August 08, 2012

"If we don't see some improvement by next week..."

"How was your week"

I actually prepared myself for what would come next by inching my hand closer to the box of Kleenex.

"Rough...I'm just exhausted"
"I can tell"  she replied.

"I'm just getting impatient with myself....I just want to feel like myself again"

Cue the tears.

"And here I go again balling my eyes out...."

"It's normal-and very healing to cry" she said sympathetically.
"Well,it's also very annoying!" I laughed.

Then I continued by sharing some of the feelings I'd had in the past week.
"I just want another baby so bad...I want all of this to just get out of the way" I did a sweeping gesture with my hands.
"This isn't me" I continued "I used to be so strong and steady-like I could handle anything-and had all the patience in the world"

"You need to be patient with yourself-it can take time-and adding to it right now might not be the best idea"
She is right....but if I can just make it all go away and feel like myself again,then I can enjoy my life.

"It's like with my oldest son who is autistic,I used to at least want to go places even though it could be challenging due to his behaviors-and ever since Jacobi was born,I don't even want to go anywhere"

Tears are now streaming down my cheeks and I reach for a fresh tissue.

"I don't get it,I've always wanted a big family-even when it's been rough having many little ones in the past,I always managed it so well"

I continue to share my frustrations over not being in an ideal emotional or physical state.

"I need to lose this extra weight and feel good" I declared.

"You need to try and remember that things aren't set up right in your mind and in your hormones-you have low serotonin levels and high levels of cortisol-and until you start getting some good rest,neither of those will level out."

"I still can't make my mind shut off at night.....and then I don't want to get out of bed" I replied.

"It's part of having such high have all these things going on in your mind-that's understandable"

"I feel like I'm just doing the same things day after day....prying myself out of bed,changing diapers,doing laundry-I never get time with my husband-and I don't even want to answer the phone when people call!"

By now I've gone through two tissues.

"I hate to sound like a bad mom,but I'm so glad school is starting in 3 weeks...I'm hoping it will be easier with Caleb not there tormenting and instigating things with his brothers"

There's no stopping me-I have so many feelings of guilt and incompetence.....

"I try so hard NOT to yell that I keep it all in and end up creating an anxiety attack for myself"

I explain how I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a gentle parent and to follow attachment parenting.

"Attachment parenting doesn't mean you are perfect-it means that you nurture and gently guide your children to a healthy state of independence" she pointed out.

"You want a healthy balance of dependence and independence" she added.

It makes me wonder where I fall on that.....

"I just want to have energy and feel in control of my life again" I pouted.

"You know,you meet all the criteria of someone who is depressed...and I was going to give it another few weeks-but I feel strongly that if we don't see some improvement by next week that we should start you on an SSRI"

I sighed.

She continued:

"I know you said that medication was a last resort,but I just hate to see you struggling so much"

We talked about some of the medications and the side affects....and I mentioned how I had been doing the relaxation exercises,but while they worked in the moment,I still felt an overall sense of anxiety.
I expressed the concern over what medications might do-from making things worse to making me gain weight.

"They have done amazing work in most recent years-most of the ones I might try with you don't have the side effects we used to see,like lowered libido for instance" she explained.

Yeah,that's the last thing I need.....hah!

I have six more days before I need to give an answer.


  1. This is the first entry I'm reading, so if all of this is way off base, there's no need to respond.

    Have you thought about natural supplements to help decrease your anxiety and help you sleep? Calms Forte is a great one that you can use any time of day or night. It just kind of helps clear the mental clutter. You can take it in the evening to help quiet your mind to help you sleep too, if you want. Hyland's makes a homeopathic pill called Insomnia that can also help you sleep -- it won't MAKE you sleep like Tylenol PM or whatever, it just helps you relax so you CAN sleep. I take it a lot when I'm having high anxiety and I just can't relax. Neither of those things are habit-forming, so you could use them while you get over the hump in therapy.

    Are you getting out in the sunshine for at least 15 minutes a day? That can help too.

    Hugs and prayers and best wishes for you. Hang in there. You're on the right path, getting help. Things will get better.

    1. I've tried a few herbal/homeopathic remedies-magnesium,St johns wart,prenatal vitamins (still taking),omega-3's....I also just started melatonin for sleep...and I bought some chamiomile tea...I use lavender scents too. Yes,sunshine everyday outside with the boy for 20 minutes to a few hours :-)
      I will definitely look into the things you mentioned!
      Thank you so much for commentng and sharing your advice!

  2. (Hugs) You need more self forgiveness and to stop feeling so guilty. I agree with your counselor, while you want a little one you need some time to focus on you...Have you read this article? (below) It is on some various shortcuts to help busy mommas get through the day. All you can do is your best, but you being critical of yourself is not helping you be your best. I truly hope you start feeling better really soon.

    1. Thanks Cassandra :)
      I do believe that I am too critical of myself-that's where my perfectionism falls into place.....I'm not a perfectionist in other areas,just with myself.
      I'll check out the link too-thanks for sharing!

  3. Hugs! I. have. been. there. And there pretty much sucks, huh? I took Zoloft after the birth of my second child, and it literally saved my life. I'm not exaggerating. I also took it after the birth of my third and fourth children, but I started it earlier (by 6 weeks post-partum), and didn't take it as long. I didn't have any major side effects, but after the birth of my third I felt like it made me kind of "numb" after a month or so, and that's part of why I phased off of it. I wasn't a zombie by any means, but just felt like I wasn't quite myself easier. I still feel like it was good that I took it for a time, and that it helped things level out some.

    I'm quite sure that I would struggle less with depression if I got more sleep, but that's the sort of advice that makes me want to scream sometimes, since I have no idea how to get more sleep with multiple small children who wake up frequently at night.

    I hope things will get better for you soon, and that you can feel at peace with taking medication if that is what your body needs! ~Melissa

    1. Definitely!
      The sleep issue has been huge pretty much since my oldest (who is autistic) was born.
      He never wanted to sleep during the day and always got up early.
      Then I've been having children back to back pretty much-so between pregnancy insomnia and getting up with babies,I haven't slept well in years!
      So yeah,I hear how you want to scream at the sleep advice!
      Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Hi Denee. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I, too, have had my share of mental, emotional, and spiritual struggles (they're all interrelated for me.) The postpartum period, as lovely and wonderful as it can be, always throws me off kilter. In fact, I don't think I've ever really recovered after the last two babies! As of late my husband has begun saying (out of spite I think) that I "need" medication. Here are my thoughts: if I start taking a medication to calm my mood, which is likely related to stress and sleep deprivation (not the absence of the medication,) then where will my "normal" be? I feel like it's just delaying the sadness. Even when things do normalize and I stop taking the medication, I will feel sad from coming off of it. Believe me, I have a mother who has taken Prozac for almost 20 years and she goes through major emotional trauma when she tries to cut back or switch brands of anti-depressants. The way I look at it is this: you are feeling sad for a reason; you want to lose weight, get a break, get sleep, have time with your husband, etc. Those are all NORMAL stressors. I try to see what God would have me learn from my trials. Like labor, I feel there is much to be gained from the "pain" of life. Again, this is just my own opinion and of course we tend to give advice based on our beliefs. I have heard many-a-women say that medication has been a blessing and a light in their lives. You will know what to do and be guided in your decision. You are not alone. Thank you for writing about your experiences

    1. Hey Lisa-
      One of the things I enjoy about my therapist is that she is a christian too,so we always pray before and at the end of a session,and she pulls out the bible often.
      I can understand-and agree-with much of what you said.
      I'm going to pray about it a lot this week....we'll see.
      Maybe I'm slightly under the illusion that medication might set the ball rolling and other things will fall into place.
      Or at least help me cope better with the way things are.
      Then again,like I mentioned I'm nervous about the idea of introducing medications at all.
      Hopefully I can trust God to lead me to what I need to do.

      Thank you for sharing your input :)