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Crash

Today was the first mental crash I’ve had in some time. I didn’t really see it coming, and before I knew it me and wifey were shouting at each other because I’d not taken in some dinner instructions properly and was cooking the wrong food instead of using up thing which would go off soon.

We both seemed to catch each other on a bad day, stupid little comments were said with little thought and received with too much attention.
I didn’t know how to cope, and ended up trying to politely storm out the kitchen saying “I can’t cope with this this evening”. I went up stairs and leant by the window taking deep breaths puzzling over what had just happened and what was happening – my mind was racing but going nowhere and breathing fast and panicy. I felt I had to get out of the situation as I wasn’t able to think clearly. I put my shoes on and went to leave telling wifey I needed to go for a walk. She got upset and told me not to go and not to do anything stupid like walk out in front of a car. I tried to say don’t be stupid I wouldn’t do that, she asked if I could just walk around the living room. We were both getting teary by now and I said I needed some fresh air, and how about I just go in the garden and she said ok.

I sat on some steps outside for about 15 minutes and cried and cried. I’m not sure where it was all coming from and why things had snapped this evening, but when the tears stopped, my breathing slowed and I recognised calmer thoughts in my head I started to think about going back inside. I didn’t want to face wifey as I felt I’d really upset and frustrated her, but I knew the longer I left it the worse she’d probably be feeling. Not a fun evening.

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Facing first steps

As hard as writing yesterday’s post was, visiting a GP and discussing my mental health was a whole lot harder.

It was helped by an evening out on the coast with Wifey and baby last night, looking over the calm sea with some fish and chips. Baby was on fantastic form, smiling and gurgling and we got some excellent pictures of us all. For an hour or so everything else disappeared and we sat by the sea enjoying the moment, something which has been so rare recently.

Today it’s back to reality, talking about my problems, fears and worries with a stranger. The doctor listened and we talked, the way we discussed things made me feel more confident in myself and I was able to be open and honest and didn’t feel judged. We talked about a lot in only 15 minutes, about me and the options that were available.

We decided to put my name on a waiting list (3 – 4 months) for therapy, and take a prescription home and talk to Wifey about taking medication. I’ll have another appointment in two weeks to see how I’m doing.

I got home and there were a few tears from me, and I decided I should use the prescription and start the pills. Wifey  is going to the pharmacy today for me.

I did not expect this blog to be about a depressed dad making a mess of things, but here we are. But maybe things would have been even worse if I wasn’t putting my thoughts here.

Daddy depression

This is a hard one to write. Sometimes you think things are going ok, that you’re juggling the different parts of your life without dropping too many balls, and that they’re only small balls anyway, but then you get shown the reality of the situation and find in actual fact you’re being more and more withdrawn and the little balls you’ve dropped are actually quite heavy and are breaking things around you.

To put it simply, I’m actually in a bit of a bad state at the moment and am booked into see a doctor to talk about depression. I don’t know if I’m technically depressed, but I know I’m not well, and it’s getting well beyond my control and having a severe impact on those closest around me and that I need help.

It feels like I’m missing part of my mind, I’m aware that things aren’t right but the part missing is what would usually tell me what’s going on and how to manage it.

So I’m seeing a doctor after pleas from wifey as I don’t know what else to do, and it’s too much for wifey. Maybe I’ll get some pills, or see a councillor?

—–

I started writing this on the way to work this morning and have since read this post from smilingandsparkling about a relapse into post natal depression. Seems it’s a tough time for a few us parental bloggers at the moment, hopefully sharing experiences online like this may make it easier for others to seek help.

Mirror, signal, say some stupid things that upset everyone.

Me and wifey had a major collision today and said some terrible things to each other.

It’s been four weeks now since baby arrived and the cumulative effect bared its teeth.

I may be past the first four weeks, but I fear tougher times are ahead.

Are we having fun yet?

I’m three weeks in to parenthood and I’ve got to say, this isn’t what I expected.

I’m not actually a Nickleback fan, but I’ve had a line from “This is how you remind me” above circling in my head for a few days now – “Are we having fun yet?

I expected the sleep loss, I expected the mood swings, I expected the exhaustion and I expected the relentless care that the baby would need.

I didn’t expect the lack of balance to these feelings though.

Charlie Brooker described his newborn daughter as a “screaming pet rock” and I can heavily relate. Baby does little more than sleep, cry, scream, eat, fill nappies and vomit (ordered by frequency). Every difficulty is the end of their world and is treated as such. Your whole life is now spent caring for them and making their life as comfortable as possible, but the screams and looks of utter despair from them as you prepare a bottle or change their nappy gives me no gratitude.

Even rare moments of activities you used to enjoy don’t give the same pleasure, as you’re so aware that it’s baby’s prerogative to ruin anything at any time with screams of red faced raging hopelessness.

She does occasionally just lay awake, looking at her new world in wonder, and I’ve seen hints of a smile a few times now. But these moments are rare and far between and give little consolation to the sleepless nights and desperate screams which have plagued the last three week.

They say it gets better. I hope so, because I’m not having fun yet.

And on the twelfth day we had a meltdown

I hit an all time low today.

The lack of sleep has already made thoughts and memories jumble up into a mush of events, but at about 8am this morning I found myself changing a nappy with tears rolling down my face pleading for our baby to stop crying. The little poppers on baby grows can be infuriating at the best of times but when you’ve only had a few hours sleep all night the little fuckers can break a man.

It had all just got too much. Our baby screams like you’re pulling it’s fingernails off whenever it’s unhappy – hungry, dirty nappy or just a bit lonely, and soon forgets why she’s screaming at all and gives you full rage for the love of rage. She was recently fed, her nappy was clean and we were trying to have a cuddle.

What made it all so much worse was the fact that we haven’t even hit the end of week two yet and we have days and months of this ahead, and the real tests of life when I’m trying to work full time and wifey is on her own most of the day haven’t begun.

But never the less I found myself pounding the floor in frustration and pleading with baby to stop crying.

She eventually did of course, it was as if someone had turned a switch off. Within seconds she was red faced and giving me a lungful of stinking milk breath, and the next she was silent.

When wifey came down we had a bit of a chat about things. Baby had been a terror with her the first half of the night and we both agreed that forgoing sex for the rest of our lives to ensure we didn’t create another one of these was worth the sacrifice. We both wept a little at the frustrations, and how there was still so much more to come.

But we don’t know a way round it. Our baby is still days old and still has so much ahead of her, and somehow we’ve got to grin and bare it. Somehow.

Fuck knows how.

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