The One Where I Tell The Truth

*Alternate Title = “I’ve Got Piles”  *
This small little peep-hole glance into my life tells an awful lot about what my life has become. There are lists with notes and highlights and check marks and scribbles.  I’ve always been an organized person.  I’ve always made To Do Lists.  
The difference is now, these lists are getting to be something different.  My lists used to be organized–they used to map out for me the path I would take to accomplish things, and then I would calmly accomplish those things, feel good about myself, and move on to a new check list of accomplish-able tasks.  
That has changed.  My lists have become unbearable LONG.  They have become urgent.  They have become messy.
In fact, my lists have become piles.  Again, I’ve always had nice, organized piles in my life.  Check-list type piles.  Not anymore.  Things are messy.  Things are all over the place.  It gives me stress.

No.  It gives me ANXIETY. 

So how did this happen?  What spawned the mess?  The piles?

DEPRESSION.

The seemingly never-ending piles occurred because of postpartum depression.

BIG EXHALE….yes, I just typed it.  I just said it.  I just admitted it.  To anyone who wants to read it.

Where did it begin?  How did my life turn into, well, this?  In 2007 I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and saw a therapist.  I was open about this

I learned coping techniques and they worked.  For almost two years.  Then I had a baby.

After Eddie was born, I didn’t feel right.  There were lots of things that I attributed it to:  hormones, no sleep, a colicky baby, feeling cooped up in the summer.

Then fall came and I figured I felt these things because I was going back to work and leaving my baby.

Then Cort lost his job and I strangely had a lull in all the bad, guilty, tense, sleepless issues.  Cort was home with Eddie.  I used my anxiety techniques to get myself through the blow of being a one-income family.

Then I started working at CC and I fell off the proverbial ledge.  My sanity went down the tubes…whatever cliche for losing your mind, go ahead and insert here.

I was not me.

It was all the feelings I had after Eddie was born, but multiplied by a zillion.

Working two jobs made me have non-stop guilt.  This guilt lead to me feeling paranoid about people judging me.  I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  A simple lesson plan that would normally take me 10 minutes to figure out would take me well over an hour.  I was spinning my wheels on things I used to do without a second thought.

This paranoia caused little sleep.  I couldn’t fall asleep even though I was exhausted.  The smallest noise would wake me up and I would have to start all over again.

It was really a vicious cycle.  Not getting sleep amplified all the rest of the bad and heaped on a healthy dose of SNAP at everyone I love.  I felt as if they were judging me the most.

I am so organized, why can’t I do it all?  What is wrong with me?  Shouldn’t I be great at everything?  If I’m not , SOMEONE is being let down.

This consumed me until the piles crashed all around me.  Everything just fell in one night in a massive breakdown that prompted Cortney to say, “maybe you need to see the doctor.”

Just before my breakdown, I had just read a friend’s blog describing how she wasn’t feeling “right” after her baby boy was born.  All the comments suggested it may be postpartum depression.  I even agreed–I wanted her to take care of herself!

When Cort suggested that I might need a doctor, it started to make sense…I fit ALL the symptoms.  ALL OF THEM.

I went.

My doctor–who does NOT like to turn straight to meds–almost immediately started writing me a script for antidepressants.

They have helped me IMMENSELY. 

My doc did tell me that because I have a history now (anxiety, depression), it’s very possible that this could be a fairly permanent thing. Depending on my stress/workload level.

This week I found out my district is making another round of MASSIVE cuts (closing another elementary building, closing our alternative high school, cutting secondary (grades 7-12) positions, among many others).  This puts my job yet again at risk.

The piles grew this week as I struggled with this news.  I was out last week with pneumonia, and it added to the piles.  I started to feel that old weight settling on my chest.

I started reading more about others who have the same issues that I do.  All of them had the same message:  talk about it.  Get it out and let people know.

I struggled with this because although everyone knows I enjoy the center of attention (hello, I BLOG for the world to see), I don’t like awkward things like pity or sympathy.  I don’t like to seem like I am whining. (Even though I do whine a lot about non-important things…like the dumb zit I just got today…ugg!).

I think you get what I am saying.

Yes, it was hard for me to put this out there.  But the deciding vote for this was when Cortney told me he thought I should put it out there.  It’s like washing your hands of it.

So.

The piles will still be there when I get to work tomorrow, but because I have supportive people in my life who love me no matter what, I think…yes…I do…I see a light at the end of all those piles.

Light and peace.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Cortney says:

    It took a lot of courage to put that out there and I'm very proud of you. I Love You!

  2. Trisha Visel says:

    Light and Peace = SUMMER!!! Waaa hooo! And yes you do have supportive people who love you no matter what! That is what friends and family are for.

  3. missy widener says:

    lay it on me anytime. ANYtime. and I would never judge you. you are way too awesome of a person to not adore the second you smile. and your son I am pretty sure feels the same way. you are an awesome mom and teacher and everything else you want to be. but NO one can do it all alone..and you don't have to!! and I can't wait until I can share with you some happiness that you will just have to wait for soon pretty….bwahahahaaaaa!! love you long time.

  4. Lynette says:

    I think so many many people suffer from post partum depression that don't ever talk about it, good for you! I had it BAD after my third and have not gone off my pills yet, every time I try things go bad again and it's just not worth it! I hope that this helps you get things under control again, the piles and lists and guilt!

  5. designHER Momma says:

    So proud of you for "blogging it out" – I know it has helped me articulate my feelings to both my friends and family.

    I'll be praying for you, your piles, your job and for summer to come quickly!

  6. I had my first appointment with a therapist this past week. His homework for me? To face to face tell someone.

    http://charminglychandler.com/category/ppd/

  7. karma-dee says:

    I found your post through a Twitter link and just wanted you to know that I can relate to so much of what you wrote. Thanks for sharing. I hope things continue to get better for you.

  8. amy bruns says:

    Thank you. I needed to hear those words.

  9. I found your post through designHER Momma's twitter post. I am so sorry that you've been going through this, and so happy that you are on your way to feeling better! Having children has been the most overwhelming thing that has ever happened to me, on every level. I've never been so happy, so scared, so sad, so TIRED, so surprised, so … everything! It's a lot to take. I do not work outside the home and I swear to God, I could not do it. You are doing a lot, I give you a lot of credit for getting some help where you need it. Hang in there and I hope things continue to improve. You are a brave person! xo

  10. moosh in indy. says:

    Oh honey.

    I have piles too. SO MANY PILES.

    Thank you for talking about it. Thank you thank you. You will take care of so many people by just simply talking about it.

    so much love to you.

  11. moosh in indy. says:

    Oh honey.

    I have piles too. SO MANY PILES.

    Thank you for talking about it. Thank you thank you. You will take care of so many people by just simply talking about it.

    so much love to you.

  12. ErinDoobs says:

    ohhhh kates, thank you for telling "me". i feel the guilt with you … i connnnnnnnnnnstantly am trying to find extra seconds, mins, hrs to spend with Quinn b/c i miss her terribly & feel bad that i have to work … to the point that i accepted a new job in Birmingham to stop commuting to Detroit and buy myself back time spent in the car & be able to pop in on Quinn at lunch. i am reading book after book about being a working mommy. it's so hard to accept being away from them all day (geeeez, i am gonna cry right here at my desk!. i, too, spend double the time doing things that shouldn't take nearly as long as they do. i attribute my lack of focus to lack of sleep and being in two directions … always … and wanting to be in the home direction only, but no avail b/c we need the benjis i bring in. SIGH. annnnd, i have piles, too. ugh, just looked around my desk. i am so glad you spoke up. i will pray for you. take good care of yourself. and pleeeeeeeeease share anything you are doing that makes you feel less guilty about working… and anything that buys you back time with eddie … i struggle every day. i miss Q so much!!! me, the girl who didn't want kids has come full circle … ok, back to work. SIGH. love ya!!!! <3 doobs =)

  13. Corey and Holly Kragt says:

    Oh Kate I hope getting this all out helps. It take's a stong woman to admit it to the world like this. You are a wonderful mommy, wife and friend, stay strong and just get through one day at a time it will get better.

  14. Jennifer Kay says:

    I was also one of the 44 comments on DesignHER Momma's post last week and I found you through her link today. I'm right there with you, I've been on the medicine for about a month now and am feeling much better about "life". Your blog is a good read, I'm going to stick around for updates!

  15. Amber Koter-Puline says:

    Hope you'll reach out to the blog community, too! We are here for you.
    Amber @Beyond Postpartum

  16. Kristen says:

    Sorry you're going through this…I know it stinks. I've been dealing with some of the same issues lately and debated blogging a bit more about it. I just did my first post the other day but the support I felt and the weight lifted off of me…and then finding others dealing with the same things…it's relieving. If you ever need to talk I'm here!

  17. I came over from Emily's blog to give you a little (((HUG)))

    Thanks for sharing. It DOES feel better to get it out there, doesn't it? Like its not in the dark anymore, but in the light for healing and restoration to begin. I hope the meds will help. I've been on a hefty dose of Zoloft for QUITE some time and feel GREAT!

    Blessings and PEACE to you,
    Kate

  18. Miss Liz says:

    Kate, very brave of you to share something so personal. It's kind of funny that when you finally do get help you realize most people are medicated and the ones that aren't should be. Keep your head up and focus on the moment.

    P.s. list making is one of my favorite past times.

  19. Great post Katie, way to get it all out there. The people who love you will love you no matter what!

  20. Barefoot Designer says:

    Kate,

    Thank you for posting this. I went through a terrible depression after my daughter was born (almost 10 years ago). I've also been dealing with PTSD that most likely will never be completely resolved–I didn't deal with it soon enough, just tried to pretend it wasn't there–so I understand how two issues make things seem even worse.

    Your post made me realize that I'm heading back to that dark place. I too used to be super organized and now can barely track my many projects at work and at home–it's like I'm drowning in chaos. My stress level is so high that my heart condition seems to be returning (I was cleared of it in 2001), and I'm sick or injured ALL the time. I know things have to change, but it's hard to take the steps that I know are absolutely necessary.
    I'll keep you, Cort, and Eddie in my prayers.

  21. Coffee Please!?! says:

    Hi there – stopping by from DesignHerMomma's blog – hope that you're feeling better soon. I'm in the same boat … it really does suck!!! Thanks for putting it out there for others to see, relate to and learn from!

  22. Trisha Visel says:

    Katie, You are amazing! Look at all of this response. I know this is just what you needed. You found it!!.. your way to let it all out and feel supported without having people take pity on you. Way to go.. as your close friend I can tell the world that you are a strong, caring, loving, and happy person. You make great decisions and are now taking care of YOU! I am very proud in the posting you have done and also to call you my friend! Lots of love!!!

  23. Miranda says:

    I think we might be the same person. Almost. I have piles, too. Only I call mine "organized chaos." These piles normally do not get more than a second glance from me, but depression makes me feel like I'm drowning in them.

    Can't wait to have you guest post for me!

    Also, I love that I can see a copy of The Great Gatsby in your pictures. LOVE. That's my favorite thing to teach.

  24. Hang in there, doll – this is the first of many steps, but this post was beautiful, raw, and full of strength. Hoping the absolute best for you!

  25. I think the worst part is feeling like you should be able to handle this. Or maybe the worst part is the humiliation you feel when you think everyone will judge you.

    I don't know – it took me a LONG time to get through PPD. It was horrible and scary and I'm always pleased to find people are more active about discussing it.

    Good for you for letting it out. Good for all of us.

  26. I just came from your post at the Red Dress Blog.
    This was honest, open, and such a comfort to read—from someone who has also been there. Although I experienced depression before I had kids, also, so it wasn’t a stranger to me.

    I am on meds again now, and it seems that depression may be my constant (or at least a come & go type) companion. Only it doesn’t scare me much anymore. Because I know I am not alone.

    Kudos to you for sharing your piles, for posting this, and for being so brave.
    😉
    Erin @ The Mother Load

Trackbacks

  1. […] due to a mental condition, NOT because I was a bad mom.  I came out with it on the blog in May here, and my life has never been the same.  Aside from getting the help I need, I have also met some of […]

  2. […] would be two more months yet before I could admit this to the world, but at least I had admitted it to myself.  And to […]

  3. […] first time I posted about my PPD, I was nervous.  I didn’t know if anyone would read or care or judge or […]

  4. […] It’s been 2 years since I wrote about my depression. […]

  5. […] years ago I finally told my doctor something wasn’t right and got help. Two years ago I started talk therapy with Dr. […]