Friday, October 18, 2013

Weaning Hormones

I lucked out during pregnancy, I didn't get much if any super crazy mood swings. Just cravings for things like halva and pizza. I'm pretty sure at least 50% of Jude is made of pizza. Postpartum I got pretty lucky too. I experienced postpartum blues aplenty but managed to avoid full blown postpartum depression. Weaning has been a whole different animal for me though.

When Jude first started skipping his short throughout the day nursing snacks I was fine. After several days of it I started feeling kind of blue, like I had right after he was born and my hormones were out of control. Once he started skipping a whole session a day I started feeling really sad. Like, beloved pet recently died levels of sad. Now he skips two sessions a day (only truly nurses when he first wakes in the morning) and I can say on a scale of one-to-needs-antidepressants, I'm definitely the latter. At least until the hormones have stabilized.

Only I'm still nursing, so I can't take antidepressants. So I just exist in this dark lonely void where everything is bad even when it's good. If anything bad actually happens my mood becomes completely uncontrollable and I just break down into an emotional mess of snot and tears. Which is a very surreal experience for me. There's nothing like feeling the world is against you, or being in a room full of people who you know love you yet feeling totally alone anyway. To say "it sucks," would be a monumental understatement.

I can't watch or look at most anything without associating something tragic with it. Glass of water, people dying in third world countries because they don't have access to it; computer, how limited this planet's resources are; food, how many children go to bed hungry every night; pets, how many die in shelters every year; and so on and so forth. It's baaaaalls. You name something and I can tell you why it's depressing as hell. Go on, anything.

This isn't a cry for help or something. I'm not in danger of harming myself or anyone else, I have enough sense and self control to realize all of this is temporary and will pass. I have however found myself questioning my existence and existence in general on more than one occasion. Not in a "we should all just self-terminate and get it over with already" sort of way but in a "what is the point?" kind of way.

Why write this at all? Because I think it would be incredibly dishonest not to. Too many people sugar coat their life on the internet to make it seem like only good things ever happen. People reading or watching get the wrong idea and when their life is far harder than that of apparently everyone around them they feel isolated and worse. No, man. Life is crappy sometimes, for everyone. You aren't alone. This is why I write about how great motherhood is yet also write about all the sleeplessness and hardships: it's the same coin. You can't have one without the other and if you do, you're probably delusional.

Life is all about ups and downs. If it were just a straight line with no challenges or hurdles to overcome, imagine how unfulfilling that would be. Every experience shapes you and those around you, good or bad. If you took away all of the bad experiences imagine how different you'd truly be -- and most likely not for the better. If you need support or reassurance, seek it. It may not seem like it, but I'm willing to bet more people in your life than you realize have been through the same struggle, whether it be depression, insomnia, overeating, under-eating, whatever. Someone has been there! Just knowing that helps.

I do have brief interludes of joy, like when Jude looks at me, Neelix lays on me, a dragonfly flies especially close to me when I'm outside, or Aaron and I are having dinner. So at least there's that.

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