I don’t know why I am, or even why I should have a reason to be, but I am… terrified.
I am terrified of slipping back, being right back where I was 13 months ago. 13 months ago is when I was at my lowest low, the deepest, darkest place I have ever been (as an adult). 13 months ago I was terrified of what was happening all around me and to me. 13 months ago I also took hold of my courage and got help for what I now know was (is) postpartum depression.
I feel like I’ve been on this journey for a long time now, and I still believe it happened for a reason – that reason being to become a voice for those who haven’t found the strength in themselves to talk about postpartum depression. I also feel like I have been on anti-depressant medication for a long time, although my doctor assures me not to feel like a year is uncommon. She has told me that many people take several years before they are at a point where they can become medication-free.
But I am still terrified.
I went to my doctor a couple weeks ago to talk to her about weaning myself (sounds a lot like breastfeeding – ha! – but oh so different!). I know that I can’t just stop taking my meds cold turkey. That would for sure send me into a backwards, downwards tailspin. I was afraid to even schedule the appointment, but my prescription had run out so I had no choice but to schedule something.
Things are going a lot better now with “normal” household life and the boys being a little older (they’ll still always be my little snugglebug babies) and getting a little easier. External circumstances are still what they are, but I’m able to deal with them on a more rational level and I’m able to focus, concentrate and get things done. All things that 13 months ago I couldn’t even think about, let alone talk about. I know that I’m better.
But I am still terrified.
I’ve had debates in my head about why it’s so important for me to get off my meds. And really I can never come up with a clear winning reason. I am one of the lucky rare ones (hey, that just means I’m unique, right?) who suffers from adverse symptoms of taking my medication: constant ringing in my ears – both ears, 24/7 (fun, NOT); frequent headaches; and fatigue. My doctor is hoping that these symptoms will all go away once I am off my meds. If not, well then we have a whole other set of problems to explore. For now, though, we discussed weaning off my meds just to see if those symptoms disappear.
On the opposite side of the debate, we are heading back into winter and if it’s anything like it was last year (so much snow I couldn’t see out my windows or my sliding glass door – not so much fun with a newborn and a 3-yr old). I for sure wasn’t the only one who was depressed! I am geared up with all kinds of support this winter – and again just the shear fact that the boys are getting older and a little easier to tote around – but I just don’t know if it’s “smart” of me to try weaning in the throws of winter.
So here I am, confused, overwhelmed and genuinely happy (something I’ve been practicing, regardless of circumstances – another post, another day…), but still terrified.
What am I terrified of, you ask? I am terrified of falling back into a depression, the kind I was in 13 months ago before I started taking medication. I am terrified of talking to my husband about this (why? who knows! He is the most supportive, loving, caring man I know). I am terrified of what if I’m not ready? What if I have to be on this medication forever? What if I become addicted? What if I get worse? What if I get better? – Yes, that’s a big one, huh?
What if I get better? That would be great, wouldn’t it? Am I afraid to be okay, to not have anything to fall back on as an excuse; To have to own up to everything and take full responsibility for all my actions (well, don’t I do try to do this already?). I’ve heard of people having fear of success. Could this be similar? I don’t know…
Maybe all of this fear is a sign to me that I’m not ready to go off my meds? I don’t know that either…
What I do know… I am terrified.