Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank You and an Update

Wow, thank you everyone for the love, it's just amazing. I'm even feeling it in The Real World; I had some friends/leaders from my church stop by tonight to bring me dinner and as much help as I could want. We're setting up playdates and meals and other such things. It was hard for me because I was embarrassed to be telling Real Live People about my depression and anxiety. I couldn't look them in the face. If you're reading this, Real Live People, I'm sorry. You deserved for me to be more engaged, but I just couldn't do it. Thank you for dinner, it was delicious.

Wednesday I had a session with a therapist from LDS Family Services. I was having mixed feelings about meeting with a Church sponsored therapist. On one hand it's nice to know that I don't have to explain my rather confusing religion to a doctor who may not know about it. Having grown up in the LDS Church has shaped my life immensely. There is really no culture like LDS culture! However, I was worried that I was going to get a religion-happy therapist that would boil my troubles down into Pray! Read your scriptures! Attend church meetings! Be faithful! Those are not the sort of answers I need right now. I was apprehensive (to say the least) about this initial interview.

My therapist is a splendid lady! And so professional, it was delightful. She had me fill out a questionnaire about my symptoms. There were some questions on the form about drug use, I replaced that with eating and junk food, since I have been soothing myself with food. The scoring scale is from 0-180. My total score was 136. A score over 63 is said to have "clinical significance." The doctor said that was the highest score she's ever seen, and she's been counseling for 15 years. I laughed when she told me that because I was relieved to know that a professional thought I was as crazy as I thought I was.

We quickly skimmed over my history to get a feel for what might be causing my funk. It is a many layered problem involving my childhood, past relationships, church indoctrination, personal expectations, extreme stress, and chemical imbalances. When the topic of religion came up my therapist was, hmm, I guess the best word is "aloof". She didn't start talking to me in a church member-to-church member way. It was very professional. I was very relieved.

Talking about my personal expectations was hard for me. It's was hard to admit that I don't necessarily find staying at home with the children to be rainbows and unicorn farts. It's hard to admit that I have dreams I want to actively pursue but feel from heavy outside and inside pressure to give them up because it's incompatible with being a 100% stay-at-home-mom. It's hard for me to say that the stress of dealing with kids is wearing for me, that I would be a happier person being a part-time-mom rather than full-time. Because a mother's place is in the home. And daycare is evil. And if I'm not with my kids all the time then how am I even a parent? And have I no faith?

Of course working through my childhood is going to be a massive undertaking. I'm looking forward to it but I know I'm going to be drained while dealing with it. There's just so much.

We discussed my postpartum depression that started with BuggaBoo and never really let up. She seemed surprised that I was never medicated, and looking back at how bad things were I'm shocked, too. What really hurts is there was many people, some medical professionals, that recognized my symptoms but didn't help me understand that what I was experiencing wasn't normal. My PPD coupled with untreated depression during my teenage years added to my father's (and possibly mother's) history of depression and mental disturbances makes for a strong case for organic causes. Not to say that it's 100% chemical, but that's a large aspect of it.

We did talk about medication. The doctor feels at this time it might be best to have a few sessions under my belt and see how that helps with my anxiety levels. I am open to taking something if I need it, which is a huge step for me considering how naturally minded I am when it comes to medication.

So, overall things were really great. We decided on weekly appointments because I am in crisis mode right now. It's going to help so much to know that every week I'm going to have time to myself to recharge and be able to work through things. Our car died a while ago so I'll have to take public transportation. At minimum it's a 90 minute trip there. So I'll have at least four hours to myself to just think or read or sketch or write or whatever. And there will be no guilt associated with it because it's something I have to do, so yay!

Again, thank you for your concern, it's heart warming. It's still surprising to me how many lives I've touched and blessed, and seeing how your all bless my life is an affirmation to me that we all need each other. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and God bless.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For a Giggle

(BuggaBoo is running around with his little friend)

BuggaBoo: ...And now I got all your blood out!

Me: WHAT are you guys playing?!

BuggaBoo: (brandishing a two-foot glow stick) We're playing hide-and-seek...with these WEAPONS!

Me: Ah, okay, alright.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Thief in My Life

I have a thief that has come into my life.

This thief has stolen my marriage. I no longer have a partnership between equals, two adults striving to lift each other up. Ours is now a relationship of invalid and caretaker, child and guardian. There can be no true companionship between such as these.

This thief has stolen my children. Once my kids were people to marvel in, now they are things to be endured. They are inconveniences that loom before me. I am empty so they are never filled, and they devour me from morning until night.

This thief has stolen my motherhood. Instead of sharing light and love and patience I am made of rage and nerves and apathy. I cannot nurture and calm, I want to belittle and harm. A mother like me should be a mother to none.

This thief has stolen my enjoyment. I have not sewn in months, nor do I want to. I cannot bring myself to cook, we purchase "food" from fast food chains nearly everyday and consider ourselves lucky to be fed. I buy ingredients with intention to prepare dishes with love; instead they rot in my fridge like the whitewashed sepulchre. My garden is composting before my eyes and it barely stirs grief inside me. I start projects to abandon them at whim. I just do not care anymore.

This thief has stolen my delight in food. I eat to forget, to shun responsibility, to have an excuse to sit. I eat to feed my sadness, to quiet the pain, to tell the kids, "I'm busy." I used to eat for flavor and fun and family, but now I eat in shame and excess and loneliness. I am never filled.

This thief has stolen my innocence. Guilt is my daily companion. No matter the choice, no matter my path, I am buried in guilt. Every decision in wrong, blame is all I know. I embrace it, I lie with it, guilt is my abusive lover.

This thief has stolen my sleep. When I wake in the morning I long for my bed. The memory of comfort blankets all my thoughts. I want to sleep, to know nothing. I want to sleep, until it is time for such a thing, and then I cannot. I am compelled to stay awake, to feel edgy and driven, until I am forced to my bed in the early hours of the day. I need too much sleep and none at all.

There is a thief in my life.

It is depression.

I have been robbed.