Happy Mother’s Day

I’m lying on the bed with my now 15-month-old baby boy (toddler really) in my arms. It’s hard to write but I feel compelled to scribble my racing thoughts down.

I’m sad. I’m sad that this is my second Mother’s Day and that nothing has really gotten better in the past year. I’m sad that my husband hasn’t done anything for me, no wishing of Happy Mother’s Day, no breakfast in bed, no roses, no gifts, no nothing. Absolute silence. We haven’t even exchanged two words today. It’s like he enjoys to ignore special days like birthday and Mother’s Day and it always makes me so fucking depressed and sad and upset. 

It’s outside stimuli like this that used to make me suicidal. But I think maybe I’m growing older or just getting better, or maybe I just know I can’t let my mind wallow because I have a baby that deserves a mother who functions. Yeah I think it’s the last one. 

I’m almost done with Effexor. I haven’t taken any in two days and I’m dizzy and my mood swings and depression are back. I tapered off in just about 3 weeks. I wasn’t on a super high dose but it’s still been a bit challenging. Especially now the final 25% that I’m trying to get off by taking it every two days is really tough. 

I think I know why I was on it. After M’s birth I was allllll over the place. Even before his birth I was all over the place. Fuck, I think I’ve been all over the place my whole life! 

Antidepressants make you numb.

They lift your mood so that nothing really stings that bad. Outside events hurt occasionally but you don’t go way down into the abyss of depression anymore.

Without medication my mind is sharp. The mental fog is gone. I’m one of those “non-compliant” patients but I don’t care. I just felt like this is what I wanted to do. I was fed up with the side effects: severe debilitating insomnia, lethargy, tiredness, weight gain. Most of all, as I’ve decided to keep breastfeeding until M self weans, I’ve started wondering what this kind of long-term exposure to venlafaxine from birth will do to him.

My psychiatrist has been doing medical research forever and has done a study on venlafaxine and breastfeeding. He gave the paper to me and I found out that it does go into breastmilk but they hadn’t found any adverse reactions. Yet, these studies were done on little babies and they didn’t follow them into toddlerhood so no one knows if the kids ended up having ADHD or autism or allergies or physical problems. M still isn’t walking for example, and I can’t help but think it’s my fault that he isn’t because he gets milk with venlafaxine. 

I wish I had blogged more during the past year. It’s been absolute hell 80% of the time and bearable the rest. I can barely even remember what happened but I know he has just cried and cried and cried day and night for months and months. At three months I remember him crying 8 hours a day plus the nights. He woke up every two hours up until 14 months. I never slept. For about that 14 months I got max 6 hours of sleep in two hour intervals. 

I don’t know how I am alive. It’s been fucking awful. Sleep deprivation is torture!

I have barely done shit all year. All my ideas of walks on the beach, ocean swimming with baby, getting a job and working from home, art and craft classes and jogging with the baby have gone out he drain. I have barely functioned and barely made it.

The upshot is that it’s getting better. With me and the baby for sure. He cries less and he interacts with you and it’s easier. Oh and he sleeps more! My husband and I almost divorced many a time, both of us threatened the other one many many times during the past year. I’ve wanted to leave so many times, go back to Finland and have my mom help me out with the baby and say fuck this shit and never come back. I’ve been so close!

I tell everyone not to have a baby. It’s tough.  Especially if you have mental illnesses, motherhood just exacerbates everything. I feel guilty for saying it but I have fucking hated everything a lot. And I also feel like I’m not allowed to say I love it. It’s like, happiness is for other people, people I envy and I’m jealous of, but misery is what’s in store for me. I can’t bond and like my baby because it’s not my place. I’m supposed to hate everything.

Ahh so happy Mother’s Day to me and to all the moms battling mental illness, addiction, loneliness, all the single mothers and mothers with special needs kids and rainbow babies and no babies and fur babies. Cheers to you all because you’re the real MVP!

M

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I have not self harmed in one year!

I was thinking about it the other day and I realized I actually haven’t done any cutting or anything for over a year!

That’s actually really big for me because I think from the age of 9 or 10 or whenever I started cutting, not a year has gone by without me doing it.

It has to be the baby. I think he’s the only reason why I haven’t gone there even when I’ve felt the familiar urge. There have been times when I’ve felt desperate to relieve the mental pain through a physical outlet but somehow I’ve managed not to drink, smoke cigarettes, or cut. I think it’s pretty huge but I of course can’t go on shouting it from the rooftops.

So I wrote about it here. My only outlet for the real raw truths about my life. It feels comforting to know I always have this space.

M

Baby M is one years old!

Or is it one year old? In any case, yes, it’s been a year since that traumatic day when he entered this world.

What a crazy year its been. I don’t think I have ever in my life gone through both this much and this little at the same time.

I mean. I haven’t really worked in a year. My employer let me go after my 3-month maternity leave (unpaid) because I asked to work from home because of extreme postpartum anxiety and they said no. So in that way I haven’t done much at all. 

But at the same time I’ve popped out a baby and now he’s an 18-pound boobie monster. So in that way I’ve gone through a lot!

I will write another post about what motherhood has been like because it’s a whole topic of its own.

So on this momiversary I just wanted to take stock of everything and marvel at how quickly this whole damn year went!

M

Little Joys

I am trying to practice being happy and content about different things in my life.

It’s actually really hard. I am used to complaining about everything; I guess the hatred and anger are so deep rooted that it feels fake to be happy about anything.

But I try.

This morning I am happy that I am on my way to the gym and I can just walk there and I don’t need a car. 

I am happy I live in Miami Beach. It’s a cute little town and it’s nice to be a local.

I am happy I feel better about being a mom.

I am happy I get at least 4 hours of sleep every night. This is a biggie. It’s not in one chunk but the total exceeds at least that 4 hours. 

I am happy I just finished writing my first book. 

That’s it for now.

The baby is ten months!

Honestly, time flies. It’s so crazy! If you asked me what I’ve been doing for the past 10 months I could not tell you, apart from nursing, staying up all night, trying to pull myself together during the day and watching the baby grow.

He’s so big. I really feel anxious about the fact that now I am officially old, the next generation is here, and he’ll keep growing and I’m a parent.

Crazy, right?

I never thought I’d want to parent. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but now that he’s bigger things are kind of starting to calm down. I feel like a failure a lot, but I’ve heard all moms do, so nothing new there.

I am trying to decide what I want to do with my life, but nothing new there either.

Right now I want some tiramisu. I’m trying to go vegan but these random cravings are effing it up for me.

I am kind of finally starting to feel like a mom. I don’t know what that’s really like otherwise because I have had a weird relationship with mine, but I now get to choose what kind of mommy I’ll be and it’s kind of fun. I get anxious when he cries in public but then I’m like whatever, fuck them, I don’t care what people think about me. I care for him the best I can with my limited abilities and he’ll be fine.

I can’t shelter him from everything and that’s fine too.

He’ll be a good boy.

M

Another Birthday

I haven’t posted in a while yet again – what a surprise, right? – but as I lie on the couch crying and feeling the urge to cut, I figured I should jot my thoughts down instead of cutting my arms because I’ve made a silent promise to myself that I would never ever do it again.

I think I owe it to my baby. I don’t care if I owe it to myself, but I already feel bad my son has a mommy whose arms people stare. He doesn’t deserve it. I think it kind of would break my heart if I was someone else and saw it on TV for example, a kid with a mom who cuts herself.

Kind of like, when I watch news clips on Facebook where the little kids are stuck in cars with their druggie parents passed out in the front. First thing I think about is, that kid doesn’t deserve it. So I try to look at myself as an outsider and try care for my baby in a way that I would be proud of if I was an outside looking in.

I haven’t cried since the day he was born. Wow. 10 months. I haven’t felt this lonely either. The fact that I barely sleep and I’m busy with him 24/7 shields me from my negative thoughts.

I just can’t shake them today. I’m always really depressed on my birthday. Another year always rolls by with all this shit that makes me really sad and depressed.

When I was little it was the abuse and my dad hitting my mom and the violence and the sadness and feeling sorry for my mom and hating my mom too. How it was her fault he was like that.

Then later on it was being bullied and being alone on my birthday and how enough people didn’t show me love and make it a special day for me.

I always wanted magic, fanfare, big gifts and parties and surprises and rose-colored glasses to see the world through.

And it never came.

I invited many, many people to celebrate my 16th with me and one person showed up and made excuses and left.

In college I got drunk and cut my arms and wanted to kill myself.

I always wanna kill myself on my birthday. Somehow it feels nostalgic.

I probably feel like that too, today, but I know those days are over where I could indulge in my shitty feelings and feeling sorry for myself and feeling like a victim and being able to get drunk and cut and take pills and plan how I’d kill myself.

I have a child now. He needs me. I need him, too. I am overwhelmed about being a mother 99% of the time and wonder what the hell happened to the person who I was, but sometimes I look at him and he looks and me and smiles and I feel like maybe one day I’ll love this thing here.

He does deserve a good life and happiness.

I’m still breastfeeding so no getting drunk for me. He likes the milk. I feel like I’m a worthy human being, keeping this little nugget here alive with my white gold.

Ahh. Sadness. Tears. Utter loneliness and emptiness. Heart-breaking feelings of loss and worthlessness.

Lots of emotions. At least I feel something, right?