What a year 2006 was. The best way I can describe it: I was asked to contribute to a “Best/Worst Moments of 2006” article on a website, and I knew at once what the best moment was. The birth of my son, my second and (if all goes well) my last child, was exactly what I’d hoped it would be.
I didn’t contribute to the article, though, because I couldn’t be honest about my worst moment of the year. (And it just seemed wrong to lie on a Christian web site.) In October, I slammed headfirst into postpartum depression. I was lucky: I sought and received professional help, my friends offered support even if they had no personal experience with this kind of thing, and my husband was a rock. I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone else I knew, though. How could I explain depression, which for me was more like an electrical storm in my brain than sadness? If you’ve never been clinically depressed, be grateful. The insomnia, panic attacks, crying jags, and hyperirritability brought me to a place I never want to visit again. Trying to write about it as I fought my way out, I wrote, “If I could have ripped the flesh from my skull and stepped out of its confining limits, I would have.” Here’s how I know I was not the same person I’d been: I neither wrote nor read anything until the medicine began to kick in. For me, that’s like saying I was dead.
I had another blog, and I had no desire to post. What could I say? Who gets postpartum depression when the baby is nine months old? (Thanks to an online support group, I found out it’s possible, and my greatest fear was assuaged: that I was somehow “making this up,” that I wasn’t genuinely ill and therefore not worthy of help.) Besides, I had to keep taking care of the children and keep the household running (I’d seen how things fell apart when I did) and keep my four-year-old from killing her baby brother in a jealous fit disguised as loving him too much. This I accomplished, and things are much, much better now. I haven’t even become addicted to the Valium! (That was a joke.)
So here I am. I wanted a new blog, a new start. I have no idea if anyone will be reading. I will try to be as entertaining as I can, since that’s what I look for in a blog. But mostly I will try to be honest, to attempt to capture what one must in a journal: this is what it is like to be me, to think these thoughts and have these feelings, here and now in the year 2007.