This week I was officially diagnosed with episodic major depression and severe anxiety. There were telling signs: Crying every other day, driving 20 minutes to the nearest Chik Fil A four nights a week because it calmed my nerves, avoiding any kind of real work that might require an attention span longer than a handful of minutes. At first I thought I was experiencing a physical condition relating to my pregnancy so I saw my OBGYN, but I found no solace there.
This is just pregnancy, there isn’t much I can do for youBut I can’t even drive 10 minutes without feeling like I’ll end up in an accident because I can’t keep my eyes open!
I walked away from that appointment furious and spent. I was looking for much needed rest and, while I understand that pregnancy in and of itself isn’t a disability, I felt disabled. Broken and finished, it seemed my only escape was to quit my job and help my husband find some part-time work while he completed his phlebotomy training. All of the burdens I had been (mostly) skillfully carrying were getting tossed left and right, and the bulk of the financial responsibilities were now going on my spouse’s shoulders even though it would likely put us back on welfare for a season.
When someone close to me brought up depression the light went off and I scheduled another appointment, but my hopes were small. This time, however, I sat in front of someone who understood and validated my feelings and it was the most liberating feeling in the world. Yes, she could help me qualify for disability benefits. She also wanted to see me weekly to work through my feelings. My boss’ reaction was equally surprising and relieving: Tillamook cheese and yogurt coupons were thrust at me along with multiple assurances that whatever I needed, they would do what they could to help me.
I had my freedom.
So now I spend most of my time recovering from small mishaps that I use to shake off with ease. Where once I thought it was only my job plus pregnancy that had me overwhelmed, I can now clearly see that my chemistry is just “off”. A change in my schedule has me sulking for hours. A disagreement with my husband has me bawling and yelling with arms waving. There is more to this too that has to do with achieving balance and my penchant for taking on more of the world than is mine to conquer but… We will get to that later. For now, I felt like being transparent about where I was and what I am doing about it.