Friday, October 5, 2007

Tank Tops and Tattoos

So I've been struggling with a topic to blog about. I didn't want to be too serious because I've been serious a lot lately. And the kids haven't done anything overly "funny" as of late, although Nicholas has insisted on wearing his Halloween costume all over the house- only after I had to put it on and convince him that he really wanted to dress up in it ON HALLOWEEN. I have since hidden said costume, hopefully his smart little brain won't realize that it's in the hall closet! We've been pretty busy and crazed, which is good, but we do need to find a little downtime and hopefully this weekend will afford us that! We'll see...

OH, so blogging...coming up with a topic for today was tough for me. I'm working off of 3 hours of sleep last night and a total of maybe 8 or 10 over the past three nights. I've just been working and painting and doing school work until the wee hours and not getting enough of anything! My brain is on shutdown mode and I'm hoping I can keep it out of there until this evening- or at least until I leave work for the day. I decided that I would blog about therapy and try to keep it as light as possible but it won't be, I know that, and you'll just have to deal or not read. Whichever is more appealing for you!

My daughter was born on March 20th and 5 weeks later I was diagnosed with post partum depression. I knew I had it long before my doctor ever diagnosed me. It was HARD with two kids. It was HARD coming off of the pregnancy I had had. It was HARD giving birth to a preemie and wondering if she was going to be ok. The whole experience was really HARD- it still is. Lately, I've been feeling it more than I had been. Like anyone else who has experienced this disease, I have my ups and my downs and sometimes either of those can last for a long time or a short time- it's unpredictable. My doctor prescribed an anti-depressant and one of the lucky side effects was weight loss. I was PSYCHED! Weight loss AND depression relief...why hadn't I signed up for this earlier?!?!? The medication did nothing for me. Actually, it made me nervous to even take it because I was afraid of the side effects. I weaned myself off of it and in the meantime started seeing a therapist- Pepper. We'll call her Pepper because, well, it's her name! :)

So, Pepper has this BRIGHT RED/ORANGE hair and her practice is out of her home and it's quaint and it's comfortable and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was exactly what I wanted my practice to be like- well not exactly, mine will be a little bit more modern, but it was pretty close. I wish that there was a reference point to really accentuate what her hair was like. At first, she reminded me of what our images of witches are as children. That shock of red hair and a very angular face and kind of bony features all topped off with black cloaks and a pointy hat. She never wore a pointy hat, but she did like flowy clothing. From the moment I made the appointment to start seeing her I felt better. Kind of.

I was nervous about therapy. Me, the therapy student, was nervous about therapy. Was she going to find something from my childhood, as I laid on her couch, that pre disposed me to ppd? Was she going to suggest I go back on the meds or even worse put me on meds that made me fatter and made me lose libido? Or was she finally going to help me get the relief I needed? Was she going to help me see that my son was not suffering because we had had another child and I was exhausted and taking a little extra time to recover? Was she going to help me find a way to get off the couch and actually do something and not feel like the world was crashing down around me? Was she going to heal me? Nope. She was going to help me talk my way into healing myself. She was going to show me how to look at things with a different light that helped me understand that the person I am as a result of my illness and my pregnancy and my birth experience is an amazingly strong person who is allowed to falter. She did not allow me to give up, ever. But you know what? Neither did my mom or my dad or my husband. They were there in the same ways but I needed someone external from everything else to listen to everything and hear with an unbiased ear.

Pepper helped me a lot, or rather she helped me to help myself- the best thing a therapist can hope to do! How did she do it? She never changed who she was. Each week, I could count on Pepper to have her red hair and her tank tops and her tatts on her chest showing. That stability and reality really made me feel better- along with all the therapy, too! Am I cured? No. Am I scared that if and/or when we have another child- years down the road- I'll slip back into the ppd as bad as before? Absolutely. Do I see Pepper anymore? No, my insurance won't cover it any longer. I'm not happy about that. But she taught me how to help myself and I know now that if I need to I can turn to a therapist that can help me learn newer ways to help myself when the old ways stop working. And she did it all with her tank tops and her chest tattoos! Who knew a therapist could be like that?! I hope I'm that good someday!


Sleeping Beauty said...

I have 3 young children all under the age of four. My youngest just turned 8 months. I went through more of an anxiety/panic attack/anger thing with mine that just does not seem to go away, lol. My doc just says my hands are full, lol. Car keys, CHECK! Purse, CHECK! Kids, #1, #2, oops, where is the baby?? LOL, just kidding, but it sure feels like it that some times. I am glad the therapy worked for you! Stress and the baby blues gets to us all.

Stella said...

Sleeping Beauty, thanks for the comment!!
3 kids under 4! I admire your strength!! I have been exactly where you have been...keys, check! Cell, check! Baby in the carrier, check! Got it all...wait, why is the tv still on? OH CRAP! The 2 year old, that's right! DOH!

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