So I’m back. Been gone a while because, well, PPD decided to be a jerk. Some days I need very little encouragement to get motivated, other days it’s a struggle to get up out of bed to pee. Never mind the fact that I now have a 14 month old who is doing his best to learn to walk, who is in daycare 4-5 days a week, and I work 4 days a week now.
It’s strange, now that I’m out of the “post partum period” which is a year technically (although there are apparently talks in the medical world that it will be extended to 2 years after birth) I almost feel like I’m struggling more. Sure I’m on my “trail mix” (what I call my daily medications since it’s a total of 5 pills made up of 3 different medications) and I make a point to take it every day and at as close to the same time as I can. But yet here I am, pretty constantly feeling just “blah”. I’m back to work, and that means I’m making money again, I’m talking with adults, and I’m not always looking around wondering what J is doing. It’s great, but I also feel like I don’t belong, there’s a bunch of staff who are older than I am, and a bunch who are my age but are at a VERY different stage in life compared to myself. One girl I work with is my age but is single, hasn’t really ever dated and is in University. Another is 18, dating the same guy for many years but has 0 plans to have kids any time soon, and one other is only a year older than I am and she HATES kids. Has no interest in ever having kids. I’m the odd one out, I’m young, married, and have a child. I’m my own social bubble in the work place. If I thought mat leave was isolating, that was a cake walk compared to this….
J turned 1 a few months back, I won’t say I was happy, in fact I think I cried for a solid hour if not more because he wasn’t a baby anymore. He was now classified as a toddler and weird as it seems, he didn’t look like a baby anymore. He looks like a tiny adult now and it’s both amazing and super emotional for me to look at him growing up. Sure I get to experience all kinds of things all over again through his eyes, but it’s also him growing up. This year was his second Christmas, but his first where he was kind of aware of things. He loved the Christmas ball decorations (plastic non-breakables!!) and I learned just how true it was that from now until he’s like 6 our tree will be decorated from roughly the middle up so he can’t pull decorations off it. I’m still finding Christmas decorations all over my basement. But watching him look at the lights and feel the (fake) tree was really something cool.
I watch him play with our pets and learning the boundaries for what he can and can’t do. Learning signs for “gentle, share, milk, sleep” and many others has been amazing. From about 7 months old he was able to sign for milk when he wanted to tell us he was hungry and wanting to nurse. The ability to communicate with him, even with just the one sign was so freeing.
I go see my doctor again in a few days and I don’t know what I’ll tell her. My anxieties are lessening all the time as I see J in a new light. He’s no longer the floppy unstable infant that was fragile and likely to get injured with even the shortest lapse in attention, he’s a strong willed, and able bodied child who will barrel across the floor and scoot down the stairs faster than you can even realize it’s happening. But for every milestone he hits I can help but look back at 1 year ago when he was just 10 weeks old and barely able to focus on my face yet, or even 2 years ago, when we had finally decided we were going to start actively trying to get pregnant, and finding out our first cycle was a bust and we weren’t pregnant yet (although we would become pregnant very shortly after).
I also am struggling with wanting to “come out” and tell my friends and family that I have struggled, and am struggling with PPMD. Sure a few people know but not very many simply because I have friends and family who just don’t “get” mental illness and how real and debilitating it can be. I have family who talk about how certain things “make my anxiety go crazy” yet don’t seem to have any true understanding of what chronic anxiety is like. Or that depression can be helped by just going out, seeing people, and having happy experiences.
PPMD has many faces, feelings, levels, and so many other variables that no one treatment works. My prescription history over the last year is a testament to that.
I’ll try not to stay away from here so long next time! Have a good one all!