I am finally beginning to admit to myself that this funk I am in is more than just a funk. I have known it, but assumed it would pass, as my funks usually do. I ride the trough for a while and let the wave lift me back up into the light. But for whatever reason I am still in the trough.
I was about to end a phone call with my mom the other day, when she said "are you sure you're OK?" She knows my bottling habit and can quickly uncork it as she did with that one little innocent question.
I knew that once the book was written and the hubub died down, I would likely have a period of feeling lost. So much of my soul went into writing it, it could only be expected. But its been a year and I am still in a post book partum depression. I can no longer deny it.
My therapist began asking me questions when I raised it again with her yesterday:
Is your sleep being interrupted? Yup. Usually between 2:30 and 4:30am. But I have always blamed the dog.
Are you having trouble concentrating? Gosh, yes, ever since Arron died. Is that a symptom of depression? I thought it was just the grief.
Appetite issues? Nope. That's been a pretty steady constant my whole life.
Lack of excitement about stuff? Yup. I call it apathy. Despite lists of things I need to do, I find I don't do them. "I'm not in the mood right now for that" I think. Even when my book came out, I kept thinking "I should be way more excited about this than I am." I was in this odd state of inevitability over it. It was meant to happen, meant to get published. It just was. It was almost like it wasn't my accomplishment, but someone else's.
My therapist asked, "When was the last time you took off just by yourself, without the kids? "Hmmm. Well? Does a bereavement conference in Ontario count?"
"No, I mean, where you go and just take time for yourself."
"Ah, right. Well I went to a writing conference in Santa Fe for 4 days. That was about 3 years ago."
"Well, its time to do it again. A week this time. You need to take some time for yourself."
Tears teetered on the edge of my lids as she said "I think its a pretty clear case of clinical depression. And after all you have been through, that would be perfectly natural."
Of course. It would. To other people. But me? Clinically depressed?
So meds. Meds! I have railed against them. I was given some kind of somethin-somethin right after Arron died, and doled them out to myself like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory eating one tiny piece of chocolate each night, so as to savor it. I held onto to those little pills and only allowed myself to take them on the really hard days. They lasted months and when they disappeared I didn't refill them. I don't know why Meds is like a dirty word to me. Is it that I fear what all the ads say? dry mouth, decrease in libido, addiction, headaches, heartburn, I don't know what else. Cancer? Complete slide into something I can't control anymore? Insanity?
I now have an appointment in a couple of weeks with a kind of doctor who can actually prescribe a med. Can recommend.
I have seen the incredible change they have made in my son, another mom-vow I broke. They changed his life, and in turn my life and Olivia's life. Its not perfect, but we notice when he hasn't had them. Will he take them for the rest of his life? Will they cause some other affliction?
Am I copping out by using meds?
But I am tired of wallowing away in this trough. My kids deserve to have a happy mom, something I don't think I have been for a very long time. Not really.