Thursday, June 23, 2011

Better Living Through Chemistry? Maybe.

I'm not sure where to start with this one, other than to say I try to be honest here - or as honest as one can really be in a public forum where you don't use a pseudonym  - believe me, there are plenty of things I think in my head that I don't share with ANYONE (but we all do that, right?)  - so I'm just going to say that life can be overwhelming. I'm sure we would all agree on that. But when you feel like you want to jump out of your skin with rage at times, and the littlest thing can set you off, it may be time to seek out some help.

Earlier this year I started thinking maybe I have PMDD, as my emotions and moods seemed somewhat associated with the monthly hormone cycle - but honestly, more and more often, I'd be crying over ridiculous things at any given time. I wasn't happy, Matt wasn't happy, and my kids were getting a mommy who yelled a lot. If Mommy isn't happy, nobody's happy.

Exercise helped some, but with the little two not napping anymore, it was hard to fit that in, and it seems like this year, with 3 kids in 3 different schools, someone was sick all the time, and I caught all of it. FUN!

In early March I called to make an appointment for a physical, with the express purpose of asking for a prescription for Zoloft. I'd taken it back in college when my parents got divorced, and found it to be pretty helpful. The earliest they could schedule me was late April, and in the meantime life went on. We went away for spring break, and as vacations will do, we got away from our daily life & stress & I was feeling really great! We were driving home & I remember thinking about my upcoming appointment & saying to Matt, maybe I don't need anything after all! Well - we weren't home 40 minutes before I was looking around at everything, almost hyperventilating and near tears. Apparently my type A personality doesn't handle being a harried mom of four very well. So off to the doctor I went.

Now let me say this: I am not depressed. At all. The box I checked on the medical history form was 'anxiety', because I think that's really the best descriptor of what's going on. I felt overwhelmed, and would wander around doing what absolutely had to be done, but not much else was getting accomplished, and I felt really disconnected and somewhat resentful of my kids. Those 10 lbs I kept talking about trying to lose? An impossible task, as I was stuffing my face with chocolate when the stress got to be too much, and I was drinking an increasing amount of wine at night. I told the doctor I was headed down the path of becoming a fat alcoholic :) She suggested we start with Zoloft because I'd had it before, and as it can take up to 6 weeks to kick in fully, I had a follow-up appointment 2 weeks ago.

How are things now? I haven't burst into tears over the state of my house since I started taking it. I feel a lot calmer, and more tolerant of my exuberant kids and their nonsense :) My fuse is DEFINITELY longer than it was, and I'm not yelling as much. Honestly? I watch Matt losing his temper with the kids - Matt, the man with the longest fuse I know - and I'll wonder to myself 'why are you yelling at them?' I'm not gorging on chocolate and carbs in the afternoons, and my wine can wait until 8pm instead of when I'm cooking dinner. I've lost 4 lbs, and aside from catching every cold the kids have (which has nothing to do with the topic at hand) am feeling really good. I'm not saying antidepressants are for everyone and the answer to everything, but if you feel constantly out of control, like I did, maybe they can help. It's worth a shot.
We're in full-on summer mode this week, swim team practice started Tuesday, and Evie had evening Girls Scout Camp while William & the little two went to Vacation Bible School (which they LOVED! I'm really excited for Jason to go to preschool in September, I think he's going to love it!) Now do you think Matt and I relaxed for the brief time all four of them were out of the house this week? Um, no. What better time to catch up on things around the house with no interruption? Although Matt went out to meet a friend tonight so I did all the taxi-cabbing myself, and I actually did just SIT for the hour I had the house to myself. Bliss!
This week Matt read an article about a fireworks competition in Montreal every summer, and we've decided we MUST GO! I've put a note on the calendar to remind us about it for next year, as we're ready to start traveling & seeing more of what the world has to offer, now that the little kids are more enjoyable out and about. Toting strollers and baby gear to museums and amusement parks has never been high on my list of fun things to do, and I'm glad to say those days are pretty much over. Look out world, here we come!


  1. So glad that you went to your doctor, and thank you for posting about it! I think we've all had times where the world seemed to cave in, but lots of people don't feel like they can share those things. I love that you are always very genuine about life! Cella just finished GS Camp and had a blast. I should have her send Evie one of the "swaps" she made!

    Happy summer!

  2. I can't relate to your overwhelmed feelings because I don't yet have kids in school and our days are unstructured and easy.

    I'm so glad that this is working for you and that you've found some relief!!

    Fireworks in Canada! Sounds like a fun time!

  3. I think this is great and I am definitely a believer in better living through chemistry! We talked about this in Austin, and I am doing the happy dance for you at this very moment. :)

  4. I love how you posted this out of a place of love for those who may be going through something similar.

    It is great that you are feeling better ;)

  5. So glad you went to the doctor. Everyone knows that a happy mother makes for a happy family and we all could use a little help sometimes. We are going into the last few days of school and then my guys go to camp from July 2 to 26, not to rub it in but only few years ago I was right where you are with little ones. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And as for a trip to Montreal? You have to go, it is where I spent my university days and it is a great place for kids too.

  6. Anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds definitely help a lot of people, including me.
    I'm gald you went to the doctor for help, a lot of people are too ashamed/apprehensive to ask for help.


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