Return to me

Depression sucks. Literally. It sucks the life out of you. It sucks the joy, the energy, the motivation, the creativity, the spirituality, the kindness, the spark, the selflessness, the hope. It sucks.
June was a real struggle for me against the post-partum depression monster. It was a struggle for my family too. It was sad for my friends to watch. It was frightening and frustrating for my family who live far away. It was a tough month. I hope July will be better. A week ago, I finally had a brief moment of clarity, when I realized that what my friends and family had been telling (and telling) me was true- I had to stop fighting against the inevitable and get myself onto some anti-depressants. I had been blessed to have been able to go drug free for my whole pregnancy and for the first three months of breastfeeding,  so I suppose I should be very grateful for that reprieve.
The medication I am taking is safe for nursing which I wanted to continue so that’s great, but it is not without its unfortunate side effects. Weight gain being one of them which does not excite me.  I can’t afford it. When I nurse, my body clings to fat like a monkey to a vine. (If I have to read another article about another celebrity who cites “breastfeeding” as their magical weight loss secret I will have to get violent with that particular magazine. ) It does quite the opposite for me.  In fact due to the depression I ate practically nothing for several days at a time at various times over the last month and I lost not a pound. Well maybe one or two, but not the amount I should have lost all things considered.  Oh well. That said, adding a medication which has historically made me pack on the lbs has made me feel pretty resistant to the idea… but there ya go. We do what we have to do. Better to be fat and happy. For a time.
So far I am not happy. I have had moments of happiness for sure.  I am more stable for sure. I had a pretty pleasant weekend in fact, but I could not tell I was not myself. I miss my old self. I vaguely remember her. I wonder if I will ever be energetic, creative, excited about life again. I know that the medication takes some time to build up to therapeutic levels.
***The above was written a week ago ….and I have to say I am feeling more like myself all the time. I am remembering what it is to be a fully functional human being. I am not all the way there yet, but I am on my way. I have had at least one full productive day of housework which I have found enjoyable rather then overwhelming,  I have been able to get through whole days without snapping at my kids even when they desperately deserved it or staring vacantly at them trying to locate my vocabulary when they asked questions.  I have been able to exercise.  I can make plans with confidence that I will have the energy and fortitude to follow through with them.  I can engage in social situations.
Considering where I was two weeks ago (which was a very dark and frightening place) this is nothing short of miraculous. If I have to be a manatee until I am done nursing, it is worth it.  Mental clarity and stability, patience and kindness, enthusiasm, energy and creativity are for sure, a fair trade off.
I’m not one of those people who finds the muse in depression. Perhaps that only happens to true artistes. When I am depressed all creativity shuts down, hence very little blogging lately. I hope to get back to it regularly from now on. You’ve heard it before? But I’m fairly confident this time.
Tomorrow I will be reviewing my favourite read of this Summer (and considering reading is pretty much all I have done this Summer, there was a lot of competition) . I will also be hosting a giveaway of that same book! Tune in tomorrow to hear all about it and grab your chance to win a really lovely book.
Finally if you haven’t seen the video of Ella laughing on my facebook page, check it out. It’s seriously good medicine.  And it won’t make you gain weight.

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15 comments:

Joel said...

One of the most bizarre moments of my mission was trying to teach a new mother dealing with postpartum depression. Having dealt with depression myself and with dozens of family and friends, all I can say is hang in there!

dawn h-s said...

Kirsty, have you MET a manatee? Manatees are some of the most awesome animals out there. Good mothers, placid, and cute.

I'm proud of you :)

Anonymous said...

Hi There!
I read this "I miss my old self. I vaguely remember her. I wonder if I will ever be energetic, creative, excited about life again" and lost it. You said exactly what I've felt for months. My baby's 8 months old now and I am just now starting to feel like "me" again. It's nice to know that there are others who are struggling, but also that there are those who are winning the fight. Thank you for sharing.

{april kennedy} said...

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and thankful you shared. Here's to fat and happy {for a time being}! Cheers!!

Jill said...

XXXOOOO

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so glad you are in a better place. Despression so deeply effects us when it takes hold.

Jen Lynn said...

That's a little bit of the reason I called you yesterday. We must talk sista.

Ken and Jen said...

So sorry you were having a rough time. :o( But I just have to say that I struggle with weight while I am nursing too. As soon as I wean, the pounds melt off. My babe is only 7 months old so I have a while to go still. Bleh, it sucks..

Johnny and Betsye Park said...

Hi Kirsty - thanks for sharing this very personal experience. There are so many women out there who suffer in silence with their post partum depression, or depression in general, and it can only benefit them to read about someone else going through a similar situation and being able to find the strength to get on meds. I respect you so much for taking that action. I'm happy you have such wonderful family and friends to support you during this time and always. Love!

K A B L O O E Y said...

So glad to hear you're starting to turn the corner. I've had to deal with depression for twenty years now, and also had to start again after stopping for pregnancy/breastfeeding. Good for you for getting the help. You deserve to be out from under the gray clouds. And manatee? Funny. You haven't lost your sense of humor.

Toad said...

I agree with what Johnny and Betsye Park said. It is very admirable that you shared this story with the world. I think that is why you have so many friends - you share the good AND the bad. I'm glad you are feeling better and better! BTW my Mom and I were discussing the other day how we think you're the ideal mother. Your kids are lucky! Which reminds me of when I announced to my mom how lucky she was to have me as a daughter :) xo

Brittany said...

I'm not a celebrity but I hope you can enjoy my testimonial that nursing makes me gain/stay bigger. Is it worth it? I hope so...this is the longest I've done so far (7 months) and I'm still loving it.
I'm glad you're finding help that you need. I tried to go off my meds and went a bit nutso for a while...I'm still nuts. I hate depression...
PS...I'm still in the depressive phase where I hate people who are exercising...I just can't.

Anonymous said...

So glad you had the "light bulb" moment when you could see where you were. Wonder if it is a bit like anorexics who see themselves as they really are for a brief moment. Tender mercies of the Lord.
I too hate the "breastfeeding makes me SO skinny, it's wonderful! comments.. No, it does NOT work that way for everyone. I struggle not to hate the utterer! Sorry. I think I gave you the genes. But YOU do get to breastfeed successfully which is where we differ.
Love you. Marmie.

Rainbow said...

I'm glad you're feeling better!

I shouted out loud when I saw your reference to weight loss and breastfeeding. When I weaned my first son (after two years), I dropped AN ENTIRE SIZE in about a month.

Whenever I tell this story, people think I'm crazy/wrong. I felt better when I read about this study:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/16/health/webmd/main643898.shtml

Tooje said...

There was a period after Owen was born where I look back and wonder....was I depressed? I never, ever spoke those words...not to anyone. I always felt like whatever I was experiencing was never as bad as what others probably ever experienced. And those feelings couldn't REALLY be all that bad, right? I had control over them, right?

Blogging has allowed me to secretly work through things I've experienced and might currently be experiencing because of the bravery women like you display. And in the end....I always come back to the same realization.

Life is wonderful. Life always has explanations and answers. As long as I find the simplicity in the situation, they'll all be made clear to me.

Thank you, as always, for sharing.