A story of depression

First of all, on a small note… I totally understand was Ms. Laughter Through Tears is talking about in this post. I am totally jonesin’ for my meds. It feels wrong not to be popping pills and sticking needles in my butt. I’ve had a lingering soreness in my injection areas, and I am so sad for it to fade away. Pain means you are working towards something. Shots mean you are supporting this potential life you’ve had put inside you. Pills mean there’s hope. Not doing anything means dick all.

Also… this is the worst period that has ever ejected itself from my body. I should have invested in cotton.

So, to the point at hand… I’ve struggled with depression my entire life. It’s not debilitating (usually) and isn’t generally always hanging around. It comes and goes. While this isn’t always necessarily the cause, I do have one very specific trigger that sets it off without fail.

It’s my “crash”. It happens when there is something that has caused me to have a build of up anticipation. A special day. A specific event I’ve been planning or looking forward to. Something that has caused an emotional build up in the weeks or months prior. When I was a kid, it would happen with birthdays and Christmas. As an adult, it happens when I organize events, or sometimes still on birthdays and Christmas.

Once the day/event is over, I crash. The sudden end to all these happy and excited feelings causes my brain to be completely unbalanced, and it plunges into sadness and apathy to compensate. I generally have a few days where I pretty much feel like crying all the time, and the tiniest things will set me off. It’s usually pretty brief, a few days, maybe a week or two, and I’m feeling better again. Once in a while it’ll happen to coincide with something else that’s going on, and it’ll be the catalyst for a longer struggle. Such was the case in the fall and winter of last year. I had a post-event crash around the same time I was also feeling down because of a lost job opportunity, and some other negative stuff that was going on. This happened in early October, and I don’t believe I came out of it until around January.

A failed IVF cycle is this same kind of trigger. Weeks of planning, anticipation, and excitement… and it just suddenly stops. And this makes my emotions spaz out. Of course one should be sad after a failed cycle. But this is a very specific and familiar kind of sadness that I know is in part attributed to my crash. It’s hard to describe how I know that, or how I can tell the difference. But after 20 years or so of being aware of this phenomenon, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with it.

(On a side note, I feel like this history of mine is going to make me particularly susceptible to postpartum depression, when the time comes. So this is something I plan on discussing with my doctor/midwife well before I even give birth.)

So here’s hoping this is just the few days kind, and not the several weeks/months kind, and I’ll soon be on my way to feeling normal again.

4 responses to “A story of depression

  1. I thought about that article when I read your comment about missing the shots yesterday. It really is hard to not be actively doing something to work toward your goal. Thanks for mentioning my article. I had to take a quick break from work and send you a note of encouragement when the notification came up on my phone.

    If you have been dealing with depression your whole life, I am sure you have methods of addressing it. What you are feeling is normal and the “crash” is a common trigger. I would go ahead and talk to your doctor now.

    I know that we prefer not to take anything when we are trying to conceive but I also know there are meds you can take throughout pregnancy that might be good options for you to start now, that way it will help through pregnancy and postpartum as well.

    Also, I find my 2000 units of Vitamin D helps a great deal with mood if you are not already taking it. Guided meditation helps me too.

    Keep writing and be gentle with yourself. You will be back in the game soon. Your baby is just chilling out and waiting for you.

  2. I am pretty adamantly anti-medication, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most of the time my depression is totally manageable, so I prefer to work through it in other ways.

    That being said, I do need to be more diligent in getting exercise, and making time for yoga/meditation/relaxation. Guided meditation helps me a great deal as well, but I’m terrible at making time to take care of myself.

    I do take vitamin D, but at a pretty small dose. I could up it and see what that does.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!

  3. It’s hard to know what to say that doesn’t sound trite or canned. The closest I can come is – This sucks. And I’m sorry. I have to mentally scrape myself off the floor after a regular negative cycle, I can’t imagine how much harder this is for you after the build up and stress and promise of IVF. I’m somewhat familiar with the feeling you’re describing, I’ve always called it “post vacation feeling”, but it can strike, like you said, after any big/out of the ordinary life event (there’s even a mild version my husband calls “Sunday feeling” that often settles in at the end of a fun weekend). There’s just a sudden vacuum where previously there was activity and excitement. I know what helps me is to kind of go to the opposite extreme; throw myself hardcore into my regular routine and find comfort in the mundane, predictable aspects of life. It’s not the best, but sometimes that works.

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