I think I lost my sanity for a period after my son was born. Nothing was as I had envisioned it. I had not planned to have a C-section. I had no idea how broken and disabled that would make me. My husband went back to work the day after I got home from the hospital. I was so lonely and bored, and I had no idea how to take care of myself and my baby. I hardly had enough strength to cook food to keep myself fed. We were both very stressed out about money. I was self-employed before my baby's birth and my income had not been sufficient enough to allow me to set aside any savings.
The mornings were the worst part of the day—they felt like years. I remember calling my mom one morning and asking her to take off work to help me, and the excruciating disappointment when she told me no. I also remember sitting on my bed, nursing my son and staring at the wall where some pictures were hung. I guess I was entertaining myself by imaging ways I could redecorate it, and then a feeling of utter despair at how impossible doing anything like that felt now that I had a baby to take care of. My mother-in-law was available and eager to help, and the breaks she made possible were a blessing. But in spending more time with her, her own deep insecurities and fears fed into mine and intensified my insanity.
I did destructive things. I raged at my husband and my mom many times. I obsessed over what I ate and what I fed my son. I had panic attacks. I laid around in bed thinking semi-suicidal thoughts and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
And I did things that would eventually lead to my recovery. I saw a counselor regularly. I started attending Al-Anon. I came to understand the role addiction had played in my childhood, my relationships and my own life choices. I also had the bravery/desperation to do things I never would have considered before. I got a regular job (one I would come to love). I went to Costa Rica for a personal development/horse-riding workshop (something I had always dreamed of doing). I started paying attention to our finances and scheduling weekly finance "meetings" with my husband where we did the hard work of getting used to talking about money and collaborating on financial decisions. I went on an anti-depressant.
My son is 2 now and I think I'm out of the woods. I have learned to detach from the behaviors of loved ones that used to deeply hurt me. I feel happy again. I have projects that I am excited about and I no longer feel exhausted all of the time. I am no longer taking an anti-depressant. I have a list of friends to call who can truly listen when I need to talk. My husband and I are making plans to move to the country where I can keep my horses. Our son loves nature.
I can't imagine going through this again, but I'm glad I did. It would have been nice to avoid all of the pain and disappointment, but the only way to the truth—about myself and others—was through it. I see now that there was no other way.