Yesterday I managed to get out of the house and together with some other moms and their children. I was able to laugh some. I was shaky and had to be driven; it wasn’t safe for me to drive, but it was a nice couple of hours.
When I got home I was terribly tired and took a nap and when I woke I had several blips of hope for the future. I liked the happy hope but it also scared me. It meant getting out and being vulnerable. It meant taking risks.
Today I woke without any of the happy hopefulness. Just a heavy blanket that makes it hard to move and terrifying to leave my bedroom. I see my counselor again tomorrow. I know I am better than when I saw her last week but I am not all better yet. Meanwhile life goes on for everyone else and I have other responsibilities stacking up. It’s all overwhelming and panic-inducing.
I am very touched that people I know, even some people who know of me but whom I’ve never met, have been providing meals this past week because of the efforts of one of my close friends who sent out email asking for volunteers. I keep reminding myself every day, every few hours if I need to, that people do care and they want me back to my normal self.
I also took the risk of telling a handful of moms yesterday about my diagnosis and my current depression. Not only were they not bothered by it, but one of them was looking for help for a friend who is bipolar (more mania than depression) and pregnant and untreated.
I talked to her about my experiences and recommended that her friend get a team together, her midwife, an OB or psychiatrist or other MD who is familiar with bipolar I, her partner, and write down a plan for what they’ll do if she needs treatment before the baby is born, and also what they’ll do if she needs treatment after the baby is born, and someone to check in on her periodically in case she is particularly predisposed to postpartum depression. I also gave her some other local resources for moms and for information on bipolar.
The mom who was looking for help for her friend said something about it being serendipity that I came that day. Maybe so.