Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Efff June Gloom

THIS is not going to happen to me.

I am not going to miss June the way I feel like I missed May. (Mother's Day! Ella's first birthday!) OK, so I was sad for the former and present for the latter--though definitely feeling the anxiety creep in before the big shindig, but fighting it fighting it fighting it.

Trouble is, I don't always feel fierce. Yesterday I felt more lost than fierce. More down than up. More subdued than hued.

Still, Ella kissed me again yesterday. She makes a little "O" with her lips and then plants them on my face--this time somewhere below my nose and on my lip--and lingers for a moment. Justin was witness again. This time we kept our celebration subdued, so as not to frighten her out of repeating this new trick. He's just dying for his kiss, holding out his cheek and waiting. We have always kissed her constantly; it is no wonder she's picked it up in her repertoire of tricks.

When I was in San Diego, my psychiatrist asked me, "Are you able to feel joy with your daughter?"


"Are you lying?"

"I don't think so."

She looked away and thought out loud, "OK, you're more depressed..." she trailed off, but I finished with "than I thought" or "than anxious" in my head.

Now I've been watching myself, and I know. I feel joy sometimes. I LOVE it when she kisses me (twice in three days?), I am so grateful for her crinkle-nose smile, I adore the way she goes down so easily for a nap, or crawls to her crib when she's tired, or "walks" to her changing table when her diaper is full, or reaches for the bananas when she doesn't want the cereal. But that feeling I had when she nested the cups or stacked the blocks, it's not nearly as beautiful or full as it was a couple of weeks ago.

Maybe this is normal. Maybe parents aren't always enthralled with their child's every move. But I was SO happy a few weeks ago. I was so in love with the house and the beach and the air. And now I move through it all just wishing I felt joy in my heart, instead of weight and grayness.

It's kind of scary blogging about this. I don't want people to be afraid to be with me. I need the company of my friends--one of the best ways out of depression is to socialize instead of isolating oneself. So those comments on the blog, I appreciate them, and those plans we make, I look forward to them. But I also don't want people to contact me because they feel sorry for me. I don't need pity or pity-company.

In fact, let me tell you a little story. There once was this girl who called me every day and went out with me to eat or walk several times a week. I grew to believe we were great friends. She was, in fact, my best girl friend. She told me things about her own depression, her sister, her work.Then, she stopped calling when she had a baby, and I worried and did my best to be a good friend by calling her (She had fallen into postpartum depression. I didn't know she was depressed--she didn't talk to me at all; I just thought she was busy being a new mom with a husband whom she had told me was not very supportive or helpful.) and leaving her e-mails, and giving her a birthday gift. Then one day, we met with my therapist (whom I had mistakenly recommended to her--never ever have the same therapist as a friend) because I couldn't take the abandonment-without-reason anymore and she told me she never thought of me as a good friend. That she felt sorry for me and she felt like she had to spend time with me.We never spoke again.

What a bitch.

She wasn't a bitch for finally telling me how she really felt, she was a bitch for pretending for all those years that she cared.

So don't pretend or feel obligated to be my friend or support system.

I don't need you that much.

I have my husband and some friends I know are real. That's good enough.

I hate to end on that note.

So here's something funny. I'm not supposed to drink alcohol with my meds. Which is a real bummer because I LIKE the taste of good wine and good beer. I don't waste my time on cheap stuff, or big jugs of wine, or light beer; I don't drink it for the buzz. But I really enjoy savoring a glass or two at the end of the day, and now I can't. So I bought some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. As though I need to enjoy something vice-ish at the end of the day. There was half a pint left in my container (Justin got his own flavor) last night, and now it's gone. Yum!

I really should go for that walk today.

BTW, just because I can't drink doesn't mean I won't go out with someone who can. Just for the record. Having a baby to palm off on someone (grandma!?!?) is a bigger obstacle to happy hour than ordering a Diet Coke and an appetizer.

Also, I'm still fun to be around. If we hang out, I won't talk about being depressed unless you want to. I still laugh genuinely. I still smile. I'm still funny. 


B. Wilson said...

Those last couple lines felt like my life with all this baby sadness in missing Andrew.

I won't talk about Andrew unless you want to-- as to not make people feel awkward about me feeling sadness for a dead baby. But I also don't need pity friends. I need real friends who don't pity me because pity is bullshit.

I think it's great that you talk about your depression. I feel like more people should, otherwise people who don't have depression will continue on believing you're just a downer which isn't true. I have close family members who are also clinically depressed and understand the affects it has on their lives. I don't pity them for that... it's something they were damned with, but not something they can control from happening (without meds which they use).

Thanks for talking. It helps.

OakMonster said...

HUGS! And you can have me to get drinks with. I'll just hold the baby while you have your Diet Coke. :)

And if you ever want to stop wandering around YOUR place, you can come wander through mine instead. Although that would be a very quick trip. Hee. :)