Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Living with Depression

I have never said this outright, although you may have been able to guess that it has been a part of my life, but I struggle with depression. I think they give you a year to have "postpartum depression" but I am beyond that now.

We've all seen the commercials for various antidepressants on tv. The sad music plays and the person sits inside looking out at the rain streaming down the window. Or the depressed teenager that wears all black and hides in their room all day. I don't wear (much) black and I don't really have the option of sitting in my room all day, although maybe if I didn't have a baby to take care of, I would, who knows. It's hard to know exactly how to describe it or what form it takes on a certain day. 

Depression is something that is usually not talked about that much and I have to admit, I have never actually acknowledged it to anyone other than Danny. It took me awhile to even acknowledge that I wasn't being treated for depression as a "just in case" but that I truly was depressed. I remember by therapist saying, "How are you doing with your depression?" and I remember thinking am I depressed? It was something that other people could see but that I didn't. It's funny how something that affects every day life is a topic that isn't talked about. But it's there.

Now that things have settled down a little and we've been back to "normal" life for a little while, I've been noticing that I can't do things quite the same way I used to. I'm not sure if it's just adjusting to mostly stay at home mom mode, but I have a feeling some of it is related to being depressed. I have a horrible time getting things done. I can make lists and have every intention of doing things and even start doing something, but I just seem to struggle with the follow through. I get distracted or I just can't quite get myself to finish. I remember calling my mom one day and begging her to come help me because we hadn't eaten a home cooked meal all week. I just couldn't get myself to focus on planning meals for the week, getting myself to the grocery store and actually cooking dinner. It seems silly, but it's true. And so, so frustrating.

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever go back to feeling "normal" and if when I will be a better functioning wife and mom. I feel a lot of pressure, even from myself, to be better but I think it's just going to take time. I didn't immediately process the fact that my baby had died and that my other baby was very sick. I am still processing all of that, and as I process and learn what to do with it, my hope is that I will be able to heal and move forward. I want to move forward, I really do but I know it won't happen overnight and I need to be patient with myself.

I can't say when my struggle will be over or how it will continue to affect me. What I do know, is that even if I'm not perfect, if the dishes don't get done and we eat pizza every night, Cohen will know that he is loved. I can do that. And knowing that gives me hope to continue on and that it won't be like this forever. 


  1. I'm convinced that moms of preemies also have an adjusted timeframe for dealing with depression. Someone told me that it only lasts 8-12 months and I said, "From when they were born or from when they come home?" We also need more time to deal with those feelings of guilt about not being a "good" pregnant person. It all makes a big difference and those 8-12 month timeframes are for perfectly perfect pregnancies.

  2. Don't be so hard on yourself :) You are doing a great job with all that you have been through :) It is a hard adjustment becoming a stay at home mom, even without all the other stuff you have had to deal with. One day at a time!

  3. Thank you for being so honest. I'm amazed by you. I'm so thankful for you that you have such a great support system around you, so you can call your mom like that. In the fall, get yourself to a Mops group and continue to build a network of support and encouragement.

  4. Thank you for posting this Jana. I think I probably have some depression although I do not admit it much either. I feel the same way about getting things done, it seems so much more difficult now. I love that you said it won't always be this way. I am holding on to that hope as well.