Updates, including discussion about depression
Friday, May 25, 2012
First, I'll start with Joy. She is now 15 months, just over 20 pounds, and 30 inches tall. She's still wearing some clothing under size 12 months, but I have purchased her some size 12 month clothing (which is at least a little bit too big). She likes to "read" books out loud. She loves the smurfs and Elmo. She dances and "talks" and giggles and chases the cats around. But her favorite thing to do is follow me around and/or use me as a jungle gym.
Perhaps that is why I'm always finding mysterious bruises on my legs, stomach, and arms. I don't know what other explanation there is for some of them. Because even though I know I am a klutz and often bump into things, I don't think I do THAT much! Almost every day I discover at least one I haven't seen before!
Here's a helpful tip: Don't tell someone who thinks she may have PPD or depression of any sort that it's "just" x, y, or z or will go away eventually on its own or whatever. That is not only unhelpful to hear, but it can be extremely dangerous advice, even if it is well-meant.
I've had rough days and weeks or whatever in my life before. But ever since moving to Washngton, I have had them moe and more frequently. Perhaps part of it was due to SAD and my body going from having excess sunshine in Arizona to many days without here. Perhaps part of it was due to the move several states away from my immediate family, loss of a job I enjoyed, adjusting to marriage, etc. I sought treatment on occasion. I got to a point where I thought I was okay without medication for SAD, and I continued on with my life. Then I got pregnant, had Joy, and started feeling depressed again. Perhaps it was due in part to adjusting to being a new mother (and perhaps it was due in part to my body's inability to produce very much milk, and perhaps it was also due in part to other medical issues and financial issues and so on too). That is what I told myself it was, and that is what others who are not trained to make such clinical assessments told me it was. But it got worse. And worse. And worse. I had to drag myself out of bed each day. I only did so because I knew I had a daughter who needed me to care for her. But I wasn't doing much caring for her, and very little for myself too. I will spare you the details, but I was nowhere near my best, and that resulted in a daughter who picked up on that fact and suffered as a result.
Finally, I talked to my doctor some months ago. I couldn't even discuss what was wrong without bursting into tears. I explained the financial stress and everything else to her as well. She put me on medication.
The random crying spells stopped, so I thought I was getting better, even though that was basically the only improvement I saw or felt. I couldn't even bring myself to pick up my phone and call in a refill of my prescription a couple times until I was off of it for a couple weeks and started noticing myself feeling worse (or, rather, my friends noticed and commented on it). I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with her 3 weeks after I started the medication, but that didn't happen. I went much longer before I said anything. I had my dosage increased and eventually double what it originally was. But I wasn't *really* getting better.
I lost friends. And some friends who thought I might commit suicide contacted my husband out of concern. He made an appointment for me. I was put on new medication. I finally started seeing results.
That was about 3 1/2 weeks ago. We have had a lot of illness in our house this year. We've had multiple colds each, sometimes lasting close to a month. I have had bronchitis. My husband has had ear infections and pneumonia. Somewhere in there, I managed to drive myself to a gym and sign up for a membership when they were running a special. I was sick at the time, so I gave my information, signed the paperwork, paid, and left. It took a long time before I went back to the gym even once.
I have now gone to the gym almost every single weekday since starting my medication. I am more present for my daughter. I am getting out of the house into the (sometimes) sunny weather. I am hanging out with friends. I am showering and getting dressed. I am not spending hours each day lying on the couch. I am feeling better.
I learned at my last doctor's appointment that I gained about 20 pounds since October, with a lot of it coming after I started that first medication. I'm not sure if that medication is to blame or what, but now I am finding myself at my highest weight again. But since I'm working out and not binge eating and being more active in general, I am sure that the weight will come off. I am pretty sure I've already lost some inches (or at least part of inches in various body parts) since measuring myself at the beginning of the month and being measured at the gym.
I hope that eventually I will not need the medication I'm currently taking. But it is helping. I know that much. And I don't blame others for the messages I received when they told me not to worry in the past. I just know that I'm glad I have had the rare good day (or at least motivating day) amidst all those dark days, supportive people around me, and my faith to help get me through the tough times.
Okay. Enough about that. In other news, we now have a church friend renting a room from us to help us out financially as he rents out his home. I'm going to be teaching piano lessons soon to my cousin's son, and I'm actually looking forward to that!