Danger vs. truth (a PPD update)

Bobby isn’t sure that I’m ready to come off anti-depressants. If I’m being completely honest, I’m not entirely sure either, but I called my doctor yesterday to find out what steps I would need to take.

I’m not sure how to describe what I felt when I hung up the phone — sort of a mix excitement, anticipation, dread and fear. I know I don’t have to do this now if I’m not ready. But there’s also that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that I really don’t want to be on anti-depressants forever, that I can easily see a difference from now and six months ago.

And there’s a smaller, more dangerous voice whispering, “What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you better than this? Needing drugs to be normal?  If you were really as good as you think you are, you wouldn’t hesitate. You would just stop now and not even bother coming off gradually.”

That is really painful to admit because reading it here, actually on the screen, I see how incredibly terrible it sounds.

That little voice is what has caused me in the past six months to, on occasion, skip days of taking my meds, and it’s made me miserable. And I should be clear: This isn’t a new voice. It’s not a PPD voice, although I’m sure in this instance the PPD does play into it somewhat. It’s a voice that’s been with me for a long, long time.

So I’m afraid of heeding that little voice. I worry that I’m really not ready because I know the PPD is not something I have any control over. But the way I’ve felt recently has been different. I’ve felt more rational and more in control. And when I think about coming off my meds, the dominant voice is not that one that’s mocking me for starting them in the first place; it’s one that tells me that I can give it a try. That this isn’t something I can even fail at; it’s just something I need to take at my own pace.

I’ve found comfort in the medicine I’ve taken the past five months or so. It, along with the support of Bobby (who I can really never thank enough for dealing with all my PPD issues so incredibly graciously), brought me back from the darkest, most painful place I’ve ever been. It allowed me to love my son and learn how to be a mother.

Now I think it’s time for me to try those things on my own. It’s probably not going to be easy, but I think I am more prepared now than I was then. And if I need help, I am a big enough person to ask for and accept it.

So take that, little dangerous voice.

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4 responses to “Danger vs. truth (a PPD update)

  1. you can do it! just take it slow and never be afraid to ask for help 🙂 or encouraging words to help get you through it!

    • Thanks, Michelle! Like I said, I’m excited and scared all at once, but I know I can do it if I just play it smart and give myself the time I need. I appreciate the encouragement!

  2. I hope it goes well, Misty! I admire your bravery for posting about this. I have had anxiety issues for a LONG time. I finally decided to start taking something a few months ago, just to enjoy my daughter more without worrying about silly stuff. I have loved it. But that voice is there for me too … Do I need drugs to be normal? I don’t want to be on them forever. I’m not sure when I’ll try to come off. I too notice the days that I forget to take it, so I think a half dose will be may way to go!
    Good luck!!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Angie! Being able to enjoy our kids is so important, but it’s also so easy for me to feel like I have something to prove. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be these crazily perfect moms?!

      I’m glad you are able to enjoy your daughter now, too. A good friend of mine gave me the advice that he had heard from his doctor … when you are ready to come off, you will know. For me, that hasn’t meant not having anxiety about coming off the meds, but it did mean me being able to have some confidence in giving it a shot. And it’s going OK so far. Not perfect, but I’m taking it one day at a time!

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