Depression caught up with me. In the last post, I opened up about it for the first time on this blog. About a week before that, I opened up about it with my husband for the first time. I thought that if I could just keep running, it would eventually lose track of me and everything would be fine. But depression doesn’t work that way. It’s like a shadow; it goes where you go and it doesn’t go away until you turn on all the lights from every angle. And if you’re running away from it, you’re also letting it chase you. You have to chase it.
After we came back to Arizona, the plan was to start working and get back into a regular life here. Then I became pregnant with Paisley and I would look for something once we were in the clear with the CVS results. But then I was going to be showing soon and finding a job while pregnant makes an already-difficult task that much harder. And what if I have issues with my cervix again and have to go on bed rest?
So we sold one of our vehicles (it only sat in the garage anyway), used that money to pay off some debt, and decided I’d stay home and bake a baby. I am so grateful that we have the ability to do that and that Eddie is so hardworking that he can cover for us both. It’s a blessing. But…
I slipped into depression and had no way to outrun it. I think that’s the main reason for the nighttime fits. There was nothing to exhaust my brain during the day, so while my body was tired, my mind was racing. I’d go through and shut things down for the night, but Ben is always there. And my mind was awake enough to obsess over detailed memories. My pregnancy with him, preparing for him, learning of the CDH, making the trip to CHOP with fierce determination to MAKE everything be okay, learning of the chromosome abnormality, waiting for him to be born, his birth, his death, and the weeks that followed. There are pieces and details that somehow stayed tucked away in my mind, only to be remembered at 2:00 AM during random nights.
And then there are the fantasies. What if he had lived? What if there had been no chromosome issue, no CDH, no problems at all? What if things had gone the way they were supposed to go? Where would we be? What would we be doing? Who would he be?
My mind never seems to run out of material. And attempts to change the course of my thoughts make it that much more jarring when I get thrown back in. And then the sadness still lingers a bit the next day, which then affects my ability to get ANYTHING done. I want to take the dog for a walk, but I can’t make myself do it. I want to straighten up the house, but I can’t make myself do it. It’s as if I have an invisible chain keeping me in place. I think, “I’d do [this], but I can’t. You see, I have this ball and chain around my ankle. Maybe tomorrow.” And that is how I gauge depression, for myself.
A few OB visits ago, I asked for medication. It was hard for me to do that because I really don’t like taking anything while pregnant (barely took Tylenol with Ben), and I’m pretty passive on medication when not pregnant – even just with Advil. I don’t know why. It’s just a thing. They gave me a prescription, I got it filled, came home, and decided I wasn’t comfortable with it. But depression and anxiety has risks while pregnant also. There has to be another way to handle it.
So I have a plan. I’m going to do three things everyday:
– Something physical (walk the dog or do my prenatal yoga)
– Something functional (do a once-over on the house or deep clean something)
– Something fun (a project of some sort, something to do with my hands, something creative, something I can be proud of once its finished, something I don’t HAVE to do but WANT to do)
Making sure that I get three things done each day makes it manageable and less overwhelming. And if I can get into the right kind of groove, it’ll be enough to make me a little tired at night and just fun enough to get me out of bed in the morning.
I’m feeling pretty good about the plan. Just the fact that one exists brightens me up a bit. I’m a few days in and so far, so good. It’s not perfect yet, but things are getting cleaned, my body feels better, and fun stuff is being made and hung on the walls. Last night and the night before last, I fell asleep…without tears in my eyes.
Yes, this is a good plan.
And now, I have a ton of blinds to dust. Why must my love of many large windows come back to bite me this way? 🙂