Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beating It.

Today, I had postpartum depression.

Yesterday, I felt fine. I took Adam to the park while Avery was at preschool and played games with Avery while Adam was at kindergarten and snuggled Ben and made a vegetarian lentil dish from scratch and thought "Hey, I got this."

Today, postpartum depression sat on my chest. The kids fought and I wondered if they might be the worst kids in the world because I had ruined them. Jeff and I had a misunderstanding and I wondered if my marriage was over because I had ruined it. I looked at the baby in love and fear because surely, I would manage to stamp out the purity in his eyes. Friends? None. House? Dirty as a van down by the river. Life? Ruined, because of my influence, of course. Syrian refugee crisis? I probably had something to do with that too.

I left the hospital after having Ben with a prescription for Zoloft. I know that talking about anti-depressants makes people feel uncomfortable, but, yes, I left the hospital with a prescription for Zoloft. I didn't want to relive the summer after Avery's birth, where I briefly was suicidal. I lined up some additional help at home. I visited family and friends. I got dressed everyday and did my make up. We went on family hikes. I documented the shining moments. I went through all of the articles on how to beat postpartum depression because I was determined to do it right this time. I checked off their lists. Exercise? Faith? Sunshine? Check.

I wanted to be able to tell people that I hadn't really had postpartum depression with Ben. I wanted to beat it. I wanted the pause when I answer "Fine" after people ask me how I'm doing to be because having three kids 5 and under is like I'm the conductor of a symphony of tears and bodily fluids, not because I'm depressed. But I am depressed. Today, at least.

I never have a point when I talk about having postpartum depression, I just want to talk about it. I want to talk about it with acquaintances in the same tone of voice that I talk about the time that I got a staph infection after falling off a bike that my best friend's dad stuck a motor on. I recently sat around a table and we all talked about how we all had had abdominal surgery. I really want to find a table somewhere and talk about how we cried on the bathroom floor and how we fought, so hard, against this inexplicable darkness and how every day brings a new battle. I want that to be OK to talk about.

You see, I know I am beating it when I talk about it. I don't know how I know that, but I know it deep in my bones- I am beating it. Postpartum depression takes so much from me, it really does. I feel so upset when I think about how it sneaks away the gold from this time in our lives. I want to spin around in circles with my kids and feel their joy and wonder. I want to eat pizza because the day was busy and because I want to, not because I feel like I failed to make a better dinner. I want my body to be more exhausted than my soul is at the end of every day. I know I'll get there. Yesterday I was closer. Today, I am farther. But I know that I'm crawling in the right direction because under the smog of my mood, I can feel the echo of a thought from yesterday, "Hey, I got this." The thought is quiet, but I feel it beating inside.

I got this.


Ashley Nguyen said...

Beautifully said :)

Kari said...

You are such a great writer, Sarah! I love it that people like you can put my feelings into words so beautifully. Depression is such a beast. I hate it so much.

Shantel said...

I sometimes feel like I shouldn't comment because my comments always seem pretty trite, like "I love this." Ha. But I honestly love how you are able to so perfectly capture life through your words. You make me feel empowered and understood.

You sharing this is important. The talking that you do about depression has made a difference in my life and I just think you should know that.