It’s an interesting thing, mental health.
I’ve always felt like I’m on the fence. I straddle the place between happy, normal, sanity and that place just on the other side of sanity, which feels impatient and angry and frustrated with my kids for doing what normal 4.5 and 2.5 and almost .5 year olds do. I don’t like that place. And because in any given month I spend 3 weeks in the normal place and one in the quick-to-anger I watch myself act crazy, know its crazy and yet somehow can’t stop myself place. I have PPD postpartum depression, or really PMDD.
Really, it’s PMDD, but because Maggie is only 4 months old it’s exacerbated by the chaos of having a new baby.
Which is to say that once a month for a week I am uncharacteristically moody, short tempered with my kids, self conscious, and a wee bit neurotic. Okay, a wee bit EXTRA neurotic.
Two weeks ago I noticed a shift in my mood. It was subtle to those on the outside. It’s easy to hide when I feel like this. It’s not easy to hide from my husband. He’s a sharp one. Monday I felt extra bitchy. And bitchy would be fine, but taking it out on my kids by yelling at them is NOT fine. Tuesday I was also not fine. Wednesday was more of the same. Thursday morning I called my midwives and asked for Zoloft.
Oddly, it was not a big deal at all. It wasn’t a decision I agonized over. I felt no guilt about “needing help”. When I made the call I explained to the receptionist that I wasn’t feeling like myself. I wanted to talk to the midwives and see about some Zoloft. The receptionist asked me if I was with my kids. Did I feel okay to be with them? Was I thinking about hurting them or myself.
It’s protocol for her to ask. I’m not offended by the questions. I don’t think, “What mother could ever hurt her baby?” I only think “I’m glad I called right away. I’m glad I made this easy on myself. I’m glad it hasn’t gotten that far. I’m fortunate it’s never been that bad.”
And then I realized something. Something I know but often forget. It doesn’t have to be that bad to be worth fixing.
It never really even felt broken. It just felt like it could be better.
It’s starting to be better already.