After 3 Years of Fighting Postpartum Depression, I'm Not Depressed Anymore
This started out as a reply to a blog post by HonestMom and it sort of morphed into a post of its own. I’ve mentioned JD before; I’m not even sure if she knows I exist, but I love everything about what she’s doing. In this particular post, she talks about the lingering effects of postpartum depression & it’s ‘bastard brother – Tired.’ Click. That hit me right between the eyes. Tired…yep! I know I keep saying I’m going write about my experience with PPD but right now I’m compelled to write about where I am today, NOT where I was 3 years ago. Because right now, today is all I can concern myself with. A day will come when visiting that part of my life will be important…but today I feel the need to share my current struggles.
JD’s post reminded me that just because my baby boy isn’t a baby anymore doesn’t mean that I’m back to the person I was before PPD entered the picture. I don’t feel the constant grip of depression anymore, and I’m so grateful for that…unfortunately, exhaustion has taken its place as the constant in my life. As a result, I find myself expending the least amount of energy possible because I’m just too tired to deal with stuff that isn’t ‘mission critical.’ Unfortunately, that is the stuff I NEED to do in order to feel like myself again. It’s been weeks since I’ve written a blog post & it’s not because I haven’t wanted to, it’s because I haven’t HAD to. I’d love to have clients and deadlines, but my writing ‘career’ is still in its infancy which means that I’m currently writing for the love of writing. When JD introduced the notion of Tired and how it affects her, it finally put a ‘face’ on what I’ve been feeling. Bingo, Lollipop. I’ve been in a battle for the past few years, and I’m winning…but dammit, I’m so tired! Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I sleep in and stay home doing nothing while my kid plays alone because I’m ‘too tired.’ We get up and go every day, whether it’s to story time at the library, the zoo, play dates at local parks & facilities or lunch with friends. We are social and I genuinely enjoy our time together. I am fully aware that TLC is not going to be this little for long, and I want to drink in every sweet ‘baby’ moment before he’s a moody teenager who wants nothing to do with me.
That sounds like a woman who has it all together, doesn’t it? The person who wrote that definitely doesn’t sound tired or depressed. What I wrote is the truth, so how could I not want to challenge myself, pursue the goals that I have, write the stories floating around in my head? Because. I’m. Tired. Physically and emotionally. By the time my day is done and I have some time for myself, I feel accomplished if I shave my legs instead of sitting on Twitter or reading blogs (For research. You know.). I know if I fill that time doing things that I love, that are just for me, that I would be happier. But that’s why Tired is such a jerk. Tired is way better than Depressed, so right there I was fooled into a false sense of security. I know I’m not living life to the fullest, but Tired makes me juuuust content enough to settle for being a bystander in my own life about 75% of the time. Gotta give myself SOME credit.
My son is the world’s worst sleeper and thinks that if the sun is up, then we should all be up, too. He still only sleeps though the night a couple of nights a week, and although I’m usually only awake for a few minutes, broken sleep is broken sleep. One of the reasons I fill our mornings with stimulating & physical activities (aside from the obvious benefits) is to attempt to induce a coma nap. If I’m successful, I’m lucky to get an hour of whatever-is-top-priority done. Anyone with a 3 year old knows how difficult it can be to get every day housework done with a little person attached to your leg, or demanding your attention for one reason or another. DaddyCrazy gets home in time to play with him while I start dinner, or he will cook – I definitely can’t complain about feeling like a single parent like I see so often online. He doesn’t, however, do bath time. I’m not really sure why but the man has given our child (literally) 3 baths in 3+ years. It doesn’t really bother me but it’s just another thing to add to my daily list. After the kitchen is cleaned for the night, toys played with (and put away), books read, songs sung, show watched and TLC is finally asleep, it’s a really good night if DaddyCrazy and I are both still conscious. My poor husband, our alone times are so few and far between that there are plenty of months that the only way I could be pregnant would be via immaculate conception. It’s not that I don’t love him or want to be intimate with him. I’m. Tired. I’m also freaking lucky to be married to a man who loves me no matter what. He may not be able to understand what I’ve been through/am going through, but he respects it and loves me nonetheless. That’s not to say that this whole PPD/Tired thing hasn’t taken a toll on my marriage – that’d be a huge lie! There are times when I still feel like my husband and I are just existing together, and it sucks, but I always know that it’s not for a lack of love. If only I wasn’t so…Tired.
The length of this post is why it wound up on my blog and not in JD’s comments, and if you happen to read this, thank you. Thank you for being so open about your struggles, and for inspiring me to open up about mine. And, thank you for Tired. Tired is that lingering feeling I’ve had for months now that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and I know that I am not the only one who had an ‘Ah-hah’ moment while reading your post. Let’s hope that in time, we call all kick Tired to the curb for good. Until then, I’ve got to go brew another pot of coffee.
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