A new life and death
A precious life came into our lives at a time of death and suffering for others. During my time at the hospital my Great Grandmother passed away , she was 104 . This was a hard loss for my family even though she had lived a full life. There was another loss coming soon , my aunt Tona was losing her battle with cancer. Through all the sadness I needed to keep it together for our son at home and our baby left at the hospital.
Be Strong not depressed
During the 18 days Jack spent at the hospital I remained strong. Only when I knew everyone was ok would I let myself feel. Living with depression is all about keeping everything in check. If I let my feelings take over in situations like this I can’t function. Learning to file it away and deal with it later is how I survive tragedy. My method is probably not the best but it’s how I keep my ass out of bed. If I didn’t have this system I would have never made it through that month.
The first couple of months after Jacks birth continued the same way. I kept filing feelings away for later. In October my Aunt Jackie was diagnosed with Breast cancer , seriously ? Could we catch a break ?
File #56 Breast cancer
Breast cancer became another file for the cabinet in my head. Parenting a toddler and newborn with a file cabinet full emotions unfelt was tricky. My day was spent going through the motions just to get through to the next. Living my life this way was bound to catch up with me , I just didn’t know when. Jack and I would drive my aunt to her treatments in Oshkosh. At her first appointment we realized I never secured Jacks car seat in her backseat. We chuckled and went on with the day . This was just the start of the things I dropped the ball on.
My first Naked Truth as a mom
Troy was working 2 jobs when Jack was born . Which made for long days for both of us. I left alone every other week with a toddler and a newborn for 16 hours a day. This when I think my anxiety came to the forefront. I would get so anxious before bath time for Jack that I stopped giving him baths and would wipe him down with a dishcloth or baby wipes. Poor Jack only got real baths when Troy or my mom did them. There was a disconnect with my baby, I would feed him change his diapers and rock him but I didn’t see him. As a mom this is probably the hardest for me to write about in my discovery of truth.
My days rolled into one another and I went through the motions of being a mom and wife. Early in December Troy was working a long day and Tyler was at his grandmas house overnight. Jack and I were home alone again , he woke up at around 8pm for a bottle . I got him from his crib on auto pilot , heated up his bottle and sat down. When I looked down to give him his bottle I SAW him for the first time . I looked in his eyes and saw his little old soul and fell in love. We sat like that for a long time his bottle forgotten , we both just stared at each other. We talked or I talked , I told him how sorry I was and how I would never , ever check out again. Troy found us like this when he got home . I had woken up and fell in love.
Depression without meds
Time moved slowly after my awakening , I think I was just trying to memorize everything. In spring I lost it again, this time I called my aunt and told her I needed to leave . Aunt Jackie came over and made me talk . How could I tell her I wanted to leave ? I loved my kids and would never hurt them but the quiet and being alone was taking over any mom instincts. After talking and crying we called the doctor. He saw me that day ,diagnosed me with Postpartum depression handed me a new prescription and sent me on my way. The medication he first prescribed didn’t work very well .
Let’s play with Mindi’s meds became the new game. I would try a new one and then be taken off at one point I wasn’t taking anything except for a tranquilizer when needed. Big mistake ! Picture this…. Flag Day parade 2006 , We are there with a baby a toddler and an un-medicated Mindi . Two older ladies were about to move our chairs and I lost it .. like I thought I was going to hit one of them . Troy diffused the situation and walked me away from the women . As soon as we got to the stroller he handed me one of my pills and said “you need to call the doctor and get put back on something fulltime.”
Wellbutrin and Effexor
What a perfect combination, Wellbutrin and Effexor were the perfect mix to make me feel normal. Feeling normal is a matter of opinion and I felt great and sane. This is the combo I have been taking for 11 years now. Sometimes I have to increase the dose or lower it back down but it does the trick. Medication doesn’t change who I am or make me 100% , it helps me get out of bed and stay out.
Depression and my kids
My depression and anxiety has affected my kids in many ways . I have missed things at school , going on outdoor adventures, play time and some first moments in their lives. I really couldn’t tell you for sure the first words spoken or when they got their first tooth. These things just rolled together with the day. I’m sure I was excited and in the moment but I never wrote it down as mom’s do or put the date to memory. For me exciting things usually make me check out . I go through the motions but am removed the event. I work hard now to stay present and some how document events or moments. Remembering the event or moment is easy I can do that. What I can’t do is give specifics.
Troy has always stepped up when I fall short. He goes to the events with the kids when I can’t , takes them on nature adventures and everything else I can’t do at the time. We’ve adapted and grown through this journey. Last year we sat down with the kids after an anxiety attack- pre pool outing. I didn’t feel prepared to go, the bag wasn’t ready , I didn’t have snacks the reasons kept coming and I shut down. We finally told the kids what I live with everyday and tried to explain it the best we could.
Depression isn’t my Naked Truth
For years I have struggled with depression and anxiety but I have never let it define who I am. Only recently have I told people about it , I’m not ashamed anymore . Depression will no longer be a Naked Truth. I am not defined by depression , I define how depression affects me !
Writing this has been cathartic and freeing . I haven’t thought about most of this for a long time writing it brought tears , smiles and closure. Thank you for taking time to read about My Naked Truth with Depression .
This is only part of the Naked Truth journey……