January 30, 2011

A case of the blues ...

O.k. so I'm alive ... I know that since the baby was born I have been horrible at blogging ... but I just can't seemed to get motivated ... like I don't have anything relevent to say. Actually, between me and you, its a little more than that.

For the past few months I've been trying to bring up the posibility of post partum depression to George but for the most part he says "Lindsey are strong", its just stress" or "you just need sleep". But I think its a little more than that.

I've always dealt with what I call "social claustrophobia", I hate the feeling of being crowded. Now granted, that could be because I grew up with 11 siblings, often packed into a station wagon or van, or the fact that my height of 5 ft. has most 6th graders looking down at me. But now its getting harder to control. I sometimes get aggitated when George will come up behind me to give me a hug and I'm up against a counter or wall (the small laundry room is the worse!). I get anxious when people stand too close to me in line or when we are talking (which here in Miami is VERY frequent because culturally here they are very indifferent about personal space.) Small spaces, such as elevators, bathroom stalls, or other such place with limited space ... unless there are other people around me ... which has NEVER happened in a bathroom stall! :)

I'm also irritated by small things and it just escelates ... like last night two bottle brushes broke while I was trying to wash bottles and I just threw everything away and (quite dramatically) declared Jamie was no longer going to use bottles ... yeah, that's the easy solution! BTW, I have yet to find a decent bottle brush and we've been through nearly 10!

Now, before you start to worry, I usually don't feel ike this when the baby is around and maybe its because he keeps me occupied. You know what they say about idle hands and all ... Usually its during naptime or after he goes to bed and I address all the things that I need to do that I start to get stressed, I mean, the housecleaning elves are NOT holding up their end of the bargain and as much as I'd like to say, the cleaning can wait, my OCD about cleaning is a big stress factor.

I think my biggest issue is the lack of control and activity that is "mine." Basically in my mind I have 3 jobs, maintain the house, care for the baby, make sure hubby is happy ... etc. attend unit functions, make dinner, participate in various family activities, among other things. Nothing that is all about me ... and as a self-proclaimed princess I need "all about me" sometimes.

I miss my job ... I miss having a "purpose" or feeling like a valuable (or in the case of the previous job) invaluable part of team. All I can think is "Great, I busted my @$$ to get a masters degree so I can change diapers and clean floors!"

Now, I have been searching for a job ... for about 6 months now, but I am coming to realize that despite a great education and an awesome marketing and PR portfolio, the fact that the past 7 years has been military work apparently scares employers the civilain ... err, private sector.

I really hope that I can get a job soon and that I can restore my sense of purpose and value, because my sanity is not worth a penny at this point. We have some really big news that we'll be able to share soon (no, not another baby!) and maybe that will help you understand my stress and sanity issues. So fingers crossed that life with resume as "normal" soon ... until then, I'm going to bury my head in a good book!

Until our next cup of tea ...

5 Tea Party Guest:

Elissa said...

Hang in there D. I know you will find the perfect job soon. try to have faith, everything happens how it's supposed to right? It's not always easy to see at the time though.

Megan said...

Post-partum depression is very real, and has nothing to do with strength. It is has to do with the way your hormones work and the chemicals they produce. It is very real and if you think you have it you should really talk with your doctor about it.

I have a real problem with "social claustrophobia" too (excellent name, btw). And I also noticed that it got worse with kids... and the more kids I had (you know I have a bunch of them) the worse it has gotten. They really want to touch me all the time. I don't like being touched that much, but I do need to give out a ton of physical affection to each one of them. I love touching my husband, but I don't like hijack touchings (in the laundry room or kitchen). For the most part, I like to initiate hugs or I feel like I'm being strangled.

I'm not claiming to be normal, so I can't say that what you're experiencing is normal. But at least you're not the only one. :)

I have not had a job in several years and totally relate to that as well. This time goes by quickly, though, and I will be back in the workforce when I'm able. In the meantime, I volunteer a lot in order to feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself. There are tons of opportunities and it really does improve my mental health to do something outside of the house. Some other things I've started doing lately that are "mine:" I bought a ukulele and I'm learning to play (holy cow, whimsy!), going to the gym, crafting and artwork. Your other jobs will suffer greatly if you don't find some things that are just yours. It's not selfish--it's necessary.

Looking forward to hearing the big news. :)

Lisa said...

I'm excited to hear your news! I'm sorry you're struggling. Having dealt with some post-partum depression myself I can sympathize with the feelings of worry and "purposelessness." Please don't tell yourself there's something wrong with you and you just need to get over it. It is a real struggle! I hope you can find some support and some "all about me" time for yourself because you NEED it! Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Sue said...

Dear Princess, (and I start with that because you DO need to feel like a princess at need to know that, yes, it IS all about you sometimes.
Post partum depression is very real- even though I am what they call a Senior citizen, it's been around for a long long time. The other comments have some really good suggestions - talk to a doctor, get some ideas on what you can do to not feel purposeless. You are NOT weak - this is not a strength thing. When you consider all your life changes recently - just in the past year or two - you have every reason to wonder when things are going to change for YOU!
My prayers for you will be very specific - that you will find something out there that is exactly your niche. That your news will bring good things to you and George and Jamie and puppy...and that every single day you can find something that is all about you.
Blessings and hugs and prayers,

stitchin' girl said...

I can totally relate to what you are feeling and I agree with Megan whole heartedly. It is tough to be giving yourself to others (and in the case of kids - demanding others :o) all the time.

If I were to give advice, I would suggest talking with your dr. He/She can be a big help to you.

Some things that have worked for me are just getting out into the fresh air EVERY day. It has something to do with the sun - I only know I would feel much worse if I stayed inside, which I did quite a bit. I also started knitting and stitching which seemed to calm me internally.

I wish you all the best! Remember, this too shall pass and things will be looking up soon.