Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More On Depression

Follow up to last post.  I hope some day to have the balls to share this blog with family and friends (I first need to convince myself I have anything worthwhile to say), and I'm sure my admitting I think about hurting myself is going to cause ripples.  As best as I can, I want to address some of those feelings, conceding it's just not gonna happen in a single blog post.

I have a temper.  It's not the yell and scream kind of a temper.  I can't explain it, other than certain things make me feel as if I've been done a grave injustice and it makes me angry.  I often wonder if this is what Thoreau was referring to when he said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Maybe we all feel the universe is unjust.  But in my case, instead of feeling desperate, I feel angry.  Much of it comes from feeling out of control; not on top of anything.  You parents out there may smile grimly at this, because you know that you control almost nothing during the first few months of parenthood.  You're certainly not on top of anything.  At least, it doesn't feel like it.

Anyway, I have a temper and my anger manifests itself as short answers, terse responses, and tension that causes my wife to walk on eggshells for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.  I know when I'm doing this, and I hate myself, which makes it worse, and a vicious cycle rolls on.  My wife is very good at talking to me and helping me through these feelings, for which I love her more than words can say, but which is also terribly unfair to her.

What it comes down to is I don't want to be an angry father and husband.  I don't want my wife to ever have to walk on eggshells around me.  I don't want my daughter to accidentally knock over her milk at dinner and instantly look to me to see if tonight is one of the nights that I might raise my voice, or worse, say nothing and just clench my jaw and breathe deeply as if my head is about to explode.

The temper was there before the baby, but it's taken on a whole new significance now for those reasons.  So I'm seeing a therapist of some kind.  I first tried to go through one of the postpartum depression support organizations, but sadly, they had no services specific to dads in my area (I'm finding that postnatal depression in men is common, but only recently recognized; there aren't as many resources as I thought there would be).  When that didn't work, I went through my general practitioner.  When it's all said and done, I'll have waited three months to get an appointment, which is ironically maddening.  Oh, you have anger problems?  Well, you'll just have to wait patiently until a slot opens up...

I'm angry too much of the time, I want to better understand why and what to do about it, and I'm seeking help.  That's the bottom line.

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