the haze and the fog

Hello and welcome to Wednesday!  It’s time to introduce you to another one of my lovely Sluiter Nation Recruits.  New here? Come check out what a Recruit is here.

Today I bring you the lovely Yuliya who writes She Suggests.  It’s almost impossible to put into words how just wonderful Yuliya is.  She is thoughtful and kind and a talented writer and amazing mother.  This summer I got to meet her at BlogHer, and I was enchanted.  I could have ditched the whole conference and just listened to her talk.

Yuliya and I found each other, I think, through Write on Edge back when it was The Red Dress Club.  I absolutely fell in love with her writing, then with her.

I think you will love her too.

***************

One of my big fears prior to getting pregnant and all throughout it was getting PPD because I knew that the risk of having PPD is increased in someone who already suffers from depression.

Fortunately I was lucky. Not only did I not get PPD, I had what can only be described as the opposite of PPD. My postpartum period, while filled with the usual intense emotions and occasional unexplained crying fits, was without a doubt the happiest I have ever been in my life. Yes, I was sleep deprived, covered in throw up and leaking constantly but I was exuberant. I was that (annoying) mom who stared constantly at her baby, held her incessantly and covered her with kisses practically every minute.

It was magical.

I started to let myself think that this was the new me and that maybe that old me who suffered from bouts of apathy and cycles of destructive behavior was just missing this, this beautiful child, this coveted role of mother.

But old me caught up with new me, maybe she was switched with someone at the hospital and was now finding her way back to me full of fury. I resumed my old ways, bailing on things I cared about, procrastinating, eating excessively, becoming angry and short tempered or simply lying on the couch and trying desperately to tune my family out. I was inside of a thick fog for months.

I woke up from that fog last Sunday to this:

Aliza, my 20 month old daughter bounced awake from our family bed, exclaimed “Cold! Shoes!” and ran clumsily to dig through her bureau and present us with her shoe selection for the morning. Girl child loves her shoes, and no, I have no idea where she gets it from, I live in flip flops.

She poked her daddy gently in the nose and reminded him “juice, boom, boom,” a reference to him making our morning green smoothie in a booming blender.

At breakfast she refused her bib and ate all by herself without spilling anything on her pajamas, she even drank her smoothie from a cup, using just one hand.

She informed me that she had to potty, about four seconds too late. She turned on the radio and bopped along, little hands waving in the air, non-existent booty shaking, and no I have no idea where she gets it from, Mama’s got back.

I watched and participated as this morning scene unfolded and all I felt was angry.

Angry because in these last few weeks while I was inside of the fog my daughter began to shed the last of her baby-ness. She cut back on nursing, began to wield utensils on her own and started the path toward potty independence.  She morphed from a baby into a full blown toddler.

And I missed it.

In that moment I began to understand what postpartum depression does to someone. Having had depression prior to having a child it just didn’t affect me the same way. Sure, I was frustrated at the time I spent feeling sad or apathetic to life. But now, with a child in my life I felt robbed of all those moments that slipped away, all those changes that took place when I wasn’t present, all the time that I will never get back.

I wonder did my daughter notice when I wasn’t “there”? If I don’t get better will she spend her childhood with someone who goes through the motions but isn’t truly present? Will I get PPD with the next child? Do I even have the right to talk about PPD and what I’m going through in the same sentence?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But by being here today I took my first step by talking about it. Maybe this is the new me, I’m not in the happy magical haze and I’m not inside of the fog, but I’m here telling a little bit of my story to this wonderful community and now that I have,  hopefully I won’t go back to going through it alone.

*************

I know you will rally around her and let her know she is NOT alone.  Ever.

And then you will want to read some of her other stuff.

Where Yuliya is from (spoiler: it’s not the USA)…Where I’m From

She is funny…and maybe a bit forgetful…Why I’m Not in Charge of Family Finances

And a post that was syndicated at BlogHer and is close to my heart as well…Are Bloggy Friends Real?

There are so many more I could choose from since she always shows yummy pics of food and delicious pics of her adorable daughter (she is an amazing photog, people), so you should browse around her site.

Go ahead.  Get lost there.

You won’t be sorry.

*************

Oh look!  I am featured at The Mom Pledge today!  Come say hi a quick second…so I am not all lonely over there.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
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. You are not alone.

    It’s hard to get help for any disease that says: you don’t need help. And in a society that says: the best help is to help yourself.

    But YOU are worth getting help for. You are lovely and strong and asking for help is the best example we set for our children.

    But it’s still very hard to do. {hugs}

    • Thank you Alex, I was nervous to write about this but people like you who write so openly and honestly about similar struggles are always an inspiration. {hugs} right back at ya

  2. Well done, you.

    We are your community, and we are there for you–in whatever way we best can be.

  3. Oh sweet friend…this is such an important thing for you to have written. And so hard to write, I’m sure. You are such a wonderful and caring mother and these nasty dark days have to be so hard for you.

    But I think Aliza is pulling you back and she’s heading for some pretty incredible things in these coming years. And you’ll be right there beside her.

    You can do this. Get help if you need it, ask friends for support. Don’t go it alone.

    Love to you…xoxo

  4. I’m sorry for your fog, Yuliya! But I’m glad to hear that you are moving forward from there. Stay strong.

  5. I am sorry to hear about the fog. And I absolutely think you can talk about this in the same vein as PPD; they’re both legitimate issues that deal with depression and finding the right combination of things to help you figure out how to get to a place that feels comfortable for you.

  6. I know it doesn’t clear up the fog or bring back the lost moments…
    But you are so loved.

    By so many.
    For countless reasons.

    And that doesn’t go away when the haze sets in.
    Remember.

  7. I am here for you. Always. You have a whole community rallying for you.

    Thank you for sharing, lovely woman.

  8. Oh Yuliya…this was brave and poignant writing.

    I think often of my time with my firstborn, and how much of his infancy I didn’t appreciate because I was so lost. It is guilt, the first pangs of it that never seem to go away, and manifest themselves throughout the rest of motherhood, I’m sorry to say. It always has a different face, but it is always there.

    That you recognize that you missed something is part of the healing. And remember, that you will have scads more moments to appreciate and revel in and be present for. Look forward, not back, my friend. Much love to you.

  9. Sorry to hear that Yuliya but kudos to you for moving forward. These posts about PPD are so helpful for me to read.

  10. I’ve gone through short stints of this myself, one being right after I DID have my first baby.

    You’re so courageous to share this with us and it’s so good that recognize the feelings and know when to ask for help. This community is amazing in that regard. We are here for you, hon. Many hugs.

  11. Yulia, I love your writing, your humor, and here your honesty.

    When I’m hard on myself for not being the parent I wish I could’ve been, my Mom reminds me that the time passes regardless. I don’t know if you find that comforting, but I do. In other words, you’d be missing those moments and it would all be a blur even if things gone the way you’d have preferred–without the depression.

    xo

  12. I have been experiencing similar feelings about my twins—one just lost her first tooth last week and I got all verklempt about it and posted…

    And we are welcoming a new baby on Friday, so I’m trying to prepare for the PPD, but hoping it doesn’t come. At least full blown. ANd if it does, I’ll muddle through, but I’m so glad you’ve shared all this with us. Thank you.

    xoxoxo

  13. I will dare to call you “sister” because I have been where you are, and I still am some days, even though my youngest is now 8. You have absolutely done the right thing by reaching out and writing about your struggle, because then you realize how many people there are on your side. So keep writing, and we’ll keep reading. *HUGS*

  14. I admit I was getting a little concerned about you and your disappearing act, Yuliya. And that’s without knowing that you suffer from depression. Funny how those of us who people often describe as ‘funny’ and ‘snarky’ and ‘dry-witted’ often seem to be fighting depression. Yes, I battle it too and, like you, when it’s dragging me down I tend to withdraw, bail on people, procrastinate, and feel angry and sullen.

    I’ve been fighting it recently, moreso than I have in over a year (when I actually did suffer from PPD). And I can honestly say that, in addition to my own daughter, blogging has been a big help in not letting it drag me completely under. The drive to stay on a regular publishing schedule and, at the same time, not use my blog as an emotional dumping ground has helped me keep my head above water. That may sound like a facade to some, but for me it’s a method of treading water, of keeping myself from going under. An exercise in mind over matter. And it’s not easy; in fact, it can be downright stressful. But in the end, it always gives me that sense of accomplishment, however small, to keep moving forward.

    For people like us, finding that anchor is so very important. I’m glad you’ve found yours again. Hold on tight to her and let her (and us, your readers) lift you up when you need it most.

  15. I had PPD. And from all of the information I was given, it sounds like some people experience it later – it doesn’t have to be immediate. But either way – whether you specifically have PPD or some other form of depression, what’s the difference?! You’ve have the same bleak perspective, the same apathy for a day that could be wonderful… Sometimes I think we get too caught up in labels and fail to see the connections that bind us together in a common understanding. Depression is depression. And I know how it feels to look at a baby with so much love, but to also feel like I’m disappearing in the mirror. I understand how you feel. And no label is necessary for that.

  16. It took a lot of guts to write this and I really think exposing it is part of a healing process. I went thru a fog and didn’t even know I was in it until I as on the other side of in 2 years later – dealing with an ailing mother who began to forget all the basics – making coffee, bathing, etc. It was a tough time and I felt like such a failure because I was angry inside all the time, at life, at my mom, even my dad for dying and leaving me to deal with my mom, at my brother for living just far enough away he couldn’t help, at feeling horribly selfish – when I realized later what had happened to me, it was a relief to know I wasn’t crazy! I am so glad you braved it and wrote this.

Trackbacks

  1. […] normally talk about around here since  I don’t want to…well… depress people.  Go give it a read. Or not. I won’t be offended. I won’t relapse into a dark depressive hole or […]

  2. […] given hints here and there that all is not always well in Yuliya land. And the minute I hit publish on posts like that, posts […]