Depression is like an ocean. Sometimes it can be so tranquil and quiet you hardly notice it's there. Other times it rages, thrashing about and taking out everything in the way.
I am currently floating on this ocean. The boat I am in (sponsered by Lexipro) isn't bad, and most of the time I can count on it. It hasn't let me drown yet. When the weather (hormones) gets rough though, that ocean starts kicking up waves, and I know I'm in for a ride.
My little boat seems to morph, although I don't notice it happening. It's like a collapsable lifeboat. There are times that the sides of the boat expand upwards, and I don't even see the ocean around me. I am happy, and patient, and calm. There are other times the sides of my boat fall down, and the water is almost lapping up at my toes. Those are the times I feel helpless, and hopeless. My patience is turned to zero, and my kids have to live with an irratated, crabby mommy.
This is a double-edged sword, because at these times not only am I experiencing the depression at it's finest, but I also go through tremendous guilt for not being able to hold myself together for my children. This is not the mother I want to be - not the mother I want my kids to have.
I should say that my depression comes in many forms, and only rarely is it actually depression. I lovingly refer to lexipro as my "anti-irritant", because that is usually how I feel in my down times. Irritated, and very easily so.
It is "postpartum" depression that I have. I read somewhere that postpartum can occur up to two years after giving birth, so I suppose that still puts me in the "window". It was only within the last four months that Little Man was weaned, so my hormones are still adjusting from pregnancy and breastfeeding. I often wonder though, when postpartum depression turns into just plain ol' depression. This is the thought that scares me.
I have always looked at postpartum depression as coming to an end at some point. There must be a time when those hormones balance out and you can be yourself again. I really hold this hope tightly as I bounce around on the ocean. I don't see land in sight, but I truely hope it's out there somewhere. If I can just stay afloat.... I would really like to put my feet on solid ground again.
*Author's note: I want to give credit to Sleeping Mommy, who inspired me to write this with her post here. I saw myself so much in what she was saying, and it made me feel better. It's comforting to know that we aren't alone. Thank you, Ammie!