People say I am a nice person. That I wouldn't hurt a fly. That I don't have a mean bone in my body. I am usually looking at life with joy and positivity, and I love to find the bright side in any situation.
So when I noticed I was sullen, irritable, easily angered, and not enjoying my days, I realized something was wrong.
It wasn't immediate obvious to me. I mean, I had just had a baby, I had a toddler who woke up multiple times a night, I wasn't sleeping, we don't have a lot of family and friends close by, and my husband was working and going to school. I figured that I was just stretched thin.
When my husband sat me down and gently told me that I was being mean to our 2 year old daughter, I was shaken.
Then he let me know that I had been very argumentative lately, always picking fights with him, raising my voice at him, and not being very enjoyable to be around. That made me feel awful but I am glad he told me. He told me I should talk to my doctor and I meant to but I kept forgetting to make an appointment.
At my 6 week postpartum visit I told my doctor what I was feeling and he said it might be baby blues, and if after 2 weeks it didn't get better to come back and we would treat it. Well, life got busy and January turned into February, and then into March. By this point it had gotten worse but I had good days now and them, and on those days I convinced myself that I was fine and doing better so I didn't need to go back to my doctor.
I should have opened up to my husband so that he could remove my blinders, but I didn't.
Since he was working so much and working on his masters degree, I didn't see a lot of him and he didn't see a lot of me. The time we did see each other usually revolved around the girls and we didn't have a lot of time for catching up.
One day Emma wasn't listening and I lost it. I got so mad that I yelled at her. Poor sweet thing had never been yelled at before and she had never seen her mommy be so mean. She started crying which made me more frustrated and I wasn't as calm and nurturing as I usually would've been in that situation, which made her more sad.
It woke me up.
I felt awful.
I started sobbing.
I realized that the past couple of weeks I had been getting angry to a point where I wasn't patient or kind with her and that wasn't fair. I NEVER physically hurt her but I was too firm and expected too much perfection from a two year old. I didn't want to scar her emotionally and I immediately told Daniel what was going on.
It still took a couple of weeks for me to get to the doctor, which wasn't right on my end but it is the reality. In the meantime Daniel tried really hard to give me more breaks or step in when he could see I was getting frustrated last the point of self-regulation.
I repeat: I NEVER hurt my girls, but this wasn't healthy for the home or myself.
When I finally got to the doctor at the end of March, I was prescribed Lexapro. I now take it once a day and I haven't had an anger episode since. If I get frustrated it is normal and minimal, and I am able to reason with myself and calm down to approach the issue with love and patience. The ability to step back and assess is something I lost with the depression.
I still battle the feelings of being down and alone, but I am doing much better. And my girls and husband are better for it.