Black Hole Sun: Follow Up

Still thinking about this. Bear with me as I work some of it out. (Or, you know, click to a happy blog!)

I have been depressed before, to a certain extent. After Gabriel was probably the closest I came to true depression. But every day, through my sadness and heart-crushing grief, I got out of bed. I usually ate and showered. I told myself that the day I couldn’t take these basic steps was the day I would ask for medication. Yeah, I got up and went to my couch and cried for an hour (or four) some days, and yeah, I went into therapy. But every day: out of bed.

I have been flirting with depression since Michael was born. First it was some post-partum stuff, a little more than the baby blues I was used to. Then difficulties breast feeding made me feel bad; having to return to work full-time didn’t help; conflating Gabriel and Michael was heart-hurty (not a real medical term).

But again, I was functioning: getting up, showering, dressing, eating, taking care of my family, going to work. The pressure was definitely increasing. Talking to some friends at Cook Forest at the end of April about my current schedule, one of them said (incredulously), “How are you doing all that?” I said, “I’m faking it.” I didn’t realize until Saturday how true that was.

Usually, when talking about “mental health issues”, I default to anxiety. I get worked up and overwhelmed, and panicky, and have anxiety attacks. It ain’t pretty.

So the depression of Saturday was, uh, different. Not in a good way.

I’m trying to do things a little differently this week to take off the pressure. First, and I admit I’m not proud of this, I am giving my kids easy dinners this week. A lot of “not”dogs, mac and cheese (not a staple at home; they get it enough if we go out to dinner), vegetarian baked beans, etc. I’m not cooking from scratch this week. They are getting fresh fruits and veggies, though. No need to skimp on those with my CSA.

Second, I am trying to keep lines open between Dan and me. I am looking for little ways to treat him right (making a big salad for when he comes home, writing notes to tuck into his briefcase) so that we stay connected. He is trying to do the same for me.

Third, I am trying to take 20 minutes or so daily to read. I’ve really lost the habit since I went back to work. Which is weird, because I LOVE to read. Trying to get back into that groove.

My next goal — my perpetual goal — is incorporating exercise into my life. Little walks during the day, bouncing on the stability ball at home, deep knee bends as I put away laundry or empty the dishwasher.

So that’s where I am now, today, this minute as I write this. Breathing deeply, and focusing on not falling again. Not much else I can do.