Saturday, July 24, 2010

Confessions of a stay-at-home something

The truth is I've been battling post-natal depression. I have been depressed before, but didn't recognize it this time. I am ashamed to admit I spend my days counting down the minutes until Chad comes home so I can tell someone who cares that I am tired and want to go to bed. I cry nearly every day, and spend lots of delicious time feeling sorry for myself (while fully acknowledging that I have it pretty damn good). I have no room for anyone else, even my children, and feel unable to cope (although it has been pointed out to me that I am coping). Fortunately, some days are better than others, some days I can shower and smile and care. But others I am barely able to get through without screaming and crying. I am disconnected from my emotions, and feel that I am being demanded to perform far beyond my abilities. I should be able to feed the kids, get a bit of laundry done, dress myself and them, and make it down the street to the park. Yet, some days, that is an unimaginable task.

I feel keenly that my children should see me as a functional adult, I want to be molding and shepherding them, that is the entire reason that I stay home with them. But I am aware that the person that they see now is someone who is hanging on by a fingernail. I want to change something but feel incapacitated to do anything. I know I should be loving and caring for people around me, my neighbours, my friends, my church-mates, but I can't seem to carry anyone else. I feel crushed beneath the weight of the constant demands of the people I've made.

So, I suppose, I am writing this as a justification for my failures. I don't want to be doing any ministry. I just want to survive. I don't want to line any more jobs up for myself, I just want to make it through today. And hopefully, the cloud will lift, and I will be able to do more than just survive. Hopefully, someday soon, I will be a person I can be proud of. But it's not today.


Jen said...

Oh Erika..firstly massive cyber ((((hugs)))) . I have been where you are and it's not fun :( . Somedays I wonder if I am still there even now. My very first step was admitting that there was something wrong and then I saught help, whether that was therapy or medication.

I used to feel as you do, that I should be able to achieve more with my day. But a therapy group I was a part of taught me that 'should' isn't a word that is in my vocabulary..for all it does is breed negativity and highlight all that I hadn't achieved. Looking back at the time when my two that are close together were very little I now realise that I was far too harsh on myself. Who cares if the washing doesn't get done will be done eventually and having a day doing nothing other than feeding the kids is not a is just a day.

I hope on the clear days you can be kind to yourself Erika, you are doing the hardest job in the world and I think that you are doing pretty ok at it :). Lean on your friends, even when you don't feel like seeing them, if you can push through and see them. The social interaction will help, and your kids will be distracted and give you a breather for a little while.

I worry about you my friend via proxy ;) and I am sending you massive cyber (((((((HUGS))))))). xoxo

Erin said...

Erika, I know where you are and what you feel and I am with you in that. I know the cloud will be lifted soon. If you ever want to come and spend another day on a weekend, exploring cafes and baking and knitting and stuff, just let me know. Love, hugs and prayer. xo Erin

JoyLee Loftis said...

it really really helps to read this. thanks for being so real. James and I have talked about it...we really really wanna help. You and Chad carried us so many times when we were going through the darkest places and it was hard to acknowledge we needed it as badly as we did. Looking back I can see there were times we just COULDN'T pick ourselves up...someone had to do it for us. Anyway we should talk really soon about what we can do to help you get through this. Love you so much sister.