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Floating Heads

Floating Heads

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Published by Catherine Bell

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Published by: Catherine Bell on Mar 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Floating Heads by Catherine BellI floated there not quite feeling my body only the sensationof my head floating, observing - looking down. I felt a quietnessthat I hadn’t felt since the baby was born. The irritability, theinsomnia, the nausea all seemed distant and like the wife of asailor I waved to it as it sailed gently away. Is this what euphoriafelt like? And yet from where I looked down, a person looking anawful lot like me was still talking to the receptionist at thedoctor’s office, still functioning as if all was normal. I was trulyimpressed with the coherent manner that I continued to talk with thewoman. I congratulated myself from above.“Nature of your visit?” she asked.“I am having some troubles with my antidepressants,” my look-a-like answered back without a glitch.My lips felt a bit numb and my finger tips were tingling butfrom where my head was floating, my body continued to function. Iswelled with a sort of awe. I really like this feeling. I can seewhy the Wizard went for this illusion in Oz. Who wouldn’t want to bea floating head? As suddenly as it had happened, the sensationsubsided and I felt the full presence of my body – the painfulbreasts, the headache, the tiredness – oh god, the tiredness. I justwanted to curl up right in the lobby chair and just take the longestnap. I ached for sleep.“The doctor will see you now,” the woman was saying to me. Igot up dragging the baby-filled car seat with me. The feeling ofeuphoria long gone, my once floating head hung low. Ups and downsand ups and downs, the unexpected shifts in mood were exhausting.“What seems to be the problem?” The doctor asked as she leanedover to give my baby daughter, Elise, a look.Somewhat edgy and just a little bit wild feeling, I poured outmy heart to her. I told her that I was no stranger to depression butI had managed to keep it at bay before with exercise and theoccasional self-medicating merlot but this time with the baby and ahusband to think about, I didn’t have the luxury to nurture the
Floating Heads by Catherine Bellbeast. I went on, the pitch of my voice rose as I told her that Ihad agreed to antidepressant medications to combat a full scaleepisode of the postpartum depression she warned me I would besusceptible to developing. However, now I felt I was fighting themedication more than the depression.“We don’t want to take this lightly,” she said. “Before themedication you were, and I quote from your own words, ‘close tosuicidal’ after the baby was born. Are you still having thosefeelings?”I considered the question before answering. “No, I don’t wantto hurt myself anymore – I just want to hurt somebody else.” I saidas a nervous giggle escaped my lips afterward.She straightened up and asked in a way I thought was rathercautious, “Who do you want to hurt?”“Well, mostly my husband,” I said. “But I am not capable ofhurting anyone. I’m a vegetarian for God’s sake.” I added toreassure not only the doctor but myself.“Why do you want to hurt your husband?” she asked in a forcedcasual tone.“Because, he is committed to satisfying me sexually,” Ianswered between what were now sobs.The doctor relaxed and said, “That doesn’t sound so bad.” Shesmiled and patted my knee.“It is, when one of the side-effects that I was lucky enoughto draw from the side-effect lucky dip jar was ‘sexualdysfunction’.” I said with some hysteria.And then I added to make sure she understood. “You know thebig ‘O’.” The ‘O’ sound seemed to linger on a bit longer then Irealized making me blush.“You are having trouble reaching orgasm?” she asked.
Floating Heads by Catherine Bell“Bingo!” I answered with enthusiasm I didn’t feel. “He justwon’t accept it. After 20 minutes or more of him giving it his all,I want to gauge his eyes out! We are having a hard enough time withintimacy now that we have a baby.”“It is not an uncommon side effect of the antidepressant thatyou are taking.” She said and then added, “We could lower the doseand couple it with an alternative form of therapy.”“What kind of alternative form of therapy?” I have grown to bevery careful with doctors when it came to depression. Most seem tobe as frustrated by the condition, as I was, and the others wereover eager to try out the latest pill championed from the lastconvention they attended.“The Women’s Health Centre is conducting a study on postpartumdepression and you would be a good candidate.” She said. “You wouldreceive group therapy and therapy for you and your baby.”I looked down at the bundle that was sleeping in her car seat.My heart tightened at the sight of her. I felt a tremendous amountof love and almost an animalistic feeling to protect her but if thetruth were to be told, I also felt resentment and even anger at herintrusion.#
#Not being seasoned in the art of leaving the house with aninfant in tow, I ended up being ten minutes late to my firstpostpartum depression group. To outsiders, I liked to reference thegroup as my “Mommy Group” leaving the exact nature of it open tointerpretation. The room I was directed to had a few couches thrownin to it along with a Lazy Boy and a wing back chair. All the seatswere filled except for the Lazy Boy and the wing back. Elise and Isunk into the Lazy Boy. It was very comfortable and I figured ifthis didn’t work out, at least I could nap.Three non-descript women sat slumped on the beige couch, eachwith a very generic looking baby on her lap. On the adjacent couch,was a tall thin woman wearing yoga pants, a scooped neck cotton top,

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