Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Silent Struggle

Ah, Wednesday. The week is half over and the weekend is almost here - wahoo!


I love work. I love getting up early, getting ready, going to work and sitting there all day, going home, playing with my baby and making her dinner and putting her to bed, then relaxing on the couch with Hubs and our furbabies. And five days of the week that is our routine. The other two days? They can be painful.

I try to stay busy on weekends. I try to leave town or make a list of errands to run to get out of the house. I need plans. What happens if I don't have a plan? Panic. Anxiety. Not because I'm Type A, but because PPD. Weekends, when nothing is happening and no one is around, are when small glimpses of maternity leave seem to creep their way back into our living room. And what happens when those memories come back to the surface? Panic. Anxiety. No, I don't burst into tears and have full blown breakdowns like before, but the anxiety stays and rises. I worry. Inside, I'm freaking out.

I spend my week brainstorming ways to leave the house on weekends. I wish I could be at work every day. Understand it's not because I don't want to be around P, because I do. I love hanging out with her and cuddling her and taking her places and watching how excited she gets when she sees something for the first time, and for that reason I cannot stand being home with her. When you're pregnant, it sounds relaxing. Baby gets older and starts to play independently while you sit on the couch and watch in awe, sipping a cup of coffee and flipping through a magazine. Maybe you imagined yourself watching a movie, or painting your nails or organizing your kitchen cupboards. Fat chance, and good luck. Once baby is here and playing independently your days (or atleast, mine) are spent chasing them around the house, putting tupperware back in cupboards, pulling them away from the dog dish, making snacks, putting down for naps, changing poopy diapers (seriously, how much can one small person poop in a day?), reading the same book 17 times, scolding them to get out of the garbage can, attempting to do the dishes only to wash one before said small person poops again.....the days can be busy. They are busy. But they can be painful and lonely. In between chasing a toddler around, there is down time, when you sit on the couch and watch them play with blocks (for about three minutes) when you don't know what to do. And those moments are frequent throughout the day. The moments come and go of being busy and moving and being productive and moments of being still and silent and panic filled.

Where does the panic come from? There is no harm in simply staying home and just not doing anything, you crazy lady. You're right. There isn't. But somehow, staying home with P and simply 'watching her' for 12 hours straight has the power to bring me to the brink of insanity. And don't think these moments are better because Hubs is there. He is. But the anxiety still happens. The anxiety does not stem from loneliness, but from the mere memories that tend to surface when I am stuck inside my home for an entire day.

There is a silent struggle. Not every day poses challenges, but each week does. I don't know if it will get easier. I don't know if it will get worse. But PPD took 9 long months to build and take over every minute of my life, and 'getting over' it I suspect is going to take many, many long months.

What I do know is that as long as I'm out, busy, experiencing, doing, everything is okay. And if the worst thing that happens is that I get a few more things on my to do list done, or experience a few extra things with my daughter, then I guess it's not so bad.