This is sometimes a hard subject for me to talk about. No one wants to tell the world they’re on anti-depressants. People give you weird looks like there’s something terminally wrong with you and they don’t know how to react. Some people are understanding and don’t ask any questions, they just know that it happens. I can tell you I would much rather be on them than not.
I had tried in the past to not “need” them. I told myself my problems weren’t that bad or that I didn’t want to be dependent on something to make me happy or to even admit that I was depressed, but I was. I still suffer from it. It’s just one of those things that gets out of whack.
It all started when I realized my anxiety was out of control after I had my first born. I would have panic attacks at work, just balling my eyes out and feeling exhausted by the time I got home. I remember I would feel so pent up at work that I wanted to hurt myself. When I was home it was more manageable but I would still be on edge all the time. I would do whatever Cillian needed but when it came to myself I would get angry at my body for its basic needs. I didn’t want to do anything for myself. I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t even want to get up to use the bathroom. I would get immediately angry at my body if I felt the urge to pee and it would affect me for the rest of the day. I literally just wanted to lay in bed and never get up. I finally realized how ridiculous it was to be angry at myself for needing to do basic human things so I got help. I started going to therapy and taking an anti-depressant. It helped me so much. My anxiety lessened and I felt more like doing things and being around other people.
I got off of them when I felt like I would be okay without them. Again I was telling myself that I didn’t want to be dependent on something to be happy for the rest of my life. Once I got pregnant with my second son I started to notice the old feelings coming back. I didn’t get back on the medication while I was pregnant because I didn’t want it to affect the development of my baby but looking back I should have. I was so angry while I was pregnant with Felix and I think it was going way beyond normal pregnancy hormones. I was so angry all the time. It was like this anger was just a part of me. It made me very antisocial and it pushed people away. It made me harsher towards Cillian and I had no patience with him. I found myself yelling at him and getting onto him, even losing my temper with him in public. I’m tearing up now remembering it. I was a monster and it didn’t get any better after I had Felix. I just stayed angry.
I decided I needed to get back on my anti-depressant. It helped a little but I didn’t think it was doing much. I had my doctor up the dosage and it helped more. I took them for a year then decided to start weaning myself off of them. I noticed on the days I didn’t take them I was happier than on the days I did take them. I concluded that it wasn’t working anymore and stopped taking them altogether. That was a mistake. My anger came back in full force and I started being impatient with my children and being mean to everyone. I couldn’t stand being around anyone and I had no control over my thoughts. They were full of malice and judgement. I would focus so much on the shortcomings of others and it made me bitter towards everyone. I literally would hear this awful, evil voice in my head saying mean and judgemental things about others and myself all day, every day.
I wanted to start hurting myself again. I couldn’t deal with it anymore so I started a new medication. Immediately I felt the affects of the medication. It was amazing. I hadn’t felt that good in years. It was like I had been exorcised of the demon that had a hold over me for so long. Day by day that little voice in my head was silenced and it only comes back every once in a while when I’ve had a bad day or something particularly triggering happens.
I’ve had to distance myself from people because they have been very negative or mean in their own ways, not to me but to other people. I can’t be around people who just complain all the time or talk bad about people behind their backs because it makes me become just as mean and negative. I start to fall back into my old habits of doing the same things and feeling the same way and that’s not who I want to be. I like being happy and being happy for others. I hate being negative and angry. I have to try every day to keep those feelings at bay, to keep that angry person out of my head so that I can be happy and love others the way I’m supposed to.
My relationship with my children is so much better and that’s really the main reason I got back on my medication. I don’t want them to remember me as this screeching, angry mom. I grew up with a mom like that and it has left it’s mark. I want them to remember me as a mom they had fun with, who was sweet to them and wanted to be around them. Something like what I wanted and didn’t get.
I tell you all this because it’s not a bad thing to take medication for your mood. Sometimes it’s what you need to be you again. There’s no shame in wanting to be happy and if taking medication is what you have to do then do it. Don’t worry about what others will think of you if they find out. Anyone who loves you or cares about you will be glad you’re doing this for yourself. If you’re a parent it’s more important that you take care of yourself, you have little people depending on you and if you can’t take care of yourself you can’t properly take care of them.
I feel so much better and I do hope that one day I can be happy without them but until then this is what I have to do. It is well worth it.