I was excited after I went to the fertility clinic.  A little too excited, actually.  Having another baby seemed like it would be so great!  I was really liking the idea.  It would give me… a reason ?  A purpose?  An excuse?  I don’t know.  I came home from the clinic and was all about the protocol (much easier than my last ones) and the timing (very soon) and my husband put the brakes on, fast.

And I did not like that.

But I knew he was right.  First of all, I am fat, and getting pregnant at this weight, when my joints already hurt and I seem to have a back strain or a swollen knee or some damn thing every week, would be a major strain.  A sick pregnancy, where I don’t gain a lot of weight, would be bad enough.  A normal pregnancy, where I might put on 30 MORE pounds… could be a disaster.

But I was so disappointed, and that was kinda weird.  I started to notice that I need something.  Another baby, a project, something.  It didn’t feel quite right, and I had to keep reminding myself that at the end of that pregnancy there would be another newborn and no sleep and the baby we already have isn’t exactly going anywhere.  THAT’s a project.

But I just kept thinking that I need it.

Not good.  I do need something.  I have been seeing a therapist for several months now.  I have been in therapy on and off for most of my adult life, because that is what it has taken to get me through the many many stages of recovery from childhood sexual abuse.  Since the really crazy ugly part of that recovery is well behind me, I’m always surprised that I’m not done yet.  But, I’m not.

So, yes, I need something.  I have now gained almost 40 pounds since my son was born, and while I’m all about not hating myself, and learning to have peace with food, et cetera, I am still overeating and finding it hard to stop.  I know I’d like to have a job, and I may not find one that fits my mothering schedule for a while.  I’d like to be writing again, and I’m not.  I seem to need to be busy all the time,  to be accomplishing or creating or fixing, to be okay.  But I’m not finding anything to do.  I could use more and better friends, but I seem to suck at picking up the phone.  All I do anymore is tell myself why someone isn’t a good fit for me, or why she doesn’t like me, or our kids aren’t the same age.  Or I just watch 4 “Grey’s Anatomy”s in a row until I’m too tired to remember to get a life.

I went to my therapist on Friday and we again approached the idea that I am okay, no matter what my weight, no matter what my accomplishments or lack thereof, and I again started to sob that I didn’t know how to be okay, and my therapist told me that she thinks I’m depressed.  I may have postpartum depression and I may also, based on my history, have always been depressed. She wants me to go and see a psychiatrist to be evaluated for antidepressants.

At first I thought “no way!” Because in my life I have been depressed, as in face-down, no color in the sky, can’t-hardly-move-my-mouth-to-speak depressed.  That is not how I have been feeling.  But I have cried a lot, I have felt worthless a lot, and lately I’ve been wondering why I am this unhappy person in the middle of my very fortunate circumstances.  It’s easy for me to say that I’m sad because I’m fat.  But, I’m starting to think, maybe I’m fat because I’m sad. Part of me is crying for help, maybe, but the rest of me just wants it to shut up and keep smiling.

It was hard to hear.  I’ve been depressed my whole life?  Oh.  Faaabulous.  Am I a lie?  But… I think she’s right.  I’ve been striving my whole life.  Striving to get through school, to get a decent job, to get a boyfriend (always the boyfriend), to lose weight.  I elevated striving to epic levels.  I wrote and performed and got married and got divorced and started my own business and ran marathons and took a manual labor job and went to graduate school and got married again.  Then of course came the infertility.  I’m now in a very solid wonderful marriage, with an extra cute baby and a good shot at having a second child, in an incredible house in a beautiful little town that I love.  I have every right to coast for the rest of my life, but  the idea of that – that I’m no longer under construction, that this me is “it” – that idea is so scary and empty and depressing that I know I have some serious work to do.

So I walked out of that therapy session with a phone number in my pocket, wearing a diagnosis, a different paradigm, like an unfamiliar haircut.  It seemed weird, and like some kind of cop-out, to just say, okay.  I’m depressed. But then again…life shouldn’t be this hard.  And especially the food thing.  It’s one thing to struggle with food, and all that, and I always have.  But to gain 40 pounds in 6 months?  That is kinda scary, don’t you think?  When I thought of that I started to feel a little bit relieved.  As in, maybe all of this isn’t my fault, or my personality, or my destiny.  Because it has been really crazy hard just to eat healthily and feel like a normal human who has a right to be here.

I’m pretty suggestible, so for a few days I felt around in my psyche to find the sore, depressed parts. Ow!  They’re there.  After a few days, I got right on board with the idea.  Psychiatrist, meds, sure, okay let’s go.  But then there was the getting in touch with the shrink and the words I dread when I call for an appointment: “His next available…” You could be dying and there will be somebody on the end of the phone telling you his “next available” is sometime next YEAR.

His next available is the week after next.  Sixteen days away.  Knowing how long it takes the meds to kick in, the possibility that I might have to try a few before I see any benefit, and how crappy I am realizing I feel… well, grrreat.  So I am trying to implement every old school depression lifter that I know of.  Fish oil.  Exercise.  Singing.  Sunshine (it’s supposed to rain cats and dogs here until SUNDAY, thank you God.  Yes, that was sarcasm; the Lord has heard it from me before).  Friends, support, expressing my feelings.  Salmon, chocolate, bunnies, whatever.  What choice do I have?

Sixteen days.