I don’t know why this update has been so difficult for me to write. I have 5 drafts and have been staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page on and off for a week. I guess it starts with a thank you – to everyone who has reached out to me since my last post about postpartum depression. While it makes me sad to know that so many other moms can related to my experience, it also makes the burden much lighter to bear. At the very least, it is wonderful to know how much support I have from everyone around me.
It will be three weeks this Sunday since I started meds. And, I am tired. Honestly, that has been the worst side effect for me. My doctor told me to expect to not feel the full impact of the medication for 3-4 weeks, and by that time my body should adjust to some of the side effects. I feel exhausted all the time, but at the same time I also have trouble falling asleep at night. It was the worst a few days in, and has steadily improved over the last week. It’s an odd kind of tired too – kind of like my body has been tense and deprived for the last 30 years, and it is trying to play catch up.
I also, oddly, have zero desire to drink anything alcoholic. Before Prozac, I would come home from work and have a glass or two of wine. Or a couple of beers. Mostly because after those first few sips, I could feel the tension release from my shoulders. Tingly happiness would slowly spread through my body. It was the only way to get away from the stress – to get out of my own head – and after resorting to it for so long, I would crave it. I hate to say it, but sometimes I would need it. Now, I just don’t feel like it. The thought of even my favorite beer just for the taste (Orange Shandy!) is just “meh.”
Other than being tired and stone sober, I feel completely normal. Except…calmer? I have noticed that I’m not as quick to snap, at people or dogs or situations. It was an adjustment at first – it felt like being in a fog. And I was wondering if I was losing a bit of myself. I’ve lived for so long reacting to the world around me. Allowing it to make me. Make me angry. Make me sad. Make me happy. Make me guilty. Make me depressed. But, as the fog lifts, it is allowing me to do some serious introspection. For the first time, I am taking care of myself and my own well-being. I am in control, of how I feel and of how I act. The only person that makes me anything, is me.
I started this update with the quote about failure, because before I hit publish on my original post I was terrified. In retrospect, I think my thoughts on paper sounded stronger than I really felt at the time. I was afraid of the judgement I would face. The stigma. Had I failed? I felt like I had. In this do it all, be it all, have it all culture of motherhood – this isn’t success. Would my family be embarrassed? Would my friends be upset that they found out about this through my blog? Would my coworkers stumble upon this and think differently of me? Why do I feel the need to have to tell everybody everything?
And then, the emails came. And the shares. And the conversations on message boards. And the comments.
And all of that apprehension and fear melted away.
My failure quickly became one of my greatest successes. To be able to impact just one other life through sharing my thoughts and my journey is…amazing. To be able to provide assurance to others – you are not alone, and you don’t have to live like this – is pretty cool. To be able to find support by unknowingly providing it to others is just what I needed. And for that, I am extremely grateful.
There is more to my story. I know that I have just scratched the surface on how I ended up here, on how this all came to be. This is just the start of some huge steps forward, I believe. And I look forward to walking alongside anyone who cares to join me for it.