Monday, January 16, 2017

on emotional health

Some of my earliest memories were spent in art therapy. I was a complicated child - diagnosed with anxiety, mild OCD and some intense perfectionism at a very early age. In elementary school I would hit my head with a hairbrush until my scalp bled if I got a math problem wrong. The oddest part of all of it is that my parents never expected perfection. I was told time and time again that trying my hardest was all that mattered to them. It wasn't so for me, though. I expected myself to be the best at everything. If I wasn't, I needed to punish myself.

In middle school, with the onset of hormones and the realization that I actually had no friends at all, I spun into depression. It culminated in one night my eighth grade year when I was inadvertently committed until some misunderstandings were clarified the next day. Zoloft was a part of my story for quite some time.

I eventually weaned off the medications. I was okay - sometimes. 

The past few weeks have been exceptionally challenging for me. I've thought thoughts I haven't had in years. I want to shut down. Everything feels hopeless. Jon and I have been fighting and I don't want to see anyone or do anything. I want my bed and the dark and the solitude.

And then late last week I decided to research postpartum depression. I thought PPD was something that happened instantly. While this can be true for most, I found out that many women don't develop it until 2-3 months postpartum. Many of the symptoms were things I had been feeling or thinking since Etta was about 6 weeks old. At the urging of a few trusted friends, I made an appointment with my OBGYN.

After talking for a bit, I walked out with a new Zoloft prescription and a 4-week follow up. I was instructed to move it up to two weeks if things continue to get worse. To be honest, I'm not sure where I'd be if it hadn't been for Jon the past few weeks. He has kept me safe, as grounded as one can, and taken on the caretaker role (of me) as well. We have been far from perfect, but I've been humbled by the sacrifice and understanding he's had with me. 

It's hard to be positive right now, but putting on airs isn't me. My life is messy and I'm not always pleasant to be around, and that's okay. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for you for recognizing your symptoms and seeking help. So many others ignore the warning signs or feel like they don't need help. Praying that you continue to listen to your body & mind and things start to look up soon.

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