so i just sat down to pump for the first time today in the quiet privacy room at work, and i opened my pump bag to find…yesterday’s milk–all 14 ounces of it–staring up at me. it had been sitting out since 6 o’clock last night. needless to say: it had gone bad. with bitter tears sitting on my eyelids, i dumped the whole bagful down the drain. what took a good cumulative hour to extract from my body disappeared in mere seconds.
my reaction to this unfortunate event was a moment of rage: rage for the fact that i am working and pumping, instead of being at home and breastfeeding my child; rage for how scattered i feel every moment of every day, which led to me forgetting to refrigerate the milk in the first place; rage for how i feel control over anything in my life further slipping from my grasp. rage turned to anxiety. anxiety became shallow breathing. and so i sat in the privacy room for twenty minutes, replenishing jude’s food supply and simultaneously talking myself down from the proverbial ledge.
i do this a lot anymore, the talking myself down thing. i walk through my day with a clenched jaw, and it takes very little to set off the rage. pets and clutter and finances are just a few culprits. i keep the raging to myself most of the time, choosing instead to mutter motherfucker under my breath, and try to move on. because i know better. i know that i am sweating the small stuff. but the rage and anxiety (and might i add my inability to fall asleep without my heart first racing for awhile) are clearly symptoms of something bigger: i’m not doing so well.
so there it is. after 15 months antidepressant-free, i am not doing so well. anxiety is a big part of my bipolar 2 diagnosis, along with depression. (thus far,) the depression has been kept in check by my responsibilities toward my partner and daughter. i confessed to my therapist recently that, if it weren’t for h & jude, i would have spiraled downward sooner. i would stay in bed a lot more often. instead, i suck it up, suck it in, and move forward. forward forward.
writing this post is exhausting. i am so numb with exertion. i am tired. tired of the wall between myself and my world. i poke holes, and life trickles in like sunlight through closed blinds, but it’s not enough. i miss the mindful me, the one fully capable of engaging. if i can convolute the metaphor of depression further, i feel like i am on a 5 second delay in conversation, in connection. even with my baby. and then i cry.
i cry over spilt milk.
i have prescriptions for prozac and klonopin burning a hole in my wallet, but, as i’ve also told my therapist, i haven’t been ready. i know that i can take the klonopin at night, before bed, after nursing jude. it takes 6 hours to leave my system. i can make it work with breastfeeding. and i know that prozac is the safest/longest studied antidepressant on the market for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
i should fill these prescriptions. i should.
pride held me back for awhile. after all, i flourished without drugs during my pregnancy. postpartum depression never really hit me after giving birth. i was medication-free and managing my bipolar like a champ! …until i wasn’t anymore.
h reminds me that i did not fail at anything. my chemistry is fucked up, end of story. and yet, my depression and anxiety feels a lot like failure.
failure is to continue down this path when i have tools to help me. failure is unnecessarily missing out on mindful connection with my fambly.
and so i present my new years resolution: i’m going back on meds. i want to greet 2009, in all its challenges and glories, as a more whole person.
and with that, i am leaving work early, and going to snuggle my girls.
thanks for hanging in with such a downer of a post.
note to self: don’t forget to refrigerate milk.