So. Here's the thing.
The baby is fine. The husband, pets, assorted family and friends are all generally fine. I, on the other hand, not so fine.
I hate to say this. I am a blessed individual in so many ways, that it feels like the height of ingratitude or the grossest display of selfishness and indulgence to be not fine. My health is pretty good, all things taken together; this pregnancy has progressed with relative ease (for me) and relatively minimal physical discomfort (apart from the increasing difficulty that comes with both third tri and diminished physical capacity from weeks of near-bedrest). I have a steady job, a house in decent condition, climate control, many things we don't really need, and I have amazing family and friends who love me more than I deserve.
Which makes it hard for me to say what is true: I am depressed. My life currently reads like the questionnaire for a depression medication ad. Work has gone from bad to worse, and the situation is upsetting in the extreme. Most of my stress, but not all of it by any means, stems from work; as things get more grave, I am able to do less and less and I feel more and more incapable of doing any of it. I am not compensated appropriately for what I'm doing and haven't any idea of whether or not appropriate compensation is a) possible or b) forthcoming. That, in turn, is stressing out other things like planning for daycare when the little one arrives and general stresses that many other expectant parents share about how a budget suddenly accommodates a third, quite expensive being.
But I came to the realization this week, following what can only be described as an utter and complete meltdown on Friday, in front of my boss and coworkers (that I could not control at all, which kills me with mortification): I am on the verge on a nervous breakdown. I cannot continue to cope with everything.
-I no longer see a point at which this gets better.
-I no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel.
-I no longer have interest in things I enjoy, and no energy or desire to do things I expressed interest in.
-I find myself unable to write.
-I have no energy or interest in the state of my house.
-I am constantly tired, which after a bad day borders more on sheer, total exhaustion. I know this is probably exaggerated by pregnancy and interrupted sleep.
-I am having more and more viscerally disturbing dreams.
-My appetite is not what could be called desirable.
-I find myself lapsing into escapist daydreams more and more frequently.\
-I am averaging a cry a day, which is really unlike me generally.
The list continues. I am well aware that some of this is normal. Some of this is attributable to circumstances (pregnancy, stressful job). But the sum of it is that it is affecting my life in a negative way. When asked for his opinion my husband said immediately and with no hesitation that yes, I am depressed, and yes, he's noticed. A friend said some time ago that my work situation was untenable, and that something would have to give and I needed to ensure it was not my sanity.
It is my sanity.
So, here's the deal. My next OB appointment is next week. I intend to lay it out for the OB, and express as fervently as I can (while remaining calm) that this is really adversely affecting my life. That reducing stress at work is not an option, that fewer hours aren't really an option, and that I cannot cope any longer. There is a physical toll this is taking. Seek a prescription for Zoloft or a referral to a psych. Go from there.
In one sense, I feel massively relieved for finally stopping the struggle and admitting to myself that this isn't working anymore, that I can't do this. In another sense, I feel like a massive failure at work and at home, and I know that mental health is insidious and awful, so I'm trying not to listen to all of that. Work can't be changed. It's a shitty situation and I'm furious with myself for agreeing to it and putting myself in it. I'm angry that I was overly optimistic about it. I'm angry about the compensation. But I also recognize that it's not changing anytime soon, and if I can't cope with it anymore, then I need to find some other form of support or help.
I've known all along that I would probably need meds at some point in this pregnancy, and I've held off for a good long time. Baby is a good weight right now, and one of the reasons I've hesitated to do anything is because of the risks associated with low birthweight, and how important birthweight is to a preemie. I'm hopeful that I can start meds after 30 weeks, when it will be a little critical, especially given baby's current size.
I just can't go through everyday feeling like this anymore. I honestly don't know if things will get better. It doesn't feel like it right now. I do know though, that it will either get better or it won't. That at least I'm doing what I can do to get some help. And that no matter what the sun will keep on rising.
Or it won't, which will make this pretty moot anyhow. So, really, it's sort of a win-win, right?