Saturday, May 01, 2010

A Bucket of Tears

It's so hard to understand post-partum depression.  I certainly didn't.  Not until it happened to me.  And even after it happened to me, I find myself at a loss for how to describe it.

It happened again this week.  My third baby is 1 year old and I had almost no issues with PPD after she was born.  It was the easiest, happiest recovery of all three of my births.  But a few days ago I was hit hard.  

It was late afternoon and I was helping the boys clean up their rooms and vacuum upstairs while Brett finished up outside.  I was in a bit of rush because the downstairs was still a disaster and my in-laws were coming over with dinner to stay with the kids while Brett and I were going to a play.  I left the boys to finish and went to start on the downstairs.  

A few minutes later, I went back upstairs to check on the boys.  They had finished up, and then proceeded to pull stuff back off the shelves to play.  And I broke down in tears.  I did the best I could to choke out the words admonishing the boys and directing them to pick up again.   They knew something was very wrong and jumped right on board.  And that's when I heard Brett and his parents downstairs.

I lost it.  Utterly and completely.  I locked myself in my bathroom, sat on the floor, and sobbed.  And sobbed.  And sobbed.  For no real reason.  (Because the boys did what I asked them to and then started playing?  Not a real reason.)  It was beyond any control I had over myself.  The tears would not stop coming.  And I knew with absolute certainty that I would NEVER be able to go downstairs for dinner (ever again!) and that I was NOT going out of the house that night, and that I would NEVER stop crying and that I would NEVER feel happy ever again.  Everything was a shambles.

So I cried nonstop for a good 40 minutes.  Every time I even thought about trying to pull myself together and interact with other people, even my children, the tears came stronger.  And after I was cried out, I crawled into bed and fell asleep for 30 minutes.  When I woke up, it suddenly seemed like it might actually possible to see another person and not break down into tears.  I might not be happy, but I could function.  An hour before, I didn't think that would ever be possible again in my lifetime.

So I survived dinner.  Brett and I went out to the play (which was phenomenal, though I probably would have enjoyed it even more on a different night).  And when we got home I went straight to bed.  By the next morning, life seemed to be returning to normal.  And by the end of the next day, I was left wondering if I imagined the whole thing.

I felt it for a few hours this time.  I try to imagine what it must be like for the women who live with those feelings for days and weeks and months on end.  I remember it a bit from after my first was born.  I still can't talk about some of the thoughts that lived in my head during those dark days.

May this give you just a touch of insight.  It's not a fun place to be.

1 comment:

rebecca's rainbow kisses said...

Oh Sweet Katie,
I am so sorry you experienced this again and am also so happy that it was fleeting. It was nice to watch Babies with you. I always feel like I'm in a place of honor when I get to sit next to you.
With happiness in a busy day,