Saturday, October 30, 2010

Depression, S.A.D., PPD, oh my!

I really have no right to complain. Sometimes I sit here and get myself down about all the stress I'm under when I'm going through a pregnancy that's been really blessed and healthy so far. Even the things I complain about aren't really worth complaining about--I'm just a big whiner. I was talking to Graham last night, and even though things didn't exactly go according to our plan (which was really my plan, if we're being honest), I think things ended up going the way they were supposed to go.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

-Douglas Adams
I found that quote while working on lesson plans a few weeks ago, and it really stuck with me. I've been trying to keep that in perspective as the last few weeks of gestation come to a close. I find myself dealing with my Type-A personality more than ever. I've been working on two manuals for the people who will be taking on my various job duties and leaving exceptionally specific instructions for them, all the with hope they will be followed to the letter. And the rational part of me knows that things happen and things change. Lord knows that with all the development work I do around here and how fast things tend to move that I'll return from maternity leave and find everything has changed. And, with a substitute teacher in the room, things are gonna come up. The kids will test her. Things will break down and things will be crazy, and life will go on. I'll have to resist the urge to pick up the phone and inquire about how things are going because I know that if I get involved, my "leave" will end up being a work-from-home situation--and I sure as hell don't want that. I think the change of seasons is having a slight affect on all this, too. Combined with my pregnancy hormones, I've been slightly less chipper lately and increasingly more sarcastic as the days go by. I really need to focus on finding things to be happy about during the work day because when I don't, I find that my work days and work weeks seem twice as long as they usually do.
And then, there's Graham.
Poor Graham. It's been about a year since I've been normal. All the stress we went through with just trying to buy the damn house sent me into a twisty spiral that put me on antidepressants, and then my doctor kept me on them to get me through the winter because my S.A.D. keeps me in the hap-hap-happiest of moods all season, ::pause for eyeroll:: and then at the end of April I found out I was expecting a baby. I went off the antidepressants (but probably shouldn't have) and dealt with crazy mood swings and depression episodes all summer and well into the fall. Combine that with all the stress I've been under at work and the pregnancy hormones from hell, and I've just been a peach to live with! And naturally I'm giving birth right in the middle of the holiday season! I usually enjoy the holidays and I can deal with the stress, but it's the mess I tend to end up in right after Christmas and New Year's. I hate winter--seriously, I hate it--and I despite pretty much every minute of it. I hate the snow and the slush and the cold--My God! The cold!--and I generally don't deal with it well. I had suspected I was dealing with S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) for a few years, but it hit me really hard after we came back from Liz's wedding in Hawaii. I had spent 10 days in paradise with 85 degree highs and 75 degree lows and loved every moment of it. Then we came home to 18 inches of snow and a high temperature of -4. That winter I was pretty much useless and because the spring was so cool I didn't really "wake up" until May.
Again, poor Graham. I had maybe 4 months of "normal" me before I got crazy. I can't wait to be normal again, I really can't. We've already discussed me S.A.D. with my doctor and OB (Aside: Seriously? S.A.D.? Could there be a worse acronym for any sort of depression? As if I already didn't feel like Eeyore, I now have to walk around saying, "Hey guys, guess what? I am S.A.D.") as well as the high probability I'll have to deal with post-partum depression. That should be a fun little adventure. S.A.D. + PPD? It might just be easier to get my forehead tattooed with, "Seriously, don't even speak to me. I will CUT you." Sends the right message, doncha think?

He's been wonderful, though. I think I'd have ended up in a really bad place were it not for him. He gets me up when I need to get up and he lets me cry when I need to cry. He watches me like a hawk which is great--it's also kind of annoying when I'd much rather be left the hell alone--but ultimately it's a good thing.

I could be speaking prematurely here, but I think not going to work this winter will help me. Part of what I really struggle with is the pressure to be "on" in the middle of January. I have a really hard time dealing with frustrating people and situations in addition to snow and ice and cold and 4 hours of sunlight a day. Even though I'll still need to be "on" for Baby G here, I can be on from the comfort of my own home. We'll be able to take naps when we need them, and I can do it while wearing comfies instead of real clothes. I think Baby G is going to be a huge help for me this winter as long as we can get my other issues under control.

I'm really blessed, like I said. Christ, I have the most wonderful person in the world for a spouse, a home that we're working on owning, a steady job, an adorable cat, a family that loves me and can't freaking wait for our baby, and I'm pregnant. It seems so illogical for me to be so down sometimes when I've got so much going for me. I wish I could figure it out, but that's why I've got some damn good medical professionals to help me out. My doctors are fabulous, and I feel so much better after I leave their offices.

So. That's that.

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