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She was not O.K. She was trying to fake it, but She was just not herself. She loved her children, She loved Him, but She felt like She was in a fog and couldn’t find Her way out. It was hard to get out of bed each morning; She just wanted to sleep and be left alone. Sadness overwhelmed Her for no reason at all. Everything was overwhelming. She had absolute breakdowns over nothing. Things that would normally not have bothered Her, like someone spilling milk, drove Her to the brink. She couldn’t sleep, yet She was tired all the time. She obsessed over Her weight, Her looks, Her mothering skills, everything. She just felt overwhelmed and empty.
But She didn’t tell anyone. She was embarrassed by these feelings. Optimistic and happy were usually how people described Her; She didn’t want to let anyone down. To Her surprise, She wasn’t fooling anyone. Especially Him. He knew something was really wrong. They weren’t getting along either. They had no money at all.
It was terrible.
They decided that She had to get a job. She had been a stay-at-home Mom now for 2 years. Even though She was supplementing their income by babysitting and tutoring, it still wasn’t enough. They were broke. She felt devastated at the thought of leaving Her kids during the day. Baby Girl was still in pre-school, still wasn’t talking or walking and was having a rough time in school. She wanted to be there for her. Little Man was only in pre-school and Sweet Pea was only 11 months old with major health problems. She just felt overwhelmed at the thought of going to work and leaving them all in someone else’s care during the day. But something had to give.
She started looking for part-time teaching jobs at local colleges and found one. The schedule was terrible but they would make it work. She was extremely unhappy about it, but what else could She do? On the way home from getting hired, He called Her on her cell.
“You’re not ok. Your Mom and I are really worried about you. I’m worried about us. I made an appointment with your doctor. I think you have depression.”
“I know I do. I thought I was hiding it well but I guess not. I just can’t do it anymore.”
“I love you. It’s all going to be ok.”
“I love you too.”
She went and met with Her family doctor. She had a difficult time getting the words out to tell him about Her symptoms and that She thought She was depressed. What right did She have to be depressed? She had a loving husband and three wonderful children. He was so kind and helpful. He could sense She was embarrassed and asked Her “If you had diabetes, would you take meds for it? If you had pneumonia, would you take medicine for it?” She said “Yes, of course.” He said “This is no different. It’s something you can’t control. It’s an illness. Don’t feel embarrassed”. It made Her feel slightly better. He sent Her on Her way with a prescription. She looked at it.
Prozac is for crazy people, She though. There was no way She could go to the pharmacy and get this filled. She would crumble with embarrassment. She called Him in a panic.
“They gave me PROZAC for f*c*’s sake! I can’t get this filled. I can’t be on Prozac! I’m not crazy!!”
“It will hopefully help you and make it better. You need it. Just please do it.”
She did. She didn’t die of embarrassment. Her doctor told Her it would take about a month for Her to feel a difference. She’d wait and see.
In the meantime, They had to work on their relationship. Over the past 4.5 years, They had been through a lot. Baby Girl’s diagnosis, Little Man 13 months later, Him working two jobs and going to school, Sweet Pea’s birth and health problems…it was a lot for any couple. They needed to regroup. They made an appointment with a marriage counselor. The love was still there, They just needed some help figuring out how to make it work and to help Them understand each other.
Hopefully it would all be ok.