See me, Feel me, Touch me, Heal me

I had a feeling today. It felt really good to have a feeling.  It got me thinking about The Who’s Tommy and thinking about songs that I’ve heard a million times before. I think that I’m actually finally understanding what this play is all about and what it really means. Or, at least, what I think it really means.

In case you haven’t heard, I’ve been spending a lot of time in therapy lately.
Let’s define “a lot”:
2 hours weekly with a postpartum depression support group;
1 hour weekly with a postpartum depression specializing therapist;
1 hour bi-weekly with a postpartum depression specializing psychiatrist; and
1 hour bi-weekly with my regular therapist to discuss why it’s okay that I blame my mother for all this therapy.

Through all of this therapy, becoming a mother to a toddler and baby, experiencing the lowest depression and most crippling anxiety of my life,  and coming to terms with my own personal history (pre-motherhood) of depression and anxiety (and recognizing and accepting the paths that they have led me down in my life), I have truly grown and changed as a person. I feel that I am a much more sensitive and empathetic person. I am more real and try to be kind  and always keep perspective and patience. The hard work that I am doing at this time in my life will make me  a better mother, wife and person than I could ever have been if I hadn`t experienced all of this shit.

I`ve begun to feel that maybe I`m actually lucky to be going through this personal enlightenment now instead of living my life stuck in perpetual denial. I feel that, like The Who`s Tommy,  “I became aware this year“.  Like I wasn’t really living before, just going through some motions, but now I can think, I can feel, I can hurt and I can love.

One of the symptoms of depression is emotional numbness. This is especially painful when you stare at your beautiful new baby trying desperately to feel the love that you are sure you possess for her. Through my therapy (and probably my new medication), I’ve been feeling more lately. This may be hard to understand if you’ve never experienced it, but if you have, I don’t need to explain anymore.  I had actually been depressed for so long that I had forgotten what feeling felt like. It feels nice.

The other day, I spoke to my mom and I actually felt sad and hurt by her suggestion that I may be depressed because I’m allergic to dairy.  (Mad Cow Disease>?) Yes, Mom, I’m sure that  a dairy allergy  (with no stomach upset) is a much more likely cause than the glaring family history of depression. My mother lives in a world of denial and seeing only what she wants to see. I have been increasingly aware of how frustrating this is, but actually feeling hurt by it was new to me. And if I can feel hurt, I know I will be able to feel all of those good emotions too.

I feel like Tommy when the mTommyirror finally breaks. I feel like I am starting to be able to see how to break away from the depressed shell of a person that I used to be and am excited to see life through a clearer set of glasses.

It has taken me a lot of hard work to get this far but in retrospect, my kids are still so young and I’m just so happy that I will be able to raise my children in the sort of loving and secure home that they can only have with a mother who is “aware” and “free”.

I’M FREE-I’m free,
And freedom tastes of reality,
I’m free-I’m free,
And I’m waiting for you to follow me.

If I told you what it takes
to reach the highest high,
You’d laugh and say ‘nothing’s that simple’
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs pointed to the door
And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

I’M FREE-I’m free,
And freedom tastes of reality,

Angel

If anyone is planning on having two kids really close together with a healthy dose of postpartum anxiety and depression (and really, who doesn’t have this dream), I would highly recommend first securing my mother-in-law. I could not have gotten through this without her. I just have to say that. I will elaborate in a longer post later.

My happy pills came in the mail today. They cost $2.50 per pill! I took one with dinner. Maybe things seem louder again…maybe my ears are ringing a bit… maybe I’m a big huge hypochondriac.

Gross

Today, I took my daughter to play with a little girl who is 2.5 years old. While we were there, the little girl shat herself and just kept playing as if nothing had happened. Her mom then held her down on the floor and actually wiped all of the poo off her bum and legs with a baby wipe. And the stench… it was so gross. This was definitely not baby poop. Then the mom told the little girl that she gets no m&ms for pooping in her diaper! What is with the completely illogical bribery? And what is with kids who can count m&ms but don’t notice when they poop! stinky poo

My daughter knows when she poops. My daughter is toilet trained. My daughter hasn’t poo’d in a diaper since her first birthday. My daughter wakes up at night and tells me when she has to pee. Here’s the part of the blog where I get all high and mighty- because I can.

But between giving me jealous glares through your computer screen and deciding to stop reading my blog because I am making you feel bad, consider coming to terms with the acceptance that I am sometimes a better mother than you. But remember that, as even superman has his kryptonite, I am dependent on an inordinate amount of chocolate or prescription medication to get through most days and to be honest, (and why not be honest) I need to phone my husband before he leaves work every day to let him know if he should have some scotch expect to find me crying in the closet when he gets home.

Sometimes people would tease me about putting my one year old on the toilet. But now I just feel bad for them as they roll up their sleeves to deal with their 40 pound toddler’s poo- every day! I love that my daughter is aware of her body, respects her body and appreciates her own cleanliness. These are qualities that we should all teach our children so that they are still prominent in our society in 20 years. She is also practicing self-awareness which extends to noticing when her hands are dirty before she sucks her thumb and drying off her thumb on my shirt before she touches something. (So, she sucks her thumb…at least she doesn’t crap her pants!)

This post would not be complete without a shout out to my beloved mother-in-law, the original Potty Whisperer.

Now, to serve me right for bragging, Soni will probably have an accident tonight and I will wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle of asparagus smelling pee…

Waiting for my Happy Pills

Anxiety really sucks. I’ve basically been walking around all day having a non-stop anxiety attack. I feel like I’m choking on every breath I take. I just want to close my eyes, cover my ears and curl up in the corner. I hate that I have to take care of my kids when I feel like this. But I feel like this so fucking often that I don’t think I’d technically be their primary caregiver if I sent them to Grandma’s every time I felt like this.

They say that anxiety is the over-activation of your ‘fight or flight’ system which is useful if a tiger is chasing you. But really, I’m just standing in my kitchen and there’s a dirty bottle in the sink that needs to be washed… some tiger.

Now that I’m finally aware that my brain is actually broken and I’m not pregnant, I decided to start taking antidepressants. I started taking an introductory dose of Zoloft in early March. The first week was amazing- I felt like myself again (which was especially nice because after the last 2 years, I really wasn`t sure there was a `me` under all that depression and freakiness).happy pills

After a week of feeling good at the introductory dose, I doubled my dose (probably not the best idea) and that`s sorta when my head hit the floor. Not only was I dizzy, nauseous, exhausted and foggier than when I was depressed, my ears wouldn`t stop ringing, and sometimes the room actually spun around me and also there were some unicorns dancing and possibly some kaleidascope colors involved… maybe fun when you are staff at day camp, not so fun when you are taking care of your own babies.

The psychiatrist said that the ear ringing was extremely rare (wohoo! I`m unique!) and a sign of neurological damage (shit!) and I had to stop taking the Zoloft 😦

I`m pretty sure the antidepressants made a big difference. Here`s how I can tell, two weeks ago, when I was still on the Zoloft, I drove home alone late one night with both kids. It was one of those horrible drives where everyone needed to sleep and the baby was screaming and it sucked. I got stressed, but I didn’t cry. Fast forward to the same scenario tonight- minus the baby crying and also minus the Zoloft…. Guess who cried on the drive home… me. BFS! (that stands for Big Fucking Surprise!) (I decided that it’s my blog, I can make up acronyms.) PTIYPASI! (that stands for Put That In Your Pipe And Suck It!)

So now I`m just biding my time and eating a fuck load of chocolate (and licking some salt out of the palm of my hand…) until my new micro dose of `happy pills`arrive from the online pharmacy in the mail (weird.). Should be in the next two or three days. Problem is, that could be fucking forever to me- I`m depressed- remember? I’m the one who thought it was comforting that Janis Joplin said “Tomorrow never happens, man, it’s all the same fucking day.”