Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's play a little game of pretend, shall we?

One of my neighbors is a former psychology professor who studied postpartum depression.

I told her that I had gotten whacked pretty hard with it after both of my children. It's funny, I said, I've never really been a depressive person. She looked at me for a second and said if that was the case, it would be pretty rare. The research has shown that most people with postpartum have usually previously suffered bouts of depression or anxiety.

In other words, she busted me.

I'm a closet depressive. Highly functional. I bathe, I make beds, I get everyone off to school. I cook, I clean, I work. But yeah, I often see the world through the bottom of a half-empty glass. Maybe it isn't just me, maybe we're all closet depressives.

It is interesting though, the difference between who we see ourselves as, and who we really are. In my mind, I'm a pretty positive person. But in my actual mind, maybe not so much. I think what bothers me the most about it, isn't the pressure to be happy, but the idea that I might not be able to see just how good things really are. Ever.

Last year, around this time I bottomed out pretty hard. We'd sold our house in Phoenix for a loss, we were in temp apartment in Phoenix waiting to move to another temp apartment in Boston. It had become pretty apparent that buying a house wasn't an option. We'd found a place to rent here, but it wouldn't be available until July. Our stuff was in storage and my husband, though he was visiting weekends, had technically moved without us.

I couldn't even really blog about it without sounding like such a jerk. I could have been relaxing, enjoying my last few months in Phoenix. The glass was more than half-full. Hubs got a promotion when we moved. We survived our underwater mortgage. I was actually excited to move to Boston, but I didn't feel any of that. I just felt sad.

In hindsight it was silly. We were and still are in a pretty good situation. But, damn, back then it looked pretty bleak. It's scary to think that your brain can scramble the view until you can't see it the right way.

So yes, I was predisposed to postpartum depression and yes I am likely to have rounds of depression during stressful situations, like moving which we seem to be doing every two years. But I'd like to keep that under wraps, thank you very much. Remind me not to make any more friends with a doctorate in psychology.

Of course I am assuming that everyone else didn't already know this about me.

Which I've now just realized is probably not the case.



Lisa said...

Total crap! Here's a label for you - change is hard. Throw in single parenting two kids and a bad economy and of course life will suck for awhile. So glad that you're happily on the other side!

carly Schiano said...

if you think about it, considering yourself a positive person, when you suspect you may not be, is kind of looking at yourself as a glass half full...which is turn kind of makes you a positive person.