Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting REAL

Our friend, Barbara, recently posted about honesty through blogging. Some blogs are fake and only show the wonderful aspects of the person's life. Of course, there are others that are way too personal and make me feel like I'm invading the person. While I don't want this blog to be overly personal or make anyone uncomfortable, I also don't want it to appear that we have no issues; that our life is perfect. Because of this, I have been inspired to get a little more real today.

We have been struggling with depression. Daddy has been struggling much longer than I have, always unsure where to start with diagnosis and afraid that medications would conflict with the meds he was using for ADD. With our move home to Hudson, we were able to go to a doctor that his mom recommends, making it much easier by eliminating the search for a trustworthy doctor. As we were tweaking his medication, I began to sink. I didn't notice it at first, and even now, reflecting, I see how far back it actually started. Around December or January I started to feel like something was missing. Maybe I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of a new baby in addition to an overactive toddler, or maybe it was the beginning of my postpartum depression. I don't know, but I do know that I started to evaluate our lives with a very critical eye. The first and most obvious place for me to land was on the fact that we are 32 years old and still living in an apartment. I started looking at houses and contacting people about financing. Daddy wasn't completely on board, but that didn't stop me.

I didn't like the answers I was getting, so I decided that we needed to completely analyze our finances. We joined a group at church that was going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. This course has helped us not only financially, but also emotionally. It's like it opened a door of communication for Daddy and me. We are not only talking more about finances, but also how we are feeling and other aspects of our lives. One thing we didn't realize when we got married was how different our lives were growing up. In my household, my father was the financial person. He took care of it all. In Daddy's, it was his mom. We learned that while I was always assuming he was taking care of financial matters, he was assuming I was taking care of it~so no one was doing it! Now, we both handle it. Which, if you think about it, is how it should be. We are a team and should be acting like it.

Despite the new lines of communication between my husband and I, I was still sinking. I was sad all the time. It didn't make sense. I have an amazing husband. Two beautiful, fun, and sweet daughters. A nice home (even if it's not a house, it's home). We now get to live close to family and friends that we consider family. I have a new job that I love. I should be happy. I finally sucked up my pride and insecurities and went to my doctor, who agreed that I am dealing with postpartum depression. He told me that counseling and medication have about the same amount of success. After careful consideration I decided that one of the reasons I am suffering is because I spend so much time away from my girls, and that more time away from them for counseling would drag me further down instead of helping me break free.

I am now on antidepressants. I have some good days and some not-so-good days, but we're working through it. While I hate that I am going through this, a part of me is also thankful for the experience. While I knew that Daddy was dealing with depression the last few years, I just didn't understand. I didn't understand how all-consuming it feels. I didn't understand how hopeless it feels. I certainly didn't understand how overwhelming even the smallest task could feel. I like to think that I'm more understanding and patient with him now that I have felt what he has been going through. I guess you can now understand why my posts are so streaky-oodles of posts one day, then none for a week or more. My kids make me smile, but some days that's the only thing that can. Other days, just seeing the sun poking out will delight me and put me in a great mood. I'm hopeful that the combination of open communication with my husband, meds, and better weather will snap me out of this funk and let me stop taking so many pills. Until then, I will cherish the happy moments and work to limit the sad ones. One day at a time.


carrie said...

Thank you for sharing Jodi. I love you and am always here if you need someone to talk to or need a laugh. I'm usually pretty good for that.

Anonymous said...

Jodi -
I have struggled with depression for a very long time. I can totally relate to everything you said, as I have experienced it myself. If you ever need anything, someone to talk to, someone to watch the girls while you take some 'me' time, whatever, please don't hesitate to call.
Love - Margaret