Saturday, December 31, 2016

"Are You Excited?" On Depression and Pregnancy

"Are you excited?" "OMG I am so excited for you, I can't wait!" "You must be so excited!" I get where you're all coming from, really I do. I was the same way for all of you when you told me you were expecting. And I really wish I could say that I am excited, but I have to be honest (I know I'll get a lot of backlash for this, but it is something that really needs to be more openly discussed), no. I'm not excited.
This was from another week years ago when I couldn't sleep.
Time for some backstory. I have actually been dealing with mental health issues for a long time (almost 10 years). It started out as suicidal ideation. It has since become a little more pronounced. So much so that I actually went to the ER a couple times because I just couldn't sleep anymore. Don't worry, I'm okay. I always am. Okay, but not necessarily good or great. I've never actually attempted suicide, but I have what's considered "high-functioning depression." The pictures are some examples of what depression looks like for me. Coupling mental illness with all the extra pregnancy hormones makes for a really confusing mental landscape with your emotions all over the place.
He's such a momma's boy, and he's always there for me.
The idea that women may not want children is so strange in our society. It's almost a requirement to reproduce whether that's your idea of a good life or not. Whether you're ready or not. Pop culture does a good job of reinforcing that standard as well, which is why I absolutely love when favorites like The Big Bang Theory decide to open up a conversation. If you haven't seen "The Dependence Transcendence" you can read up on the bit of it that's important to this post here.
"[I]t's my baby. I should care about nurseries and colors, and I don't. What's wrong with me? I'm waiting to feel excited, but it's not happening. What if it never happens?" - Bernadette
Couldn't convince myself to get out of bed today. The thought of eating makes me sick.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is it's okay to not be excited right away. It's okay to ask for help when you need it. And I promise you, there are more women in your life who have gone through the same thing and didn't talk about it, but they will talk about it with you. You definitely have me. For those who don't know, cdossitm@yahoo.com is the email I use for this blog. You can email me there or message me on my Facebook page, but I am a lot more inconsistent with responding to Facebook (I can't figure out how to get the notifications for it turned on).
There is a reason Aura is my Emotional Support Dog. She always knows when I need cuddles.
All in all, there are resources available to you regardless of income or insurance status. There are state funded mental health clinics in a lot of cities (I'm not sure about small towns, but everywhere I've lived so far has had one). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a chat option if you don't think you have the strength to speak. I'll include a list of phone numbers at the end of this post just in case. 
I tried to make myself look good so I would feel good inside.
Got a little long-winded here. Quick questions just to wrap this up, what helps you when you feel overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, bipolar, insert mental illness/personality disorder here? What has been your favorite thing about being pregnant? What was your favorite and least favorite part about getting ready for your firstborn?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
Pregnancy Option Line - 1-800-712-4357 (not sure availability, chat option)
National Alliance on Mental Illness - 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) (M-F 10a-6p EST), info@nami.org
American Pregnancy Assocation - 1-800-672-2296