When I first went on anti-depressants, I figured "okay- about 6 months and I’ll be back to normal". Ha! I am still on them.
I thought this was all temporary. The depression was just post partum depression. It would go away as my hormones returned to normal and life would be good again.
Or would it?
I would go to the campus store and pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I would take my thermal dynamics book and notebook and go to the 7th floor of this building. The corners had large plate glass windows. I would occasionally wonder if I could run the length of the hallway and throw myself through the window. Then I would return to the problem set at hand. Once I did a calculation of force. In all reality, I would not die from such a fall, just be really really hurt. I continued to ponder and watch the lights of the island while I did my homework.
I’m not sure there ever was a Normal for me. Perhaps an insanity, but not a normal. If I was thinking this way during college, long before children, maybe this wasn’t PPD, but something else. I started to really look at this in gory detail. I reviewed many different symptoms and thoughts. The best fit seems to be clinical depression.
In my hometown, I was never the popular one. Oh, sure everyone KNEW of me, the geek, the astronomer. The girl most likely to find a planet. But I was not popular. I fell for a popular boy. When it was clear that he was not going to ever reciprocate, I withdrew my emotions from my being. It was easier to hide behind a smile than to deal with rejection. At the time, I thought is was normal grieving of a relationship. In retrospect, it was overreacting at the least and unhealthily obsessive. I had signs of depression then. This was in 6th grade.
There were other signs. Little ones that I can see in hindsight, but never in front of me. The hormones of pregnancy certainly increased my depression. That was clear from the 7th week of Luna’s pregnancy. When the depression kicked me hard and often. When I would look at Soleil and wonder how I was destroying her life. Oh, yes, every parent wonders that with their children, but this was worse. My thoughts were violent and graphic. I was trying to stay off the antidepressants during Luna’s pregnancy, but at 12 weeks, Jay found me sitting on the floor of the kitchen, absentmindedly running a butcher knife along my palm. He helped me get back to the medication. And back to help.
It’s always been here. That’s the truth. The rain has always been here. I am not sure why I never saw it before. It was raining when I was a child, It rained when I went through middle and high school. College was full of rain. But even in Seattle, people can be happy. Can I?
Luna messed with me from before she was born. I went into pre-term labor at 33 weeks. Ended up on terbutalene. Nasty stuff. But she made Soleil happy and me….