"So it is."
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
-- A. A. Milne
OK, folks, brace yourselves. It's time for another Lawyer Mama "woe is me" post. But this time I decided to write about depression on a good day. On a day when I can stand back and look at the Big Monster with a bit more detachment. Hopefully I won't get any anonymous "suicide prevention" pamphlets left in my office by well meaning co-workers or frantic phone calls from family members checking to make sure I haven't driven myself and the boys into the Elizabeth River.*
Life is made up of hard days and good days. I know that. I've also been keenly aware since adolescence, that I seem to have more bad days than most people. But days that most people would consider bad, I just call, well...usual. I'm moody, contemplative, a little bitchy and extremely sarcastic. But that's me and I like it.
I think too much. This is the curse and blessing of being an introvert. Much of what is best in me is never seen by the outside world. Some of the best discussions I've had about life, love, history, politics, and the law have been internal. That's just how I process the world. Internally. But with this internal world comes a necessary detachment from the external world. Striking a balance between the two was difficult for me growing up, but it became easier with time and practice.
Then I had children and my internal world started spilling over into the external. I had all this love and all these thoughts I couldn't keep to myself. Or I would burst from the wonder of it all. I watched my Hollis with all the love in my soul shining right through my eyes. Emotions and thoughts I'd been protecting and bottling up and hoarding for my own private use came spilling right on out. Crawling there, across the floor, for all the world to see.
With this escape of my internal world also came an inability to escape into my internal world. Life became overwhelming in a way it never had before. I couldn't keep my internal world in, and I couldn't keep the external world out.
Life as a new parent is overwhelming for even the most balanced and emotionally healthy of people. I understand that. Everyone needs help coping at times, whether it be through a support system, some time away, or medical intervention. I know that too. But I denied that I had any problems. I denied that my life wasn't perfect. I denied that my life could be anything other than blissfully happy with my new baby and my great job. I don't ever admit that I need help. That's just the way I roll.
Eventually, something happened. I wish I could tell you what. It may be this blog. I started writing about things I normally keep hidden. It may be finally getting to know good friends in my area that I could talk to every day. It may be finally settling into a new routine in a new place with 2 new children. I don't know what it was. But I finally admitted that I needed help. And it took me a little while, but I finally got off my ass and got some help.
I saw a new doctor. After listening to my symptoms and, more importantly, listening to what I thought was wrong with me, she asked, "How do you feel about anti-depressants?" And giving me permission to admit that I wanted the help, she followed up with, "I'm a big believer."
So Lex@pro and I got to know each other. The first week or so, I thought I'd made a huge mistake. The drugs made me feel a bit foggy. Things didn't bother me the way they used to, but they didn't bother me at all. I felt as if I might not be bothered to say "ouch" if someone dropped an anvil on my foot. On the plus side, the kids could scream as much as they wanted and it didn't faze me a bit.
But I wasn't me. The contemplative, moody, complicated part of me that I love (and I like to think those who love me, love) wasn't there. She went to sleep for a few weeks. I worried that she would never be back. That simply wasn't an option for me. After talking to T about it, he also agreed that it shouldn't be an option for me. So we agreed I would give it a month. After that, I would ask my doctor to switch my medication.
She came back.
She's still here. She writes on this blog every now and then. Sometimes she gets nostalgic. Sometimes she thinks too damn much. But she's me. I like her.
I hope you do too.
* Sarcasm, people. I haven't actually had any pamphlets left for me. I have had phone calls and concerned emails. Yes, I appreciate those but I also promise you all, family members, friends, random passers by, regular readers, and total strangers I sent to my blog, that I know when and how to seek professional help. But thanks for your concern. "Mwah!" (That's a kiss in Holden-speak.)