Updated: Feb 9
I was realizing this morning that my blog posts aren't necessarily the most upbeat posts. However, you can run along to Instagram or Facebook for all of the happy things because snapping a picture of a screaming child isn't generally on my mind!
I'm an introvert who doesn't generally open up to everyone; not even all of my family. When I'm writing on my blog though, that's when you'll get the honest, real, this is me and what I'm really going through right now updates. Because writing it out is easier than speaking to everyone I know.
When someone asks "How are you doing?", they almost always expect to hear the generic "Fine" or "Alright" answer. Do people push past that answer though? Not usually. Why do negative answers make others feel uncomfortable? I'd wager that there isn't a single person on this earth who is happy 100% of the time. When you ask someone "how are you?", are you asking just to make small chat that you don't really care about or are you genuinely wanting to know how that person is doing?
As a mil-spouse, we're painted as these super strong, indestructible beings. We are capable of keeping two separate lives going and are expected to do it rather seamlessly. We have a spouse is home life and a spouse is gone life. When your spouse is home, you live life normally, sharing responsibilities. When your spouse is gone, you live life normally, but all of the responsibilities fall on you. Deployments, underways and geo-baching are all times when you need to seriously keep your $h*t together; even more so when you have kids.
As someone who deals with both anxiety and depression, I try to be even more vigilant on how I'm feeling and handling every day situations. I started taking an anti-depressant again after I got pregnant with Jonathan as a precaution and then I've continued taking it since I get pretty severe postpartum depression as well. My OB gave me six months worth of refills and said I'd have to go to my PCM for more after that. Well, with a deployed husband and a global pandemic, I can't exactly just bring my kids along to an appointment with me since most doctors offices are only allowing the patient in. So I decided to taper myself off of my medication as I came up to running out (you can't just stop cold turkey on these kinds of meds). Well, I don't know when it started getting bad since I couldn't tell right away but one day I realized that I kept losing my temper with both of my kids and the dogs, couldn't make myself clean or even cook food for us, lots of cussing (yes I'm already bad about this one but it got really bad), was crying multiple times every day and no longer wanted to be here (alive). Yeah, it was bad. I then got mad at myself for not being able to come off of the meds when I wanted to as well..
Most people would probably say something along the lines of "but you have a husband!". Yeah, well when you're lost in the darkness, you aren't exactly thinking too highly of yourself so there's a very clear thought of "Yeah, well he'd easily find a new wife. Someone better."
When you have children though, particularly young children and the other parent is deployed, you're all they have. They need you. So you suck it up and stomp down all of those dark thoughts for them. Because they bring you joy.
Did I cry more as I was finally realizing how mad I had been getting at them for acting exactly as one might expect a baby and a toddler to behave? Absolutely. Did I feel like a terrible mom for not holding it together perfectly? Uh, yep. Did I call my PCM on a weekend and ask for a refill from the doctor on call? Most defiantly (they refilled it immediately).
I was back and forth on posting this because I was (still am to be honest) worried that someone is going to read this wrong and call CPS on me (I do live in psyco California again where everyone is clearly a better parent than the actual parent...). I decided to post it though because this is still a subject that isn't talked about as much. I'm feeling much better as my medicine kicks back in and helps me think properly and shows me there's still light.
When I've had a hard time in the past, I could always walk away from whatever was going on since I didn't have kids. Before Matt left, I could walk away for a bit of quiet alone time to get my bearings while he watched Josh. Now I have to wait till I'm going to bed myself since that's when the boys are finally asleep at the same time and by then, I'm so exhausted that I just fall asleep before getting to actually decompress.
I get these blog posts done by writing small amounts throughout the day or even multiple days because on the off-chance that both boys will actually nap at the same time, I can't spend their entire nap time doing this when there's constant cleaning to be done (the other reason I don't get down time).
And for the love of everything, if you know someone who is depressed, do not ever tell them "Just be happy", "Think/be positive", "Smile", "Snap out of it" or my personal favorite: "It's not real. It's just in your head.". Absolutely none of these comments will help.