Hey there you reading this blog, would you believe that two months ago I had locked myself in the bathroom, was listening to my son cry on the other side of the door and for the first time, didn’t care.
I needed a time out, big time.
There, standing in the room with the tiny potty, training toothpaste, and tub toys, I came to the conclusion that the hulking monster of postpartum depression had found me once again and this time he had taken steroids.
Let’s go back, shall we? My son is born and motherhood is just not “clicking.” I feel disconnected to my baby, almost as if he belongs to someone else and I just have him on loan from a library. I decide that it might be time to get some help and I return briefly to some medication that I had been on for a little while during my teen years. It helps me get over the rough start and I am able to wean myself off. I feel great. I am capable.
I am confident. I am strong.
Then two and a half years later my daughter comes into the world. I hold my breath. The chances that I will get post natal depression again are high. But three months in and no signs yet. I am taking care of two kids on my own during the day and even though I feel a little out of my element at times, I am managing and know that there will be a time when I feel like a pro.
Then, just like on Jurassic Park, the electric security fences are turned off and the t-rex is let loose.
Suddenly I’m spiraling out of control. I start one project and then flit to another, feeling like everything is urgent. Nothing gets done and my children seem to be lost some where in a fog of constant anxiety and sadness. I can hear them and vaguely see them, but I can’t feel them like I used to. They seem more like embers of hot coal that I am forced to juggle every day then my babies. I watch my husband get ready for work every day and pray there was some way he could stay or I could trade places.
I am scared. I am lonely. I am drowning.
Then one day, the fog turns into a hurricane. I look at my children and suddenly realize I can’t care for them, not like this. I used to love this impossible job. Now it feels just like that, impossible. My flight or fight kicks in and all I want to do is leave, whether it was a temporary departure or a permanent one was immaterial. I just wanted out. So I took my daughter in my arms, gave my son a cereal bar and shut myself in the bathroom.
Please let the storm stop. Please. Turn the fences back on. I can’t do this.
My son knows something is wrong and starts banging on the door asking for me. I click the lock on the door and let him cry. His cries get engulfed in the hurricane, eatten by the monster. I’m in there for ten minutes. I don’t want to come out. I want to stay in there until my husband comes home. But I know my son needs to see me, needs to know Mommy is okay. I come out and pace. I pace with my daughter in my arms and my son following inches behind me. He has stopped crying but a look of concern falls across his face and he’s quiet.
I pick up the phone and dial my doctor. I explain everything I am feeling and that I think I might need to go back on my medication. The order is put in right away. I am given a number for a therapist who I immediately call afterward and make an appointment.
I am now a medicated mama.
I see a therapist once a week and am religious about taking my pill every day. I am a medicated mama, who once felt scared, lonely and drowning. You might think that the pills and therapy made me feel better and they do. But it was actually before the pills and the therapy. The minute I walked out of that bathroom, despite everything in me telling me to leave. The minute I picked up that phone and realized that I needed help and made sure I got it, I knew I was capable.