Monday, June 29, 2009

Two steps forward. One step back. Wait, make that three steps back.

I thought I made it through just fine, but now I'm not so sure.

In January, with the support of my obstetrician, I stopped taking antidepressants for postpartum depression. I was feeling good, and things seemed fine for a few months. I thought I weathered the storm, came out a stronger woman, and things were looking up.

I did come out a stronger woman - I learned a lot about myself, and things were looking up. But now, I've hit a rough patch, and although I fully believe that things are going to get better, it doesn't make it any easier for the time being.

The past month things have started to get bumpy again. I've been hesitant to write about it as I've been trying to make some sense of it myself. I've been getting cranky again. And this time, there's been bouts of anxiety and depression - not just irritability, but the "I don't know why I'm crying and I can't stop" kind of depression.

It's been bothering me a lot. Poor Dennis is having to deal with me being all mean and cranky - A LOT, and - I feel like I'm back in that same boat I was months ago. I've forgotten what it feels like to be me. I've forgotten what it feels like to make it through a whole day without getting really mad about something or without getting all worked up and overreacting to some little thing that's really nothing at all. Don't get me wrong - I have my good days, but the bad days are starting to be more frequent.

I miss being able to go through a day and just have fun and enjoy it. I'm not feeling like me, and that's not okay.

Today I met with my doctor, and I told her what's been going on. There's a possibility that the birth control I was on is contributing to this, but there was no surefire way to determine the culprit while I was still on it.

So, I've stopped that particular method and I'll be starting a new one. My doctor wants me to give it some time (one month) to see if the birth control was the issue. If I'm still Spongebob Crankypants, one phone call is all it will take, and I can go back on the Lexapro. I've already decided that if it continues to be bad, I'll call her before the month is up, and I'm sure she won't have an issue with getting me back on the meds.

To be honest with you, one thing that really bugs me is the fact that I did well for months without the medication, and now I may need it again. I'm not sure why - I'm a big fan of the medication, and it worked wonders for me. I think it's just part of that whole idea that I tell myself I've got to have it all together (even though I know that's absolutely ridiculous). I feel like I failed. And I hate failing - shoot, who likes it?

I know it's nothing I did or didn't do. I am not choosing to be depressed. Try as I might, I can't shake it, but I never understood that until I actually suffered from it myself.

Before, it was like, "Depressed? Get outside, change your attitude, open the windows, quit wallowing in self-pity, snap out of it." Seriously. You can't. You simply cannot.

I know it will get better. It got better last time, and it will get better again. I know it will.


Becky said...

I really admire you sharing your story and struggles in regards to this. I have recently been diagnosed with postnatal depression and have been put on meds and I am not sure I want to talk about it or really where to start.
I hope things start to turn around for you soon.

Elizabeth said...

I have also dealt w/depression in the past. I KNOW how you feel and can understand what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you :) Don't feel like a failure.

Summer said...

Oh girl....I am so sorry. Trust me, I know exactly what you are going through.

It will get better, I promise. I'm praying for you...


Dani said...

Sorry -that sounds so frustrating. I hope it is something simple like changing birth control. If not, just know it i not abnormal whatsoever to need antidepressants. So many people do.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for writing about this Sera! I've had my strugges in this area as well. Hang in there,things will get better:)

April said...

I am proud of you for talking to your dr again. I went through the same thing and from what I understand is that it is a chemical imbalance and the smallest thing can trigger it once you are susceptible. Good luck girl. Here for ya if you ever want to talk! Always.

blueviolet said...

I've been on them for about 8 years now, I think. When we lost our medical insurance I went off for about 2 years because I simply couldn't afford them but I went right back on when we got insurance again. I used to feel there was a stigma attached to it but having been on them, I just know any stigma is worth not feeling like the "before."

Big hugs to you!

BreAnne said...

I really admire you for being so honest. I too suffered from PPD, and had a hard time telling people about it. I hope that you get this all figured out, and can get back to feeling like yourself. P&PT

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for bravely sharing your story, both of recovery and of setback. I recently experienced a relapse of depression after 7 years of compelete recovery and your blog was one of the rays of light I found when I slipped into darkness. It is so hard when such incredible pain is caused by biological forces you can't control. You will be well again and through your experience you have helped so many.


Jenners said...

Sweetie! I so understand! I had PPD and I'm STILL taking meds for it ... and my son will be 5 soon. I've tried about 4 times to get off of them but I just can't do it. I need them and there is nothing wrong with that. Having a baby can change your hormones and the chemical make-up of your body and it may take awhile to get "back to normal." this is totally OK. Do what you need to do to feel like yourself. There is no shame, guilt or anything. You did not FAIL and I don't want to hear you say that!

Candice said...

You are taking steps to get things back on track, and that should definitely be commended.

Don't feel like a failure if you just so happen to need to go back on the meds. Just consider it a little bump in the road.

Best of luck to you!

MoDLin said...

I admire your openness and willingness to talk about this. So many of us feel the way you're feeling but we bottle this up and feel guilty for some reason... Who needs it! Good for you for seeking help. You're absolutely right, it will get better.