As anyone who really knows me knows, I’m not really one to talk about “My Feelings.” Hell, typing that simple word there, the one any 3-year-old sings about, makes me squeamish. I’d prefer that I don’t have them at all, truth be told, let alone mentioning to people–some complete strangers no less–that I might have feelings other than “happy,” “sad,” “sleepy,” or “I want a fucking cheeseburger.” Potentially a side of “I need a damn nap” as well somewhere in there.
So when I struggle with something, I tend to downplay it. I don’t often get into the nitty-gritty of what’s goin’ on to even my best friends, I don’t have long and detailed discussions with Daver about whatever issues there may be floating around in my head, and I certainly don’t want to admit it to myself. It’s like I somehow imagine that if I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. Besides, who wants to listen to someone whine about their life?
This was how I got through months and months of living in a weepy, postpartum depression world after Alex was born (and never went to sleep again) before seeking treatment. And after I started my Vitamin W (Wellbutrin), I was seriously pissed at myself for not admitting my problem sooner. I gained nothing by staying silent, and the person who paid the highest price was me.
Before Alex was born, however, I struggled mightily with something even less talked about than postpartum depression: PRE-partum depression.
I spent most of the months I was pregnant with Alex after struggling to get pregnant with him in the first place, completely and utterly miserable. I worried and I fretted about each and every twinge, each and everyTHING I could think of. Most of those 9 long months were spent with me sitting on the couch feeling downright despondent, disturbed, depressed; certain that I wouldn’t get my happy ending after all. That my feelings of panic and dread were something MORE than a symptom of depression in my addled brain.
So when I got pregnant this time, I stayed on my Vitamin W until I was rudely informed by one of the OB’s in my practice that I’d be seeing the HIGH RISK OB if I continued on it. Not-so-shockingly, I decided to rough it out on my own until I couldn’t any longer.
Most of this time, I’ve been okay. Truthfully okay.
It wasn’t until Daver had a bit of a nervous breakdown at the end of August that I realized how thinly the string holding me together had become. It’s been a really, really hard year for me. No, that’s not quite true, let me rephrase that: it’s been a year that’s tested me. It’s been non-stop: my dad’s heart attack, my post-partum depression, Steph’s death, the two miscarriages, then this pregnancy that I never accepted would make it, then Dave’s breakdown.
I guess I only have so much to give anyone, and it’s all been taken. And I’m left sitting here and struggling, much like I did with Alex. I absolutely have my hackles raised, I’m going to see how long I can tough it out with this wee one still inside before I consider going back on my meds.
I’m thrilled by this baby, so very thrilled. I love my life, I love my husband (most of the time), and I’m tickled constantly (literally AND figuratively) by my two children. And I was so afraid to mention how I’ve been struggling BECAUSE I know that someone will misinterpret what I’m saying and twist it around to remind me of how lucky I really am.
Which is something that I already know: I have most everything in the world I’ve ever wanted. How many people do you know that honestly feel that way?
And I went back and forth with talking about this here. It’s a public forum, and while I don’t often worry about what I would say–people who I haven’t exactly peed roses about here may not understand WHY I feel like I do about them, but I tell The Truth According to Aunt Becky and I stick by it–I know this isn’t the same type of posts you normally get from me. Which will piss some people off.
But I’m telling The Truth because someone has to. Since those women went nuts and killed their kids, there’s been a huge push to get the word out about PPD (postpartum depression), which is good. People SHOULD know about it.
Pre-partum depression is rarely discussed, tho. Women don’t talk about it openly, lest they be branded as “ungrateful” or my personal favorite “unfit to be a mother.” Instead, those who suffer from pre-partum depression suffer alone and in silence about it. Because if you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist, right?
Don’t believe me? Do a google search for the term “prepartum depression.” Most of what comes up are other blog posts about it. It’s out there, it’s just swept under the rug.
So this is me, your Aunt Becky, telling you, that this exists. And it hurts. And it’s hard. And I’m struggling right now. I’ll make it through, of course I will, it’s what I do, but for now, for right now, I’m hurting.
And now I’m encouraging you, my faithful readers, to share YOUR Truth without hiding from it. The Truth can be ugly; it can be not-fun to admit; but sharing it is a Very Good Thing. Besides the uncle pervy’s out there who find my site looking for “cheeseburger crotch” and “excess skin balls,” I’m damn certain that someone will find this post, someone also struggling during what is supposed to be the happiest time of your life.
And to you, I tell you definitively that you are not alone.