Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ways I'm Dealing with Depression

You all are so great. All your comments have really helped me. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

When I wrote I feel like the worst mother in the world, it was because I had finished my evening light therapy but I was too tired to get up and leave my room. I could hear Londo and the Pumpkin downstairs laughing and playing. I could also hear her start to tantrum and Londo get frustrated. Normally, I would have gone downstairs to join in the fun or help out with the tantrum. But I couldn't do either. I just couldn't be part of my family. I am not able to spend much time with my darling girl. And I happen to love the toddler stage and can even handle tantrums (to a point, of course). I just feel removed from my family, and that makes me even more sad and guilty. But the Pumpkin still lights up when she sees me, and we still laugh and have fun. And I know this is a short time in our lives, and future winters will be better when I'm not pregnant and am able to take the right medication I need. It's just hard to sit upstairs depressed while life continues below me.

I'm doing a little bit better. When I realized how bad I was doing Sunday and Monday (and leading up to it), I also realized that I needed to do things to help me feel better and get through this. I'm very proud of myself for the things I've done in the last few days. Especially because doing anything at this point seems overwhelming. For example, I need some comfortable, flat, brown shoes (pregnancy has me out of my heels, boo hooo). To most people, it's nothing to run out and buy a pair of shoes. But the idea of going to a store, finding/picking some out, trying them on, buying them... it makes me want to cry because it is so overwhelming to me.

But let me concentrate on the good things I've done, which will help keep me feeling better.

The two biggest things I'm doing are:
1. Telling the people who need to know that I am not doing well. While it's happening, not after I am feeling better (which was my usual MO).
2. Asking for the help I need. This includes determining what help I need, who can/should provide that, and reaching out to let them know I need help because of #1.

Because of these two things, I have accomplished the following:
-I upped the length of time I'm doing my light therapy.

-I have been taking Tylenol PM semi-regularly, while Londo takes night duty, so that I can get better quality of sleep. The Pumpkin is sleeping some nights by herself in her own bed! But even those nights, I wasn't sleeping well because I have a lot of trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (and falling back asleep) during pregnancy. My OB said (as has Cloud and others--thanks again) that Tylenol PM is perfectly safe to take, and I can take it as often as I need.

-I made an appointmnet with a new doctor to montitor my medication, because my old doctor is moving. My old doctor gave me the name of the new doctor, and I had left her a message, but didn't do anything more. Finally, I sent an email saying how poorly I was doing and could she squeeze me in soon. Which led to...

-I saw the new doctor last night, and we agreed to up the dosage of my medication a bit more. Apparently, it's still really safe in pregnancy at any dose, so I'm feeling good about that. She also helped me figure out ways to deal with what I'm going through, including telling me the other things I've been doing are right on.

-I have asked my mom to help me with things around the house. She was already on board with helping me prepare the Pumpkin's new room (and there is a lot of work to be done to get it ready), but right now, I need help with laundry and dishes and just picking up. Londo can only do so much, and right now, he's pretty much doing it all. We live around all of my immediate family, and they want to help. So I'm asking for help, and they are happy to do it!

-My MIL and FIL are planning to come up next weekend, and my MIL asked if she could stay for an extra week. I have happily agreed! I get along really well with my ILs, and my MIL is soooo helpful. We will still have our nanny come during the day, and my MIL often tries to help around the house while the nanny is here. I'm going to ask her for the help I need, in addition to her watching the Pumpkin in the evenings and some nights (she actually requests the night shift both to give us a break and to get snuggle time while cosleeping with the Pumpkin).

-After many talks with my bosses (I have at least three) over the months about what I'm going through and what we cn do to make things work for me, I finally came up with a plan with them that will work for me. They had one plan, but that fell through. Then the boss I'm mainly working with to figure this out came up with another plan that probably would have worked for me a few months ago. But I had to tell her that I am in a different place now, I'm really not doing well, and my needs have changed. So together, we came up with what I think will work for me, both in hours, location and projects. This has eased my stress a great deal!

It's amazing to me how I can feel better just by admitting I need help and asking for what I need. Of course, that means figuring out what I need. I honestly don't think I could have figured it out if I hadn't upped my light therapy and gotten some goods nights of sleep. But now, I am thinking a little more clearly and feeling a little bit better. This will be a tough month, and next month won't be great. But that's only another month or two, and then things will get better.

And then, we'll have a newborn and toddler and be crazy all over again! At least it will be June!

11 comments:

Kristina said...

I wish your doctors was covered by my insurance because my MD is making a big deal out of being on antidepressants while planning to conceive. I was crying and ranting last night. But after hearing from you that other doctors might behave differently I am more hopeful. Thank you!

OneTiredEma said...

Re: shoe shopping, I swear by Zappos. I've never done it for me, but I do it for the kids all the time. Free shipping to/from. Only leave the house to return (or I did, until I realized my husband could drop off the package--prepaid UPS--in his mail room at work).

Katie said...

We're here, and listening.

I have to agree about the whole TELLING PEOPLE thing. Last month when I was so down, I had a chat with DH (who reads my blog, so it didn't need to be more than a few exchanges), and he's been very helpful with being the parent in charge more often and for longer. He's not perfect, and I wish he'd take up a little more slack... but what he's done has been wonderful. The people who love you want to help!

Cloud said...

It is OK to need a little time out from the family, for whatever reason. Sometimes, when I get up with Pumpkin on a weekend morning, Hubby just stays in bed and reads, and while I never do that (if I'm staying in bed, its to SLEEP!), I completely understand why he does it. Toddlers are intense, and sometimes you just need a break for yourself.

I'm glad you're getting the help you need.

Isn't it great how grandmas like the snuggle time in the middle of the night? I'm sure some day, I will, too. When its not every night!

Trannyhead said...

Good for you for taking steps instead of being overwhelmed. You'll get through it. Hang in there.

JAB said...

I am really proud of you.

I HATE asking for help.

But it always works wonders when people respond.

Cheering you on from here!

Shellie said...

I am proud of you too, those two steps would be really hard for me, but they are so important! Sorry I haven't been by in a while, but I'm without a laptop and don't make it to the dungeon very often to use the PC. I can't wait for summer so this will get easier AND congratulations on having a BOY! Woo hoo!

Jana said...

Good for you. It sounds like you're doing everything you can, and you've got a good support system. Sometimes, just taking action toward getting better can make a difference. Hang in there, and know we're here.

heSaid said...

I am also really proud of you. I think as a society, we are taught to be islands, and it makes needing help a failure. That is not true at all. We are all people, and we need other people. Seeing that and putting yourself out there and asking for help, shows me a great level of personal strength from you.

heSaid

AmyinMotown said...

I am so proud of you! When I went though PPD with Will, I got out of it much faster because instead of trying to tough it out and feeling ashamed, I sounded the alarm long and hard. And guess what? Only a little tiny bit of PPD and I started pulling out of it way before I fell over the edge and couldn't enjoy my baby. I went off the ADs recently and am starting to worry I am slipping back into depression, so I am really impressed by what you have done and want to be just like you if I do start slippign again. What a lucky little group your family is to have such a strong woman as mother and wife!

Mike said...

Yes I agree that many people won't speak about their depression. Don’t let depression consume you. Reduce that stress around your shoulders. There are types of depressions, but all have the same common roots. Don't hesitate to take help and assistance. I want to share a self help program which help in treating depression .