We went to Vietnam for a week for my birthday, which was surprisingly enjoyable (both because I have had trouble enjoying myself of late, and because we had a rather bad time there on our last visit, including getting chased by a knife-wielding maniac).
I am finally feeling significantly better and have made real progress. The almost-nightly meltdowns and suicide threats have vanished, and while I still get upset it is both much less dramatic and shorter-lived (it used to take me hours or even days to get back to baseline, for instance). I wouldn't say that I am completely better yet, but maybe at 70 or 80%? It's a little hard to judge, because part of being mentally ill is that your reality is a bit distorted. When I was really ill, I would have said that of course I was a little depressed, but there was nothing seriously wrong with me: I used to argue with B about this actually, as he wanted me to acknowledge that I was really ill, and I was only sporadically willing to do this (depending on my mental state at the time). It seemed like such a personal failure to admit to even myself how crazy I was, especially because I don't have a good "excuse" (ie no abusive or unloving family, history of sexual assault or something similarly lurid).
I haven't really written that much about my mental problems, both because of the denial issue and because when you are having mental problems, you do not have either the energy or mental organization for writing anything, even blog posts. The denial issue is by far the more important factor though. I don't keep the fact that I have had mental problems a secret (if only because I am the world's worst liar): all my friends and family know that I have been depressed and struggling. I still feel like I am keeping secrets though, because no one knows the full extent of things except B, really. Telling people that you have been having problems with depression and anxiety, and are thus seeing a therapist, doesn't really communicate "FUCKED UP" if you are simultaneously well dressed, articulate, cheerful and a calm, loving parent.
Leaving out the parts that DO communicate such a thing (like the fact that for a while I attempted to hurl myself out of our high-rise apartment windows several times a week, requiring B to literally physically restrain me) makes me feel like a fraud. There is no way I am going to tell anyone this stuff, though, both because it is TMI for almost everyone except the very closest, and I don't want to upset those people (my parents, for example) because it would cause them frantic worry and yet there's nothing they can do. Maybe this is a good reason to have an anonymous blog...
Beyond mental drama and visiting Vietnam, things have been fairly quiet around here. We went to Batam again (fun!), went to Pulau Ubin again and went hiking at Sungei Buloh again on successive weekends (a good sign, because non-depressed-Amanda likes to see/do stuff while crazy Amanda can't handle any variations from routine).
R is a great joy to both B and me. She is all jokes and fun and imagination, up for almost anything (she loves exploring and is tremendously curious about everything, from the emperor's palace in Vietnam to banana trees in Pulau Ubin), and seems to get older by the nanosecond. She is so affectionate and loving ("Mommy, I weally love you. I love you just the way you are.") and wants nothing more than to be with us 24-7 (even if some of that time would involve ignoring us while we sat at attention). She has her moments of tantrum and naughtiness, but they are really minor in the scheme of things. More tiring are her enthusiasm and energy, which are both very high (not in the hyper sense, in the verve sense: that word seems to have been coined just for R). But without them she would not be herself, and honestly to me she is perfect. I couldn't imagine a better child (which sounds horribly sappy but is the truth).