Emotional Onslaught

My mood is all consuming these days. Every distraction from it is fleeting at best. I agonize over the cause and effect. Exhausting. It’s exhausting. An excerpt, for your amusement:

Am I having a bipolar induced depression? Am I even bipolar? If I was bipolar wouldn’t the Zoloft I’m taking for PPD trigger mania? Mania doesn’t feel like depression. So I’m probably not bipolar. Why do I feel so sluggish and sad; why so irritable and short tempered? Should I take more Zoloft? I need to have an actual doctor. A doctor will just put me on more meds. Still, I need a doctor. No doctor has Saturday hours. I need to do something. I’ll take more Zoloft. Why aren’t I sleeping? Why am I so anxious? Is it going to go away? Is it because of the raised dose? How long will it last? Is this a manic episode? Does this mean I am bipolar?

I feel very much overwhelmed by the requirements of the day to day. My attention stays on Mabel and getting her successfully through. I am rewarded by a cascade of giggles and gooey baby kisses, but the rest of life remains untouched. I wonder if this is just the effect from the sleep deprivation that has been the last few weeks of development and growth for her. I wonder when I come out on the other side. I’ve forgotten what the other side looks like. I always do when I’m in the mire.

I’m either a good mother or a good wife, I can’t seem to manage both. Either I look good or the house does. Either laundry is done or dinner is. I want to be sweet and understanding but I’m not. I tell myself I will be but I can’t. I’m snappy and frustrated and demanding and I can’t figure out why. There’s nothing wrong at a glance, but the feeling is that everything is. I need things. Not material things or more purchases. I need love and spontaneous affection and declarations of delight. I ask for them. They do not come. Suddenly I need to buy more things. I assume I’m asking for too much. I tell myself my marriage is failing. I tell myself that I am failing my marriage. I tell myself the problem is that I’m now fat and we don’t have enough sex. I believe myself. I want the things I cannot buy. I do not want to ask for them again. I am lonely, hurt, and sad. I feel like I brought it on myself. He’s adjusting to being a parent, too. I excuse him. I belittle me.

I have no answers to the constant onslaught that is my mind. I have no easy solutions to the anxiety that bubbles beneath the surface. Day follows night. Night follows day. I get up and I do what that day expects. I giggle with the baby. I cook dinner. I sweep the floor, eventually. I wait. I wait and know that this can not be forever. I remember that I have felt lost in the tidal wave of rampant emotion before and that I have somehow come out on the other side. I remember that things look their worst when I feel mine and that my vision is clouded in times like these. I stare at my baby. I breathe.

Should I have raised the dose? Maybe it was going to end all by itself? It had been a few weeks and it wasn’t getting better, I’m sure more Zoloft was the right choice. But now this anxiety… will it go away? It’s just a side effect, right? Just a temporary problem to what was a good solution. Should I go back down? I need to find a doctor. I can’t find a doctor…

And so it continues. Until it eventually ends.

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