Thursday, September 29, 2011
Fed up mom kicks melancholy out on its ass
I am really good at ignoring the fact that this house, and, in broader terms, this life, is/are still very much in disarray during the week. But Saturday always coincides with the donning of my glass-half- empty goggles and suddenly my life goes from beautifully chaotic to pathetic disaster. They should change its name to "Sadurday." Or maybe "Madderday."
There were typical "Sadurday/Madderday moments" last weekend, sure, but I managed to breathe, rather than curse audibly with alarming hostility, through them. It was as if I was swimming with a foam noodle, rather than relying on only my thrashing arms and legs, to stay afloat.
I wish I could take all the credit for this improvement, but the truth is, I'm cheating. I begged my midwife, during a long-overdue annual, to renew a long-since expired prescription for antidepressants last week.
I had all the usual, ego-fueld reservations about doing this, but my month-long battle with "PMS" this past month kind of scared me. And there is only so much crying and self loathing you can do in front of your kids before you need to say to heck with stoicism and pride, yoga and B-vitamins, magnesium, and Vitamin D, and regular exercise, all that other self-help, accountability garbage and do something,QUICK!
I told my midwife, the woman who guided me through both pregnancies, a woman who is as calm and spiritually vast and wise and beautiful as the sea, that I was depressed beyond what is acceptable. She did not argue when I told her I thought I needed medication, aside from an initial suggestion of acupuncture. She could tell, I think, I was on the verge. She also knows, I know myself better than anybody.
I have taken antidepressants before, and each time was prompted by an extenuating circumstance: The Olympics, if you can believe that, Isla’s burn accident, and now this, what, triple whammy of our family being split up, coming back to America, to my home, my birthplace, after having “lived the dream” in France, and the ensuing culture shock, which, I've discovered, is a fancy word for depression. Oh yes, not to mention the harsher realities of watching the fog of Alzheimer's steadily blot out the man formerly known as my father.
It's as if his brain is full. He's not taking in any more information. He listens, sure, but he doesn't retain. Our relationship is no longer evolving in any reciprocal way. It is what it is. We've reached an impasse.
So, where was I, yes, I have taken them before. And I have always gone off them again, after a few months of having my brain hooked up to an electro stimulator. Jump start.
I’ve been taking them for one week now and imagine I feel better. I have to admit, I also feel a bit weird. Not all here. I remember this. A bit dizzy. A buzzing in my brain, a fullness, as if my brain has expanded. It’s my heart that needs expanding, isn’t it. My brain neeeds shrinking.
But I do feel better, lighter, less prone to death by earnestness. More capable of enjoying the ridiculousness of daily life with children, without letting my angst in to wring the joy out of everything.
I am in such a better place, on a plane that is actually above ground rather than six-feet under the muck. I can see the afternoon sunlight dripping all over the changing leaves. I can see the vast blue sky, stretching like a huge dome of possibility over my head. Right now I can hear steady pounding rain falling from a sky that is completely absent of color. That too is comforting. I can smell fall in the air and it doesn't make me want to cry.
And I can feel the annoying sting of the mosquitoes, which suddenly buzz around here in menacing flocks- feasting on my helpless, sleeping children-- since they hatched post Tropical Storm Irene. (Ian tells me it's only the females who suck blood. Is that true?)
The pure, daily violence of those blood-thirsty insects almost makes me look forward to the first deep frost. Almost. But I am looking forward to tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day after that. And that, for sure, is a start.
More musings on why we moms are so mad all the time over here at Momformation.