A little while back when I posted about our 6 weeks postpartum life so far, I wrote about my anxiety. At my six week checkup, I was given a low dose for Zoloft that I started taking. I was a lot nervous to start it, but I did.
A lot of moms will write about the struggle of knowing they have postpartum anxiety, but not many people write about after and I feel like it needs to be written about and put out there. I know so many women who are just struggling through that don’t want to give medicine a chance. Whether from fear or just the belief they don’t need it. So heads up, I’m pro meds.
I have been struggling with anxiety since Ana was born, but didn’t know it. I had major problems with feeling like everything was going wrong all the time and having an incredibly short fuse with everyone. When things went wrong, I was angry and it bled onto the people I love the most. So I’d been struggling with feeling like this for 6 years. It just kind of became the new normal. For me, and sadly for Chris and Ana too.
I started feeling a lot better about 3-4 weeks after starting my prescription. I wasn’t getting angry like I used to and the weight of the world no longer felt balanced on top of me. Then we moved and my prescription got packed in a box. It wasn’t until day 2 and 3 of not taking it that I really realized the weight that taking it relieved me of. When I yelled at Ana out of frustration and saw the look of defeat in her face, I knew I had to start taking it again and make taking it a priority.
If you’re wondering why it worked so well for me, let me tell you that it took a minute. When I went back to my OB, she asked me how I was feeling and I was honest with her. It was a HUGE improvement, but sometimes things still felt harder than they should. So she upped my dose and told me to try it and if I felt it was too much to let her know.
I’m two months in on a higher dose and it’s made all the difference.
There are some days that feel I feel so good and so happy, that I would swear it was my last day on earth because I never had days that felt this nice.
The day Chris took this photo of me, I had big plans to take Ana exploring around this pond. We were going to stay out there for an hour or so, Eleni would fall asleep eventually, we’d find cool stuff, etc. In reality, it was FRIGID. Eleni wouldn’t stop crying no matter what we did, and we did find a cool nest, but we were only able to walk around for maybe 15 minutes.
Before I started Zoloft, this would have made me pretty irritated. It probably would have put a damper on anything we did the rest of the day. I would have been short tempered with my family and it would have felt like I failed to teach Ana a nature lesson for the week, which would have snowballed to make me question my ability to homeschool her at all.
With Zoloft? I was still a bit disappointed, it’s not a magic “never be upset again in life” pill, but it didn’t destroy my day. It just didn’t feel like that big of a deal. Which was a big deal for me. Even Chris has mentioned how amazed he is at the difference in my mood. When things happen that would normally set me off and I don’t freak out, he asks if I’m okay and I can honestly say “yeah.”
I still have bad days.
Yesterday Eleni cried no matter what I did, which obliterated any plans we had and I felt really bad that, yet again, Ana was getting the short end of the stick because baby was being a handful. The difference is the weight of the bad day. Instead of questioning my parenting skills and being completely crushed about Ana having to be more independent for the day, it was way easier to just chalk it up to a bad day.
Going on a prescription, for me, was completely worth it and I’m so incredibly thankful I have a doctor who encouraged me and listened to me when I told her something wasn’t right. I don’t know if I’ll be on Zoloft forever, but I know that after 6 years of carrying this weight, I don’t want to pile it back on. So I’ll be 110% with taking it forever if that’s what I need. I’ll just be over here, thanking God for modern medicine and FINALLY feeling like it’s not that big of a deal.