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I’m fine, really, just a little overwhelmed. Or is it more than that?

standard September 30, 2008 13 responses

“I’ve been reading your blog and I think you’re a touch depressed.” My mother informed me the other day. I brushed her off with a couple “I’m fines.” as I fought back tears.

I’m fine. Really. I just have a lot on my plate right now. A lot.

I mean. I just left my job and I’m starting a new career. I threw my family into financial straights for my own selfish reasons. My husband has been battling a series of back issues (and by back I mean his spine, not as in things from the past), that have been plaguing us (well him, and me by association) for a good 18 months now. I have two very young children, one who is deep into the independent seeking 3s and the other who is right dab in the middle of 14mo separation anxiety and very, very firmly attached to me. We have a brand new schedule to manage; preschool three mornings a week as opposed to just two mornings last year. We fired the cleaning service, so we’re all watching the house fall apart around us. And when I decided to take up jogging as an affordable way to get rid of my last 10 baby pounds I somehow did something to my knee that has made quite painful for me to run.

So, when my car died on Friday, leaving me stranded at home with two little girls and a very full work schedule, and I called my mother to vent, and she told me that she thought I was depressed I don’t think I was overreacting when hearing that made me want to cry. Or was I?

Is depression just the inability to deal with stress without wanting to go hide under the bed? Isn’t is normal for me to be stressed? Don’t I have a couple excuses? I mean, at least I’m sleeping these days, I guess things could be worse. So I need to exercise. Whatever. I’m going to get new running shoes, which should make it possible for me to run again without hobbling for a few days. And I’m eventually going to figure out how to balance marketing myself/working/taking care of the house/and taking care of the kids. I figure I’ll have that sorted out sometime before they leave for college. And after that it won’t matter so much anyway. Right? M will get better, it’s just a matter of time and yoga at this point. And we’ll sort out the car situation sooner or later. We have to, the dealer keeps calling to find out what we want to do.

I am convinced that I am no worse off than any other mom. We all have full plates. We all have a ton to juggle. I am not convinced that I am depressed. I don’t think that me being overwhelmed is a sign of depression. I think it’s just a sign of me being, well, overwhelmed. But a little tiny part of me can’t help but wonder, what if my mom is right? She often is. She might live on the other side of the world, but she knows me better than anyone. Is she on to something? Should I be able to grin and bear all of this? Am I in fact depressed? And how would I ever know? And is it OK that I want to go hide under the bed while I figure it out?

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13 responses

  • It’s totally ok life isn’t always easy but we manage. Try to at least sit back once a day. If only for a few moments and MAKE IT YOURS! It’s totally normal to feel the way you do and I hope life slows down a bit.

  • It really is normal to feel overwhelmed and to want to hide until it goes away or gets better. But it is also okay to ponder whether or not you ARE experiencing depression. I am not, in any way, diagnosing you…especially since I got here from I don’t really know where & don’t know you. Though you seem really, really awesome!

    That said, when my son (#3) was about 18 mos old, I finally realized that I was, indeed in the midst of a major depression. And after much trial & error, found the right balance of medication/therapy to put my life back in order.

    Do I sometimes feel crazy & like hiding under the bed? Of course, I’m a mom of three! But I do not feel totally overwhelmed all the time and my house is no longer falling apart.

    I guess what I am saying is, if you think that your mom might be on to something, it could be worth looking into. Mommies have a lot on our plates from many different areas, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of to ask for some help if we need it. Best decision I ever made, hands down.

    Good luck!! (oh, and sorry for hijacking your comments! golly!)

  • The online diagnoses at http://www.mindsite.com/ are very comprehensive and accurate, although, of course, they are not the same as a doctor’s diagnosis.

    It’s OK to feel overwhelmed, but do you feel like that for weeks at a time?

    Have you lost interest in things you’re usually interested in?

    Is your mind slowing down, are you finding it hard to focus, and not having thoughts/ideas – or having repetitive thoughts (brooding)?

    Are you having thoughts that you don’t recognize as your own (such as thoughts about death and dying)?

    Keep an eye on it, if you are depressed, the faster you get help, the better.

  • HeatherK

    In the interest of full disclosure…this is coming from someone who faithfully takes some Vitamin ‘z’ —I don’t think you’re crawl under the covers and make your 3yo change the baby’s diapers and fix her bottle depressed, but your mom is on to something.

    I don’t think it’s healthy to live in a constant state of overwhelmed. I would not have cried about the car. For me, I know that my depression/stress is managed when I wallow for a bit and get right on with the resourceful/resilient end of things. My kids have their minor health issues that have to be managed more or less constantly and that’s my ongoing stressor that I’ve worked very hard to get perspective on.

    Sounds like you need balance. For many, exercise does wonders with mood and feeling more up to the challenge. You don’t exactly seem like the type to ‘do nothing’ to relax, but maybe you need to take 10 minutes of every hour to step away from the ‘netz and center yourself. You have so much to give, but give to yourself first.

    Oh and listen to your mother. 😉 *hugs*

  • Hugs, I’m so sorry you are experiencing all this at once, seems to happen that way, huh?

    With 2 kids under the age of 3, that alone is a ton of stress so I cannot even imagine having work and health issues to boot.

    Do you by chance have family nearby that can help out w/kids, etc. ?

  • I’m proud of you for being so brave and posting about your possible depression. I don’t have advice that you haven’t already received so I want to offer some ((hugs))

  • This time of year it is especially normal to feel overwhelmed, add in to that, two little girls that keep you on your toes and a new career and you’re bound, at some point to feel a tad run down.

    Take time for yourself. Wine…bubble baths, chocolate and good books.

    If you start to feel like this is more than just feeling run down, or that you can’t rise above it and want to sleep all the time, then would be a good time to talk to your doc.

    I’m dealing with a massive depression right now and wish I hadn’t waited to so long to seek help.

  • Emily Cullen

    Sure life is overwhelming with 2 kids. But if you have to ask yourself, and your mom has to ask, “Are you depressed?”, then you may have your answer.

    I had PP anxiety, except everyone was telling me it was normal, but I knew that something was wrong. I did go on medication which is up to you, but I would strongly suggest seeing a therapist. Therapists don’t stop the chaos in your life, they just help you manage things better and make you feel better too.

  • Thank you so much to all of you for stopping by and offering your support. I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate it. Just writing about this and hearing other’s experiences has already been incredibly helpful.

    @buffi you’re welcome to come squat my comments any time!

    @mihaela Thanks for that link, very very helpful!

  • i certainly think that life has seasons… Sometimes things are harder and heavier than others… Depressed seasons are normal. there is such a wide range of emotions and sometimes things will find us down. Hang in there!

  • Depression runs in my family, along with a whole sort of other unhealthy issues.

    I often think of depression is preventing you from living life. So times may be stressful and crazy… but if you are dealing with it and working through the issues to get to a less stressful point, then I’d say you are OK. But if you can’t get to a point where you can really deal with the issues so that things get better, then I’d advice to go talk to someone about it.

  • You are getting your doctorate in life….the challenges are making you stronger and more skilled. I often will ask myself..”why me? I deserve a break or two, why so much struggle?” But as I continue to grow things that were challenging in the past become less so going forward. “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic. “

    Hold your head high your day(s) are coming! 🙂

  • I felt overwhelmed for quite awhile…I thought I might have a late-developing PPD, but after talking w/ other moms of 2, I’ve decided it’s not PPD, but dealing w/ a 3YO and a new baby. A learning how to deal w/ a sibling PLUS going through the Terrible 3s at the same time were killing me.

    The only thing I’ve found that restores my sanity is to send the kids (yes both, but just the 3YO helps too) off to Grandma’s for a night or the weekend. I seem to be able to only go 2 weeks (at the most) before starting to feel like I’m sinking again. But oh my gosh, the days I don’t have to be a mommy, I feel so much better!! If they’re willing, could you send both kids to the grandparents for the weekend?

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