Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm supposed to be writing

I thought of several poetic titles for this blog post, such as Foggy Morning after the Storm, or The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow or In the Quiet of the Morning.  And any one of those would do.  But I see it's been over two weeks since I last posted on this blog.  I feel as though I have nothing much to write about, and those things about which I might write don't seem like they would be very interesting to others.

I'm having my coffee on my front porch this morning. There is a beautiful blue sky overhead.  When I gaze out across the hayfield in front of my house, there is a misty layer of white fog above it.  Just a low layer, and it is dissipating as I write.  The field is taking on it's morning green.  The CRP field to the east is still thick with fog.  But to the west it is green and lovely with only a slight haze lingering.  Everything is green that direction except for the pile of stumps and tree parts from the woods they dozed out last month.  And yes, even now, even in the time it took me to write the last few sentences, the field to the south is greener still than it was a moment ago.

I have something to share with my readers about which I don't know if I'll write much, because it's of a very personal nature.  But in the hopes it might help another, I have decided to plunge ahead and write about it.  I have come to realize and admit that I've been wallowing in a bit of a depression for about six months.  Perhaps longer, but at least six months.  I know I did not start out the school year last fall in the correct frame of mind.  Life was too much for me and I was unprepared for the rush and rumble of the busy mornings and frantic pace of the school year.  Was that the beginning of it?  Perhaps.  Or was it even last summer, when balancing the different schedules for so many of us so overwhelmed and frustrated me?  In the early fall, I was confronted with at least one emotionally difficult thing.  The later fall and winter continued to be rife with challenges.  Difficulties.  Sadnesses.  We've had an unusually emotionally fatiguing year.

And so I waited.  Waited for that moment when I felt I had a better handle on things.  Waited for the burden to lighten.  For my chaotic brain to clear.  But that moment never came.  My meager grasp on household management continued to loosen throughout the winter.   Gradually, I lost all sense of myself.  Not desperately, mind you.  Just kind of a slipping away.  Slipping into the netherworld.

I am now on prozac.  Can you believe that?  Me?   I surprise myself.

I am happy to report, however, I am starting to see glimmers of life outside of netherworld.  Life in the real world.  Myself.  I am finding myself, but in a much different sense than during those young adult years when one comes into one's own life.  I sometimes, for very brief moments, feel alive and real, for the first time in a long time.  My doctor has advised me to force myself to do those things I used to enjoy, and I find this often triggers these little "alive" moments.

It's kind of dreamlike, really, to be in this spot.  To know, academically, that there are things that I used to find pleasurable.  But to have almost no feeling for them at all.  Nothingness.  This depression has not been a terribly dark place for me.  I was never desperate, and rarely despairing.  And yes there is a difference.  But my particular variety of depression was more empty than dark.  Simply a nothingness through which I was traversing.  Devoid of any proper emotions or motivations.

My children were suffering.  My husband was patiently waiting.  Neither of us is a big proponent of using psycho-pharmaceutical drugs.   Joe took some drug psych classes during college and didn't like the foundation from which the whole area of research was addressed.  I have had a few friends in whom I've seen undesirable personality changes when they are treated medicinally for depression.  And besides that, being from a German cultural background, I am somewhat of the Nietzschian view that what doesn't kill me will only serve to make me stronger.  "If I just get through this," right?

But as I said before, my family was bearing the brunt of this low spot in my life, so it was time to take a different tack.  I am now a drugged person.  And it's likely I will be for the next year.  That alone seems strange to me.  That I will be taking a mind altering drug for 12 months.  Yikes!  My doctor said for episodes such as mine, he generally prescribes for six months at a time.  However, he never recommends anyone going off anti-depressant drugs in the fall or winter.  Hence the one year plan.

Dr. Winjum also recommended, as I mentioned a few paragraphs back, forcing myself to go through the motions of participating in those things which formerly brought me pleasure.  Hence my front porch coffee time.  And truly, it is peaceful and serene here.  And I can imagine that it is pleasurable.  But the feeling is not a very personal feeling.  It is more of a third person, second hand kind of enjoyment.  But I go through the motions.  I sit here and gaze upon the springtime awakening.  I breath the cool morning air.  I listen to the sounds of the birds, and the neighbor's cattle, and the quiet.  I sip my warm coffee, and I try to feel a part of it.

It will come.  I know it will.  This is just the spot at which I find myself right now.  I trust God and cling to His promises.  I know my eternal salvation is sure, through Jesus Christ His Son.  I wait upon Him for temporal healing.  I wait for this cloud and fog under which I am currently dwelling to lift.  All according to His infinite timing and wisdom.

As I gaze out at the landscape around me, I see that the fog across the fields has continued to dissipate.  The view from the front of the house has only a very slight lacy covering clinging to the fields here and there.  To the west the view is entirely a clear, bright green (except those unsightly stumps!).  And to the east, there remains a slight haze over all.  Just slight.  I can see the neighbor's farm buildings on the other end of the section.

I know that just as this fog has cleared, the fog over my mind will lift, too.  It will.  It is beginning.  It just takes a little more time for this emotional fog to dissipate, than for the fog that only a short time ago lay thick upon the fields.


Frances said...

Thank you for writing this. I've been there before--needing pharmaceutical help through the times where there have been too many stresses. I've been there (I'm still 'there', I suppose), in wandering through the motions of our family, empty and trudging along waiting for my feet to come under me again. We've been weathering a lot of emotions the past few months as well. It is a blessing to me, to know that I am not the only mother/wife/woman who has been in this place. You'll be in my prayers as we both wait for the fog to lift. The Lord be with you.

theMom said...

Thanks Frances. All in God's time.

Marge said...

Hugs........Hope you start feeling better soon. Been there, kind of. I have fibromyalgia, which in addition to the pain, blesses one with depression, sleep issues, and a fog. And of course, the more severe the sleep issues, the heavier the fog and pain.

Yes, you are supposed to be writing. You are such a talented writer. Take time for yourself, which I know is hard to do in a large family. Just just saying to hang in there. I'll keep you in prayer.

theMom said...

Thanks, Marge. It is a strange place, but thankfully not desperate.

I explained on another forum of which I'm a part, I mostly write about it because it can be a lonely and frightening place to be if a person feels alone in it. I want other woman out there, particularly young mothers, to know there are sometimes seasons like this in life. And although not ideal, they are a normal part of life in this broken world.

God will never leave us nor forsake us.

Anonymous said...

After our eldest was born I had severe postpartum depression for six months. In my case it was the apathy-kind, not the sadness-kind of depression. It was when I started feeling again that I realized how depressed I actually was. In my situation, the pre-motherhood career and identities were lost, hormones were depleted, and it took a while to 'find me' again. My prayers are with you that you may have patience to get from '3rd person' to '1st person'. And, be comforted that you *can* provide love for your children and husband even if you are doing it in third person!

theMom said...

Thank you! that last is a good reminder. And I've told my kids that, too. I've asked them to just be patient and walk me through it; to love me and forgive me. And I've assured them, also that God knew way back when, when He arranged our family the way it is, He knew where we would be at this point. And He still said, "I am allowing you to go through this for now. It's OK. I am with you."