What I Won't Tell You


Comic created @ www.bitstrips.com

I've dealt with a lot in life and have survived a ton in 35 years. I have faced all sorts of things head on and held on, some times with my knuckles, until these things have worked themselves out in time. I like to think of myself as a strong person and I like to help other people to a fault and often give until the well is dry.

For some reason I suck at asking for help and accepting it on the off chance that I do. If I see you out and about I will reply with my standard "I'm well, and you?" mostly because I'm aware that most people say "How are you?" to be polite and aren't really invested in the response. The other reason for the standard yada yada is that I am terrified to tell you the truth.

I will chat you up about the weather and about the latest story in the news or reality tv, but what I won't tell you is that the weather hasn't affected me much lately because I haven't been out of the house a whole lot. I won't tell you that watching the news some days is the most interaction I have with the world outside of dropping Nicholas off at preschool or picking Corinne up from practice. I will keep this to myself out of fear that you will judge, or even worse, try to help me.

I will tell you that I will call you and then I'll shoot a text instead. I will send you to voicemail when you call me. If I do answer, it will be accidental, but I won't tell you that. I will fake inflection in my voice or listen in hopes that you'll have a problem we can talk about. I will not tell you that I'm suffocating over here and wishing that I wanted to talk to or see you. I won't tell you that if it weren't for a relationship with God and my amazing husband, I might be sitting in a rubber room somewhere, rocking back and forth, drooling.

I've done so much work on myself over the years, and I feel embarrassed that I am struggling like this with all of the tools I have at my feet. I feel pathetic. Don't worry, I won't tell you that. I'm much too vulnerable to risk it. Being hyper-vulnerable is awesome.

If we talk, I will joke with you about the "joys of motherhood" and the lack of sleep I'm getting due to nursing through Jordan's growth spurts or teething. What I won't tell you is that my postpartum depression is causing terrible insomnia and I'm having trouble sleeping through the night anyway. I won't tell you this because I don't want you to think I don't have my shit together.

I will make plans with you and then act surprised when something suddenly comes up and I can't show. What I won't tell you is that my postpartum depression has turned me into someone I wouldn't want to be friends with if I was you. Bringing this chic along to our date is out of the question because she's a mess and full of fear. This girl takes so long to get ready to leave the house that sometimes we decide it will be easier to just stay home; so I do.

Postpartum depression is a bitch and some days, most days, I feel trapped. I won't tell you how often I choke down tears or bawl my eyes out on the floor of the shower. I won't tell you how overwhelmed I feel every day by the most mundane and simple tasks like laundry, or God forbid... shopping. When I fail to do everything, I feel like a terrible wife and mother and the guilt feeds the depression, which leads to more isolation etc, etc, blah-blah-blah.

I am doing my best, I know that, and I know that you will understand. I know that if I called you right now and let it out that you would listen and I would feel better for a moment. I just won't. For some reason I can't bring myself to. I'm dragging myself to therapy every week and sometimes it helps. Other times I just feel worse and it makes the day after (Wednesdays) even more unbearable.

I'm blogging, which seems to help a lot. It allows me to reach out without actually having to, which is awesome. It makes me feel connected to you without fear of being immediately rejected, which is also awesome. Everything is process and I know that this is no different. I know that this too shall pass and that someday I will look back and feel grateful that I got through this too.

Until then...

Poo on depression.

P.S. One more thing I won't tell you is how long it took me to work up the courage to actually post this.



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63 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I find blogging really cathartic and therapeutic. Ironically, I'm also very private in real life. This type of honest, very real post will resonate with readers. Keep it up and you'll find yourself with a great, supportive following! (Of course, funny is good too)

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    1. Thank you Allison, for everything.

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  2. Peasy's Mom2/06/2013

    Kudos to you on opening up and sharing your experience. I hope that that your are able to work your way out of this dark place in the near future. Connecting is good; even if only online.

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    1. Thank you, so do I. I am so grateful for technology these days because otherwise, I fear it would be worse.

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  3. Oh, honey. I'm so so so sorry you are battling this beast. You didn't mention anything about a doctor or meds. If you are not taking meds, I gently suggest talking about it with your doc. If you are, perhaps you're not on the right stuff. And if you've been cycling through different meds and still feel this way, I am so so sorry. I just wanted to bring up the idea of meds in case you have been afraid to go down that road. Message me on FB if you want to talk.

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    1. Thank you so much. I'll be in touch soon. :)

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    2. This beast hit me before I left the hospital after having Jordan and I did try meds. The side effects did not seem to be worth what little relief I got and I worried about how it would effect my son because I'm nursing. I'm currently involved in some pretty intense trauma therapy also which doesn't help. I will go back on the meds as soon as I stop nursing.

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  4. Anonymous2/06/2013

    I don't know what to say I'm in the same or similiar situation I'm happy you took the courage to be able to post this

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    1. Me too. Thank you for reading it!

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  5. Jessica Weber2/06/2013

    Thank you.
    I won't tell you the rest. You already know.

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  6. I hear you. I'm the same way. I prefer to interact online; it's much safer and easier. And I can never, ever, ever state out loud or on my blog or anywhere (except, OK, right here) that if I could do it again, I don't think I'd have kids.

    I ended up trying to go to the ER one night b/c it go so bad. Thanks to the magical help of antidepressants, things are much better now.

    I hope you feel better. It really, truly can get better, I promise. It sucks total ass while you're in it, and it can be really hard to get help.

    As you're finding, there's a ton of online support for you. Yes, we don't know you, but we're here for you, and we care, and we've been through it. You will survive, and your family will survive. Feel free to email me: jmagnus13@gmail.com.

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    1. Thank you! I will email soon :)

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  7. Anonymous2/06/2013

    Reading this made me feel like I'm not the only one who feels like they belong in a padded room sometimes, a lot of times...i feel like this, including texting, skipping the things i wish i could do... minus the postpartum but unlike you i haven't found it in me to out it out there, with my name on it.

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    1. You are definitely not the only one. Before this, I hadn't put it out there either. "Fine" has become a condition I suffer from. ;)

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  8. Anonymous2/06/2013

    This is so me ... I'm crying right now ... and I NEVER cry ...

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    1. Thank you for posting this. It makes me feel grateful that I posted even though I was so afraid to. Feel free to email me nextlifenokids@gmail.com

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  9. Anonymous2/06/2013

    I know firsthand how much PPD sucks. I never thought I would have to deal with something like that, I had never had issues with depression or anxiety before. I ended up choosing to go on a medication because I felt I was at the end of my rope (even though I really didn't want to) and I must admit it was a life saver for me. It took 2-3 months probably to totally feel better but I immediately felt better after just a few days. I am not all trying to push meds as I know not everyone wants to take them (and I was one of those people) but just know it is an option. Nobody ever warns you about PPD, man it sucks.

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    1. It does suck, but I really do feel better knowing I'm not the only one. Thank you for reading and sharing! It means do much. I'm sure I'll get back on the meds in a few months after Jordan is done nursing.

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  10. You are not alone. In fact, once I started sharing with my friends my anxiety and panic attacks that sent me to the ER several times after baby #2, I was amazed how many of them had/are experiencing the same thing. I shared this info unapologetically and I was surprised how many opened up to me. It's almost more the norm than not. So many moms feel overwhelmed but are afraid to admit it. I know meds help many people, they weren't for me. Once I figured out what was going on after many tests, therapy, homeopathy and dr visits, I was able to slowly control my attacks, exercise helped too. Now after baby 3, I rarely find time to exercise but I'm coping much better. Every day isn't the challenge it was. I can genuinely say I'm happy. Not to say I don't go to my closet, lay on the floor and cry some times. I hope you get through this quickly and I hope your article helps some other moms out there realize they are going to be ok, they are not alone.

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    1. Thank you, it feels amazing to know that I'm not terminally unique in this and also to be reassured that it gets better.

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    2. Anonymous2/07/2013

      Can you tell me which homeopathic remedy you use?

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    3. I went to see a homeopathic "expert." There aren't PhDs in homeopathy that I know of. :) I'm sorry, it's been too many years for me to remember the name of the two I tried. I do remember being able to find them at Whole Foods (maybe not in the same dose). I did feel like they helped a little but moved on to other therapies, as it wasn't working fast enough for me.

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  11. Anonymous2/06/2013

    story.of.my.life.

    I thought having children would bring me closer to God. I feel like He has abandoned me.

    I daydream about running away. I sometimes visualize blowing my head off.

    Guilt is my best friend.

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    1. I'm so sorry you're feeling that way. I know what it's like to feel like He's not listening. I hope you feel better. Feel free to email me nextlifenokids@gmail.com and maybe we can help support each other.

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  12. Anonymous2/06/2013

    Thank you for this very brave post! You have no idea what this means to me! Just to know that I'm not alone. I had PPD and now I think I have depression with rage and it's destroying my marriage. This gives me courage to get the help I need. Thank you! We are not alone. We can get through this. My sister sent me a card that said "Sometimes the most beautiful flowers grow out of the biggest pile of s*&t!"

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    1. Ha! That's awesome. Here's hoping!!

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  13. Thank you for your courageous post. I wish we, as moms, didn't always feel like everything has to be perfect, or that we have to be happy 100% of the time with our kids/lives. I am glad I am not alone. Now hoping I can find some courage, too!

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    1. Thank you. I don't know why either, but I feel the pressure quite often. You are NOT alone.

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  14. This is how I feel. I have started to blog about it so many times but honesty is terrifying. Sometimes I'm alright, I have good days and bad, but lately it's more bad than good. I have felt so isolated ever since having kids and I'm just exhausted with the ups and downs. I feel pulled in a million directions and unable to make anyone happy.

    Thank you for being so honest, you put what I was feeling into words.

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    1. I can totally relate to feeling pulled in all directions and the disappointment. I feel like I'm constantly spinning plates, afraid to drop one because they're all so important. It's exhausting!

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  15. Joseph Bouvier2/06/2013

    Julie: That was great. Even though I dont have PPD, I understand the frustrations and vulnerabilities of being a parent. Well said and another great post on a wonderful blog

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    1. Thanks Joseph, that means a lot

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  16. Anonymous2/06/2013

    Just came across your blog today and read this. i don't know you at all, but you have somehow managed to put into words things that I have been struggling to explain. Thank you for your honesty and bravery. Thank you for helping me feel like I'm not the only one who feels this way. thank you.

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    1. Thank you for reading it! You are not the only one who feels like this, and I appreciate you letting me know that I am not either. :)

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  17. You've done a good thing by getting this out. It helps.

    And here's the thing about that stupid depression: it lies. When it tells you you don't want to tell people how you feel, not even your good friends and support system, it is lying. Because finding someone you trust to talk to will help.

    You know what else it lies about: the laying around and staying home stuff. You'll be amazed how good you feel sometimes, how much more yourself you are, when you just get out. Even if it's without makeup, with frumpy hair and dirty clothes.

    If it's been a while since you tried meds, you may want to think about talking about it with your therapist. No pressure. I've written at JD's blog about my experience. I took meds all through my pregnancy and nursing. I just wasn't at a point in my life where I could stop. After a good talk, we went forward because being me meant being a better mother and a better person, which was a good deal for everyone.

    You are definitely not alone. blogging has helped me see that and hopefully it has for you, too.

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I'm totally planning on getting back on the meds after I stop nursing. I'm just not comfortable with mixing to two, just my personal choice. I'm looking forward to the chemical assistance though, that's for sure. Blogging really has helped me. I don't often blog about serious, personal stuff, but this has been awesome. I appreciate you reading my blog and also your kind words. :)

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  18. Very brave and helpful post!

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! Thank you so much for reading it and posting. Every comment I receive makes walking through the fear of posting totally worth it.

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  19. Thank you for sharing your experiences and all that you are dealing with every day. Congratulations on getting the words out and for providing a forum of others as well as yourself to gain valuable support. Your post is incredibly powerful. You are not alone, you are not alone.

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    1. Thank you Nikki, that means so much to me. I have felt SO supported since posting this and I appreciate you so much for taking the time to read it and comment. :)

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  20. Will it Really pass?? That's the question I always ask myself. Will this nightmare ever go away?? I too have fallen victim to PD, on top of that, I've been carrying around PTSD and sever anxiety for years due to some horrible trama that effected me from my childhood and haunts me to this day. I have 2 beautiful children that I'm raising as a single parent , with 2 fathers , that make any menial request for their child completely awkward. But through it all, my children have turned out amazing and have become my rock. But because of my depression and a long line of other ailments it's completely impossible to do everyday things in my life. I am however, on cymbalta, which is amazing, a bunch of pain meds for my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain, which help me get out of bed and start my day. Plus I am in therapy, which is a life saver. So basically I just want to say thank you for your post. One of my mommy pages posted about PPD, And said to read her comments because someone who posted needed some guidance and support. By the 3rd comment I had forgotten the name, but I got to yours and thought it might be you she was talking about. whew, that was a lot to type lol So I just wanted to share my story and tell you, You are not alone, and it's okay to seek help because it takes a village to raise a child no matter how old that child is(not saying you are old) *virtual supportive vibes* being sent your way. God Bless

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  21. Will it Really pass?? That's the question I always ask myself. Will this nightmare ever go away?? I too have fallen victim to PD, on top of that, I've been carrying around PTSD and sever anxiety for years due to some horrible trama that effected me from my childhood and haunts me to this day. I have 2 beautiful children that I'm raising as a single parent , with 2 fathers , that make any menial request for their child completely awkward. But through it all, my children have turned out amazing and have become my rock. But because of my depression and a long line of other ailments it's completely impossible to do everyday things in my life. I am however, on cymbalta, which is amazing, a bunch of pain meds for my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain, which help me get out of bed and start my day. Plus I am in therapy, which is a life saver. So basically I just want to say thank you for your post. One of my mommy pages posted about PPD, And said to read her comments because someone who posted needed some guidance and support. By the 3rd comment I had forgotten the name, but I got to yours and thought it might be you she was talking about. whew, that was a lot to type lol So I just wanted to share my story and tell you, You are not alone, and it's okay to seek help because it takes a village to raise a child no matter how old that child is(not saying you are old) *virtual supportive vibes* being sent your way. God Bless

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    1. Wow, thank you for your comment Nicole. I wasn't specifically the woman JD was talking about, but I can always use support :) Thanks for the vibes too ;) I too suffer from PTSD and am currently doing some EMDR which is helping. PPD sucks no matter what and I don't pretend to know what it's like to have without PTSD (lotsa trauma), but it has to be worse right? I have SO many triggers and they seem to make my depression and anxiety much worse some days. I'm glad that you are getting some help for the PTSD and PPD like me :) Please feel free to email me anytime if YOU need support. nextlifenokids@gmail.com Thanks again!!

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  22. Anonymous2/18/2013

    I accidentally discovered this blog and I can only say that I sympathize so much with these young mothers. I am a 60 year old mother of 6 children. My children range in age from 24 to 31. I had 6 children in 8 years. Through the years, three of my children required major abdominal surgery. My only son has ADD. Throughout their lives, I have battled major depression and been hospitalized 6 times. I have had a series of "shock" treatments twice. I always tried to be positive and supportive around the children, but in bed, i would want to die. I have taken antidepressants for 20 years and am now on nothing. I have never been able to afford therapy. Now that I am older, the worry and depression about my children continues. One child battles severe diabetes, one is battling cancer, and one is battling lupus. The worry and depression never ends for me. I wish I had never had any children or at least stopped at one child. You truly give up your life when you have children. Even one child can change your life forever if there is a health problem. I am embarrassed to say that I have a Masters Degree in Pediatric Nursing and I still feel this way. You love them so much but the worry never ends regardless of their age.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I'm sorry to hear that you're still struggling, but so glad you reached out here. I understand COMPLETELY what you mean about making different choices if you could go back in time. I too have been hospitalized a few times and it's not an easy thing to deal with, especially with children. I hope you feel better soon and that you continue to reach out to me or someone else. We need to stick together! ;)

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  23. I followed your link from Honest Mom, thank you for sharing. I know how hard it is to write a post that shares a part of you that you try to hide. I'm a new follower. :)

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  24. Thank you for your brave and honest post - I feel the same way every time I mention "depression" on my blog. The first time I posted about it, I had to close the computer and walk away to keep myself from immediately taking it down - but just like you've found, it was worth it!

    ~ karyn

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    1. Thank you Karyn,

      SO scary, but SO worth it.

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  25. Anonymous2/26/2013

    Thanks for sharing your struggles with us. As I can see now, there is such a cultural pressure (I feel) to present this perfect persona of a happy, on-the-ball mom. I was so unprepared for how unhappy I became once I delivered the first of my two daughters. And the shock of the responsibility, and the overwhelmingness of it all. And although I have a very supportive husband, my real frustrations where, and continue to be, with myself. PPD, PTSD, depression.. These things of the mind are so guilt-provoking. I am in therapy, which is helping maintain a somewhat even keel. I am on Zoloft now, and it appears to be helping. I am trying sobriety also, which should help the meds do what the need to do. And, I am now in AA. Do I still feel afraid that my friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. will reject me and label me a failure if they knew the extent of my depression? Absolutely. But not seeking the help of others, even anonymously, is so FUCKING detrimental. I think it would honestly make me suicidal. By seeking help, I am gaining confidence in myself, and my ability to manage my disease. Most importantly, it is making me stronger to deal with the mundane and chaotic life of motherhood. I know it won't always be this difficult. I will get bills paid, and the girls potty trained, and my family fed.. But for people that suffer depression, alcoholism, PTSD, whatever - it can only be done one day at a time.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading this and for taking the time to comment. I too have struggled with alcohol along with my depression. In May I will celebrate 13 years of sobriety, one day at a time. I'm so glad that you're taking action and reaching out, anonymously or not. It takes a lot of guts to ask for help. For so long I thought that I was weak for not being able to solve all of my problems myself, but I have learned over the years that there is nothing weak about it. It takes courage to admit that we don't have all of the answers and when we reach out and accept help, the healing can begin. I'm currently doing some trauma therapy and it's not easy, but I know that I will be grateful for it when I move past some of this stuff. I'm REALLY glad you reached out here and I hope that you'll continue on this journey with me. Please email me anytime to chat about whatever is on your mind. It sounds like we have A LOT in common ;)

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  26. I hope you are feeling better. Don't forget, you can always email me at nextlifenokids@gmail.com. You posted as Anonymous so I can't reach out to you other than this. I hope you email me. :)

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  27. Michelle @ theycallmemummy.com4/15/2013

    What I WILL tell you is that by being honest and vulnerable, you've given SO MANY other mothers permission to admit that they don't have their shit together. PPD is not something to be ashamed of. It does NOT make you a failure. It does NOT make you weak or inept.


    Would you be ashamed if you had diabetes?


    Would you be afraid to ask for a bandage if you were bleeding?


    This stigma of shame - it has to go. And by posting this incredibly brave post, you've shown so many women that they can too.


    You should be proud.


    You should also know you are not alone.


    xoxo

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  28. I just read this over at D.J.'s site and commented. Great post!

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  29. Thanks Kate! Thanks to this blog and women like you, I'm feeling better every day. :)

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  30. Thank you so much for your kind words Michelle. I really appreciate it. I am so grateful for all of the amazing women like you in the blogging community. These connections are what helped so much. XO

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  31. Considerer9/07/2013

    Only just found this now (still exploring over here, to my shame)
    And all I can reply with is the tippiest-tippy-tip of an iceberg of what I really mean
    Because I'm rendered a bit type-tied
    Because this is so amazingly brutifully honest
    So here goes nothing:

    "I *heart* you"

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  32. Thank you for writing this.

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  33. Melissa1/21/2015

    I just went through this myself. I'm 7 months postpartum and I can honestly say I've only felt like I've had it even semi-together in the last 4 weeks. It does get better but when one thing (colic) ends, another begins (teething). What's changed is - a) I'm taking my meds. b) I got therapy and was just last night deemed "mentally healthy" so we did not schedule a next appointment and c) I'm finally getting the alone time I need to regroup after spending all day with this needy little being who relies solely on me for 11 hours out of the day and sleeps for 11 overnight. Meaning - hubby, who is wonderful, has about 2 hours during which he parents our child so I can get some alone time. Getting this time... 7:30pm-10 or so, is the only thing that has helped return my sanity to me, other than meds, therapy, and time. I'm glad to find this post, even though it's an older one - it really explains how I felt the first 6 months or so. I hope you are doing much better.

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  34. Mary Daniel5/02/2015

    Thank you for this, I do have depression and anxiety and it keeps me home most days as well. If it werent for my kids or the fact that I have to go to school for classes bc I cant focus online then Id be home ALLthe time.

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  35. Kim Kearney5/02/2015

    O....M....G.... So this just came across my newsfeed, some how the Facebook idiots got it right for once, as this is exactly what I needed to read this morning. It's 6:30 and my child hates sleep (not that I would have slept much anyway) so if this makes any sense at all, I'm calling Tuesday morning a win already :-)
    First let me start by saying I heart you... Secondly, you also terrify me because you are able to put into words what I can not (writing is not my strong suit, I think I peaked somewhere around 8th grade and managed to fake my way through 8 more years of English classes and writing assignments, sorry tanget!). But mostly I heart you... Because even though you write what I don't want to admit, knowing that it's "not just me" is kind of awesome. So in closing, you are awesome sauce, and your blog is amaze-balls.

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  36. Lori Jewkes5/03/2015

    Poo on depression is right! Thank you for writing this, you helped me feel understood and like maybe I'm not as alone as I thought. 💜

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