Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PPD Chronicles: Chapter 4-The Long Road Home

I am reading the book, This Is Not What I Expected by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Raskin. It's the handbook for our PPD support group and is handed out/shared/purchased regularly.

I am unemployed. I am looking to move my children, my husband and a cranky dachsund to another state. I am going to be joining a church for the first time in nearly 8 years. I just emerged from two weeks of illness for my children and I. I haven't really cleaned my apartment in too many weeks to count. My mother doesn't speak to me unless I call her first. My father is going through a messy divorce. The t.v. networks and movie studios have yet to recognize how brilliant an actor is my brother. The baby stopped sleeping through the night because he would rather smash his ankle into the bars of his new crib. My four year old has decided he is smarter than me and doesn't hesitate to let me know. And yet, I am okay.

Is it the talk therapy? My CSW is so patient. I have missed/rescheduled more than I have attended. Last time I talked the entire appointment.

Is it the medication? I am on the lowest recommended dose.

Is it the exercise? I have missed two weeks because of viruses, ear infections, strep throat and a rescheduled trip to celebrate Mother's Day with my Mother In Law.

Or is it, I'll whisper so I don't wake the Gorilla sleeping in the corner, that I am okay. Perhaps I am further on the road to recovery than I realize. Maybe, just maybe I am walking away from the PPD Gorilla once and for all.

Oh, come on. Be serious. Have you seen my apartment? The dust bunnies are banding together with the discarded sippy cups under the couch and are planning a coup. The 'talk therapy'? How long can I continue to poke at old wounds? They'll only heal if you leave them alone, right? And please, let's not even get started on the whole working thing. I got fired. Face it. So now I am right back at the beginning of the Mommy Guilt, shouldn't I be staying home and caring for the children?

And yet, I am okay. I'm still tired, though my bones don't turn to water so often in caring for the children. More days than not I manage earrings (my own personal 'word up' to freedom) AND a shower. I talk to friends and share the reality of my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Heck, I even have a Margerita-Mommy-Movie night scheduled.

Maybe, just maybe, I am a few blocks down the long road to recovery.

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