Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Kind of Help Do You Want (Or Need)

This second part of this week has got to be better than the first.

Because the beginning half of this week ended the first real return to my diagnosed PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), which is basically PMS on steroids. I received this diagnosis the month before I became pregnant with Lucy, and as is obvious from the name, I did not have to deal with that disorder and its symptoms for the whole time I was cooking her.

I'm taking medication to combat this chemical wrinkle in my life, and it's working. Though, that doesn't mean everything is hunky-dory during those few days while I'm working through womanhood every month.

The poorly pieced-together sleep of an infant's parent doesn't lend itself to sanity, but it's especially taxing for those 96 hours. The ill-timed development of Jack beginning to ask "Why?" after everything I say underlined the disorder ten-fold. The unavailability of our car meant that I ran out of my healthy foods, which made the cake more tempting and the mental stability less level...

"Screw dieting! I'm just going to have this baby weight forever!!! Ice creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam."

I say all of this because this round of PMDD was made so much easier because I had no trouble calling my husband/parents/sisters and telling them how crappy I felt. Having kids has made me realize that even though I thought I could do it all, I can't. I can't even do some of it without help. And I'm realizing that most of my post-partum depression and PMDD battles in the past would have been alleviated in part if I had been humble enough to ask for help from those around me. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed help. I might have even subconsciously wanted help. But in the end, I didn't get better until I actually let people help me. This week, my family has been the safety barrier between me and the world -- who knew the world needed protecting?

So, today, tonight, whenever you end up reading this, I encourage you to think about what kind of help you need and aren't letting yourself receive. Now that I have this PMDD thing worked out, I think I need to start letting myself be helped with my stranger danger fears. Maybe.

This stuff is hard.

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