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Dear Mommy Bloggers,

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, and I didn't feel much like celebrating. This will be a long, LONG mommy rant-I feel so drawn to get all my feelings out there, hopefully this can help me feel better. Please take everything with a grain of salt. Truth is, I know that I am one of the luckier people in the world. I have been blessed with a fantastic life, and do not have a legitimate right to complain about anything. As if that will stop me.

For anyone that has dealt with depression in the past/present I think you will have the best idea of how I feel. I have dealt with depression since junior high. It's definitely something that runs in my family, and it's as real as it gets. Sometimes I worry that I use it as a crutch- an easy way to just not deal with the triggers that get me there in the first place- just be overwhelmed with the fact that I have reached a depression episode. Then when I come out of the fog, I'm so happy to feel normal again the last thing I want to do is deal with my problems.

For the most part I have had my depression under control. I have been on medication for all of my adult life, and it seems to be as easy as that. Long ago I became accustomed to the idea that I will take a little pill every single day for the rest of my life. I think I was lucky to get it young- the choices were more or less made for me. My dad forced me to go to the doctor, and my life has been better ever since. I never had to deal with what other people go through- do I want to be dependent on medication for the rest of my life? I have known from a young age that I have no choice- the other option is a life of negativity and despair, or, as morbid as this is, no life at all. I have tried multiple times in my life to go off of the medication- life is good, so I think maybe I can handle being with out. That has never worked for me. Not even close. The doctor that prescribed medication for me as a child saw me throughout my high school years. He did such an awesome job of explaining why I need medication- that it's a disease (whether or not you believe that is up to you, I definitely do), no different than other millions of things people take medication for every day, except that it has a negative stigma. People associate anti-depressants with weakness. Do I think anti-depressants are over prescribed? Absolutely. Do I think I truly have, and will always have, depression? Absolutely. My husband had a tough time accepting the fact that I truly have depression. He didn't think I should take medication while pregnant, but it didn't take that long of living with me and my pregnant mood swings for him to change his mind. =) It was frustrating for me, though, to try and explain how serious my depression can be.

The last year or so of my life have been nuts and filled with adjustments- getting pregnant, getting married, moving in with my hubby, 5 weeks in MN while hubby was in Washington working, back home to Texas, had the baby, started working part-time, hubby left for another month, the deployment and move to MN, then getting pregnant again. All that has happened since April 2008. Pretty typical Army Wife situation, but SO out of my element. I think I did a pretty good job of handling things for the most part- the 6 weeks after having the baby were a little rough with the hormones flying, but we made it through. Not to mention that I've been on 4 different medications, since I saw so many different doctors in Austin, MN, and Fort Hood. But I was feeling good, until the deployment. The first couple weeks were OK, I missed Harold terribly but everything was still pretty new and exciting, seeing my friends was fun and I was looking forward to having quality time with family and friends who are normally 1200 miles away.

But after that I just fell apart. I think it was just the last straw for me. The thing that put me over the edge. Well, I would have to say that and the combination of being pregnant. My kids are going to be 11.5 months apart, an that is just not the plan I had in mind. I wanted to be able to enjoy Harrison- live life pretty stress free for awhile. I am still so young, so I had the ability to spread my kids out a bit. So much for that. And I apologize if I sound like an alcoholic, which I'm not, (I hope... =)) but part of the appeal of being here was live-in babysitters, and my friends- 23, not married, no kids... I was looking forward to some crazy times. So much for that. Now I'm "The Mom" again. Obviously, I wouldn't trade Harrison in for anything in the world, but I do sometimes feel like I've put myself in the position to be the "Odd Man Out", I wish I could be having babies WITH my friends, not first and all by myself. And especially not two in a row. Seriously, I am SO, SO, SO tired of being pregnant. Anyone who has a baby will agree, that the 8 weeks I had of not being pregnant, essentially does not count. The hormones are still there, and with breastfeeding you're still watching what your eating, and most of all, not drinking, at least not without a huge hassle and guilt. I am so lucky though, because I don't get any morning sickness at all. I think that would have made this outrageously difficult. I also feel like a COMPLETE cow. I really had no problem with the weight gain with Harrison- it's a part of pregnancy. But this time, the thought of getting huge again, on top of the 15 pounds of Harrison weight I never had a chance to get rid of, and the 30 pounds I needed to get rid of before either pregnancy, is horrifying. I was SO bound and determined to lose weight here in MN. I had babysitters for the gym, beautiful Minnesota summer weather, and tons of motivation. How awesome for my husband to be gone for 6 months and come home to a transformed wife??

Moral of the story is- here I am in MN, living with my parents, hubby is half way across the world, pregnant, with 75% of my stuff (including a lot of maternity clothes) in my home far away, fat, and depressed. This is the weirdest depression I have ever dealt with though- It's almost like it's just pregnancy mood swings X1000. It kind of just comes and goes. Usually it takes me weeks or days to come out of a depression episode, but I can go through both extremes in one day. As far as I know I am not bi-polar, and my understanding of bi-polar depression is that it's days and weeks of manic and depressive spells. Whatever is going on, it's not just mood swings. I promise. Friday & yesterday I felt like the whole world was against me. My friends were wanting me to come out, and it was as if I couldn't even make a move. Luckily I've been through it enough times to know that I AM going to feel better, and cognitively I know that, but that doesn't help me one bit in the moment. I just laid in my bed and cried and felt sorry for myself. The ironic thing is that I am sad mostly because I miss Harold, but regardless of why I am sad, I want Harold because he has the ability to make me feel better. He has a way of joking around just enough so that I don't get annoyed, but eventually can put on a smile. And is there anything better than a loving hug from your husband? The way I have always tried to describe depression is that when I'm depressed, I put a HUGE negative spin on everything. All the little daily things people go through can feel like the end of the world. For instance, Harold being in Afghanistan. When depressed, it's the most awful thing that has ever happened to me. Life isn't fair, and I feel like there is NO way I can survive it. When feeling normal, I can see that it's only 6 months, we gain finacially, and in a way it's brought us closer. Essentially it's "cup half full/empty", except that it's half full, or completely empty. After a depression episode, I can look back at my previous thoughts and think that I'm crazy!! Why was that such a big deal? Why couldn't I have just GONE? I can hardly understand why I have done the things I have done, so I guess I can't expect someone else to. I just know that it's real, and I have very little control over my thoughts and my inibility to function normally.

I guess I was feeling sorry for myself because everyone got to go out and have fun, drink, enjoy their families, while my husband is in Afghanistan fighting for the freedom everyone is partying about. It was Harrison's first fourth, and I wanted Harold to be here. I wanted to go to a party as a family. I understand that that is a little over-dramatic, but depression knows no logic. I tried really hard to just force myself to go somewhere, but the work involved in getting myself and a 6 month old ready to go and prepared for an entire day away from the home is too much when all you want to do is lay in bed. Sometimes I think it's hard for my friends to understand that I can't just "stop out" somewhere, especially if it involves water. Maybe I'm just lazy, but babies need SO much stuff, and it takes a lot of planning. Maybe if I was better at keeping the diaper bag stocked and prepared, but it seems like I'm very unproductive here.

So, really, really long story short: I'm still feeling my way through this depression. I don't know whether my current medication isn't working fully, or the things I am dealing with are just too much. I feel bad because I am not myself here, and have been extremely anti-social, which to be truthful I sort of am in a normal state anyway. But that just fuels the fire of how I'm feeling. I guess I just needed to put it all down on "paper", maybe just to justify it to myself. I don't dislike being here, and I certainly love being around my friends. I just am not myself, and cannot wait until my life can once again be restored with my husband, my home, and my TWO children. =) Thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

Love and hugs to you Jo :(

The Barnharts said...

i am so sorry! I have struggled with depression as well- maybe not the same way you have but I know it is hard when you have all the ideas of how you thought your life would be. If you ever need to chat feel free to email me. It's hard not having your husband around!

Mama Nut said...

I totally understand! Depression is something I have fought a long battle with. Apparently for me it's in the genes. My whole family has issues. And it is 100% worse when I am pregnant.

I know how you are feeling about the 4th of July. I was feeling pretty lonely too. My hubby isn't overseas, but he is gone for military reasons too.

I wish I could give you a big hug and we could cry together!

Barely Domestic Mama said...

Awwwww. I'm so sorry you are going through a rough time. I think anyone in your situation would have a rough time adjusting.

My hubby had to move to Maryland with the Army. (He is out of the Army now, but works at his old station as a civilian contractor.) We packed up and moved away from all of our family. Every now and then when the hubby has to fly out somewhere we go back home, but it is definitely different since we moved and had a child. Most of our friends have children, too, but they have all developed lives without us in it, so it feels awkward at times. And it is especially weird to be without the hubby trying to maintain a family. I hope your hubby's deployment goes by quickly for you.

I was looking through my blog followers and I thought I would say hello. Feel free to vent to me anytime.

joannamarieprice@yahoo.com said...

Thanks everyone for your support- things are better this week. It's good to know I'm not the only one!!

Anonymous said...

You are so not the only one. Although I don't have a military husband, I do deal with depression/anxiety and I can so relate to what you were talking about. I'm glad you had a better week and know we are rooting for you.