like it has for me this week. I know I have first-world problems. I have a very happy life, and the world’s best husband and kids, and I love my work as the founder and editor of Postpartum Progress, and I’m grateful for all the other opportunities blogging has brought me, and I have a new house that’s going to be awesome and ours so no more renting finally. I’m so happy except for kind of not right now because I have this stupid illness. Depression. Again.
It has been a heck of a long time since I felt like spending most of my day under the covers. Years. I forgot how much it sucks. There’s something very appealing about hiding when you feel like this. If you hide, no one will see you or be disappointed in you. You’ll just be gone for a while and they’ll go about their daily lives and not notice a thing missing. I’m very tempted to hide, but for the fact that I know doing so will only make my feelings worse and not better.
I wasn’t going to tell you about this, mainly because so many of you are struggling and it’s my job to help you, NOT the other way around. I was going to back off from work a little bit and not say anything. But since I value honesty and authenticity, that’s just not going to work. Truth is, I’ve got a bout of situational depression. Nothing bad happened – I just got overwhelmed with too much going on at once. It’s all wonderful, but when you’re doing it by yourself and it gets to be too much and there’s no one else to do it for you, you keep going when you probably shouldn’t for a while. I kept going a little too long. God I hate depression.
For the last several weeks I’ve been telling myself, power through, Katherine. Power through. You’re tough. You can do all of this and more. Except I know we can’t power through. We tell ourselves that for a while, but whether it’s sobbing fits or days spent in bed or the first in a long line of declines to invitations to things you would have enjoyed, you know you can’t power through.
You need a break. Some rest. To stop thinking about ALL THE THINGS.
So I’m resting a little bit. Getting a little more sleep. Gonna blog a little bit less. Which is fine. It’s helping.
But boy, I really don’t need this right now.
Leave me alone, black dog.