Sunday, December 11, 2011
Sometimes You Can't Try Hard Enough...
I prayed a lot before deciding to write about this. I even talked to my counselor and Mike before doing so and they are both really supportive of the idea. I am going to talk about what I did when everything I've written about before wasn't quite enough. And please, keep in mind, I am only talking about myself in this post. I'm not intending to be an advocate for anything unless it's maybe getting counseling if you're struggling with life.
About two months ago, I started a low dose of the anti-depressant Zoloft. Really, I haven't been depressed which is a little surprising considering how tough this year has been. But I have always struggled with anxiety problems, ever since I was a kid. Those stories can wait but I'm sure I will revisit the topic one day. I had a good stretch without any major issues through most of my 20's but after I had Autumn, I could barely leave the house without anxiety taking over. So, I went on zoloft but without seeing a counselor. I weaned myself off about 6 months later and was mostly fine.
I don't regret the time I spent on Zoloft back in 2007/08. However, in retrospect, I should have gone to a counselor while I was on the medicine because a few months before I got pregnant with Garrett in 2010, I ended up going to the counselor I have now. I pretty much had post-traumatic stress as a result of how traumatic Autumn's birth was and I was terrified to get pregnant again. Seems like a premonition in hindsight, doesn't it? Anyway, my counselor has been fantastic and if you're looking for someone, I highly recommend her. Last year, we talked about me taking something to, as a friend put it, take the edge off but ended up deciding against it for a variety of reasons.
We had a similar conversation in October before I decided to start back on the medication. I seemed to be in a fuzzy area where I didn't absolutely need something, but it might be worth trying, especially with the holidays coming up. In addition to my counselor, I talked to Mike and to Stephan, who works in a rehab facility, and ultimately asked my doctor for a prescription when I went to see her for a lump I found. By the way, I don't have cancer, thank goodness, although it took 3 mammograms and an ultrasound to determine that. Scary stuff.
I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did it. I am only taking 25 mg although I have a prescription for 50. The counselor told me that if I felt well on the 25, there was no reason to bump it up. I don't feel numb, like a lot of people say when they take anti-depressants. And if I did, I'd ask for an adjustment. I am always surprised at what side effects people put up with when they don't have to (I know some medical side effects are unavoidable and preferable to the actual disease but some side effects are completely unnecessary).
Even better? When things in the house aren't perfect? I don't angst about being the WORST WIFE AND MOTHER IN THE WOOOOOOORLD anymore. I can chill out knowing that I'll wash the pots and pans in the morning and right now, I'm just going to snuggle with my family. And occasionally the cat who really likes my electric blanket (I don't care, I just want her to sit with me).
So there you go. I listen to good music; I read good books; I choose to spend time with my good friends and my good family; and I take Zoloft. But this series isn't over yet. :) There's one more thing I wanted to share with you.
(by the way, the images in this post are from a blog called Hyperbole and a Half. She has a good post on depression here but don't click that if you don't like strong language)