What tipped the scales?

18 Dec

In a previous post I mentioned that I resisted getting treatment for the postpartum depression for several months, primarily due to breastfeeding. So what tipped the scales and sent me running to the doc?

At some point I started thinking, “Things would be so much better if I could just disappear for a while to regroup. But not until I wean.”

Then it went to, “Things would be so much better if I could just disappear forever. But not until I wean.”

Then, “Things would be so much better for everyone if I just didn’t exist. But not until I wean.”

Then, “If the train by my house derailed and hit me, that would be ok. But not until I wean.”

Then, “What if I just accidently drove my car into the train? But not until I wean.”

Then one day without warning (um, that I could put together at that time, at least), “I’m ready to just be gone now. And I don’t have it in me to hold out until after I wean.”

Now, I always thought I would be the pill type. I don’t like blood, or pain, or guns. I just wanted to go to sleep. But when it came right down to it, I found myself… lusting after ledges. I would walk over a bridge on campus at work and walk a little slower while I contemplated the height and it’s possibilities. I identified prime candidates, like balconies and stairs. The irony here is that much of my anxiety recently has been about balconies and ledges! I’ve been terrified that the baby will fall off of one.

So I’ve been thinking about this chicken and egg scenario: was I leaning towards ledges (literally) because I was already convinced something bad was going to happen at one, or was I obsessing over them in the first place because a part of me already knew I was thinking about ending my own life with one?

Again, another question I’ll probably never know the answer to, and I’m ok with that. I’m happy — genuinely happy — to say that I haven’t had these thoughts for a few weeks now. They didn’t last long, because as soon as they surfaced, I got help. It scared the ever-loving crap out of me. Deep down I really didn’t want to do anything so drastic…but things were so dark and I could feel myself slowly grinding to a halt. For the first time I understood mothers that you read about in the news — jumping off bridges, driving into things. I needed a huge time-out, and sometimes that just seemed like the quickest way to get it.

But perhaps what helped most of all was a dear friend and my sister who both listened to me process a lot of the loca in my head and recognized it for what it was. So to them, I say, “Thank you.”

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8 Responses to “What tipped the scales?”

  1. Katherine Stone January 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Thank goodness for that friend and sister. Thank goodness you reached out for help.

    No ledges. You are prohibited.

    • danygrl January 30, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

      Thank you, Katherine. Yes — I’m indebted to them. And I have to give my husband credit, too. Once he got what was going on (and that it was more than me being tired or stressed at work), he’s been a wonderful support, too. I’ve been lucky like that.

  2. cosleepwalking May 3, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Thank you for sharing so personally. It is so refreshing/ reassuring to read about what postpartum depression really sounds like in your head. You are so not alone.

    • danygrl May 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Thank you for the comment… it really means a lot to know that anything I’ve written (but especially something like this) resonates with someone. I hope that being open about it will help other women understand just that — we are alone in this!

      PS — I LOVE the name of your blog!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] shedding the old and piecing together the new. A recent reader’s comment about ledges (What tipped the scales?) made me realize just how far I’ve already come in such a short […]

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    […] know how the hell he survived. I’m not just exaggerating because I had already been obsessing about the baby getting hurt by falling from a balcony. By the time I got to the stairs he was about a quarter of the way down and I couldn’t catch […]

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    […] The mom at The Vaca Loca bloghas writtenabout what made her finally reach out for help for postpartu…. Prior to getting that help,nursing was the reason she gave herself to wait: […]

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