Friday, January 22, 2010

The other thing to deal with.

I admit it. I take anti-depressants. I don't skip doses. I don't go off of them. I take them every single day. And generally, I feel like a pretty average person too.

But tonight with a single phrase from my husband, I turned to the dark side of my depression. 

Not too long ago, I felt like the bottom just dropped out on my emotions. I can usually feel a difference between chemical changes and stress induced episodes. This week I felt like crap from my dear auntie F beating my body into a pulp and obviously changing my hormone levels. So because I felt like that, I didn't go walking. This of course makes me feel worse. Hence with a single comment, I slid down the slippery slope tonight when I thought I was getting better. 

I hate feeling like this. It's more than sad, it's feeling batty, cracked, crazed, looney, mental, screwy, and unbalanced. 

In the blog world I stumbled across this incredibly thoughtful woman who in her journey has helped me view myself through my partner's eyes. While our situations are vastly different, I think it's helped me think about choices I make that effect my illness like not exercising. It is a choice. I am aware of my problem and know how to manage it. So if I don't do everything I need to do, it's a choice I make in managing my illness.

It's hard for me even to think of it as an illness. It's certainly not something that most people who look at me even know about because I function. As a teacher, I am appropriate and professional. I clean my house. I bathe. I chat. I make dinner. I have friends. But that is because I have the least severe type of depressive disorder known as dysthymia. It's the undercurrent of my life that can swell into a riptide that sucks you into the middle of the ocean.

Perhaps like escaping out of the riptide, I need to swim sideways. I need to change directions and keep the tide from sweeping me out. 

Depression is kind of like infertility. It's not something you talk about. It's something people expect you to be able to manage without much help. This post was actually really hard for me to write because I feel such immense guilt and self loathing about it. But if I'm going to be honest with you about my journey, these kinds of episodes are what I face whenever something gets tough. 

As I have talked about in other posts, this is an incredibly blessed cycle with love coming from many many places. At the same time, I am getting very very nervous about it. I need my body to be in a relaxed, calm place  so that I can be ready to get knocked up. 

Swim sideways Jen. Swim sideways.



  1. I hear you girl!! But on the SUPER positive side, I was reviewing your schedule. And that first follicle ultrasound is RIGHT around the corner! Wow. I'vs got a feeling!!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I think a lot more people struggle with depressions than we're aware of and I think it's a taboo subject for most, thank you for being so open about it.
    Love the analogy of swimming sideways. Although I've never been diagnosed with depression I have episodes of "darkness" and always try to do just that to get out of it or avoid getting sucked in. Swim sideways :)

    Mucho love and peaceful thoughts about your cycle!

  3. Oh, Jen...hang in there. You have been so honest with us and I know that in itself is huge. Do what you can do, like you said, to manage. We're here if you need us!

  4. IF must be so much harder with depression in the undercurrent...sorry you have to battle two monsters like this. You have a lot of great things coming around the corner, so try your best to focus on the possibilities ahead...and remember, your bloggy friends love you!

  5. Sending big, fat hugs your way. I hope your day gets better. ♥

  6. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" <-- that is what I'm always telling myself so when you said "swim sideways", it made me smile a little.

    I hate to ask such a personal question but my dr told me that I couldn't take antidepressants while ttc. It appears that you are so I'm wondering which one you are taking?

    Hang in there kiddo. I'm sending you huge hugs! ICLW!

  7. Depression and Infertility can not be an easy combination to handle. I was actually really surprised to read this because your posts always seem so optimistic and cheerful. You must do a really good job handling things. I hope this passes soon. Not much longer till you get follicle news, and everything will happen so fast from then. Good luck!

  8. ((Hugs)) I understand. I suffer from depression and take meds. I think the reason it can be difficult to manage is (for me anyway) I often don't recognize when I'm having a difficult time until after I've already slid down the slope. Some of the most cheerful people I know are actually depressed and on meds. I dream of the day when I just get the blues occasionally like a normal person. I wish you the best of luck in your struggle.

  9. Hang in there lady, you only have to swim sideways for a little while.... cheering for FairyEggs to respond like a champ :)

  10. Totally understand.

    I'm on them as well. I phased off for many months while trying to get pregnant. I did well for a while, but after 8 months decided to go back on.

  11. Oh jen, You are so amazing. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write that post, but you did it anyway. The pressure thats building up with this DE cycle must be immense.....Wish there was more I could do or say but I know you're a strong and fully awesome woman and just do the best you can to swim sideways outta this. xxx

  12. Thank you for this post. I hope that in the darker times those of us out here in the bloggy world are the water wings that help keep you afloat.

    Here for ICLW, but always a follower and appreciate all the support you share with me. Thinking about you.

  13. Jen, that is a huge burden to carry - infertility AND depression. You are right, both are "invisible" to the average person, and that makes it so hard, you know?

    I wish I could offer some words or advice or even assvice, but all I can do is offer my support.

  14. Girl, there is NOTHING you should feel guilty or be ashamed about...sooooo many people have to take antidepressants. Most of my friends are on them. I was even on them at one time thanks to nursing school. I'm better now, although I think infertility may lead me back to them in the near future.

    I hope that you find the calm that you need to make it through this. Keep your chin up:) I am here for you if you need to talk!

  15. Depression and Infertility....that is really a 'killer' combo. I hope that this pall lifts soon....the bell jar gets tilted soon.

    Partners/Spouses sometimes do not know how much a certain thing or statement can hurt...or how deep the arrow would go, and what is our absolute weak nerve.

    Many hugs to you. You need all your mental, physical and emotional reserve for this cycle, and I hope that it all gets okay soon.

    And AF? I better not be saying anything....