Recently, I shared a blog post that I wrote over a year ago on the subject of depression. Both when I shared it when it was first written and when I just recently shared it, I got an outpouring of support, affection, and “me too’s” both publicly and privately that make me so, so glad I wrote it. (Maybe I just have really depressing friends?! Kidding.) So many people suffer silently, and deny what they are dealing with because it’s not completely debilitating. Because their life is pretty OK, so they surely can/should not be depressed. Because they aren’t sad *all* the time. But that’s the reality. Like I said in my previous post, just because you aren’t spending all day sobbing while dressed in your PJs and staring pensively outside your window at the rain does not mean you aren’t depressed. Just because it only happens some months or weeks or days, doesn’t mean it’s not real and deserving of attention and help.
Looking back, I am pretty sure I suffered from some form of PPD after having Ainsley. I know I had depression issues in college and beyond because of birth control, but I had a *really* hard time when I stopped nursing. Part of it was probably that I was forced to stop sooner than I wanted to because of supply issues. But part of it was also probably some delayed PPD (it can happen anytime within the first 2 YEARS postpartum!!), in combination with hormones going crazy, trying to re-stabilize after nursing. But whether it was PPD, “baby blues” (hey, let’s make depression cute!), or just regular depression that happened at that time, it was real and it sucked. I was also going through some other things. Frustration with our housing situation (which still stands). And also a really really crappy work situation that I needed out of. Those all those things together meant that even though everything totally did not suck…to me, everything sucked.
So where am I today? I still have the same damn too-small house. But it’s fine. We recently looked at trying to move, but we’ve found that we really are truly stuck. We are underwater simply because of when we bought this home, and we do not have the finances to be able to rent this one currently (since we would need to be able to carry two mortgages if we lost a renter, and that ain’t happening). So we allowed ourselves to dream for a couple weeks, then allowed our dreams to be crushed. It happens. We’re here for a while longer and we will make it work somehow. I’m not happy about it – at ALL – but it is what it is. We cannot work magic and change that. That’s why I’ve been uninspired to really do much with the blog lately. It’s hard to put much work into your home when you aren’t really happy there, don’t know for sure how much longer you’ll be there, and know the next people who live there will be renters (and not care about all the home and garden updates you put so much love into). I hope to be inspired to check in here and there, but it’s hard. I will when I feel like it, yaknow?
My daughter and husband are both still wonderful and the causes of most of my moments of happiness. It’s hard to support someone dealing with this weird, mostly causeless emotional crap, and I thank my husband for doing that – most of the time with a ton of patience. I have a new job, which is OK. I don’t find it all that fulfilling or super interesting, but the workplace environment and my coworkers are both great. Again, it is what it is. My semi-daily babywearing dog walks are still my Happy Place.
I am still not on meds. I maybe should be. I am happy with my life, and it is filled with wonderful moments. But on any given day, would I call myself happy in general? Meh. Not really. And I mean I’m happy….but not literally all the time happy or fine. Just sort of “meh”. I have had some success taking St. John’s Wort daily, but whenever I finally make an appointment with a new general practitioner, I plan on discussing options for meds – maybe to take daily, or maybe to take during especially “meh” times only. With so much *happyhappyhappy* thrust at us every day from every direction, it’s hard to judge what level of UNhappiness you should accept in your life. Because of course things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows for anyone. Finding that balance is difficult. It’s hard to know if something really DOES suck, or if you only think it sucks because of the depression. If something is worth working through or sticking out, or if you should just move on to something else. And I have no advice on that, I’m just acknowledging that it’s difficult. It’s really hard.
And I am sharing this not for sympathy (I really am “fine”…with scare quotes, but whatever (I’M FINE, MOM, FOR REAL)). But because I think it needs to be shared. From all the messages and words of encouragement I’ve gotten, I know that I am not alone and others need to know that they are not alone, either. That you can be depressed and still live a perfectly normal life and still have happy moments…but you still may be depressed, and that’s both OK (because it happens and you are not a freak or a terrible person) and not OK (because you don’t need to feel like crap about it and should try to remedy it). I know how it is to try and downplay this problem – both to yourself and others. We really are fine. But also, we’re not, dammit. And it sucks. And I feel ya. And if you ever need to talk, or vent, or just know someone else has been there (because I know these things are sometimes the hardest to share with those closest to you) – I’m here.