Mother’s little helper.
December 15th 2013
Wilder is seven weeks old.
This past week was as hard as was expected. I was unable to go to work on Monday because I couldn’t stop crying long enough in the morning to get dressed. I have been completely overwhelmed by a profound sadness. Unfortunately my depressive thoughts generally lead to more competing depressive thoughts and before I know it I feel sad not only over the direct cause but over every bad thing that has ever happened in my life. A true downward spiral that leaves me feeling hopeless and emotionally exhausted. Saying goodbye to someone you love is never easy, and even though I’ve had a lot of practice, this time may have hurt the worst. I realized after some introspection that it wasn’t just Brando that I was missing, but also all that he represented. Brando was one of the last living links to my past. Brando knew my mother, had triumphed through Hurricane Katrina with me, and had shared the last few years of my rebirth as not only a companion but also a silent keeper of my secrets. He was truly my dearest friend of the last near decade and I know that a relationship and bond like ours is not one that can be easily replaced. I don’t know when a day will pass that I won’t think of him and miss him dearly.
I have been experiencing patches of extremely dry skin on my face – think the lizard man in the film Thinner. I had a feeling it was due to eczema because my stress levels have certainly appeared to affect the severity of the problem. I had tried several over the counter products that had worked in the past but nothing was helping. I finally broke down and saw a dermatologist this week. I figured that since my deductible was met for the year that I should take advantage of any health needs. The dermatologist confirmed that it was eczema and wrote me a prescription for a steroid cream that she assured me would clear up the problem. I went to have the prescription filled and was really shocked when they told me the cream would be $272. Fucking $272 for a tube of cream no larger than a tube of toothpaste. I asked if it was made of crushed up fucking diamonds. The young girl working the register was shocked but probably even more so when I actually paid for it. Merry Christmas to myself. Sorry if none of you get any gifts; consider your present not having to look at dry skin falling from my face. When I got to the car after making the absurd purchase I felt so angry that I wanted to punch something. My go-to emotion has always been anger so in an effort to be more emotionally responsible I went to the gym before going home so that the StairMaster could quell my wrath.
I returned to work on Tuesday and it wasn’t a pretty sight. I had a considerably loud emotional breakdown. My co-workers allowed me to vent through my crying fit as I proclaimed that my life was complete shit and even though I had gotten everything that I wanted (house, car, kid) I felt incredibly alone. I professed my hatred for our collective job and shouted my desire to get in my car and drive as far fucking away from the entire shit hole as possible. I lamented the death of my freedom and my individuality as well as professing my hatred over my new never-ending responsibilities. I explained how my complete financial destruction was a direct result of me getting all the things I thought would make me happy, but weren’t making me happy at the moment. I bellowed about how I haven’t gotten laid or felt sexy in so long that I wouldn’t even know what to do with a cock if one was right in front of my face. I told them all they were stupid fucks if they ever had the desire to procreate. I said that if I had the chance to do it all again I would probably decide to stay in my shitty-ass apartment alone with Brando drinking too much vodka and having unprotected sex. I killed all their dreams for happily ever after, or at least I tried to. I was so full of hurt and hate and I wanted everyone to understand. I wasn’t looking for sympathy as much as I needed to hear my own voice say the things I had been swallowing since Andy left the house with my dog. I didn’t feel any better after, but I certainly didn’t feel any worse.
I had bought tickets for Andy and me to see the John Water’s Christmas Show this past Tuesday, but I was too depressed to attend. I sent him and Lee Kyle in my place and they had a good time. Andy had seemed apprehensive about leaving me home alone. I straight up asked him, “Do you think I’m going to smother the baby or something.” To which he assured me he did not, but I could see the relief on his face when I told him my cousin Crystal would be coming over. Crystal kept me company while they were out and we had a good time considering my depression. Thankfully Crystal understands me better than most, as a member of my blood family and having dealt with her own hard times. We talked about everything but Brando, which was our way of dealing with the situation.
Andy had been worried about going to work this past week, I suppose because of my erratic behavior. On the night that he did work Lee Kyle was scheduled to sleep over. Lee Kyle didn’t arrive until fairly late at night but Christine had dropped by earlier in the evening. Christine called to ask if I wanted ice cream and even though I wasn’t interested in eating (gasp!) she still came by to see me. She sat on the couch with me holding Wilder and listening to me cry for several hours. Contrary to what this blog may portray, I am not typically comfortable being an emotional wreck in front of people. I feel like it is a testament to the strong relationships I’ve formed with my close friends that I don’t feel as awkward letting my sadness show.
On Thursday I went to see Dr. Williams for my six week check-up. I was afraid that my incision may not have been healing properly, but she assured me that it was fine. She checked out my vagina, and as expected, it’s aces. She asked me how I was feeling and I couldn’t help but be honest. I explained that I was suffering from depression but I felt it was situational because of what had happened with Brando. I also explained that my levels of anxiety had definitely increased since Wilder’s birth. This had manifested not only physically with my eczema, but also emotionally with more fear and worry. I felt like this may be a common symptom of new motherhood, but never having been in this position, I wasn’t sure. She explained that what I was experiencing was not uncommon, but that was no reason for me to suffer with anxiety if I didn’t need to. She wrote me a prescription for the antidepressant Celexa and also a month’s supply of Klonopin. Now generally I’m not a fan of popping pills to solve problems (unless of course the problem was sobriety on a weekend night during the early 2000’s) but at this point I’m willing to try anything. I just want to feel more emotionally stable not only for my own sake but for the sake of my family. Who does depression hurt? Apparently EVERYBODY in yelling distance – just ask my co-workers.
I skipped out on a Christmas party that I had been looking forward to attending this past Friday because once again I couldn’t motivate myself to get ready for it. Honestly, after working a minimum of seven hour days, I’m lucky if I have the energy to completely engage with my son, let alone make myself available for social appearances. Unfortunately this depression and the exhaustion that has accompanied it has left me feeling too tired to do anything, yet frustrated over my feelings of social disconnect. In short, fucking miserable all around. I decided that no matter how horrible I felt on Saturday that I would rally all my energy and positivity to celebrate Andy & I’s ten year anniversary. It turned out to be a really wonderful day and evening and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have shared all this time with him in my life.
The day began with a visit from two of our dear friends Lindsay and Solomon who had arrived the day before from New York. They were very excited to meet Wilder and see our new home. It was refreshing to share our lives with two people who were so happy for us. Their visit set a good precedent for the day. Andy is really into the J.R. Tolkien books, so I had purchased us tickets to see the second Hobbit movie. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and had enough time to catch a quick cocktail on Royal Street before heading to the Fleur de Tease burlesque show at One Eyed Jacks. The show never disappoints and the emcee even made a special announcement about our anniversary. People often ask how we’ve made it a full ten years and I explain that he was married to someone else for part of that. Keeping it interesting is an important part of any relationship. The evening was great and when we returned home we discovered that Lee Kyle and Clint had put up a small living Christmas tree and Lee Kyle had sewed us each a stocking. Even though it would have been nice to simply go home and sleep without interruption, we had a pretty spectacular evening.
Sunday morning I was not moving very quickly. Although I had truly enjoyed our night out, waking throughout the night with Wilder was split with Andy, and I took over at 6 am. I had also decided that we would officially move Wilder into his crib and out of his bassinette since he was now 7 weeks and probably 10 pounds. My OCD behaviors kicked in as I began reorganizing the nursery and going through clothes that no longer fit Wilder. I could tell Andy was getting frustrated with my behavior but I felt as though I wouldn’t be able to relax until things were organized. Adding to the fatigue, I was feeling somewhat stressed over our family holiday photo that we were scheduled to shoot later that day. My dear friend Gabby was supposed to shoot the photo, but she was feeling ill and wasn’t able to make it. Because the photo involved scheduling not only Andy and I but also Lee Kyle and Clint, I didn’t want to try to take it another day. I decided that I would just do it with the use of a tripod and hope for the best. It is difficult getting ready for nearly anything when you have a baby, but somehow we pulled it together. Sara (Wilder’s surrogate grandmother) was nice enough to let us shoot it at her house. Considering that I have been feeling terribly sad and that we did it ourselves, I was really surprised when we shot the photo in less than an hour. Gabby was kind enough to do some minor editing and by the end of the night we had a print-ready picture.
We also took Wilder out to Chalmette to get his picture taken with Santa Claus. This is a tradition that both Lee Kyle and I want to honor every year. For all the running around we did, Wilder remained in a very good mood. The pictures with Santa were cute, but our holiday photo takes the cake. We are a unique family indeed, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.