One early sign: I start thinking in absolutes. All or nothing.
I ran 2 miles on Friday and was on a high. For about an hour. I hadn't counted on the run using ever single ounce of energy normally needed for tending the baby, handling the kids, preparing meals, getting out of a chair, blinking and breathing.
Exhaustion was an understatement.
I tried to recover over the weekend. J helped. But the baby was fussy. L needed vigilant supervision. And there were about a million loads of laundry.
Yesterday, I noticed the absolutes creeping into my thoughts. Instead of looking in the mirror, cringing, and thinking, "I'm a work in progress. Give it time." I'd look in the mirror, cringe, and think, "I'm going to be fat and tired for the rest of my life." Or the baby would cry and instead of thinking, "It's hard today" I'd think, "I hate my life."
The upside of being hyper-aware of this shift in my thinking was that I was able to take swift action. J came home and I let him know I'd had a bad day and was feeling depressed. He's awesome so he took care of way more than his share of parental duties. Then, instead of watching a movie or having a conversation or folding laundry or showering or phoning someone or pretending to be a regular adult, I went to bed and slept. Every second that wasn't spent directly caring for the baby was spent sleeping.
And now I'm back to thinking, "I'm a work in progress. I'm a work in progress."
Which is progress. :)