Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Too Stressed to Be Depressed

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I have been on mood watch since Ivy was born, mostly because I knew everyone would be watching me for signs of postpartum depression. Which pissed me off. Every time someone brought up postpartum depression and the warning signs and prevention and my history—there was always some remark about "your history"—I thought, Fuck you. I know you're trying to help, but fuck you.

I interpreted everyone else's (very real) concern for me as their belief that I couldn't do it. That I wasn't strong enough or sane enough to be a mother.

So I was absolutely determined not to be postpartum-depressed after Ivy's birth. And for the most part I wasn't. I had a real solid bout of "baby blues" during the first three weeks, and I cried because the baby was so beautiful, because I loved her so much, because the sky was blue... Since then, I've had good days and bad days, but mostly I've had busy days.

I knew having a baby and a preschooler would change the shape of my life, but I had NO IDEA.  There is no schedule, only busy. Everything busy. I have to switch gears so fast and so often, I don't have time to think about what my mood is doing. It's not a bad thing—and with Christmas (always a difficult time for me) fast approaching, I would rather be spread a little too thin than feel totally melancholy—but it requires its own kind of adjustment.

I don't have time to think in terms of sad, or downcast, or blue. I'm still learning to live (and thrive) in this new emotional climate.

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4 comments:

Ellie said...

What a woman.

Sara said...

I'm glad to read you are not only living but thriving as well. It's tough. Having a history of depression myself I am on high alert. I hope things stay busy enough to keep you on top but relaxed enough to give you a bit of time to breathe. You're amazing!

Lauren Knight said...

So interesting. I have struggled with crazy anxiety after each birth. Those postpartum hormones are tough stuff.

Lea said...

I read this post a few nights ago, and couldn't find the right words to say. I still can't find them, but just want to say you are amazing. Keep on pushing through. I love how you are so honest and real, and really know yourself so well.