Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And the sun will continue to rise.

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?


mtendere said...

Be kind to yourself. Being depressed has nothing to do with not being grateful for your blessings. I continue to hope and pray for your health and your baby's health. Thank you for the update. I hope that your doctor is able to help or help you find what you need.

Mrs. Jenna said...

I personally went through this after I had my daughter, and there was something relieving about 1) admitting to yourself that you're incapable of trying to help yourself anymore and 2) relaying that to someone who will be able to help. I felt like although I hadn't actually begun meds or therapeutically treating my depression, the verbal expulsion of that near hidden shame was enough to make me feel better for a few days. Knowing that I WOULD feel better made me feel better. I hope you experience the same. Hang in there, lady. You're a tough cookie.

juliane2004 said...

I did this very same thing today. I asked for help and I got a prescription for Celexa. I hope it helps. I can't imagine living the way I'm living forever.

Mrs. Dreamer said...

I am going to preface this by saying that I adore everything about you and thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and reconnecting with you on the fbg. But I am going to say the hard thing here. And you can disagree with me because it's your life and that's fine but I am going to say it because I *just* said it all to my husband yesterday.

Work can be changed. Moreover, work MUST be changed.

The economy and stability and I know all the reasons not to change it. I do. But if it is driving you to this level of unhappiness, it is unhealthy. What I told my husband yesterday was, "You can love your job with your whole heart, or you can hate your job with your whole heart. But at the end of the day, it's your job. It's what you DO. It is not who you are. And if it is detirmining your mental state, then we have a problem because your mental state *should* ideally be controlled by your family and those that love you."

This baby is already so loved. You have fought for her and endured more than anyone else should have to. She is coming into this world bright-eyed and brand new and she deserves to see a mother who is happy in her life.

THe other thing I told my husband was: "Think of how you would handle this with our child. If she came to you and was miserable and could do something to change it, what would you say? Stick it out on principal? Or fight what may be scary because in the long run, you will be happier?"

I am not saying you shouldn't seek help because it is HARD to do and I admire you for doing it. But I really really really think you need to examine that situation. Do you want to raise her in that situation? I can tell you that most troubles disappear when you walk in the door and see that smile, but it's only temporary. They creep back in.

Even if it's scary, even if its hard, even if its damn near impossible, I think it's time to start looking. Or thinking. Or devising a plan to get you OUT of a place that treats an amazing person like you so carelessly.

Again, I am sorry if you disagree and I hope you understand my view. I just want you to have the happiness you so READILY deserve. With my whole heart. Feel free to page me on the fbg and tell me I'm a jerk if you need to. I can take it, promise.

<3 Isha

B said...

I am so sorry to hear things are this bad.

I was on a low dose AD all the way through my pregnancy (and would not have functioned without it) and LO was on the 75th percentile born and is now above the 98th percentile. So although low birthweight is a concern, it's not a given. Hopefully your baby will be fine.

If I was you - I would resign. And I was in a similarly shitty position at one point (minus the pregnancy) and I didn't resign - at least not until I had another job, which took a LONG time - but honestly, I wish I had.

At least consider it as an option that you could really, really do. Because even if you ultimately decide not to, it's very freeing to think that actually, going to work tomorrow isn't actually compulsory.

(Of course I'm aware that insurance considerations make this more complicated for you... but do consider it at least.)

Sending hugs and support. xx

Renel said...

Why has it taken me so long to read this. I am so sorry you have been struggling. I just want you to know I am thinking of you and hoping some medication or counseling will help. It is so hard when things feel so out of control. Sending love.