I saw this cartoon this week which rang a bell with the health problems I’ve had the past year…
I could try and forget about all my personal insecurities and anxiety at work and be Professional Dad, putting on a show and acting how I imagined someone who didn’t feel like crying at the bottom of a dark well would act.
As part of this weeks changes with the little one going to nursery, I now work from home one day a week. This means I can use the time usually spent commuting getting an extra hour in on work to let me leave early another day, and picking the little one up from nursery.
I hadn’t anticipated how different I am “at work” even when I’m at home. I was meant to call the nursery at 10:30 to check how things were but had completely switched off that part of my brain and it felt a bit weird when I realised I’d forgotten / ignored it.
What I’ve learnt about working from home.
- I wish I was a cat. Our litterly does nothing all day except rearrange himself into comfy positions (some of which really don’t look comfortable).
- Coffee you make yourself at home is soon much better
- Not being constantly disturbed and interrupted is fantastic.
- My home IT and broadband is much better than what is used at work.
- Finishing your days work and being already home is awesome.
- There are a lot of potential distractions. Everywhere.
- Carrying a crap laptop bag of work stuff on the train is a pain in the arse.
- It can get a bit quiet and lonely. I think I’ll have a radio on or something next time.
The new pills are definitely an improvement, I’m able to step out of the gloom a lot more and have more confidence to be proactive about things instead of withdrawing and shutting this out. This is good news for everyone.
One things that has surprised me is the number of people I know who are also taking or considering antidepressants, a large percentage. Is English life really so miserable? Is society so flawed that we are unable to see the best in life, inspire success and empathise with difficulties? Why do so many people feel isolated and lonely, especially in cities with populations of millions?
Someone wiser than me might have a chance figuring it out.
In the meantime, the pills are being popped and I’m doing my best to get on with things, and maybe, just maybe enjoying the odd little moment…
An update on a few things.
Baby is doing very well, she’s getting a lot stronger, moving into the 3 month clothes nicely and you can see real developments in the way she interacts with her toys, gripping and pulling, fingers moving independently and she’s starting to push her self around with her feet (the thought of her getting more and more mobile is quite scary!
I’m still popping pills, coming up Ito a month now, and haven’t notice anything spectacular. I’ve got a checkup this week to review things so I’ll get some advice then. No news yet on therapy, but they did warn that can take quite a long time to arrange.
Its my birthday this time of year and I had a night out with friends and family which was great, I could forget about all my worries and stresses and slip back into an old me and relax and have fun. I probably drank too much as I’m not used to it but it was great to see people I hadn’t seen for ages and catch up.
At the weekend we did some DIY jobs, a bit of painting and fixed some cupboards, me and wifey were lucky that baby took an extra long afternoon nap and we could get stuck into something, it was good to do something productive which didn’t just involve baby!
That’s it for now, I will try and write more, more often…
It’s been a bit quiet on here, in the tradition of blogging I’ve been struggling for time and knowing what to write.
It’s been two weeks since I started popping pills to help sort out my depression. In that time I haven’t really felt any different, but at least I’m doing something, and that helps wifey cope.
I’ve seen the doc again for a two week check, been given another prescription and had a referral for therapy. As part of the referral process I had to complete a questionnaire when I then discussed in a phone assessment. I was classified as moderately to severely depressed and recommended one to one therapy. There’s quite a waiting lust so it will probably take 2-3 months before I get to see anyone, hopefully the pills will have kicked by then.
I have got quite into the Olympics over the last two weeks, it’s been good to focus on and do something together with wifey, something which baby can’t really disrupt too much (hearing commentary isn’t critical!). I’m not sure what we’ll do when it’s all over today! We’ll both be miserable 😦
I’ll admit, I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to blog at the moment. I’m still taking pills and trying to be positive about things but it’s hard work not slipping into a stupid self pitying slumber.
But less about that for now. At the weekend we had some friends come to stay with their two children – one starting nursery and one about to start primary school. The house was full of family noise and chaos – children running about screaming in excitement which soon turned to tears as inevitable accidents occurred. Me and wifey were a little apprehensive about having friends to stay, even though they were people we knew very well and hadn’t seen them for too long. After the drama of the week a quiet weekend would have been the easy option, but looking back it was a good thing over all – I could have spent the weekend wallowing on my own but instead had some good chats with my friends and enjoyed their company.
The house did feel pleasantly calm on their departure though, and after a house full of 4 adults and 3 little ones our little family of three seemed a lot more manageable.
I realised after my previous two posts and visit to my GP that reading the ramblings of a depressed new dad probably isn’t a lot of fun or good to anyone apart from me.
As part of trying to recognise and beat my depression I thought I’d write a little about what the signs were that made me finally take action.
- Being withdrawn – without realising I’ve retracted right into myself and been oblivious to the effect my actions or inactions are having in others.
- Forgetfulness – I’ve been forgetting a lot of thing, and needing constant reminders for the simplest things.
- Lack if confidence – I’ve been feeling like I’m not able to do simple straightforward things, or make the simplest decisions like what to have for dinner without upsetting or annoying someone.
- Motivation – I have terrible lethargy, if I haven’t forgotten to do something something would be holding me back.
- Unaware of consequences – I have been completely oblivious at times to the consequences of my actions, how these symptoms have made me a very difficult person to live with.
- Clouded thoughts – I can’t seem to follow the usual thought processes in my mind, to assess situations or make decisions – anything from what to eat to when to set an alarm. It feels like a part of my mind is missing.
- Self pity – Surrounding all these things is a deep sense of pity and guilt. I have a wonderful wife and daughter, I live in a great house in a beautiful part of the country and have a great relationship with my family. What right do I have to feel miserable?
- Miserable – last but not least I’ve been miserable. From the look on my face to the sound of my voice, my underlying mood is very sad.
A big part of the problem is that I’ve been genuinely unaware of most of these symptoms, it’s only through talking with Wifey about these things that I’ve been able to see them fully, and that was a very difficult conversation to have.
Wifey and baby have been the things that have kept me going. I don’t want to be like this, I don’t want wifey to have to live with a husband like this and want my daughter to grow up inspired and excited about the world.
I didn’t want to admit I was officially depressed. I saw it as a sign of failure on my part, that I was letting my family down. It was Wifey that pushed me to going to the GP, and after facing up to the effect my depression was actually having on her I could see that things needed to change and I needed help.
Talking to the GP was tough, and afterwards I felt a sense of relief from admitting my problems, but also a sense of sadness that I am officially depressed – that somehow I’d let depression get the better of me.
Today I took my second antidepressant, (I learnt my lesson from yesterday and took it with breakfast to keep stomach cramps at bay) and am taking it a day at a time. I’m due to see the doctor again in a few weeks to see how things are, but will keep things updated here.
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.
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.