Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sick and Tired of Sick and Tired

I’ve never been reluctant to talk about stuff on this blog. With a sympathetic readership there’s very little that you can’t talk about up to and including the very personal private personal functions of your very own personal private ladyplace. It’s a little harder, however, to go into the realm of feelings without sounding like a complete tool. Other people are quite adept at talking about feelings, but given the choice, I’d probably far rather make jokes about my period or something.

At any rate, my feelings have been bothering me in an itchy rash kind of a way lately. I guess it’s no secret that depression is pretty common among women my age and I’ve kind of struggled with bouts of it on and off since late high school. (Although back then, it was probably just more about the fact that this girl I was friends with totally wasn’t talking to me and my boyfriend was sneaking around behind my back and OMG, I TOTALLY CAN’T GET MY HAIR TO DO WHAT I WANT IT TO.)

I had the obligatory health visitor questionnaire 10 weeks after the Prawn was born. Was I a) happy all the time, b) happy most of the time, c) sad most of the time, d) sad all of the time or e) so sad I’m thinking about hurting myself or my baby. The lady who administered this rather drippy test smiled apologetically at me as she asked me to answer. “I think as long as it’s not e, you’re pretty much par for the course at this point,” she admitted. Strangely enough, when the Prawn was smaller and more stressful in terms of care, I felt just fine. Apart from the first 5 weeks when I was convinced that my life was over and could go from 0 to crazy in 0.2 seconds flat, and alarmingly, that’s how I’m starting to feel all over again.

My main symptom is the low level feeling in my gut that I’ve just been given terrible news. I’m pretty sure just about everyone knows this feeling, although I imagine that it’s different for everyone- The kind of sad that just kind of seeps into everything you do. I will cry at the drop of a hat. This is especially embarrassing in the gym while on the treadmill and an NSPCC ad (for those of you in the States, a large child abuse prevention charity.) will run on MTV or something and I have to yank my headphones out and look away. (By the way, what do you reckon they do to the children in those commercials to make them look as if someone has just brutally murdered a puppy in front of them?) Absolutely anything having to do with children suffering at all makes me totally nuts. That photo of the baby being tossed from the apartment building in Germany? I was a gibbering wreck in front of the television. Oxfam ad? NO THANK YOU. Seeing any more pictures of crying, malnourished babies will keep me under the bed for a week. I cried the other day while reading the Prawn a book. About a snail and a whale. Why? BECAUSE WHALES ARE ENDANGERED. The Prawn was all, “Pull yourself together, woman!”

The worst part about it is trying to be “on” for her when all I want to do is curl up in a ball on the floor. Of course, this compounds the existing depression with the feeling that I’m being a terrible mother, which is just the cherry on top of the whole shit sundae. I suppose I can thank my lucky stars that I have never considered hurting her or myself due to whatever chemical fuckwittery is occurring in my head. I just feel bad. All the time. Pure and simple. As stressful as life with the Prawn is sometimes, I really don’t feel like she’s the source of my problems. If anything, she’s become more of a joy to parent as she’s begun to be a sentient human being who knows where her nose is and enjoys stealing things from other children. She’s hilarious.

Mr. DD is awesome about it, but it’s hard for even him to understand what goes on in the mind of a depressed person. For anyone who’s never struggled with it, it must be terribly frustrating to watch someone you love feel bad and have them tell you that it’s not your fault, but there’s nothing you can really do to help. The one thing that he HAS been able to do is give me the freedom to go out every now and again. I’m going with my brother and sister in-law this evening to see “Sweeny Todd”, which I’ve been clawing at the door to see ever since I saw the first trailer. A story of murder and a broken family may not be the ideal choice to suit my present mood, but hopefully the fact that two of my favorite movie crush-boys are in it (Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman. Yes, really, Alan Rickman. Seriously, Sense and Sensibility, anyone?) will mean that I can enjoy my little tub of Ben and Jerry’s (carefully saved up for this week with WW points. Oh yes, did I mention I’m dieting as well?) and try to feel like a normal human being for the evening.

Thanks, internets, for being my sounding board.


Becky said...

Sounds like you're going through what I am as well. It's hard. I just started on an SSRI and am hoping to see a change soon.

Lots of love today, darlin'. Hope that you feel better soon.

electriclady said...

I don't really have much useful to say except that I hope you feel better soon. And that I too now cry at the drop of a hat at anything having to do with children suffering.

(Also: Alan Rickman HELL YEAH.)

MsPrufrock said...

Sigh. Poor Rockmama. One of the hardest things for me with this parenting gig is that lack of an "off" moment. When you can't have that down time and you need it to cope, it's so hard to get through.

This is so cliche, but perhaps exercising will help. That is, if you can avoid those pesky NSPCC ads at the gym. In the brief period that I would go running before crippling shin splints sidelined me, my depression and anxiety began to ebb away slightly.

Promise us that you'll have a word with your GP please. I always worry that I'm missing so much happiness watching P grow up because I am depressed and anxious. I don't want to regret that down the line.

I'm jealous of you getting to see Johnny Depp tonight. Bitch. I don't always dig Rickman as I'm an Oldman girl, but he is H-O-T as Professor Snape. Delish.

rockmama said...

Thanks, ladies.

This has all come on rather suddenly in the last two weeks and has coincided with a bad sleep cycle for the Prawn as WELL as Aunt Flo, so I'm holding off on the meds just for the moment. I've gone through periods like this before and come out the other side, but this feels a lot worse.

Pru- You're right, excercise DOES feel good. I go to the gym Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as a Pilates class on Tuesday evenings. I'm on the WW to try to get rid of the blub and am pretty much doing fine- losing about a pound a week. (I'd lose more, but I need treats when my points allow. I'm not that virtuous.)

Johnny Depp was seven different kinds of creepy hotness. Oh yeah.

rockmama said...

Electric lady- Far two few people appreciate that man. Seriously. He is all the tasty.

Becky- I'm going to give it a week or two and then go in to ask for some happy pills. Hope things are looking up for you too!

Thalia said...

OOh yes alan rickman. Delish. Robin hood, truly madly etc. Yum yum.

Hoping the 2 weeks of misery passes, and that you can find a way out.

Brooke said...

Oh holy crap...that baby being thrown out the window? I was HYSTERICAL. I don't blame you in the least.

And I remember when I lived in London...those damn commercials always CAME BACK with some bizarre 10 second epilogue about two commercials later. So just when you thought you were safe, THE PUPPY WITH THE SAD EYES WAS LOOKING AT ME AGAIN. WTF?

Anyway, I applaud your ability to discuss it. I went to the doc yesterday and was REAMED for not taking care of myself, and frankly, she's right. You gotta take care of you. In whatever way is needed.

Whether that's Johnny or Ben and Jerry. Take some time to do what makes you happy. The Prawn will be all the better for it.

Helen said...

Ah yes - I too have joined the ranks of SSRI takers and struggling momness. I know how you feel. This parenting gig, it's brilliant but 7 layers of hard. I'd also chime in with "high thee to the GP", and not because I get Frequent Happy Pill referrer points.

(and the baby thrown from the German building picture? Good God, I cried like a baby at that one, too)

Suzie said...

Yes. me too. The last few months have been really hard in terms of my mood and feeing depressed. Its gotten a little better since I started going to the gym but its still there. I think it is a hormonal thing and will hopefully go away as the baby gets older. I didnt have it for my first baby but I've certainly been a wreck for this one. And forget about babies or kids being hurt it sends me over the edge too. My 3 year old wanted to watch that penguin movie but I was so scared a baby penguin would get hurt and I would cry I didn't let him. I read him the Velvatine Rabbit and lost it completely. I hope we both feel better soon.

PiquantMolly said...

I fell hard for Alan Rickman long, long ago. Damn, he is even hotter when creepily evil - Die Hard, anyone? You will totally heart Sweeney Todd.

As for your *feelings*, I've been on Zoloft for coming up on 8 years now. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not being authentic or if I should try to wean myself off of it. But then I realize that I feel good -- and why mess with a good thing?

I hope you're feeling better soon.

alisa said...

Oh darling, the interweb is here for you with open, webby arms.
At least you can feel the batshit crowding your mind and know to seek help instead of pulling a Britney Spears.
Keep us posted!

E-lease on Life said...

Sending big, albiet tardy((hugs)) through the web.