I have always thought that a lot of my mental problems occurred recently. As in, within the past 8ish years – since having kids. I thought my depression was PPD (post partum depression in case you are newer to the term) that continued. I thought my anxiety was triggered with my grandfather’s suicide.
I was wrong.
The last few nights I have been cleaning out our storage to prepare for a garage sale. I have come across notebooks, journals, calendars – tons of “documentation”.
Documentation you may ask?
Let me explain.
I always had some type of journal. I’m not sure when it started. I don’t know how many there are (several) scattered throughout my belongings. Additionally, I always documented my days’ events. Again, I’m not sure when it started or how many there are. What I do know is that I wrote in my journal a lot; I wrote poetry and letters a lot; and I would document my days’ events in a calendar.
By days’ events I mean, who I saw, where I went, what I did. I could tell you when I started dating someone and when I broke up with someone. I could tell you what day I went to the doctor, what day I went to Perkins, who I was with. Every little detail of a day that I thought might be important to remember later on, is documented.
I was that detailed.
That stopped shortly before or shortly after having Buggy.
Well, the calendar documentation did. The journaling become more sporadic and the letters basically stopped.
I sit here and think about it now and realize:
(A) How obsessive I was with having documentation to remember every little date. And the sad part is that if I could, I would do it again.
Hubby actually made a comment the other night about how proud he was of me that I no longer did that. And I had to confess. There are many, many times I wish I could document every detail of every day.
Today would mark that the kids started 2nd grade and kindergarten. That I took the day off and stayed home sick. I would document that I attended a Mommy Mindset Twitter party.
Yesterday would indicate that I went to work, that I was sick, that I attended teacher orientation/meet the teacher for both kids, and then went to dinner at Barro’s Pizza with my girlfriend and her two boys.
No joke. I could tell you details of the day. And I would do it again if I didn’t realize how obsessive it was and is. It’s irrational. (I can say that to myself, but mentally to me it is not irrational – I can rationalize it every way possible, but I know myself enough to know that it is not rational no matter how much I try to make it so!)
(B) My depression is not something that has lingered since my PPD. It is something I had well before kids came into the picture and I guess I never realized it before.
(C) My anxiety is another something that has been present for as long as I can remember and that is not a joke.
I remember growing up, every night before bed; I would say the same thing every night – “Good night. I love you. I will see you tomorrow.” Every night. Same routine. I was afraid that I would lose one of my parents and not have the chance to say good bye and that I love them. I thought if I said good night and I loved them and would see them tomorrow, it would happen (luckily it did until the divorce.)
Growing up I was always worried or anxious about something, usually loss, which makes sense because even at my age of 30, I have lost more people than I can count on two hands (I think last count was close to 19 people).
I never realized these were issues I have had and have lived with all this time. With my educational background and taking a good look at myself in the past, I have clearly had issues for some time that have never been dealt with, but I feel fortunate enough to know that I am not alone and additionally, I can do something about it.
I will be visiting a psychiatrist and hopefully getting a full mental health examination to uncover what is really the diagnosis and getting it taking care of. I will also be seeking out a therapist. I know and can see what I need to do for not only my well being, but of the health, sanity and well being of my family, of my kids and of my husband.
Disclosure: This was written August 7th 2013. Since that time, I have contacted my insurance to get a referral for a psychiatrist. I have been provided a list of providers and am currently working my way through the list to contact one that doesn’t have a two month waiting list. I promise to update as soon as I have and how the process is going!