Monday, November 21, 2011

Never alone

A couple nights ago, my daughter caused herself to puke since she was upset, well that was the straw on my back.  I cried my eyes out, and while my hormonal woman time is sure to be partially to blame, I know that that's not all.

It is very hard sometimes to deal with those "mommy frustrations."  

Sometimes for me, it is impossible.

While I won't totally go into it, I will admit something. My "post-partum depression" is really more like post-partum OCD.  My life, at different periods since having bitty, have been filled with overwhelming thoughts of "what if I harmed her?"  Or if I go look in on her and check on her breathing, as I still always do every single day...well, sometimes my brain signals get mixed up.  My relief at her being okay gets mixed up with my worries, such as what if she stopped breathing, and the result is I feel relieved but am attributing it to whatever fear I had coming true.  Which is torturous.  It has made me feel at times in my life totally worthless.

I don't even know how I'm saying this "out loud" because it is the most shameful part of my life.  And yet I know I am not "making" it happen, nor is it happening due to any failure on my part.  I know when I have sought out help for my anxiety/depression issues, I was told that an RSD patient's brain will react/handle things the same way as an OCD patient's brain would.

I love my daughter more than life itself.  There are times, in the past, when I was so angry and ashamed of my thoughts that I thought she'd be better off without me.  Luckily, I am surrounded by a support system and was lucky enough to stumble on the website http://postpartumprogress.com/ where I was able to read the story of a fellow redhead, Katherine Stone, and her journey with postpartum OCD.

And then I didn't feel so bad.  Then I was able, if only for a moment, to stop blaming myself.  A dear friend of mine who is studying mental health and counseling also "normalized" it for me, telling me that many women go through it.  Events in the news or a change in routine or period hormones can trigger ups and downs with it as well.

I still struggle, at times.  Some more than others.  I can tell you over the summer when all I had was time, time, time on my hands, I found myself struggling more with feelings of anxiety.  When all the Casey Anthony trial was on the news, it overwhelmed my thoughts.  All I could do was look at my precious baby and wonder how someone could do that?  Then I would worry if I were secretly a monster, too.

I can tell you this.  I'm not.  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not.  I am a good mom.  Almost anyone who knows me would tell you the same.

At the end of the day, I am glad I've had the chance to get to "know" about wonderful moms out there with a brain that short circuits, so to speak.  Because feeling so awful and feeling as though it is you alone makes a lonely, awful place an even darker pit of despair.

For those other days, when I see a fellow mom posting that her child as a "curb alert" on Facebook or posting a stressed, frantic message about how bat shit crazy their 2 (or 3 or 5 or 15) year old is making them feel, I feel less alone.  And I laugh.

I realize...no matter what you're going through, you're never alone.  And you're not the first or last person to face the battle you're in.

Then there are the times, the times when your toddler says, "You're my best friend mama," and it makes riding out the storms you sailed through worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Momma, you are SO not alone. Believe it or not, I have had PPD with each and every one of my children. Breastfeeding seemingly helped with both my wee ones, but I didnt nurse my oldest at all. I actually got on medication after him, and the medication had some overwhelming side effects (like for me I was a zombie and didnt want to eat/cook/clean/NOTHING). I cried a lot thinking I was never going to be a happy NORMAL person again. Then one day its as if a tremendous weight disappeared from my shoulders and I was free again. Bizarre as it may seem. When I got pregnant with Kadence, my fears of getting PPD again over powered my excitement at times. But then she was born, and I noticed that exclusively nursing definitely had a big affect on my hormones vs not nursing. Now when it comes time that they nurse less...I can tell you I'm on a major rollercoaster of anger I cannot even find the sources of! Sadness that never seems to go away. And a husband who blames himself =( I chose not to medicate because the nursing helps so much...and this is another reason I EXTEND my breastfeeding for so long. It not only helps the babies, but Mommies too! I'm proof.

    NEVER EVER feel alone. We all have our "bad Mommy" moments. Oh, do we ever. Some may just not be as open about them...and I need to try to be more of this. You are such an amazing and beautiful Mommy. I brag about things I've found out through you and bring your advocacy for child carseat safety up all of the time! Not many mothers can say they are advocates, but YOU can! <3

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