Tuesday, September 30, 2008

asking for help and the stresses of surrogacy

The past week has been a painful one, both physically and emotionally. "Serious Clinical Depression" the three words that defined my adolescence. In adulthood, I have managed to keep these debilitating feelings out of my daily life. Then at a moments notice that old companion creeps back in attempting to stain my world. At these times, I get the interventions that I need and go on with my life and this time was no different.

I do not need a "professional" to tell me what is wrong that much is obvious. I am prone to bouts of depression and my life is stressful at the moment. On top of the surrogacy, I am in my second to last semester in college, and I am seriously loosing the battle to lose weight. At this time I do not think that talking to anyone is going to help, but I have no problem with talk therapy if the medication and working on addressing the weight in a different way. I count my ability to monitor myself this way as the "prize" I earned from struggling for so many years and making it out fairly in tact.

Part of what is not talked about with surrogacy and IF is that you are a parent for years before you have an actual child in your home. As a friend of mine said one day, "Well you are a mother you just do not have the child yet." This is exactly how I feel, every time I feel like I really need a break from all this I immediately feel guilty because I am delaying the birth of my child. It is the most irrational feeling and yet it is one that permeates my life, which is difficult for me because I like it when my life and thoughts make sense (at least to me). Our child is real to me part of this comes from the fact that so much time and energy has been put into getting him/her to really exist this makes every decision to delay the process feel like a betrayal and like I am already a bad parent for being selfish. Before you go running from the insane woman let me assure you that I know this is irrational and walks a razor edge of sanity. Intellectually I understand that these thoughts are not normal and I brush them aside and do what needs to be completed.

Part of the issue that I am dealing with now is that I am almost finished with college. With a degree in Social Work and Psychology, it is imperative that I obtain a Masters degree to work in my area of interest. I have the opportunity to start this summer and cut my time in graduate school down by 6 months this time frame would put my still in school when we had our child. Throughout this process, it has always been my intention to spend at least the first 2 years home with my child. As I am not getting any younger I am not willing to put off the baby making to get my Masters, as it stands now I am firmly committed that if I do not have a baby in my arms by the time I am 36 (3.5 years) then we are finished. Now I have to decide how I am going to work these two very important things together. Women do this every day most women do not always get to plan when they are going to have their children and they are still able to do what I am having so much trouble wrapping my head around. After missing huge parts of the first 9 months, I do not want to miss another second and I do not want someone else being there while him/her is discovering the world for the first time.

Then to put the cherry on the sundae in spite of my decent attempts to lose weight I am just gaining. I am in the gym with my trainer 3 times a week. In the place where I feel so out of place, self conscious and judged, but I go because; I do not want to feel like this anymore. Even though I know that I feel better, that number on the scale keeps going up. It is getting to the point where I do not want to leave the house. My parents were in town yesterday and I was embarrassed to see them, which is crazy because they too have struggled with their weight (They both look amazing and have worked really hard to lose weight and I could not be prouder of them). My desire to put curtains on the mirrors in my bathroom is overwhelming. In the next few weeks I will be seeing a doctor about this situations. This is such a familiar struggle but I am getting scared that I will not be able to get this under control and it will change who I am in a fundamental way. Back to the doctor I go to stumble around in the dark trying to figure out what is wrong with me, figure out where the new cracks are in the body that hates me.

I will start the anti-depressants tomorrow and knowing me it will be a couple of weeks before I am starting to get balanced out again. Yes, I hate it that I could not do this on my own and some part of me feels weak. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, I am surprised it has taken me this long to get to this place and I think I should have asked for help much sooner. Not being able to ask for help will sink someone going through this process. I am so lucky that I am surrounded by people who know how to read me and are not afraid to tell me that I need help, I am so grateful that if I had not been able to get help on my own that they would have made sure that I did. The importance of having great people around you and asking for all the help you need without shame cannot be stressed enough. It is a difficult enough to get through this process with tons of support, trying to go it alone would be treacherous for me.


Cyn said...

Congrats to you Jaymee for being so aware of yourself and what you need. There really should be no shame in anti-depressants and there is nothing wrong with feeling crazy every now and then. It's great to hear that you have so many people watching out for you!

I'm quite impressed with your commitment to your schooling and plans. Getting through school can be such a tough feat!

RMCarter said...

I think it was fate that I happened on your blog. I have been dealing with infertility for 5 years now. It took me almost a year to admit I am suffering from depression. I am now in therapy and have considered anti-depressants. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to see there is no shame in seeking help.

(If you are interested, here is the story of the night I decided to finally seek help: http://www.inpursuitofparenthood.com/2008/09/step-1-admit-you-have-problem.html)

Anonymous said...

Oh Jaymee, I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. You're going through so much and have been such a pillar of strength..it's to be expected that you might need some help on your journey.

Your child will find his/her way to you, of that I am certain.

Big, big hugs..


TABI said...

Thanks so much for your comforting post on my blog. I am so glad that you are getting the help you need and it's so important as you say to be able to ask for help. I think you are facing your challenges of depression, weight, surrogacy/donor egg/IF, and grad school with such courage. I look forward to having a buddy also doing the surrogacy journey.

seriously? said...

I had a related and interesting conversation with my shrink yesterday. I told him now that I am 10 years past my first serious bout with clinical depression, the difference for me is I can feel it coming and I understand it. I also know what it is like on the other side of that cloud, when the first time, I didn't even know there was another side.

It's good that you are so aware and understand that when stress comes so do the threats to our mental health. I know that we (my self and my doctor) must be vigilant when there are big changes coming in order to seek approriate intervention.

Lori said...

I'm glad you know what you need, and that you feel supported.

You sure have a lot going on!