Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The glass is really half-full - Acknowleding PPD

**This has taken me weeks to write this all out, and a lot of courage to get my word out**

"A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them" – Leonard Louis Levinson

For those of you who have known me most of my life you usually think of me as a pretty optimistic person. I'm usually the one filled with laughter, jokes, and just a pretty fun girl to be around. I would always see the glass half-full. However, this all changed about 539 days ago....

January 20, 2009 brought an entire different chapter into my book of "Life". I was preparing to move to Ohio with my 19 month-old to meet my husband at his new duty station. Jesse was still in Korea at the time, so with the help of my parents I packed up our life and headed out east. I was really excited at the time and looking forward to creating a new home in Ohio. Jesse had heard a lot of great things about his new base, hence the reason he put it at the top of his dream sheet. I was really pushing for him to either stay at Offutt (why change something that's going good?) or PCS to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. However, I realized how much the job meant to him, and supported his decision to come here.

Moving away from home in the dead of winter is never a good idea, especially to a place where the winters contain 10% sunshine. This was my first time ever away from family, and thus was definitely an adjustment. The first two months there were exciting and new, especially because we welcomed Jesse home after a year long PCS to South Korea. It was great having him home to discover new things with. However, after the initial high of being there, I started to realize this was not "home" and began looking at the glass half-emptied. I had no friends, and no playmates for W. The walls started caving in on me, and I started feeling extremely overwhelmed. I was definitely looking forward to May (2009), because we would be getting to see a lot of family due to a college graduation, wedding, an a high school graduation.

July came around and we found out we were expecting our second baby. I was just over-the-moon excited, especially when we were trying for six cycles. That month brought a lot of ups and one major down, with the biggest up being baby #2, and the down was having Jess in the hospital for four days. After finding out we were expecting, I started become close to my neighbor who was also expecting a March baby. I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for to get out of the house and meet people. Through my neighbor, I was able to meet other military wives and mothers. I was having the time of my life, attending playgroups, MOPS (found out through another friend who is also from Nebraska), and GNOs. As my pregnancy was progressing, I started having these overwhelming feelings, and my negative emotions started to take over. I was realizing my mom and sister were not here to experience my pregnancy with me and would be missing out not only the birth, but the shopping and belly rubs. The holidays came and went without being able to spend them with either sides parents. See, I'm a very family-oriented person, and at the time I didn't feel spending it with my "military family" was good enough. I tried to put on a happy face, etc, but honestly I felt a lot people could read through my fake happiness.

February was another exciting month. Not only did I get to help celebrate my neighbor's baby shower, but she also co-hosted a sprinkle for me. I was so grateful for that, as I knew I was appreciated and people really cared for me. I knew after February came March. March not only brought the birth of our second born, but family being able to come out and visit. Shortly after I gave birth to P-man, I started suffering from what I thought was just a simple case of the baby blues (had them for three weeks with William). I was always teary-eyed, and couldn't stand to webcam with my sissy back home in Nebraska, because I so wished I was there with her and the rest of my family. I felt as if I was missing out on so much. As April and May came around, my negativity was in full force. I started feeling all the friendships I had developed in Ohio were slowly fading away. I was feeling like a terrible mother. With that, I didn't want to struggle with two kiddos in public by myself, and my three-year-old wasn't getting the much needed attention from mommy (P is a nursing addict). My marriage was starting to feel the effects as well. I had no one (again this is what I thought, my husband was very much supportive and understanding through this all). I was stuck in this place where I didn't want to be, I had no energy, was extremely fatigued, and started to dislike the person I was becoming. It was so easy to put up this facade to everyone outside of the four walls that I called home. I was/am a victim of postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression has been a huge struggle for me, especially dealing with it in a surrounding where at times you feel uncomfortable. I always told myself I would never let my emotions get the best of me, wow was that a lie! I'm currently on the path of recovering without the use of medications, but from the support of my family. I'm hoping to make a lot of changes, but one step at a time. The only one true thing that is important to me is my family. I really need focus all my energy on the three people who matter the most...Jesse, W, and P-man. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. The glass really is HALF-FULL.

1 comment:

  1. I know this must have taken alot of courage to write.....and to face the feelings. Believe me, you are not alone!