It often feels like I'm swimming against a strong current, which wants nothing more than to drown me. I'm not trying to do anything extraordinary. I'm not running for office, trying to get famous or invent some life-changing thing. I'm just trying to get by; to live my life and raise my kids. But, day in and day out, it's like I have to wrestle with some invisible being that's holding me back, literally holding me down sometimes. Getting out of bed is exhausting enough some days, if I'm able to make sure everyone else is in fresh clean clothes and fed, then I've triumphed. Asking that of myself is another level entirely.
I've been handling depression - with various levels of success - since I was pregnant with my second child. So that all started back in .... 2003? I've been placed on, perhaps, nine different medications over the years. Removed from one and put on another because of insurance problems or recurring headaches or whether I was pregnant or nursing. There have actually been periods of my life when I was off medication entirely, and I really felt like that was some sort of amazing breakthrough. I felt free and functional, but those times were in rare supply.
It seems overly dramatic when you "write it out loud" but it does really feel like I'm a prisoner sometimes. I've long since given up on trying to fight through on my own and I realize when the signs are there that it's become too much for me. Without my kids, I might not have been so quick to admit defeat - I can be quite stubborn at times. But the worst of my depression is usually in the post-partum period and with my last child I had serious difficulty bonding with her and felt like hurting myself. My kids are always number one. I knew I had to get help immediately.
I'm on Sertraline (Zoloft) at the moment. I was originally put on that medication because I was nursing my youngest, but now I continue on this route because I am expecting (again!) and it's considered the safest option all around. This will be baby number 5 for me, with the oldest being 15 and the youngest 2 - #5 will be here around the 9th of August. This is my absolute last child, and the decision is bittersweet. But Zoloft never worked the best for me and I (perhaps selfishly) look forward to finally being on a better medication and having more energy... Maybe that's wishful thinking, but I have fond memories of being in control of myself.
There's so much more going on in my life than just depression. On the bad end, I have layers and layers of problems, though I chose to focus on my PPD for this first post. But on the good, I've got my kids, my husband and my art and they keep me going, keep me afloat in that torrent of chaos that's trying to keep me down. They help me remember that I'm more than my discord and pain, that there really is something redeemable about me.
I have a (bad?) habit of using my writing to vent, but I'm going to try my best to keep this journal more about individual problems and what I do to distract myself or find motivation. I'd love to hear from others who are struggling with their own collection of troubles and how they cope. I think a support system and network of contacts are essential for life.