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Not Quite Better

February 7, 2011

This past weekend was good. Not perfect, still, but so much better. And yesterday was great. Had a nice play with the kid in the morning, went for a run in the rain with my dog, went to friends’ to watch the Superbowl eat chips and follow the snarky comments on Twitter about the Black Eyed Peas. We had a really good time. Kids played well together and ours was practically an angel. No pushing, no throwing. He even ate most of his dinner. It was one of those days that was exactly what I thought being a mom would feel like.

At bedtime, I did the usual things – brush teeth, wash face, etc. etc. One of those et ceteras was taking a little green and white pill. I just do it as part of my routine and so did it without even thinking about it. Little pill in, water chaser, dive right in under my fluffy duvet.

Happily settled, I began thinking about what a great weekend that was. What a great week last week was (even with the ridiculous work schedule that, by Wednesday, was starting to feel like it might be trying to kill me). I thought about what it feels like to have had a series of great weeks that had their bad moments but overall were just so much better.

The thought crept in, timidly at first.

“I think I’m better.”

… “Really?”

The thought got stronger. Took hold.

“Really. Think about it for a minute.”

I’ve been feeling really great lately. Better and better and better until it dawned upon me this past weekend that I felt normal. Like, really normal. More normal than the “normal” I’ve felt since starting meds. I felt like me.

It was exhilarating.

My happy little brain continued to browse the interwebs, reading this, commenting on that and generally feeling pretty happy with its lot in life.

And then I read Miranda’s blog post from Friday about refilling her anti-depressant prescription. And it hit me. I’m not better. I’m still on meds.

For some reason, it’s as though I had forgotten. Not for long – a day, maybe less. I had forgotten even though I take it every day. Had just taken it, in fact. The little green and white pill hadn’t even begun to work its daily dose of magic and there I was thinking, “Woo hoo! I’m all better!”

But the thing is, I’m still better than I was. A couple of months ago the thought of being on medication was in itself a horrible thing. “You’re on psychiatric medication,” my mind would whisper. I was desperate to get off it for no really legitimate reason (other than the 20 lbs that seem to have come with those little green and white pills, but hey! I’ll fit my maternity pants that much sooner the next time, right?).

But last night instead of panicking that same mind simply called a halt to the over-enthusiastic celebration and just took a moment to think, “Well that sucks.” It was a downer, to be sure. But it is what it is.

As I think about this today, my mind tends more towards wondering. Wondering if I can come off. Wondering how that would go.

To be honest, it scares the crap out of me. I resisted medication for a really long time – a story I still need to tell, because it will help someone somewhere – but when I finally started taking something, things improved. Dramatically. And quickly. Much more quickly than they’re supposed to. Which makes me wonder if I’ll feel the effects of coming off quickly as well. (Anyone have any experience with this?)

Did I mention this scares the crap out of me?

Two months ago, I had planned to go off medication in the new year. A month ago I knew I wasn’t ready. Now I feel like maybe, just maybe, it’s worth thinking about. Maybe the the normal me – the new, normal me – is close by after all.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2011 3:11 pm

    Better is better… baby steps. Sending hugs and sunshine your way.

  2. Michelle permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:20 pm

    Better is better, not best. Sure, in medical terms better means cured but it can also mean simply better. Better than you felt before and that is something to be happy about and celebrate.
    I feel I am going the other way and might need something different that would work better for me and that might make me better too!
    Take those better days and remember what they feel like and they’ll be with you more often than not because you’re Mama Robin J H F!

  3. February 8, 2011 7:55 pm

    Hi there visiting over from the Blog Hop. I am happy your feeling “better”, what an courageous post. I will definately by following you. I gave birth last March to my 5th child and although I was diagnosed…I think I was suffering from some type of PPD. I feel better now in my mind, but my body is still recovering. lol I really like your blog and hope you will come follow me on my blogs (lol I have 2)

  4. February 8, 2011 1:35 pm

    I’m so happy your days have been brighter! Even when some days are cloudy don’t fault yourself, you are super (easier said than done I know). I question the med situation too but you are the only one who knows what’s best for you! Great post

  5. February 8, 2011 6:38 am

    Oh, sweetie, I know that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. And the feeling of wanting so badly to be off meds, and wondering if you’ll ever be able to do without them. when I struggle with that, what helps me is this thought: maybe, just maybe, it’s not that important? What if I will be on meds my whole life? does that make me a bad person? for me, the answer was (surprisingly), not a bed person. a smart one. One who’d rather not suffer needlessly.
    Your very own answer to this question is right for you. for now. it may shift later, or not. I so that the society could just drop the judgement about meds, and have them when they are needed, and not be so hung up on them. Yes, easier said than done. I know. Anyway, I’m rambling. I went back on meds recently, decided that winter is the time to have all the help I can get. I will try getting off in the summer. Hugs to you.

    • February 8, 2011 6:58 am

      That “what if” question is a good one, and it’s one someone else pointed out to me yesterday. It’s not a bad thing. I am much better about the stigma piece (though admittedly not entirely). For me it’s a couple of things. If the things that usually trigger me don’t so much anymore, maybe I shouldn’t “need” the meds. I want to know if I can do without. Plus, the medication plays into my desire to have another baby, which has already been delayed by this stupid PPD.

  6. February 8, 2011 5:37 am

    Hey friend! Please, oh please, do not think that my hang-ups about medication are your hang-ups, too.

    I know what those moments of “I’m better” feel like and they are awesome. They are the moments I tuck away to remember when I’m in the throes of “THIS EFFING SUCKS.”

    In short, please don’t take my set back as your set back.

    • February 8, 2011 6:54 am

      Oh honey, I know. And I don’t really take it as a setback. (And you shouldn’t either!) It was more of a realization. It’s all part of the process, I guess.


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