Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back To Normal

Well...  I guess technically to go back to normal, I would have to have been there to begin with.


But seriously, all of sudden a couple of months ago, I woke up one day and felt like myself again.  The self that I guess I had given up on, thought was gone or at least had forgotten about.  Honestly, after 30 years of it being about me, (or at least being convinced that it was...) once I became a parent, it didn't surprise me that life was completely different. Dying to self doesn't sound glamorous, and for good reason.

Let's back up a bit.

I tend to be a bit of an extremist.  I have high expectations for myself and when I get my mind set on something, well...  Good luck changing it.

I had planned from the beginning to be inwardly focused, once our first child was born.  I wanted things a certain way, and I was willing to do whatever it took to see that things went that way.  We had our child at home, because I didn't want any one else's opinions or rules forced on me. I spent more time worried about not meeting friend's and family's expectations than I did about child birth. Why?  Because I knew for the first time in my life, I was going to do what I wanted, when and how I wanted*.  While I knew that, I was still a little, okay a lot, concerned about what fall out may come along with that.

*I say all of this knowing (now and then) that God's will trumps mine at any given moment.  Which was a huge comfort in some ways and completely horrifying in other ways.

I wanted to nurse for a year, and while things went really well, I really found it to be hard. Hard to go out, with or without Chloe, hard to accept help, even from Frank when I would still have to pump anyway.  It was just hard.  I was a hard core Boppy girl, so I had to drag that and a million other things with me, even when I was just going to my parent's house.  It got easier and easier to just stay home.  To say no to invitations, to refuse to make commitments.  

This introversion, which is really not at all how I am, started during pregnancy, actually.  I became extremely protective of my time with the hubby.  I drove him just two miles east of crazy.  It wasn't pretty.

So, I say all of this to ask this question...  Was I suffering from postpartum depression? Because I certainly didn't think so at the time.   I'm still not convinced that I was, but I think it's definitely a possibility.  I didn't even realize I was so off until I was back on.  

Is this making sense to anyone else?

In some ways, I feel like my choices, staying home, doing things my own way, etc., may be what caused the depression, or weirdness or lack of being myself.  (Whatever we're calling it.)  I've considered the fact that some form of chemical imbalance, be it postpartum, or just out of whack hormones caused me to make the decisions, but I feel like this very moment, in the rightest of minds I see myself capable of being in, I would make the same choices.  So I think it really is door number 1.

The other thought I have is this:  Becoming a parent effected my friendships A LOT more than I expected.  Again, I don't know if that would have happened either way or if some imbalance is to blame for choices I made, or at least how I responded to certain situations that arose. Regardless, I think the shift in many of my close friendships definitely had a negative effect on my well being.  

Everything about this makes me wonder which came first?  The chicken or the egg?  And I guess the answer doesn't really matter.  If only that knowledge were enough to cause me to quit thinking about it!  Wouldn't that be bliss?

As I was sharing these thoughts with someone the other day, I realized something.  I moved in November.  My grandma died in December.  I should clarify, my grandma who was one of my closest friends who I spent a lot of time with died in December.  Though Frank and I had been very close to feeling ready to start our family, her death sent me into a depression that made me change my mind about that.  Also during this time, the teaching job that I had been in for a year and a half was not going well.  I was ready to move on, but felt totally responsible to finish out the year, so I spent 5 months fairly miserable with that.  I did finally resign in August after a prayerful and relaxing summer, where I really felt God leading me into a time of rest.  I know now that God was allowing me a time to get it together before I had Chloe.  I believe I was pregnant when I said to a friend that summer, "I wonder if this is my time to rest up before I have a baby?"  Turns out, yep.  :)

I share all of that to say, is it any wonder that things were a little nutty?  I moved, lost a dear family member, quit my job, got pregnant and had to adjust to a completely new life on about 5 different levels.  

I'd say a chemical imbalance was definitely in order.

1 comment:

  1. Yep - if you look up a stress test - not a physical one but a test that asks about areas of your life and adds up the points that you've gained.... your major life changes would DEFINITELY put you in the high stress level, and push you towards depression.

    Sometimes it just takes time!