Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Doing it on my own: EPIC FAIL.

I have been an extremely bad blogger and reader lately. But I've been bad at a lot of things in my life, and I'm finally going to attempt to explain.

About four months ago, I finished breastfeeding Brooklyn and was able to switch antidepressants. I wanted to get off Lexapro because my doctor had told me that after a year, it caused weight gain. I had suspected that it was already responsible for the weight that had been creeping on and would not go away, no matter what I did. So my doctor had said to call when Brooklyn was weaned, and they would switch me to Wellbutrin, which is better for the weight issue. But when I called, they said I couldn't just switch, I had to wean myself off the Lexapro slowly. I had been taking 20 mg a day. I had to drop back to 10 mg a day for a 2 weeks, then one every other day for 2 weeks, then one every third day for a week. I was supposed to call them for the Wellbutrin prescription when I got down to every third day.

But by the time I got down to that one pill every third day, I decided that I was doing all right. And here's the thing: I was prescribed that medicine for post-partum depression. Can you really say you have post-partum depression anymore when you have a toddler? Hardly. I was a bit more emotional, I cried at more things, both happy and sad. I figured it was just the fact that I didn't have the pills acting as a numbing barrier between me and my life anymore. I decided that I was ready to feel everything again. I stopped taking the Lexapro, and I did not call for the Wellbutrin. I was done.

Unfortunately, it didn't take long for feeling like I was all right to turn into feeling miserable. I was sad and unhappy and overly sensitive and angry at everything, I didn't want to go anywhere, I wanted to sleep all of the time, I fought with my husband about ridiculous things that normally wouldn't upset me. I cried countless times every day, again, often about things that weren't even that big of a deal.

Dave didn't get the carseat out of my car before I went to work, so he couldn't go get Brooklyn's prescription like I had asked him to. She was going to miss a dose. It was his off day. Why did he have to be so damn lazy? I was so, so angry. Why should she have to suffer because he doesn't listen to me? Meltdown.

Brooklyn had diarrhea on her Tucker sling an hour before bedtime. I didn't know how I was going to get it clean before she had to go to sleep. Dave was leaving for work. Brooklyn was pulling on my leg screaming and fussing. I stood there bawling.

I don't know. There are probably dozens of these scenarios I'd rather not think about because they just aren't me. Normally. But I let it go on for months. Stubbornness.

I sat at my friend's house and cried and told her about what was going on. "You know what you have to do," she said. "You already told me you're not okay. That's what these medicines are for. You told me that before."

"But how are you ever supposed to know when you can stop? Am I just supposed to be on these pills forever or something? I don't want that. That's ridiculous."

"You tried it without them, it didn't work. You're not ready. You have a lot of stress. You have too much going on. Maybe you can try again in a year or something."

I still did nothing.

On a day when I was at work and had treated my husband particularly badly, I had been ignoring his calls for some time. I finally picked up the phone to talk to him. He told me how frustrated he was with me, but that he knew how bad I had been feeling. "I really think you weren't ready to stop taking your medicine," he said. "You need to call your doctor."

"I'm not same damn psych patient that needs to be monitored on their meds," I snapped back.

"I'm not saying that! You're the only person who thinks that! You're so hypocritical! You work in this job where you tell people they need to get help, where you tell people it's okay to be on these medicines, that they help them, and then you think you're the only person who's above taking them. You won't even tell your own mom about it because you're so damn ashamed of it! I don't get you!"

Here come the tears. "That's easy for you to say. You don't have to take them."

"But I would. If something happened at work or something, and it affected the way things were at home between me and you and Brooklyn, I would do it, and I know you wouldn't judge me for it, right?"

"Hold on." I had to get up and close my office door before the serious waterworks started.

"Okay," I said, "I just don't get it. How can Brooklyn be 18 months old and I still have post-partum depression?"

"Baby. You don't. You just have depression now."

Now I was bawling like a baby. "W-w-w-whyyyyyyy???"

"I don't know why, baby. We just have to deal with it."

"That's not fair. I wasn't like this before."

"I know."

"I hate me. I hate this."

"I know. But Brooklyn loves you, and I love you. And we need you to be happy."

It still took me two weeks to make myself go to the doctor. I did it though. I'm taking Cymbalta now. It's been three weeks, and I'm having a hard time on it. I am starting to feel less depressed, but I'm very, very sick to my stomach and exhausted all of the time. I'm also taking a new medication for my migraines along with it, so I'm not sure if they're working together to make me feel awful. The 14 pounds I've lost is not too shabby though. I'm working through it. This too shall pass, right? Just bear with me, bloggy friends.

So much for doing it all by myself.


Tori said...

I'm so sorry. I understand feeling like you're a failure because you have to be on medication. I am happy to be having another baby but just dreading having PPD again. And I think that one of the reasons I haven't had to be on medication permanently is because pregnancy seems to regulate my hormones so that I don't get depressed. So unless I want to be permanently pregnant, I'm going to have to just accept the fact that I need medical help. It stinks.

I'm really glad your husband made you get help. Mine had to force me to get help too because I was just in too much of a funk to even do things like make doctor's appts. I hope you feel better soon! I wish anti-depressants kicked in sooner.

Beth said...

I agree with your husband. I worry a lot (which you can't really tell via my blog since my in-laws read it, but I do) so I'm on medicine for that... have been for 12 years and I'm totally fine with it. I feel much calmer on it... still myself, but calmer. I'm glad that you're on a new med and that's awesome about the weight loss (that has to feel good)! Talk to your dr about the awful side effects, though... there are so many new drugs out there. I heard Pristiq is a good new one?

Thinking of you and glad you're "back" - I've missed your posts! How's Brooklyn doing?

Jennifer W. said...

I just don't even know what to say, I'm in a bit of a similar place... not as bad as I used to be but I feel it creeping back up. And Kevin isn't supportive of me going back on the meds, mostly because he remembers how much I complained after a while about not feeling anything, sad OR happy. I get it, I don't want to miss the good times either, but I just don't know sometimes. And the holidays are coming up, if you remember what happened last year with GTR, aka my heinous bitch SIL so I am seriously stressing. Sigh. Anyway, back to you - CONGRATS on the weight loss and I really, really hope you find a good medication balance soon! So glad you blogged!

Sarah said...

Welcome back...I've missed you!
1) I was seriously just thinking about e-mailing you to make sure all was ok.
2) I hope these meds kick in soon and you get back to your old self. Your hubby sounds like a pretty supportive guy who is only looking out for your best interests...yeah for you! And if you need to be on meds, you need to be on meds. They will make you a much better momma to Brooklyn.
3) CONGRATULATIONS for breastfeeding for 16 months!!! I envy you.
4) 14 pounds...way to go!!!
5) How IS your baby...errrr toddler!?!?!?

MrsSpock said...

Having depression has everything to do with wayward brain chemicals, and nothing to do with you being unable to work it on your own. If you had high cholesterol, and couldn't get off Lipitor, would you feel as bad? Mental health, just like physical health, has a large physiological component. It just is taking more time. You have not failed.

Cibele said...

you don;t have to do it all by yourself... I glad that you have great support . It is hard, very hard, but as you said, this will pass. HUGS

~kelly~ said...

I'm just a lurker, but I wanted to say that while our journeys to get where we are now are different where we are now is so similar.

I never got help for my post partum depression, but I am treating my depression now with Wellbutrin in the morning, Celexa at night and I am taking Maxalt for my migraines.

I was originally on just Wellbutrin for the depression but I still had a lot of anxiety so they added Celexa and it really has made all the differences.

I just wanted you to know that there is someone else out there taking the same medications and living happily. =)

A New Beginning said...

I just wanted to say it is ok that you have to be on the medication. There is a reason they make the stuff. My daughter is 16 mths old, and I just like, thought it is time to get off of it. I am on Lexapro as well. I did ok for about 2 weeks, then it all came crashing back down. I decided to go ahead and put myself back on the medicine because it was just easier that way.

Good luck to you , and it will all work out. It is definetely ok to be on medicine. I wish people could be more honest and open with how they feel like you have. I am sure there are more people out there that don't want to admit how they are feeling and get help with how to fix it.

Sam said...

I cannot wait to get on a higher does of ANYTHING when I wean Egg. And you, my dear are not an epic fail. You got help, you're doing better, and you will make it.

Eva said...

Maybe I don't know what the right words to
translate what I'd like to tell you. First of all,
there is nothing to blame. Depression is an illness. If you
had a heart condition and had to take
drugs because of that, will you blame yourself?
This is temporary, you'll see.
Hugs and hugs for you.

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