Thursday, November 12, 2009

Depression, the prickly bitch

First, I just want to make sure its clear that I think me being depressed is absolutely silly. I have a solid relationship with my husband, I love my family, and I'm pregnant. I know that when it comes to solid reasons to feel this way, its ludicrous.

Walking in a park today with Jack as the fall leaves fell gold and yellow before our path crunching under our feet, we talked about the future. If my book thing doesn't work, he thought it would be good for me to go back to work. Give it a year or so and then let's think about it, he said, pointing out that lately I just seem down and he's wondering if it has something to do with being home. We talked about the lack of friends lately. Most of our close friends moved in the past few years and now I can count my local friendships on one hand. For people who are pretty social, this is not fun. I suggested I could reactivate facebook and reconnect with the community but we both remembered we didn't particularly enjoy those hangouts where the men discussed stock portfolios and the girls talked about the lipstick of the season. Should we make friendships for the sake of saying we have friends? I can't bring myself to make that compromise yet. After that conversation, I asked Jack if he felt deppressed by this. He looked at me like I was crazy. We have each other, and we have sunflower who cares about anything else?

He's right and yet why am I sitting here feeling depressed? Yes its hard not to have the social network I once had, yes its frustrating to get rejections piled at your door as you pursue your dream, and yes not getting a paycheck is doing a number on my sense of self worth, but I don't know if the way I feel is really about any of this. My father's side of the family suffers depression. I never knew a name for it as a child but it hurt me when I would see my father from time to time sit outside on the patio, alone, staring off with a vacant expression. I'm sure my reasons are triggers but I'm pregnant and in any normal reasonable universe I should be walking around with a permanent dumb grin on my face. As much as depression may be triggered by reasons, I think it may also be a chemical thing.

I'm not prone to depression. I get stressed and anxious and sad sometimes but depression has left me alone for the most part save during PMS. Lately, for at least four days now, its gotten me by the proverbial balls and it's not letting go.

I don't know if its circumstance. There are famous authors in the shoes I want to be in who commit suicide or turn to drugs for reassurance. There are rich people making the money I am not who rack up thousands with shrinks and anti-depressants. I don't think its the things in my life, its a state of mind.

I want to just snap out of it. But I can't figure out how to do it.

Depression is a smoky haze that filters over your entire world view. It makes you feel hopeless even as you remind yourself of the beauty and grace that exists in every breath you take. It's dark oozing black ink leaking onto a crisp white page. It coils around your heart like a snake. I want to shake it but at the moment, I'm just not sure how.


  1. I'm sorry you are feeling depressed. First of all, realize that it's OKAY to feel depressed... we all do now and again. Think of post partum depression for example. Many of us who struggle to conceive find ourselves in a deep black hole when we are finally holding our precious babies in our arms. Depression doesn't always make sense.

    As far as your social network goes, it can/will change dramatically when sunflower arrives. We had just moved to Seattle when Bean was born, and as a SAHM I could have easily felt isolated and alone. But I forced myself to join groups and OMG has it saved my life!!! I suggest researching them and joining up as soon as it's appropriate.

    1. LLL at You can do this now even -- they love to have preggos at the meetings. You can learn what to expect with breastfeeding (if you plan to, of course; if not this doesn't apply) :) and get support in place in case you hit some roadblocks. The best thing about joining the LLL for me was getting the inside scoop on other good activities to do in the area, because it led me to:

    2. A co-op preschool that starts at birth. I know, why does an infant need preschool? But with a co-op, you stay with your kiddo the entire class (which for us is 2 hours a week). It was soooooo helpful to sit in a room with two teachers and a bunch of other moms going through the same exact thing I was! We could give each other tips and sympathy. It was AWESOME. And through the co-op I learned about:

    3. MOMS Club at I love how our chapter has activities 3-4 days a week, so there is always something to do if I have nothing else planned.

    Not all these groups will interest you, nor will they necessarily have active chapters near you. But there are others! Go find them, and you and Jack will have friends in no time. They will come in great handy on the adventure you are about to embark.

  2. A couple of things. A) I've been lucky, like you, and have avoided the horror that is clinical depression. I've come close, post-partum, every single miscarriage, though, and it's a scary ass place to be. Do whatever you have to do nip it in the bud now, before it takes over your life. See someone to talk through your fears with, or whatever.

    B) You're at a scary place in your life. Just because you're pregnant with what sure looks to be a keeper, doesn't mean it's not a scary place. And sometimes, I think our brains just refuse to deal with the scary all that well - so depression is just that much easier. Seriously.

    Cut yourself lots of slack. You've got the hormonal rollercoaster thing going on, but you also have big life changes, after a long time of big life stress. Be gentle with yourself & ask for help if you need it.

    That's my 2 cents.

  3. Sunny, just reading those options made me feel better. I looked up the two links and they have groups within miles of my house. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me. I appreciate it so so much.

    Susan, thank you, you are right. I think i'm going to ask my doctor if I can work out again because that does wonders for me typically, and I need to figureo ut how to nip it in the bud. I think you touched on something that is true. The waiting, as I said earlier hasn't ended. It's just long, and its exhausting. I'm grateful to have the chance to wait, but you're always worrying what could go wrong even though you don't want, and well, that really sucks and it really drains you.

  4. Are there any IF support groups near you? Check out they may have some listed. Also, you could look into pregnancy classes - esp if there are any for those who are pregnant and also IFers. I think getting to know some women going through the same thing would be great, and you could make some very close friends that way!

  5. I think we all experience depression sometimes, even when things are going well. In your instance, especially with a genetic component and all the stress you've had over the last year, I really think its understandable.

    As for close friends, I left all mine behind when I moved years ago and then when we moved back, they had all moved on. I don't really have any IRL close friends either.

    I hope you're able to feel some relief of the depression soon! Btw, I'm behind the times and just found your new home today! It looks lovely and I think the move date was very symbolic.

  6. Depression is normal & it happens at the strangest times. I was never depressed during the time I was really sick - it hit me afterward, when I was feeling much better & had the time to process all that I'd lost. Maybe the year is catching up with you now as you have time to focus on those emotions and are at a stage in pregnancy where there is a lowered risk of miscarriage.

    A friend of mine spent her entire 1st trimester in a deep depression and was taking meds for it. She eventually started weekly acupuncture and that has been a lifesaver for her, allowing her to go off the meds. Maybe you can try meds or acupunture too?

    Also, the pregnancy itself will bring up deep emotions from day to day. Community & nesting are very important at this time. I feel the need for Basil, my mom & close friends really deeply these days. And if I don't get it I feel really isolated and weepy.

    Keep taking those long walks in the fresh air & get plenty of cuddle time with Jack. Talk to your loved ones as often as possible. Surround yourself with good energy.

    And know that the circles of friends grow and diminish but hopefully you will find like-minded people around you again. A community takes time to grow, but it will come eventually.

    Most of all, take good care of yourself & do what you need to do address the low feelings.

    Lots of love,

  7. Meg If I could figure out how to do that, that would be a great idea, I might do some googling tonight. thanks for the suggestion.

    Lynn, I'm glad you followed me over :) Thanks for your support.

    Baraka, as always your words resonate with me and perhaps it is old feelings coming to the surface now that the worry and fear of the day to day is fading. I dont think I need meds at least not yet simply because its not been that long yet and even today I already feel a bit better- I think like you said, it might be a pregnancy related thing and related t other things that have happened but God Willing, I will get through it. Tomorrow I'm going to a lake by my house to read and meet with a writing group to work on my novel. I think some outings will be good for me :)

  8. major life changes and/or hormonal changes can spark depression, totally normal, i bet it will pass.