V-day was nice in these parts. I made a card for J with fabric, paper, embroidery thread and a marker, plus he received a book of "coupons" for sleeping in, a night out and other, uh, unmentionable treats. I made E a box with an "E" in blue buttons and flower fairies decoupaged on. There were some treats inside, which was her favorite part. J spoiled us with a Richard Scary book and Metalocalypse, which is a word that will never look right when typed out. It was a nice night, and it ended with a DVD of the X-files that wouldn't work, laundry and some wine. Very, very nice night.
Last night was so nice, in fact, that I think something finally broke the depression I've been struggling with lately. I've been on medication for depression since I was 14 or so, and I will be for the rest of my life. But I won't take anything while pregnant, and to be safe I try to stay off any meds for two months prior to trying. There's a sweet spot where I can get pregnant and let those hormones take over for the anti-depressants I usually take. But after that it gets dicey. By three months off the meds I start getting those signs, the ones that glow like neon signs for "crazy," as Dooce so elegantly put it. When I'm pregnant I'm happy, calm and free from anxiety. I have self-confidence. I'm stable. This is as far as it gets from how I feel off meds and not pregnant. When depression hits, it uses brass knuckles.
for the last couple of weeks I've been noticing what J calls my "acting weird." I get paranoid, and I start feeling like no one likes me. "What's to like?" I think. I get angry for no reason. My fuse goes from OK to short to gone. I feel trapped and alone; I get restless. I want to run. I become painfully insecure about J, my mothering abilities, my weight, my hair, everything. I have anxiety attacks and mood swings. Sometimes having a conversation is just too much work. Basically, I'm a barrel of fun. I've been fighting this stuff off daily lately, and the battle wasn't going well for a few hours each day. I'd pull out of it after a while, but I was starting to get to the place where going back on meds was the only reasonable reaction. Getting worse meant being someone I don't like very much, and the fact that I need medication to keep that person at bay just makes me sad. Sadder.
But then: SNAP! I'm OK again! I feel like the world is OK, I feel creative again and my patience is back to where I feel like I have some. It's hard no to lose it when I feel so down, and it's so important not to lose it with the kids about. They model my behavior; I need to be a good model. Today it's been so very easy, where yesterday and the day before were so very hard. This is such a wonderful and unexpected bit of good fortune that I'm dancing as I type this. Well, chair dancing, anyway.
J has bouts like this, too. He's been going through a similar patch, which means my feeling better is even more important. I don't know how E can dodge this bullet. She is the queen of recessive genes with her red curly hair, but with the percentage of people with depression in both our families I think we're going to have to deal with this no matter what. There are three things that naturally help fight depression: Sun, Sleep and Sweat. J doesn't need anti-depressants, his beast is his own and he tames it with his own methods. Because he can do this I hope E gets his brand of crazy and not mine. Because I feel broken sometimes. I really really hate having to take a pill so I'm not an angry paranoid jerk that can barely muster the energy to breathe. I don't want my happy little girl to have to fight this, too.
I'm not Bi-polar, so I don't get the up swings, it's just down, down down, baby. Straight to the pit of despair, which is not a place I like. I like balance, and so I take my pill. I'm going to catch this upswing, whatever caused it, and I'm going to get sleep and I'm going to sweat because I can't control the sun. When medicated I still have ups and downs, the downs just don't go so low. With a lot of work I might be able stay balanced until I get preggers. Making sure I get enough rest (so hard when you want to sew! but have to do it after 9 pm) and working out (almost) daily.
We can do this, brain. Eyes on the prize: Oxytocin. Relaxin. Good hormones. Endorphins will hold us over until we get there. Using the full spectrum light when we sew will help, too. As much as I loathe feeling down, feeling better always rocks.
I hope you have a great weekend! Next post should be some sewing goodies for the Etsy Shop of Myth, with lots of photos and way less crap to read! Hooray!