[By Big C]
I have been writing this post for a long time but each time it got a little difficult to carry on. I was doing alot better and had a relapse recently. Then as I am wrapping up this post, came the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain‘s passing. So I felt I should really push this out to let more fellow mums know that what they feel is real.
This post will be describing more about my mental state and all the feelings that I experienced. I will follow up with another post to talk more about the process of seeking help.
[Warning: If you are going through a hard time and it gets too intense for you to read on, please do take a break. But know that you are not alone and you can reach out to me if you need someone to talk to. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
So here we go…
It struck me out of nowhere…
Yup.. nowhere.. I mean Small E is already more than 2 years old so it cannot be post-natal depression right? I was like a very happy mummy after each birth. Hubby said that I must be the happiest mummy in confinement.
I remember it started off with me flaring up practically all the time, feeling angsty all the time. I could not see the cuteness in the kids anymore. My hubby was so irritating to me and I seriously wanted to punch him or spit saliva at him. His jokes were not funny and were offensive. Even his breathing was offensive to me.
I was like the Hulk. Even I hated myself. Then I started feeling low. I couldn’t feel happy even when I think about how blissful I am with a beautiful family, with a roof over my head, with a job, with a family car, a loving hubby and cheeky kids. I have everything that I would have wanted but no, I was not happy.
I thought it was PMS but no, it didn’t get better after period came. It was every day, every moment, every second. I couldn’t get it to stop. I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t laugh. At least not for real.
This unhappiness made me upset and angry with myself. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way. I felt ungrateful and I felt like I don’t deserve everything that I have. I felt guilty. It was a vicious circle. Rage, guilt, sadness…. round and round…
And I was helpless about how I felt. I couldn’t break out of this cycle.
The overwhelming emotions drained me so bad. I was constantly tired. I wanted to sleep to be away from everything. I wanted to sleep all the time. EXCEPT AT NIGHT. I COULDN’T SLEEP! I was really really exhausted BUT I just couldn’t fall asleep till perhaps 2am-3am.
I lost interest in everything and even my work. I used to be very driven at work and it could bring me some satisfaction. Now, I just want to sleep the day off. And even if I get to sleep the day off, it didn’t help me feel any better. Nope, not at all.
I was anxious about things. I checked my handphone every minute but each time I don’t know what am I checking for. I just felt like I must have forgotten something since I was so detached from everything.
Then I lost my appetite too. Food no longer makes me happy. It became a chore even to think of what to eat. I started skipping lunch. Even bubble tea couldn’t cheer me up. I was like a walking zombie who was ready to put up an act anytime.
I was tired from all the acting, especially at work. I talked, joked, laughed during meetings and discussions, only to find myself all burnt out at end of day. I gave the worst of me to my hubby and kids.
I started to withdraw myself. I didn’t want to communicate with anyone. I didn’t reply to whatsapp messages. I didn’t want to meet people at work. I didn’t want to see my hubby. I didn’t look at him in his eyes.
I felt like crying but there was nothing tangible to cry about. I couldn’t identify what was wrong. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because there was nothing to talk about.
It was almost like too painful to go on. I felt that I am just doomed to be stuck in this marriage and this life. I was just breaking down.
“What if I no longer exist?” I thought to myself… and I didn’t feel any attachment to my kids.
I love my kids so much that this strange indifferent feeling scares me. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel sadness when I imagine myself gone. Why am I not worried? Why would I bear to leave them?
I started losing my temper more and more frequently. I screamed at them for ridiculously trivial matters. Things that have never bothered me before became the greatest crime in my eyes.
Then one day, I lost it. I screamed and I threw all the bags and bottles that were in my hands. I stormed in and I followed Big E around staring at her. I was like a monster! My hubby told me to stop it and it made me even angrier. Moments later, I calmed down and I cannot remember what triggered me to explode.
I was afraid of myself. I wanted to seek help from my hubby. I wanted to seek help from someone out there but I couldn’t. I couldn’t reach out.
I was drowning in overwhelming emotions everyday. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t think. I want everything to stop. But it was NOT apparent to me that something was wrong! I felt it was ME. I am not managing my temper again. I didn’t think I was having a depression. I didn’t think I was having any problems. I just felt that I was being rubbish and nonsense for not being able to keep my temper in check.
I felt bad and guilty. Yet I felt angry at my hubby the whole time. He got angry with me too. He couldn’t see anything wrong with me either. I hated myself for the way I behave. I felt bad for my kids and hubby. They do not deserve to be treated this way. But I, too felt that I do not deserve feeling like shit.
Something scarier happened. I had visions of myself hitting the kids – like banging their heads etc.
That was like the last straw. Although it is just vision, I cannot risk myself hurting my kids one day when I snap. Something is wrong with me! I need help. The idea of seeking help was given to me by a friend. She introduced her colleague who was diagnosed with depression to me so that I can understand the condition / symptoms and treatment better.
I finally took the courage to visit the polyclinic. Psychology related issues are not covered by company insurance so I had to take the subsidized way. I wouldn’t be able to afford that kind of cash for long term treatment IF I was indeed hit by depression.
So you see, even at this point, I was still skeptical about my own condition. A part of me feels “something is definitely wrong”, other part of me feels “hey, this is what all mums go through! Don’t be a strawberry!”
I felt like a loser…
Thankfully the doctor listened and was really kind. She asked me the questions that they have on protocol to determine the degree of depression or anxiety. She assured me that this is REAL! This is a real condition that is going on with my brain too. She told me not to dismiss myself and seeking help is right.
So she referred me to the polyclinic’s in-house psychologist. The first session went alright but the waiting time was really bad. I guess that is because every patient has different amount of things to share.
I was again wondering if I would really be diagnosed with depression. I mean.. I could be just tired or sick of everything. I still feel that every mum goes through the same shit and they are toughing it out so why should I attribute it to a condition?
During this first session, the psychologist asked alot of questions so as to identify the condition and the possible triggers. I was confirmed with moderate depression and a little anxiety. So moderate depression means I could opt for counselling therapy where I would learn techniques of coping OR starting myself on anti-depressants.
I come to realise that I may really need help to get out of this… So I started my journey to recovery…
[Pls hang in there while I work out my next post on the therapy etc…]
If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or FB msg me.
Everything will be kept confidential. Do not feel alone! Seek help if you need to. Talk to someone. You have the right to live happily. *hugs*