Friday, March 31, 2017

Why Post Partum Depression was a Blessing in Disguise.

Preface:  This took me 4 tries.  It's still not perfect.  It's a bit disjointed.  And there is much more to this than I can write without it getting TL:DR. It's almost TL:DR as is.... But stick with me.  All this nonsense happens for a reason.  And I need you to know, that you aren't alone. And that you can come out on the other side more certain of who you are too.


I ran away.  I ran away from a wonderful home, 3 gorgeous children, an incredibly supportive husband and extended family.   The children I ran from were 5 and under, the youngest being only 6 months old.  I ran away.

Post Partum Depression, it’ll do that.

Funny thing is, my brain got oddly rational while I had PPD.   You see, I’m a fibre artist, mainly a hand spinner. Yarn and fibre were my only means of escape, so during nap time and that precious hour between putting the big ones to bed for the night, and when the little one woke to eat, I would spin.  It was my escape.  But things became overwhelming. Post Partum Depression hit me like a freight train.  It was all I could do to remain normal and calm on the outside.  I know people saw me struggling to balance 2 rambunctious boys and a brand new baby who was in a lot of ways my most difficult infant. She refused to breastfeed, despite a month and half of trying and trying unsuccessfully.   She spit up always.  The boys just kept doing their monkey thing, climbing the counters, pulling out the Tupperware and pots and pans…  But I’m not sure they realized the depth of the struggle.  I was overwhelmed, and my hormones were super outta whack.  It did not help that I was not ready for this.  I had been preparing to get an IUD to prevent another preganacy for a short time.  Hormonal birth control didn’t jive with me, made me anxious, and all over the place emotionally.  So IUD it was going to be.  And then, despite precautions, I was pregnant again. I peed on a stick the day before the appointment. Double lines.  Damnit.  Now, please don’t take that the wrong way.  It wasn’t that another child was unwanted, it was just that another child was something I wanted to delay, so that I could enjoy the time with my little boys.  They are, after all, only little for so long. We are talking they were 3.5 and 1.25 ish when I got pregnant again.  This is probably where it started.  And a doctor probably should have picked it up at that first appointment, make a note that the momma wasn’t ready.  Flag for depression.  But it wasn’t flagged, I dealt with it all alone.  And sometimes, when you have to deal alone for so long, you just need to leave.
Breastfeeding was that one thing that teathered me to my boys. I was stuck (in a good way) as the only source of nutrients.  It made me needed.  When it didn’t work with my lovely little daughter, it was like a knife.  She didn’t’ need me. She needed someone to make her bottles, and anyone could do that. 

So, When I found a week long spinning retreat, I used it as a perfectly good excuse to run away.  Education!  A very legitimate reason to leave.  I actually had a day long argument with my husband that resulted in a lot of ugly crying on my part. It wasn’t a ploy, it wasn’t a tactic to get him to push over.  It was raw and real emotion.  He did end up agreeing.  And I foisted my 3 small children on my parents for a week.  There were 2 months between my registering, and my leaving, and I had plans. Secret plans.  How much money was in the bank? How far would that get me?  Can I live on that for a few weeks until I found some kind of job?  What is the best way to hide, and not be found? 
When the time came, I definitely took that course I’d planned to.  I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t about to waste a bunch of money.  I rented a townhouse room. When you do that at this retreat, you get random roommates.  My roommates were nice, kind and wonderful.  Interacting with humans that were self sufficient was a beautiful thing.  I could get used to this, I thought.  Their courses were just a few days, where mine was a whole week.  I ended up in that townhouse alone for 4 nights.  4 very quiet, very lonely nights.  Through conversing with one of my classmates, it turned out that she was also alone.  So on the last night I had her over for dinner.  We talked about our kids, we talked about life, and talked about everything and nothing, and she said I made great food.  As the sun set, she left for her townhouse, and I was left to sit alone in mine, marinating in the wonderful things I’d just said about my family.  And I began to truly miss them.  I came to my senses.  I couldn’t leave them. 
I think the universe sometimes does these things to you, to put you on the path you should be on.    I had ran away, only to be reminded of what I was worth.  That even my presence alone was enough.  And as much as they didn’t really “need” me, I really actually needed them.  So I went home.

The positive thing that came from this whole thing, aside from the knowing that I needed my family, is that I found a passion.  I spin yarn, and while that in itself is a little odd, and out of the ordinary, it’s a passion.   I know more about yarn and fibre than your average person should.   What started as a perfect excuse to run away turned into a livelihood.  And while the depression was scary and hard to take, and drove me from my loved ones, it was a blessing.  I still suffer from depression, but I can feel the lows coming sooner. I can do what I need to, to make it less awful, and am open with my husband about when it’s going to hit.   I don’t think I would have gotten here, if it weren’t for that episode of PPD.

If you are suffering with PPD, or any other mental illness related to your role as a mother, please check out this website:
I wish I’d have found this when I was living through this.  It seems like an excellent resource.

Much love, and much light.

P.S. Pictures of yarn!  What saved  me from self destruction ;)  All hand spun on a spinning wheel, a la Rumplestiltskin.

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