I used to get so angry. I could go from calm to blowing smoke out my ears in a matter of seconds. Like when I would spend a while trying to get Joseph to sleep, and Dominic would waltz in and wake him up just as I was laying him down. I would get so mad. I hated my anger. I was terrified of my anger. It hurt my heart and my head. I don't know why I got so angry. I don't know where it came from. I thought I was just a terrible person. How can you get mad at two little kids? I hated myself for it. I wanted to punish myself for it.
Not too long ago as well, fear consumed my life. So many things used to frighten me. Big things, little things. I was afraid to leave the house. I was afraid of the future. I was afraid of everything. Even bugs would frighten me. Spiders especially. I could hardly function if I knew a spider was in the room. If I thought I walked into a spider web, I would constantly brush my shoulders and flip my hair. Once, we thought a mouse was in the basement. I couldn't sleep. I could hardly think about anything else except that it was scampering over me and my kids during the night.
My poor boys. I used to be so picky about changing diapers. It would take me two, three times as long as anyone else to change a diaper because they had to be wiped just so. No molecule of poop was allowed within a 100 mile radius. And the diaper had to be on just so, not too loose, not too tight. It was frustrating for everyone involved, to say the least.
I used to be really picky about washing dishes and cleaning too. Everything would take me so extremely long to complete. I moved so slowly, so careful not to miss one single germ, rinsing things ten times over. I would have a nervous breakdown every time I cleaned the bathroom. I cleaned it well mind you, but I couldn't get over that it wasn't perfect. I felt like there was always more to clean no matter how long I spent on it. The thought of germs sent me into a panic.
The stomach bug would knock me senseless. Thank God for my husband who always knew how to snap into action. I've been thrown up on many many times and every time he's had to console me and the poor sick child at the same time. Sometimes, I would get a hunch that Dominic was going to get sick and I'd be up all night listening for him. I did not know what to do or how to clean up or how to handle the thought of it happening again and again all night long. It was debilitating.
Cleaning and germs and schedules seemed to be my biggest challenges. When the kids went to bed at night, I cleaned up all the toys and put them back into their special spots. I waited until they went to bed because I was embarrassed and afraid of passing on my obsessive behavior. I even tried to hide it from Craig because I knew it was ridiculous.
I tried stopping these weird habits, but I felt like I had to. I always felt better when it was done, like a hit off a cigarette. I knew something wasn't right. But in survival mode, sometimes you just have to do what you do.
Ever since I've been on Prozac, however, these weird rituals have slowly faded away. At first, I didn't notice. But now, I'm shocked.
My anger has subsided. I laugh things off more. I say, "OK, we'll try again later". My heart and my head and my actions seem to be more aligned. Of course I'm not 100% never angry. But it's more realistic and I get over it easier, like how I used to when I was a kid.
I'm not as afraid of things anymore. I'm squashing spiders left and right. I might even hold your pet mouse, if you asked me to. Surely I'll use hand sanitizer after, but I'll hold it! I'll answer my phone when it rings, I'll answer the door when someone rings the bell. I'll even make scary phone calls instead of copping out with a text. I can take deep breaths and use my coping skills to conquer really scary fears. Like not knowing how or when we're going to move this month. In the past, it would have kept me up all night. Now, I just let go, pray, trust, and give it God. Everything I've practiced and tried is finally working. Of course I'm not perfect, but who is?!
Changing diapers and cleaning aren't as big a deal to me anymore. Today, I set the record for the fastest (and the cleanest thank you) poopy diaper blowout change ever! And as far as house chores go, I only clean about 30 min a weekday. Maybe. If I feel like it. Ok, we'll say 3 or 4 days a week then. :) Dominic plays in the dirt. I let Joseph crawl around in the grass. And, you know, sometimes we even forget to wash our hands when we come inside.
But our house is adequately clean and the kids are joyfully happy.
Instead of focusing on all the "to-do", now I can see all the people around me and rejoice in their presence.
I didn't know how much depression was affecting my life until I started to get better.