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11/12/2007
Better Living Through Pharmaceuticals
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."

-- A. A. Milne

OK, folks, brace yourselves. It's time for another Lawyer Mama "woe is me" post. But this time I decided to write about depression on a good day. On a day when I can stand back and look at the Big Monster with a bit more detachment. Hopefully I won't get any anonymous "suicide prevention" pamphlets left in my office by well meaning co-workers or frantic phone calls from family members checking to make sure I haven't driven myself and the boys into the Elizabeth River.*

Life is made up of hard days and good days. I know that. I've also been keenly aware since adolescence, that I seem to have more bad days than most people. But days that most people would consider bad, I just call, well...usual. I'm moody, contemplative, a little bitchy and extremely sarcastic. But that's me and I like it.

I think too much. This is the curse and blessing of being an introvert. Much of what is best in me is never seen by the outside world. Some of the best discussions I've had about life, love, history, politics, and the law have been internal. That's just how I process the world. Internally. But with this internal world comes a necessary detachment from the external world. Striking a balance between the two was difficult for me growing up, but it became easier with time and practice.

Then I had children and my internal world started spilling over into the external. I had all this love and all these thoughts I couldn't keep to myself. Or I would burst from the wonder of it all. I watched my Hollis with all the love in my soul shining right through my eyes. Emotions and thoughts I'd been protecting and bottling up and hoarding for my own private use came spilling right on out. Crawling there, across the floor, for all the world to see.

With this escape of my internal world also came an inability to escape into my internal world. Life became overwhelming in a way it never had before. I couldn't keep my internal world in, and I couldn't keep the external world out.

Life as a new parent is overwhelming for even the most balanced and emotionally healthy of people. I understand that. Everyone needs help coping at times, whether it be through a support system, some time away, or medical intervention. I know that too. But I denied that I had any problems. I denied that my life wasn't perfect. I denied that my life could be anything other than blissfully happy with my new baby and my great job. I don't ever admit that I need help. That's just the way I roll.

Eventually, something happened. I wish I could tell you what. It may be this blog. I started writing about things I normally keep hidden. It may be finally getting to know good friends in my area that I could talk to every day. It may be finally settling into a new routine in a new place with 2 new children. I don't know what it was. But I finally admitted that I needed help. And it took me a little while, but I finally got off my ass and got some help.

I saw a new doctor. After listening to my symptoms and, more importantly, listening to what I thought was wrong with me, she asked, "How do you feel about anti-depressants?" And giving me permission to admit that I wanted the help, she followed up with, "I'm a big believer."

So Lex@pro and I got to know each other. The first week or so, I thought I'd made a huge mistake. The drugs made me feel a bit foggy. Things didn't bother me the way they used to, but they didn't bother me at all. I felt as if I might not be bothered to say "ouch" if someone dropped an anvil on my foot. On the plus side, the kids could scream as much as they wanted and it didn't faze me a bit.

But I wasn't me. The contemplative, moody, complicated part of me that I love (and I like to think those who love me, love) wasn't there. She went to sleep for a few weeks. I worried that she would never be back. That simply wasn't an option for me. After talking to T about it, he also agreed that it shouldn't be an option for me. So we agreed I would give it a month. After that, I would ask my doctor to switch my medication.

She came back.

She's still here. She writes on this blog every now and then. Sometimes she gets nostalgic. Sometimes she thinks too damn much. But she's me. I like her.

I hope you do too.

* Sarcasm, people. I haven't actually had any pamphlets left for me. I have had phone calls and concerned emails. Yes, I appreciate those but I also promise you all, family members, friends, random passers by, regular readers, and total strangers I sent to my blog, that I know when and how to seek professional help. But thanks for your concern. "Mwah!" (That's a kiss in Holden-speak.)

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21 Comments:

Blogger flutter said...

I do adore you, and these things? I totally get.

It sucks, but I am here with you, holding your hand.

Blogger Mamma said...

Mmmm. I'm beginning to think life without medication isn't all it was cracked up to be.

Love you, friend!!

Blogger ExPatSW said...

Welcome to the family, sweetie. I do trust you to take care of yourself and know that if I do call, it truly is just to catch up on news.

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

(((YOU)))

You know you are my soul sistah and I could have written almost every word you wrote in reference to myself.

Do you know what that said to me? I think you are awesome and beautiful, and knowing that and what I just said? You helped me like another little corner of me. Thanks, you.

Your honesty is so fantastic. As are you.

Julie
Using My Words

Blogger PunditMom said...

You know I love you and your writing -- "attitude" and all.

I am not only a member of that nation....I am the PRESIDENT!

Well....at least a huge supporter!

I wouldn't go as far as to call me an athletic supporter...but you get the point! (hee-hee)

You KNOW I get it......it is hard to imagine if you don't...but I think you are doing GREAT!

Don't MAKE me give you another award!!!!!!!!! :)

Blogger Magpie said...

I'm resigned to Zoloft. I like me better that way. So, another one in your camp.

Blogger slouching mom said...

I am solidly in your camp as well. One of so very many, I think.

Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

The myth of perfection is a bitch. Count me in as another who mulls too much. I'm glad you've decided to take care of yourself. You deserve it.

And damnit woman you look so pretty in that photo.

Blogger jen said...

oh honey. i know. i know.

and how lovely you are - how kind and honest and real and beautiful even as you feel like this. and make it safer for the rest of us to feel like this too.

Anonymous Emily said...

It does take the drugs a little while to work properly once you start taking them. I am glad you gave it the time you needed to. People often get off too quickly (like those fools who stop with the anti-biotics as soon as the symptoms are gone).

I am so pleased for you! I hope others who are going through this read this post and give the medication the time it needs.

Blogger Jenn said...

Your honesty is a dose of medicine that we all need.

Hugs to you. Now put down the noose and get back to work. ;)

Blogger QT said...

I think just talking about depression, your visit to the doctor, and taking the meds helps so much. Because there are so many people out there that are scared to take any of the steps.

From one sarcastic sis to another, I am glad you are taking care of yourself~

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

You forgot snarky. Or maybe that's you on a good day. ;)

You and I, baby, are two peas in a pod. I couldn't think of better company.

Blogger jessabean said...

You know, I don't like feeling ashamed for taking medicine. I don't need any more guilt than I already have, so I try to block out the people that try to imply that my lifestyle is somehow...less.

You do what you gotta do to cope, to survive, to make you you again. After several different meds, I've found one that works. And I'm gonna ride this train as long as I can, dammit, because it works.

Sending you major blog love. (And I'll see you this weekend at happy hour WOOOOOOO!!!)

Blogger Michele said...

I thought I was reading about myself. Thanks so much for your beautiful ... and honest words.

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I so appreciate you, Lotta, Jenny and others for making this real and easy to talk about openly.

xo,
OTJ

Blogger Christine said...

oh, LM. you know you are loved here, right?

i am glad you are feeling better and that it doesn't mean changing who you are at the core of it all.

Blogger KC said...

What a brave and beautiful post.

Blogger Joker The Lurcher said...

for us its prozac. we shoudl have a family pack. my son has been on it since he was 11 (he was suicidal so please, don't think me a bad mother, people) and i have been on it since the amytriptaline made my heart murmur worse. some of us need this stuff, not because we are in any way inadequate but because we have a chemical imbalance.

you are very brave writing about this stuff, we all try and pretend we are ok...

Blogger Robin said...

I'm on Zoloft for a heart condition and within a month people were commenting on how much happier I seemed (they had no clue). Two years ago when things got more than stressful my doc upped the dose. It helped me to get over the stress hurdle in my life. I'd do it again if needed. Nothing wrong with giving the body some help to regulate and increase the ability of our chemicals to help us to function. My GYN just jokes that they should put antidepressents in the water!
Thanks for your honesty. It is a hard subject to talk about....

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