Monday, February 8, 2010

A Winding road....

Called Postpartum Depression.

it's an ugly beast, that takes its toll, not only on the Mother who suffers from this condition, but on everyone near her. Rational thought is no longer an option. It's all about what she feels at the time she feels it. Her emotions become law, and no matter how hard she tries to rationalize, no matter much she wants the world to make sense again, it just won't.

The littlest thing will set her off, creating yet another avalanche of emotions that she is unable to control. First, she gets angry. Then, bewildered. This is often followed by complete and total devastation, because those around her, 'refuse' to understand. After this, she becomes bogged down by the ton of weight that often comes with extreme amounts of guilt. Afterall, those around her, didn't deserve her outburst. And so... here come the tears. No telling how long they'll last this time. But it's always the same thing, that stops them. As we turn full circle though this beast that is PPD, she's now angry again, because dammit... she shouldn't have to feel guilty for being sick!

And this, is the process that my brain goes through. Once, twice, sometimes a dozen times a day. And I know I'm not alone. And yet, like many, I find myself apologizing, not because I ranted, or because my thoughts led me down some irrational road, but because I can't control this illness. Because I can't snap my fingers and make it go away. Because I can't push it aside, and pretend it doesn't exist, for the benefit of everyone around me. Believe me. If I could, I would turn it off. It doesn't work that way.

I find myself disconnecting from everything, and everyone around me. There is one exception. Our sweet baby, Jace. For some reason, my journey through PPD has taken a twist. Instead of my PPD focusing on the new baby, as it often does, it seems Jace is the ONLY other human on this planet right now, that I don't feel like slapping. The disconnect comes in waves, and often leaves me feeling even more alienated and alone than before. I want to spend time with husband. I get an urge to play on the computer with him. Watch a movie together, chow down on a pizza, and have a carpet picnic in front of the TV. And as soon as he's withing proximity... I want to be left alone. And poor Malcolm, has pretty much taken on the brunt of this depression. Everything he does, grinds on my nerves. Nothing out of the ordinary, or untypical of a two year old. But in my out of sync brain, I see everything he does, as a personal attack against me. "How dare he? After everything I've done for him. After all the fighting I've done on his behalf. How dare he throw his toys on the floor and not pick them up!"

I told you it didn't make sense.

The worst part is that it's like the stories you hear about a person being possessed. They can witness, from some black corner of their mind, everything their body does, everything their mouth says, but they are powerless to stop it. I hear myself yelling, and crying, and ranting about the Hot Wheel on the floor. But I can not control the emotion enough to make myself stop. It's completely irrational, and completely out of my control...

Thank GOD, my doctor has listened to me. Thank GOD, he sees this for it is. Not some lunatic mom, blaming her inability to control her toddler on some outside source. We started out on 10mg of Lexapro. I definitely felt calmer, at first, but it just wasn't enough. After four weeks, I found myself daydreaming, constantly, about running away, disappearing, leaving behind everyone, and everything. I found myself walking away from conversations and confrontations, not because I didn't want to deal with them, or the stress, but because I was afraid I was going to haul off and slap/punch/choke whoever I was having these interactions with. All I wanted to do, was make someone else feel just as bad as I was feeling. When I was putting Malcolm down for his nap, and he went into his typical game of "You can't cover my legs because I'm going to hold them up over my head and giggle until I hiccup" once again, I knew the medication wasn't working, when I walked away. As I closed the bedroom door, ready to take that deep breath, I realized, both of my hands were clenched so tightly into fists, my knuckles were white, and my nails were cutting into my palms. Never before, had it ever been an option to raise a hand, let alone a fist, to my son. And yet, without even thinking, there I was, prying my fingers loose. My next appointment was just a couple of days away.

After telling him what I was feeling, he agreed that the first med wasn't working, and neither was the dosage. So, on Monday, Feb. 8, I started Paxil, at 20mg. I'm hopeful that this will yield better results.

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