Monday, March 31, 2014

Grateful for modern medicine




































So about a month ago I started trying to cut back on my daily dose of Zoloft--not because I felt ready to do so, but because my midwife wouldn't prescribe any more.

It was a horrible horrible month. I cried buckets and I think I made dinner maybe ten times if that. I didn't even want to bake bread. I slept way too much and then stayed up until 4 am thinking about everything that I could possibly put on a to-do list, which would of course go undone because I was too overwhelmed to do it (re: making dinner). I did a lot of painting because it was the only thing I wanted to do. I missed church 3 weeks in a row and the 4th week I only went because I was teaching and then I spent the last hour crying and was in full-blown hysterics by the time we got home. I cried whenever I changed Nathan's diaper or undressed him or fed him--anything that reminded me that he was not a giant fat baby. One night I even told Neil that I was done being married to him because marriage took energy that I didn't have and everything was just too hard, and he shouldn't take it personally (he responded by letting me cry on his shoulder for two hours and making sure that I got in to see a doctor that week).

So I went to see a new doctor on Thursday, and I started taking the full dosage again. I kid you not, I woke up on Friday morning feeling bouncy and happy and full of life. I washed all the sheets on all of our beds and remade the beds to surprise Neil (he does not love changing the sheets on the bunk beds every week and I usually wait for him to help with those, since they're hard to do on my own). The kids and I had an awesome day and then on Saturday Abigail was like, hey, how about we get some baby chicks and I was like, yes, that is a wonderful idea--if you can convince Daddy we will go today! So now we have 7 chicks and I am so thrilled because I have wanted chickens for sooooo long and Neil finally gave it the green light. (I am so so so so excited by this I can't even tell you!!! I have been reading up on chickens for about 4 years and longing for a little backyard flock of my own.)

Today I spent most of the afternoon working outside with the boys.  All of the tasks that have seemed insurmountable and terrifying to me for the past month--digging compost into the garden beds, planting the lettuces, cleaning up the inevitable windblown debris of the winter, pruning the raspberry canes, backfilling postholes, planting grass seed, etc...all of those things I did today. And it felt AMAZING to have them done and to be out in the sun and the wind with my boys. (And I was even able to laugh when Luke sprayed me with the hose--it's warmer, but not that warm!) We went to the playground after we picked up the girls and I just felt this huge giant swell of love in my heart as I watched all my children run around playing with each other and eating the banana bread that Lukey and I had baked earlier that day. And I realized that for me, depression not only makes me miserable and sad and lonely, but it blocks those love-swells where I look at my family and I feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest because I love them so much. I felt the same way yesterday at church as I looked down the row at all of the people I love best. And I am so, so, so grateful that antidepressants not only return me to the incarnation of me that is energetic and fun and spontaneous and going a million miles a minute, but the incarnation of me that is so full of love and joy and gratitude that I feel like I can't contain it all.

5 comments:

Mary Beth said...

I'm so, so glad that you are able to get the help you need to feel like yourself again, and to enjoy your life. And I'm proud of you for taking the step to get that help. I love you.

Jen Bosen said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you for being brave enough to be honest and not gloss over the hard stuff.

Kayli said...

So soo happy that things are looking fun again!! What a hard hand you've had to deal with... I'm so glad you have a husband who helps, modern medicine as you said, and CHICKENS! Awesome!!!

Charisse said...

I love my zoloft too. It took me until my 3rd baby to realize i needed help. My Dad is a psycologist and he says when you find a medicine that works for you, it will work like magic. So grateful for great medicine that makes a world of difference for me too.

Annie Leavitt said...

Rachael! In so glad you found me!!

Interesting enough, I just wrote an article for whattoexpect.com on my battles with post partum depression. I have been in a dark place again after an ectopic pregnancy over Christmas and this post just reminded me how wonderful modern medicine is. Thank you

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