So, I’m about to talk some real talk. I haven’t wanted to say these words because I didn’t want them to be true. But then I did say them and I actually felt better. And now I want to say them here.
I have definitely hinted at them, and possibly even employed the words themselves here and there, but I haven’t come out and simply said it.
I am currently suffering from clinical depression and anxiety.
It sucks to say that because it sucks for it to be true. But it’s also freeing in a way. Acknowledging my old foes takes some of their power away.
The truth is, I’ve been dealing with them for some time. I don’t think the waiting for labor/baby has caused their reappearance. Probably it’s the fact that I’ve been off my normal medications for over two years. They were bound to resurface when I didn’t have chemical help, especially during the stressful transition from one child to two. So I don’t think they are rearing their ugly heads in response to this baby not coming, but they are definitely exacerbating the issue. And depression and anxiety are making this wait way more excruciating than it would be otherwise.
I realized something really important today. My reactions to waiting for this baby are not rational. They just aren’t. It doesn’t make sense that I’m feeling so viscerally upset about the fact that this baby hasn’t arrived. Sure there is the anxiety about something bad happening, but it’s so much more than that. There are moments when I really, truly believe that this baby is not going to come, ever. I say that and people assume I’m employing hyperbole but honestly? There is a part of me that is panicked it might be true. And that is not a rational thought because even if things go horribly wrong, eventually I will not be pregnant anymore. That is the only thing I can know for certain.
There are also moments when I’m sure my body is broken, that something is fundamentally wrong with it that it seems half way to the finish line and can’t get started. Sometimes I convince myself that some mental block of mine is keeping things from starting. And there is a part of me that is terrified that my depression is stalling me out–if that is the case I’ll never be able to have this baby.
At least that is what I tell myself.
Again, these are not rational thoughts.
I am depressed. And anxious. What happens is I get really panicky and anxious about things (I definitely had one legitimate panic attack last week, it was not pretty) and then once I come down from that anxiety I feel hopelessly depressed. It’s like I’m sitting in the deepest hole ever dug and I can’t see the top and there is no light and no way out and it’s cold and damp and awful, and I don’t even have the energy to even explore the possibility of escape. So I just sit there. And I cry. I cry all the time.
But mostly I just want to sit somewhere and not get up, and all my obligations feel like incredible weights, crushing me. I just want to crawl into a cave somewhere and never come out.
And those are not rational thoughts.
This is hard. So, so hard. Somehow, I had forgotten how hard it is, how much it sucks. I forgot how exhausting it is just to get by, to manage the day to day when you feel this way. How every task seems to require a monumental amount of effort and it never seems worth it to expend the energy on the final result. How everything feels impossible, and you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how you can avoid all the things you absolutely need to do.
I forgot how it feels to wake up tired, to not want to get up, to have feel so overwhelmed by the day ahead. I forgot how it feels to count the seconds, the minutes, the hours until something else, anything else, only when that thing gets there, you’re just counting the minutes again, until the next thing.
I spent the better part of ten years dealing with depression. TEN FUCKING YEARS. It swallowed me whole and what it spit out barely resembled a life. I haven’t dealt with depression–clinical depression–in so long that I forgot how horrible it is. I forgot how soul-sucking it feels. I want to cry for the me that lived with this monster for so long. I can’t fathom how I survived.
I’m trying not to be angry at myself. I’m trying not to blame myself for waiting so long to recognize the symptoms and take action to combat this horrible disease. I trying to be gentle and kind. I’ve taken action. I’m on Zo.loft and I’ll keep taking after the baby is born. Sure I’m scared of PPD, especially since it will take 4-6 weeks for the meds to kick in, but I feel like I’m being as proactive as I can be and I’m hopeful that I won’t get buried under the weight of whatever comes next.
In the meantime I’ve pulled out my old cognitive behavior therapy books that focus on depression and anxiety and I’m relearning strategies I can use to combat this thing here and now.
Because this baby IS going to come, but it may not be tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. It may not even be next week. And I need to be ready for that. I need to be ready for how long it may take, so that I don’t go insane waiting. I want feel BETTER for this baby comes, not worse and I can’t change my thought patters on my own. So I’m pouring myself into some CBT and mindfulness exercises and hoping that things get better before they get worse. Heck, I’m hoping they only get better and never get worse.
I’m hoping this baby comes before I go crazy. And I’m hoping I don’t go crazy once this baby comes.