Before Riley was born, I read Brooke Shield's book "Down Came The Rain" about post-partum depression and it really ticked me off. I had always kind of felt that PPD was fake. Everyone gets the blues, but you shake it off and move forward. And she's freaking Brooke Shields for crying out loud! What does she have to be sad about?
And then Riley was born. And things changed. I changed. I wasn't really weepy, just incredibly overwhelmed. I could not cope. I described it as feeling like I was constantly on the "I Love Lucy" episode where they are making chocolate and the candy just keeps coming and coming until she and Ethel finally just start shoving them in their mouths, shirts, everywhere. Life just kept coming at me and I was running out of places to hide.
I also became obsessed with death. Not in a "goth, wear all black and journal in cemetaries" kind of way. I knew I was going to die soon. I could just feel it. Every intersection, I would brace myself for the car I knew would slam into me. I would hold on to the steering wheel extra hard going over bridges to try and prevent my car from veering off the road. Even taking the trash out held it's own risks because I knew someone was out there waiting in the dark for me. I wasn't afraid, just prepared.
It eventually got to the point where I was convinced Jeff and Riley deserved a better wife/mom. I thought about just running away, but I knew Jeff would do everything he could to find me. (Damn him for loving me. :) ) If I was permanently gone, they could move on faster. Jeff would find a new wife and Riley was a baby so he wouldn't even remember me. And that's when I knew something was seriously wrong with me.
I was put on an anti-depressant and I'm certain it saved my life. I just recently felt comfortable enough to wean myself off of it (with my doctor's instructions). I still get overwhelmed, but it's temporary. Normal mom stuff. My emotions feel kind of raw. I have a quick temper and can cry easily. But I know how to manage it now. I don't feel like those emotions control me.
Posting about this has been on my heart for sometime, but I honestly didn't want to do it. I'm ashamed and embarrassed about it. I don't want people to look at me and think, "That's the crazy one." (And not because of my crazy-good dance moves) But I think that's why I should post this. There is such an awful stigma surrounding mental issues. Maybe by talking about my own struggle, someone will recognize themselves in it and get help.
Let's rock this (crazy) joint.