25 June 2010

A flashback

I had a little bit of a flashback today to how I used to feel before the depression was diagnosed and gotten under control. Elizabeth got away from me upstairs and made it to the staircase before I did. Yes, indeed, she took a nice long tumble down 16 stairs. Fortunately, she rolled instead of going head over heels. I immediately took her to the ER to get checked out and they said that she looks okay and there doesn't appear to be any damage other than scrapes and bruises. We just have to keep an eye on her tonight to make sure nothing bad develops.

I felt SO guilty. I know deep down inside that it's an accident but still. This little voice inside me goes "Your her mother. You're supposed to protect her and take care of her. You failed.". The guilt has been awful and I feel like the worst mother ever. I keep flashing back to her tumble and hearing and seeing the thuds and cries and then her screams at the bottom of the stairs. The longest and thus far, most horrifying few seconds of my life. It felt like it was forever.

It reminds me of how I felt when I went to the ER with PPD. The difference is, this time I can cope better. This time I can tell myself "It's not your fault" and sort of kind of believe it. I still don't feel any better about what happened but at least I can COPE. When I start to get the panic attacks, instead of having to take an Ativan, I can stop and insert reality and breathe slowly for a few minutes. When I think "She could have been killed or badly injured!" I remind myself that she wasn't really injured at all and that this is one of those things that happens with kids. The fact that I can even stop and think it through, much less calm myself down without medication, is a HUGE deal and I consider it a big milestone.

21 June 2010

Still going strong

It's been almost 3 months since I came off of the Celexa and I am doing great. I haven't had a need to go to the ER or talk to a therapist, I haven't had to take Ativan... no more depression, yay! I posted this recently on a forum I'm part of...

Ok. So I realized that it has been 6 months since I took any Ambien or Ativan. Even better, it's been 3 months since I took antidepressants and in that 3 months, I haven't NEEDED to take anything and I haven't had to go to the therapist or the ER or anything like that! It may seem like not that big a deal but it's a HUGE deal to me. Considering that this time a year ago I was in the middle of PPD and just didn't know that's what it was, and I was sure I would never feel normal again, I'm so happy to be off the meds and that everything is under control with the Synthroid.


11 months ago, I was being admitted to the hospital and stayed for a little over a week. I felt like the worst mama and wife in the world, I pretty literally couldn't stop crying, and I didn't believe any of the doctors or nurses or staff at the hospital who told me I really would be okay and that it wouldn't last forever. I was so ashamed of what was going on and felt like it was my fault in some way and I thought I would never feel "right" or "normal" again. It's a great feeling to know that I beat that. It was such a rough fight and it really shed a lot of light for me on the stigma and lack of understanding that accompanies any type of mental or emotional issue like PPD. Even DH didn't understand how long it could last and felt like I should have been "better" sooner than I was and got frustrated. I got frustrated with myself. Now I look back and I'm so proud of myself for making it past something I thought was insurmountable and for making myself get the help that I needed even though I was ashamed to. I'm proud of the fact that I'm not ashamed anymore and that I can openly talk about what I went through in hopes of helping someone else, and I'm so happy to have been able to help others who have been in my situation and needed to know they weren't alone. I think this is something God has given me that I can use as a ministry to reach out to others. I'm thankful that I had access to the help I needed and the resources to help me through it. I'm thankful for a husband who supported me even when he didn't understand what was going on, for a family that supported me, for friends who helped out with watching Muffin and getting me out of the house, and for friends online who supported me and were actually part of why I finally admitted I needed to go to the ER.

I used to be ashamed of what happened to me, of what I was dealing with. Now, I know that it wasn't my fault and it didn't say ANYTHING about me as a person, it certainly didn't make me a bad Christian or a bad wife or mother. I thank God for getting me through what He has and for bringing me out a stronger woman. I share my experiences now with people and I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to help others know they're not alone in this. I know what to watch for in myself after I have the next baby and others close to me know what to watch for in me. I no longer see it as a mark of shame but as a badge of courage that I made it. I survived. Last year, I literally wasn't sure I would.