My Doctor suggested the local Behavioral Hospital for the day, and possibly an overnight stay. I drove myself there. I walked in and felt completely lost. Half of me wanted to turn and run away and the other half of me wanted the staff there to confirm for me that I was a nut job.
I’m not, nor was I then, a nut job. I was diagnosed that day with Post Partum Depression. I can’t say whether that was a relief or not. Sometimes when we attach labels to things it does help as it is somewhat of a validation. Other times, it’s a LA-BEL. :-0 And we, or society, or both, can’t help but think that label is now that PER-SON. Well, it’s not. I’m not. I’m not a label. I’m me.
That day I went the validation route, for the most part. I felt that I had been acknowledged as not being alone, not being crazy, and best of all, NOT being a terrible Mommy. I was assured over and over that by reaching out, by calling Nick, calling the doctor, admitting I needed help, that all made me a wonderful Mommy. It made me responsible and intelligent. I knew that what I was feeling was not ok and that it could be helped, if I wanted it to be.
My doctor prescribed some anti-depressants and therapy. I have to admit, the therapy didn’t last long. My main excuse? I was sent to the number 1 most unorganized, messy, dusty, stinky shrink office we must have in the entire state. Me! The neat freak. The OCD, get my car washed biweekly, organize, alphabetize, and colorize the pantry, matching bath towels, prioritize the jewelry box, even keep the garage clean- NEAT FREAK. Yeah, that was doomed from the first appointment.
Anyway, what did help was talking with others about what was going on. Admitting to myself that I was/am a great Mom and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. From that point on a looked at JP’s Colic as more of a challenge, not a punishment. We both were more into researching and trying new things. Giving in to some of our “rules” to better fit this specific baby, like binkies, and belly sleeping, and medicines. We were no strict parents to begin with but we were much more likely to try anything that someone else had in the same situation. Because the same situation may not present the same results.
None of this is to say the next 5-6 months were a breeze, because quite the opposite, however, they were more manageable, most times, knowing that I was not alone. I was receiving help. And I was doing the best I could.