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Dealing with heartbreak and depression...

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hey ladies, I was just wondering how you deal with the truly rough stuff these days? Any good ways you deal with heavy emotions? Any coping strategies?

I recently came to a place where I felt like FB was alienating me from my friends, not bringing me closer, so I deleted my account. I think I may just be too sensitive right now.

Has anyone felt a serious depression within friendships since the birth of kids? Any thoughts on why, or any ideas on how to remedy that?

Sigh.
post #2 of 34

hug2.gifI really don't have many friends IRL right now. I used to have several excellent friends but due to moves, divorces, more children, jobs, etc... we are all just in way different places and have drifted apart. Lack of time is a huge part of that. What I do know and tell myself often that this is temporary. This is the craziness of children. It won't be forever, and someday my schedule will be easier, I will have more time, I won't feel like I am in disaster recovery mode all the time, and friendships will happen again. I do have a couple newer friends that I would love to be closer to but we just can't make our schedules mash so I know I am not a lost cause! This shall pass...

 

It has taken me a while to get to this point. I lost almost everyone I was close to right around the pg of my first son. (he is 2.5 now) every single relationship was different. I went from hanging out with friends on a daily basis to maybe chatting with one a couple times a month if that. And one horrid incident where a friendship did end very, very badly. That one did take a large toll on me and my family, her anger was taken out on my DD1 with permanent results. And I guess that is how I slowly got to my current state of affairs. Just to realize that people do change, lives change, friendships ebb and flow, sometimes it is nothing we exactly do but just life and other people's situations. 

post #3 of 34
I don't have any answers, but I'm in a similar place.

I haven't had a great network of friends in a very long time and it's gotten considerably worse since having kids. I'm so lonely so much of the time. I'm sure it's adding to the ppd that I'm having as well.

To top it off, I feel like my husband is slipping away as well. Since all my friends flittered away, he became my everything. But it feels like there is a great big wall up between us that went up when I had my miscarriage last year. We just can't seem to connect on the same deep level that we used to. I'm really sad about this and I don't know how to fix it.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this too.
post #4 of 34

I'm still working through feelings of losing my best friend since she had her baby and I had mine.  I felt like motherhood would bring us closer, but she's so self centered that she doesn't notice how much she blows me off and only talks about herself.  FB is the worst.  I'll see her active, comment on a bunch of other things, and then sign off.  No comments on my pictures, nothing.  That really burns me up, b/c I know when her DD was born I was incredibly supportive and commented on all the pics, the labor pics, everything.  I was about to block her, but didn't.  Finally, just this week, I unsubscribed to her so I don't see all her stuff in my feed and I don't get notified when she does things anymore.  It hurts too much to know that she's there and she's choosing not to be involved.  I get so mad and passive aggressive.  I'll not text her for a few days -- only to get an "i miss you!" text from her.  It's like she's toying with me and I don't like it.  I don't know how to deal with the hurt.  Sometimes I wish I could just tell her it really bothers me that she's only half assing our friendship, but what good would that do?  I feel like I have to just demote her in my mind and not expect anything.  So when something nice happens it's a welcome surprise, but not expected at all.

 

Coping strategies?  Hm.  For me, I constantly remind myself that I didn't have babies so other people would think they're awesome or cute.  Sometimes it takes me realizing (over and over) that before FB, people didn't have ways to share pictures and events so easily.  When we were kids, the only pictures were on birthdays, holidays, and vacations, and you didn't mail them out to everyone to "comment on."  It was good enough that people in your Real Life saw them and knew about your life.

 

Raising kids is so hard, especially right now when they're so young.  

 

This doesn't completely apply to me b/c I'm not religious (though I do believe in something) but my sister re-posted this blog post recently and parts of it really hit home. 

 

http://blossomingbranches.blogspot.com/2010/11/to-mothers-of-young-children.html?spref=fb

 

The other thing I'm doing is really, really trying to make commitments and stick to them.  I'm going to see a movie with an IRL friend in a week or so.  She's due with her first in a month, and I don't want her to fall off the planet when that happens.  A bunch of my IRL friends are expecting this spring, 2 that I would actually love to hang out with, and I recently connected with an old friend from 5th grade who has an 8 month old.  We can support each other.  We can acknowledge that this is tough and that it's impossible to please everyone. 

 

Just trying to keep in mind that these days of sacrifice, of constantly giving and giving and not getting much back, are shortlived and fleeting helps me.  I know how fast these past 3 years have felt with Nora.  The next 3 will go by in the blink of an eye and I don't want to spend them feeling sorry for myself or wishing them to go by.

post #5 of 34

I'm making new friends. Trying very hard to, anyway.

Interacting with a group of women repeatedly and having great talks when we meet up - my doula had a Halloween party that was great and then is planning to have monthly get togethers for her clients. That will be a big help. Plus LLL, the c-section support group, the baby group at the library and any other mom meeting I noticed.

 

I've always been a one-friend-at-a-time person. I have a bunch of people I know, but mostly only hang out with one all the time. This bites you in the ass when it falls apart :) And relationships that intense tend to. Dusty is my one, but I need more now. I need women. I have one mom who I adore, but she always flakes. I see her one time out of ten scheduled probably. And another friend who also always flakes. It's way less than 1/10.

 

My mom comes every day, that helps.

 

I have my Charlie blog, that helps me. G-rated things I want to share with someone, I can post. Plus I've turned my FB into Charlie Talk.

 

I cry a lot. That helps. I'm not pushing any emotions away these days. I am mad when I'm mad, hurt when I'm hurt. And I even let these friends know that I am done now. If they want to plan something, cool, but that I don't believe they'll follow through because they never do. If they show, I'll be delighted and love it, but I'm not getting too attached to the idea. It works. I'm blunt enough that it's expected.

 

Mom's groups. That's my answer. :)

post #6 of 34

I recently watched the National Geo. documentary on stress (which I highly recommend--it's on netflix).  guess what?  moms of little ones are under more stress than most people.  duh.  And also more specifically moms of special needs children, which fortunately I'm not, but my sister is and I can vouch for her--it's stressful!  One of the best ways to cope with that stress is via a support group and friends.

 

So when friendships fall apart so does our therapy, so to speak, which i devastating.  I can completely relate, especially when DS was born.  Having a child completely alienated me from my non-child-having friends (which was all but one and my sister).  I "coped" by completely immersing myself in my own world with DS.  I also worked part time as a baker/cook and had a tremendous amount of customer interaction.  while the customers were not friends, they were almost all regular custos so we could interact and keep up on each others' lives.  Believe it or not, I almost never thought about how my friendships were falling apart--I was to busy.  I just didnt give myself time to consider how lonely I was.

 

Its a little different now, with DS in school.  I've made some friends, and established a couple deeper relationships with moms.  Almost all of my friends are newer friendships-- as in, within the last 3 years at most.  Peony is right, friendships wax and wane, and it sounds like your having a bit of a dry spell--totally normal for us busy moms of little ones.

 

This may sound silly, but with those heavy emotions I suggest you use them to your advantage.  I know from your posts that you can write well.. have you thought of or tried poetry? writing? art?  or do like me, and work somewhere part time where you can interact with people?  not even with the expectation of making friendships, but just to be social with people, ykwim?

 

I wish we all were in a social group irl.  I'd totally be taking you out for coffee right now!

 

and PS, FB sucks.  I use it almost exclusively as a photo album for out of state grandparents.  

 

Oh, and, for what its worth Michelle hug2.gif

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama579 View Post

This may sound silly, but with those heavy emotions I suggest you use them to your advantage.  I know from your posts that you can write well.. have you thought of or tried poetry? writing? art?  or do like me, and work somewhere part time where you can interact with people?  not even with the expectation of making friendships, but just to be social with people, ykwim?


I think she could write a good baby book or baby blog. She always knows so much!

 

post #8 of 34

Michelle,

I just want to tell you that I think you are one caring, loving Mama. I second what was already said, that you are a wonderful writer.

I've always been able to relate to you. You always write so thoughtfully and honestly. I remember you gave such a beautiful description of childbirth and labor pain which I'll never forget.

I feel like I remember reading somewhere that you like Ani? For me, listening to good music really helps me feel connected and less alone.

I have one good friend who is also a Mama. And, we live like 35 minutes away from each other. And we never see each other. But, we talk in the phone regularly. And I HATE talking on the phone. But I accept that either of us may need to hang up quickly to tend to a crying baby, and I never give up on the phone tag. So, its not ideal, but we love each other and its working. For me, I've often been a BAD friend because I've been in BAD friendships. I'm learning how to be a good friend now. And that means a lot of the time I'll be the one reaching out and I won't expect anybody to ever read my mind, no matter how much I want them to.

That being said, I've been feeling pretty depressed and lonely lately too. For me, DP has been having a hard time in his life and that's where I'm feeling sad and lonely and vulnerable. And, this too shall pass.

I just read Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions and it really touched me. But damn, she had SO MANY friends it was hard to relate sometimes. I often feel isolated.

Also, I am a huge fan of support groups.

Good luck, and just know that you may feel lonely but you aren't alone because this DDC has your back!

And, depression has been kicking my ass too!

post #9 of 34

I'm having a hard time maintaining friendships too.  I moved in with DH while pregnant, it's an hour and a half from the city I had lived in for 8 years.  So it's quite the trek to see my friends.  Most of them have no kids (though two are pregnant now - yay!).  I've found that the ones that generally love babies have been super psyched to meet Anton, so they want to hang out.  But some of them just aren't really baby people and I haven't seen them since I had him. 

 

A good deal of my social life pre-pregnancy involved either bars or theater, neither of which is an option right now.  I wish my friends lived closer so they could just come over and hang out.  So far, when I've seen my friends I've done the driving, which is tough sometimes with a baby. 

post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama579 View Post

I recently watched the National Geo. documentary on stress (which I highly recommend--it's on netflix).  guess what?  moms of little ones are under more stress than most people.  duh.  And also more specifically moms of special needs children, which fortunately I'm not, but my sister is and I can vouch for her--it's stressful!  One of the best ways to cope with that stress is via a support group and friends.

 

So when friendships fall apart so does our therapy, so to speak, which i devastating.  

 

 



Totally. I had a friend that I adored because she had one SN child. We would go out, order a drink and moan about the 12 hours a week of therapy our kids got or something similar. I shouldn't say had because we still see each other but instead of the 3 hour dinner every month and the weekly texting it is now a 45 minute lunch every 6. I cried so many tears over that loss. That drink and complaining was MY therapy that I desperately needed. So I complain to this group instead cause otherwise I'm going to lose my marbles. If you can't find someone IRL to be your support, sometimes groups like these is what get us through the day. 

 

And I hope today was better. I remember that your DS is an active little guy that keeps you on your toes. I've got one one or two of those myself, it does get easier eventually. hug2.gif

post #11 of 34

I have found myself in various times in my life re-examining my friendships and realizing that they just aren't as deep as I thought they were. Sometimes I think it's just good to release people from your life if they are taking more than giving, or if they just aren't what you need in your life.  IMO, in the almost 1 year that I've known you through this DDC, I can see that you are such a compassionate, witty, supportive, strong woman. Maybe you just need to let go of some people to make room in your life for new people who are really worthy of you and can add enrichment to your life.  Even though I only know you through the interwebs, I still feel honored to be your friend! 

 

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 

Oh ladies, thank you so much, really!!!  I started to cry reading your posts.  None of my IRL friends have ever complimented my writing.  I kept a blog for almost 2 years...  No one read it, despite all promotion.  That was probably more than 6 years ago.  Maybe I should have known then that it was a sign of things to come...

 

I am coming to grips that this go round I am dealing with PPD.  It just sucks.  I've seen a doctor about it, and I'm doing a one month trial with some supplements (fish oil, 5HTP, GABA, and valerian) before talking seriously about "actual" medication.  I hope it doesn't come to that.  But this friend thing has thrown me for a look.  After DS, I lost a lot of my friends.  They weren't interested in kids, or thought that I wasn't progressive enough because I was "conforming" etc.  And, well, screw them all.  But losing friends hurts.  I think it hurts so very much more this time around because I am so depressed.  I'm really struggling to keep my head on.  Almost every day feels like a battle.  And I felt like I was just being kicked while I'm down.

 

Fast forward to last night.  A woman that I've been friends with for a few years made some really hurtful statements on Facebook.  Really hurtful.  Including dismissing people who have had a natural birth, stay home vs. work, use cloth diapers, and breastfeed "for too long."  She dismissed them all as being grounded in "competing and one-upping" other moms.  ????  I saw these statements, which were supposedly not directed at me, and I lost my marbles.  In my already very gray cloud of depression and anxiety, what she said did not help.

 

If I can't be proud of my daughter's birth, if I can't be proud of staying home, if I can't be proud that I still breastfeed my son (despite my own freaking discomfort), then what do I have to be proud of?  This woman has a great job, a good education, a bright kid who goes to a good private school, a fantastic body, and...  The few things that I am working so hard to accomplish, are just me competing.

 

I am so hurt.  I feel so overwhelmed with hurt.  I feel like we live in a world that doesn't value mothers at all.  I am *just* a mother.  And that's really getting me down, because it's been the major obstacle in maintaining friendships.  It's why I've lost my friends.  I became just a mom.  I am only good enough for my children.  And it hurts so badly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 34

I am sorry you are hurting. hug2.gif

 

It's so sad that people have to see things as so black-and-white. I am betting that your friend feels a little insecure about her life and choices, so in order to feel like she is "good" she has to put down people who have made other choices and consider them "bad." It's the heart of the whole mommy-wars, and I really feel like it stems from patriarchy. Our society leaves women and especially mothers so isolated and without support, that it's hard to know what is the best decision for ourselves and our families. Then, we feel like we have to fight each other over who is right and wrong, instead of joining together to fight against the society who set us up with this system to begin with. I don't want to downplay how mean and hurtful your "friend" was on FB, but hopefully you an see this for what it is, and not internalize your choices as wrong. You SHOULD be proud of your birth and bfing and staying at home to care for your children!  Don't let some lame not-friend take that away from you! 

post #14 of 34

You can and should be proud. Her goals are not your goals and her priorities are not your priorities. Or mine. That she has no respect for that SUCKS. And I'm so sorry.

We all have huge respect and love for you. You have put serious time and effort into researching all the decisions you make and that is amazing. I'm proud of you.

 

If you ever need someone to call, message me :)

post #15 of 34

i have been so quiet lately, but have popped on now and again because i have so much esteem for all of you ladies on here, and like many others have chimed in, it makes me feel some semblance of normalcy to read what goes on for other mamas, other women. even if i am quiet, my love goes out to all! for you all help to keep me sane.

 

michelle, i think you are wonderful. it makes me sad to think you are struggling with some ppd and issues in friendships. i see you reaching out to all of the mamas on here in their (our) own times of havoc, i can only imagine what a dear friend you are irl. hug2.gif hugs, and more hugs. we think you are wonderful. luxlove.gif

 

afm, my friendships fade in and out of depth. i am lucky that my sister is a constant, though she lives 600 miles away and we are both too busy to talk on the phone. we get a lot of texting in, which is a good medium for me. partly cos the kids are oblivious to it, and also as i am hearing impaired and the phone can be reeeeeeally challenging. it is also so pleasant as a busy mom to share some one liners throughout the day, or talk about deep things without much fluff. there is alot of charm in it. i am also lucky in my living situation- my friend just moved into the bottom half of my house, and she is a mama, and we have been able to actually connect at times because now she lives here. i've also taken to having a beer or two some nights, which i have never done with any kind of regularity, but it makes me feel really normal and independent right now. whatever works, right?

 

i am so sorry to hear the judgement coming from someone you clearly care about. i agree with some of the other ladies....sounds like she is feeling a little compromised with her choices, which also sucks. we all do the best we can as moms. sending fire at other women for making their own choices does harm on all. so sorry you got it this time.

greensad.gif

 

do you want to actually do something sometime? i've been dreaming of a piece of banana cream pie you spoke of once on one of our threads...where do they sell that? i'll buy you a slice? or a beer? or a cup of chai? pick your pleasure, we can get the kids together and you can vent about whatever you need.....

 

oh, and mama, i've been thinking of you in another realm, as i know a postpartum doula who is looking to donate some hours to a few different mamas. we may be a little bit passed the brand new baby phase, but i know you could use some michelle time. she is really sweet with kids....maybe she could do some day time entertaining of your ds? pm me, we can dialogue. winky.gif

post #16 of 34

Ok, so for real--will you be my bff  because I think you are awesome.  All of you mams are, but I don't think I'm alone when I write that there's just something about Michelle that makes every single one of us feel heard, respected, and cared about.  I can't think of a better qualities in a friend.  Truly too bad that this is a DDC and not a group IRL.

 

 

I can't take you out for coffee because I live in Maryland, but I can say that I've checked up on this thread several times since you posted it-- and that's probably more communication than most IRL friends have in a day! lol

 

Looks like elevena might live near you?  do it up, girls!  because it sounds to me like it is time for a new batch of friends for you, Michelle.  Ones that respect you.  And I HATE those vague comments that people put on FB that aren't geared toward anyone specifically (yeah right).  Like I said, FB sucks.  It really is just a continuous thread of verbal diarrhea, don't you think?  At least most of the time.  Like we care what Jo Blo from 6th grade thinks of a football game, or what diet Cindy Loo from 4 jobs ago had for breakfast!

 

Hang in there mama, this will pass.

 

 

 

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama579 View Post

Ok, so for real--will you be my bff  because I think you are awesome.  All of you mams are, but I don't think I'm alone when I write that there's just something about Michelle that makes every single one of us feel heard, respected, and cared about.  I can't think of a better qualities in a friend.  Truly too bad that this is a DDC and not a group IRL.

 

 

I can't take you out for coffee because I live in Maryland, but I can say that I've checked up on this thread several times since you posted it-- and that's probably more communication than most IRL friends have in a day! lol

 

Looks like elevena might live near you?  do it up, girls!  because it sounds to me like it is time for a new batch of friends for you, Michelle.  Ones that respect you.  And I HATE those vague comments that people put on FB that aren't geared toward anyone specifically (yeah right).  Like I said, FB sucks.  It really is just a continuous thread of verbal diarrhea, don't you think?  At least most of the time.  Like we care what Jo Blo from 6th grade thinks of a football game, or what diet Cindy Loo from 4 jobs ago had for breakfast!

 

Hang in there mama, this will pass.

 

 

 


clap.gif

 

Huge hell yes to all of this!!!!

 

I really wish we all lived closer to each other!  We need to lean on each other.  

 

post #18 of 34

aww, michelle, I am sorry to hear all this going on! You know it always surprises me  to find out that peoples harshest judgements stem from their own insecurities. Also, in reality CDing and breastfeeding maybe one upping our mothers but not our grand(grand)mothers. They had to bf and cd...nothing we are doing are that out of the ordinary if you think about it that way.

 

Also, she may have the perfect career and a smart shild etc but definitely enough bitterness to post such thing on FB, if she was in peace w her life, why would she even bother?. Everyone has their demons to deal with, i am sorry she is choosing to deal w hers in such  a rotten way. But look at you dealing with ppd...informed,proactive! Be proud of what you are, you are good to your partner, wonderful mama to your little ones and a wonderful support and inspiration to mamas here! I am sure this just the beginning of the list..I agree w all the pps that you are a wonderful asset to us all here.

 

Friendships are invaluable as long as they are not toxic...this fb friend does not sound like she deserves you.

post #19 of 34

I've unfriended ppl after seeing status updates supporting spanking and CIO.  I have nothing in common with those people.  That's just not how we roll.  If ppl have a problem with how I do things, it's THEIR issue.  Hugs again, mama. <3

post #20 of 34

I'm late to the party, but I agree with everyone else.  You are a great writer.  You've also been a great friend and support to me.  I wish all of us lived near each other so we could get together.  I have more in common with you ladies than any of my IRL friends.  Just wanted to offer you a big old virtual hug.  :)  I have found an attachment parenting group in my area and I also found a mom and babies group that are AP moms and I am really loving it.  Maybe you can meet some more IRL friends that cheer you up.

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