Monday, July 7, 2008

:: :: both hands :: ::

In this hand, I hold a diagnosis. No surprise, I suppose. Postpartum Depression.

In this one, a prescription. Paxil.

Somehow, hands full, I feel worse. I know I should feel relief. Knowing. Half the battle, all that rot. But when I left the doctor’s office today, I cried the hardest I’ve cried yet. The whole way there I practiced saying I didn’t want to go on medication, at least not without seeing a shrink, talking about my options. But when my doctor recommended it I knew he was right. In my bones I feel it: there’s something off balance inside. Yet I’m still scared to take my first pill tonight.

This sucks. Why did this happen? Why does it have to be something inside? Something persistent and tenacious. Something holding tight to my cells? Why couldn’t it be something else?

My mom’s here now. This morning in the kitchen while I cried into Brian’s shoulder I said, “I want my mom,” and sure enough, he called her and she came. 400 miles, just picked up and came. I’m pretty lucky even though right now all I feel is cellularly cursed.

I know lots of people suffer from depression. Many of my own friends have had diagnoses and prescriptions. Full hands. But I still can’t help but feel like it’s this horrible, terrible thing that you don’t recover from. It feels like something unruly inside that hates me. That will always hate me.

Yes, Evan, I know where the wild things are, with their terrible teeth and their terrible claws.

At Target, waiting for my prescription, I wandered the aisles and cried. Cried about picking up my antidepressants. Figured it was only fitting, walking through the aisles crying while waiting for my Paxil. I bet all the Paxil-waiters wander and cry.

I also bought presents for Evan. I wanted to get him a card and to inscribe it with the following:

I’m sorry, Evan. I want you to know that this isn’t about you. It’s about me and all the stuff inside me. I didn’t want this to happen, and I tried so hard to keep it at bay. I am so sorry. I’m sorry that I am not the way I want to be for you. But I’ll get better, I promise.

But I didn’t get a card. He’s just one. By the time he’s old enough to understand he won’t need to know, at least not like that. Maybe I should have gotten a card for myself instead:

Julie, everything will be OK.