Friends don’t let friends go manic

My life has been filled with wildly productive work cycles. I look back on a few with pride even though they required months of recovery. I don’t bill my clients by the hour, but by the job, because I only work when I have the energy. When I do work, I do the work of about five people. Memorable work times are when I carry this level of work on for weeks at a time, but I can usually count on a few days of the madness every few weeks. It’s simply been how I get work done.

A cycle was in the works last week: I could feel the energy, my blood pressure was up, my senses were more alert. Any other time in my life I would have said, “Hot diggity, let’s get something done!” For the very first time in my life I realized that my body didn’t have the energy for what was about the happen even though I had a good bit to do on this WASC project. I shut down the computer and went outside to weed. I deliberately took a week away from my for-pay work to break the cycle. I am three months postpartum and have enough energy to get by day after day, no more. I am quite sure a manic period could send me straight into the pit.

Saying “no” to mania now tops my list of postpartum survival. Other favorites:

(1) Sleep. When I have a bad night, I take an over-the-counter sleep aid the next night. I know that’s cheating but it’s better than Zoloft and it’s better than three years of hell.

(2) Supplements. I take a liquid multi diligently and desiccated liver capsules when my stress level is high. I keep a B complex supplement in my bathroom and in my work area to take when I remember. I take about 2 grams of Omega 3 daily.

(3) Stay home. I have resisted a number of trips, both day-long and overnight. I don’t need the wear and the uncertainty that comes with hauling a newborn around. The bad side of this rule is that I am feeling increasingly shut in. After nine months of pregnancy where I followed the same rule, it’s about time to see things other than forest wildlife. (We live in the Sequoia National Forest away from pretty much all of civilization.) I do try to enjoy it though:


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2 Responses to Friends don’t let friends go manic
  1. Your articles are very enlightening in the area of sharing your personal journey through motherhood.I agree with you in the sense that watching the beauty of nature in our gardens gives us all a sense of mental well being. It’s very therapeutic.

  2. Love, care, and good nourishment — getting through the tough times

    A big part of my anti-depression strategy in pregnancy and postpartum is to avoid the pit. It seems obvious in a sense but it is surely easier to avoid the fall into the hole than it is to climb…

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