Back, but not where we started – Monday March 21st

Please note: This post is not a cry for help, or cause for concern for my general mental health. I am ok. I have many resources at my disposal. I’m just writing, not trying to freak anyone out.


I’m sorry to report that I’ve been stuck under a major depression for four or five days now. I don’t want anyone to worry- I know that it’ll pass. Tom G reminds me that this is probably cyclical and that it’s much much better than it has been in the past. But while I’m in it, I thought I should write about it. Maybe it’ll be useful to my readers to understand what this depression feels like.


This is not sadness, it’s not the blues, it’s not PMS. It doesn’t prevent me from experiencing laughter or having glimpses of my normal self. Depression, for me anyway, is very physical. It makes my bones hurt. It makes my insides feel black and cold, like all my organs have been replaced with sewer sludge. It makes my heart thud with an inexplicable dread, it makes my mind race in pointless circles.


The depression makes me feel caged, squeezed, backed into a corner. It makes me fold in upon myself and revel in my self-obsession. I know many of these descriptions sound cerebral, but they are not. My brain function during a bout of depression probably looks like a small insect, or an ameba- something that is actually just reacting to stimuli. It doesn’t stop me from hoping or loving, but it does make it harder. Sometimes I can get my head high enough above water to have good conversations and make people laugh.


In an effort to keep trying, I bought a book called Magnificent Mind At Any Age. I’m only a few pages in, but it’s really interesting. I have never thought about how I fuel or excercise my brain and how that reflects on my emotions. The cynic in me thinks this book is a little too…salesy. But since there’s almost no chance that i’ll go to the author’s clinic to have my brain scan done, it doesn’t bother me too much. I’m happy to have found something new to try.


I’ve been thinking more and more about Tommy Jr’s birthday. Well “thinking” isn’t the right word- it’s like the thought darts in and out of my mind. I can’t actually sit and consider what it’ll be like to approach and pass his first birthday. I remember now that the week I was in the hospital it thunderstormed like crazy. Our room had a huge window that the rain thrashed against. The noise competed with the beeps and chirps of the hospital machines. I think towards the end of the week the sun came out. When I went in the hospital it was winter, when I got out, it was spring. At least that’s how I remember it.


Tom G’s finals begin on Tommy’s birthday. We’re both worried but can’t seem to talk about it, probably because there’s not very much to say. Life won’t pause or slow down for us.


So that’s what’s new. Actually I guess nothing’s new. I’m still Poor Lucky Me.

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  1. Marilyn says:

    I could see where having Tom G’s finals and Tommy’s birthday coincide could be quite stressful for both of you. I have some ideas for you to consider, choices, really…
    There are two ways, as I see it anyway, to deal with the birthday:
    a) recognize it and do something to mark it
    b) make it a regular day

    In our support groups, we were always encouraged to do something, anything that we chose. Many of us chose to recognize our children in ways that marked the significance of their life impact on ours. Here are some ideas:
    * releasing butterflies (you can actually order them!), just you & dh or a group of intimate friends; this might be a special way to mark that season you remember as the end of winter (going into the hospital) and spring (when you got out). Releasing them could be a way of celebrating the beauty of Tom Jr’s short life…
    * releasing white & clear helium balloons with a few words/ceremony marking the release of a pure, clean spirit/soul who touched your life and always will
    * lighting candles at home beside memoirs of Tommy Jr. Having these candles at the table or wherever you can stop to look at them during the day.
    * buying a stuffed animal and setting it wherever you can see it during the day and hug it in lieu of hugging Tommy Jr when you need a moment.
    * buying yourself something nice or allowing yourself some pampering because, after all, you ARE a mom. One friend went in for a tatoo of a teddy bear over her heart with her baby’s name on it, as a physical token of his forever presence in her heart, even though she couldn’t reach out and hug him like she would if she could.

    Just ideas. take care of yourself. yes, the cycle does come around. You describe depression very eloquently. It’s not just a thought that needs to shift; it’s something that affects every fibre and level of energy in your body, to the bone. well said.

    hang in there, poor lucky you. You’re wonderful.

  2. Leslie Ann says:

    Hey P.L.M. HUGE HUGS!!!! You’re so right – just like those TV commercials try to show: Depression hurts! Hang in there and keep accepting all the resources at your disposal. I think Marilyn has a lot of great ideas. I have several stuffed animals that I bought after a mc, or a failed round of IUI. I say bitterly, jokingly they are my consolation prizes. Love, LA

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