Getting Help.

A few months ago, I blogged about my recurring issues with anxiety. I got a lot of really positive feedback and comments with people coming forward and telling me the way I was feeling was very familiar; that they, too suffered from anxiety issues. I had the support, but I didn’t really know where to begin in getting help and I guess I was still a little nervous and half-convinced that it’d go away on its own.

As had happened in the past, it did go away… For a while. I was feeling better, getting exercise and in a generally happy mood. Then, without any real trigger or warning it came back. I’d begin to feel anxious. Withdrawn. I didn’t feel like going to chorus. I’d make excuses to myself why I didn’t need to go. I didn’t feel like blogging (but I did), or playing, or doing much of anything. Little things started to feel overwhelming to the point where I’d be in tears thinking about them. Things are tight for us financially right now, but that’s nothing new. We’ve been back and forth with doing well and not doing well for nearly four years now, but in the past few days when I’d look at our checkbook and realize that even with Josh working insane overtime hours we were still barely making ends meet, I began to feel so upset and overwhelmed that I could barely breathe. In the past, I was able to greet our financial hardships with a sunny attitude of, “It’ll get better. Things can only get better. We will make it through this rough patch.” But this time, all I could see was endless work with little payoff and I felt desperately hopeless.

Thinking about all of the things I had to do at work felt like a mountain that was impossible to climb. Thinking about dishes to wash, laundry to fold, a baby to bathe and feed and entertain and other responsibilities that are just day-to-day began to make me feel unhappy and depressed. I finally realized that I was tired of waiting for it to get better, because it’s not going to without some kind of outside help. I began to think about the past few months and how I’ve been feeling like my life is being lived through a filter. My happiness, my joy, my enthusiasm has been muffled to me. My smiles are forced more often than not. I have not been myself, but I’ve been powerless to change it. It’s like someone’s taken control of my body and is living my life for me. Sometimes I can fake it and be convincing and other times, the act is probably very thin and obvious. I’ve been short and snappy with my husband, getting angry and frustrated at every little thing he does or says. And my sex drive? It’s non-existent.

I finally took a step today to getting the help I’ve been putting of for months. I don’t know if what I have is considered anxiety, depression, postpartum, or a combination. I don’t even know if 17 months after having a child it can be considered postpartum depression anymore. All I know is that I’m not myself, haven’t been for a while, and I’m tired of this apathetic impostor controlling me. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a woman – an ex-midwife – many of my friends see. When I called to make the appointment, I mentioned that I was due for an annual pap smear but I also needed to talk to someone about the possibility of having postpartum depression. The woman on the line sounded sympathetic and understanding. She didn’t tell me I was calling the wrong place and she didn’t talk to me like I was crazy, which are both things I guess I was afraid of.

I’ll keep you all posted as to how the appointment goes tomorrow. I feel hopeful for what tomorrow will bring. The doctor may not be able to give me all the help I need, but hopefully she can give me a start and point me in the right direction.

 

Comments

  1. First step is the hardest. Getting help was the best thing that I did. When I brought it up to my doctor..I was prepared to be very non-emotional but when I told the doctor I said, “their is something wrong with me” and I started crying…at first I was uncomfortable but I felt better that I wasn’t holding on to this big secret. Good luck! every thing will be fine:)

  2. I just want to say thank you, because of this post you gave me the courage to make a long overdue appointment to see my doctor about a pap smear and a referal to ‘see someone’… I appreciate your openness & hope you understand that you gave courage to another mother to do something that she should have done a long time ago.
    x

    • Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for telling me this. If I can make that scary first call, so can you. My voice shook as I told the woman on the line the “little extra” I needed at my appointment, but once that was over I felt relieved. Good luck and keep me posted. You can do it.

  3. Good luck tomorrow. I’m sure it will be great to just feel hope that this can be dealt with. And it so can! Keep us posted. And hugs!

  4. This is a wonderful decision for you and your family. We aren’t born with every tool we need. We need to ask someone else to help us out from time to time.
    I saw a therapist about a year or so ago, and it was so, so helpful. I can’t even explain all the ways they can help you.
    Best of luck.
    Kim at Let Me Start By Saying recently posted..Lori Gottlieb & Being A Good-Enough Mom

  5. You write this today….and last night all the anxiety I’ve been having (different than your slightly) but nonetheless, those overwhelming feelings came to head. This morning, I called and made an appointment to talk to a therapist. Hubs did too. Seperate and together.

    He aren’t having a hard time together in our relationship. But we are going thru some family stuff. And it makes all those things in your personalities come to the forefront. Things for a while you can supress but then jump out when stress meets you. So anyway.

    I feel like I could have written part of this.

    Let us know how it goes. We are thinking of you and hoping you get exactly what you need to feel better over all.
    Jessica recently posted..Seriously………

  6. I hope she helps! Sometimes just talking to someone with no judgement can really help! You will get through this!

    xoxo, Megan

  7. There’s no hard and fast rule on how long post-partum depression can last, or adrenal exhaustion, or just plain exhaustion or burnout. You can be a fantastic loving mommy and still have this happen to you.

    I’m glad you’re seeking help, and taking care of yourself, your family depends on your continued good health – physically and mentally.

    I hope you find some relief soon, you and all the other mommies out there who run into maternal speedbumps deserve some sunshine :)
    Lara recently posted..Mama slips a notch or two

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