Take the antidepressants! It’s OKAY to need them!

Take the antidepressants! It’s OKAY to need them! | Tyranny of Pink

So this is a bit of a personal one for me. It’s about taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.

A long time ago (11 years to be exact) I was put on antidepressants. I HATED IT!

I felt like I had lost myself.

I had in fact just lost my father. He died, unexpectedly in a car accident and his death was a HUGE blow to my life. I was 23 years old. I was just starting my life as an adult on my own and I was devastated. My world as I knew it ended.

Of course the logical thing was antidepressants because I cried. I cried a lot. Then I cried some more. And when I was done crying I drank a lot of alcohol because I didn’t know how else to numb the pain.

The pills numbed me. They took the edge off the pain and they enabled me to function.

Except they also stopped me from crying and my sadness and grief was trapped inside of me.

It felt AWFUL. So I made the decision to go off the pills. I wanted to cry. I WANTED to grieve and be sad about my dad because that’s okay! Going off the pills was a good call.

Fast forward just over a decade and I’m in a similar position but with a whole new view on things

A year and a half ago I went through a really traumatic birth experience. I nearly died and I was in ICU and I had so many damn surgeries and I missed out on mothering for the first few months of my son’s life.

I was traumatised. I was experiencing actual post traumatic stress.

I was living with guilt and feeling like I had failed as a mother.

I felt inadequate.

I couldn’t breastfeed because of the infection in my body. I felt like I couldn’t do the very thing my body was created for. Sustain the life of the child I had brought into this world. And nearly lost my own life doing so.

I started feeling exhausted all the time.

I would sleep a full night and still feel tired. The kind of tired where your soul feels exhausted.

I am a really positive person and I can always see the silver linings so it was really hard for me to understand that what I was going through didn’t make me a negative person. It was just my body struggling to cope.

I fought this feeling.

I lived with the exhaustion and just put it down to being a new mother. It’s normal right? Well that’s what I told myself for months. For a year. For over a year.

What felt like giving up actually saved me

Eventually, I couldn’t bear the thought of life anymore because I was just so freaking TIRED ALL THE TIME and I couldn’t cope anymore with day-to-day life.

One day I actually said to my husband that I wished I had just died and I knew something was very wrong. He was furious with me. And that’s perfectly understandable.

I had FOUGHT so fucking hard to live and here I was wishing that away. Wishing away getting to watch my son grow up. That was NOT me or who I was!

So I went to see my GP and I told him what I’d been going through and he decided we needed to run some blood tests. My thyroid was a huge consideration.

A few days later he called me to tell me that my blood tests had come back clear. There was nothing physically wrong with me and suggested that what I have might be depression.

There was no way that could be it I decided. I’m a fighter and people like me don’t get depressed.

He asked me to just try a short course of mild antidepressant and if that changed nothing he’d schedule me in with specialists to do more tests.

So I agreed.

I thought he was ridiculous but I agreed.

Within three months, I was feeling less exhausted. I felt more stable and less emotional. The feelings of constant guilt started to ease up and the best part was, the tears stopped flowing.

Suddenly I could get through a day without falling apart and crying over all the failures that my journey to motherhood had brought.

I was starting to feel okay.

I was starting to leave the house. I was feeling more and more like my old self. The happy version of myself.

I went in to see my GP and thanked him for giving me back to me. For allowing me to be happy again. For letting me see the world through new, coloured lenses instead of the constant state of grey that had become my norm.

He suggested we go for a year and I suggested we see how I feel when we get there. I wasn’t prepared to commit to coming off them when I was just starting to feel normal again.

You see, the first time I was on antidepressants, they numbed me when I needed to grieve. Grieving is a real part of healing. This time around, I needed to be myself. I needed to get over the hardest thing that had ever happened to me.

Taking these pills is probably the best decision I have ever made for myself

Instead of the sad and fragile person I had become, I’m me again. Confident in myself and my abilities. I am okay with talking on the phone (this had become terrifying to me) and I can go through my day knowing that I’m okay! That my son is okay and that the world is a better place. I’ve started working with people again and helping others do what they need to do. That’s huge for me.

I know a lot of people think antidepressants are a sign of weakness but for me, they are a sign of strength.

Jonelle | Tyranny of Pink

Admitting I need help to get through the day was the start of my new life

Saying hey look at me, I’m a bad-ass but I’m also struggling right now was huge for me. Knowing that making this choice was putting happiness first changed everything. There really is no shame in getting help. 

It’s almost impossible to be a good parent when you spend all day trying to just hold it together.

Now, I can focus on my child. I can do the normal mom things I need to do and I’m not ALWAYS exhausted when he needs me. Sure I still get tired but it’s the tired after a busy day, not the tired after a busy life.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get the help you need. Antidepressants might not be the best option for everyone, maybe therapy is enough to help you and maybe just talking about your problems is enough for you. I just want you to know that it’s not a sign of weakness to take them if you do need them. It’s not a sign of being an any less than version of you. It doesn’t say you’re a failure, it just sometimes helps to get a little help. Get the help you need. Whatever that is. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help!

Go do you. Go be you. Be the best version of you possible. Unapologetically!

 

 

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7 Discussion to this post

  1. Us women are another type of species. We want to be able to do it all, be it all….and in the end that causes our own undoing. I had a traumatic experience after a miscarriage, almost died I guess…then a horrific pregnancy 18m after that. I think only when my baby was about 5 months old i realised I may be suffering from PTSD from the events of the 2 years. I was bitter, sad, angry. I wish I had the courage to go to the doctor to ask for help as you did, because I’m sure it would have helped me, but we don’t want to appear ‘weak’. When in fact, it’s the opposite of weak to be asking for help!

    This is a lovely lovely post! I got shivers reading it. You went through a terrible terrible situation, I can’t even imagine all the feelings that come with that. I’m so glad you’re taking care of yourself now <3

    • I’m sorry that you had a bad experience. I always wish I had the typical birthing experience that I see so many others have. I wonder why me… why them. That doesn’t help. Your miscarriage and traumatic pregnancy are both awful experiences that I wish that they didn’t happen to you but I’m thankful that you have the strength to talk about them. For a lot of women, there isn’t even that. They keep these things hidden deep within eating away at them. No one knows just how much strength goes into admitting these feelings. You’re right though, we don’t want to seem weak even though that could mean we get helped so much faster!

      I did have a terrible experience and the effects won’t leave me for a long time but in the end, I’d do it all over again if that meant having my perfect little human. I’m sure you would do the same!

      Sending love <3

  2. Zoe says:

    yes yes yes!

    I was also put on anti-depressants after a traumatic birth. Helped so much with the PTSD, the tearfulness and generally just coping with each day. I’m off them now, but I don’t know how I would have survived without them.

    I was sad when I was first put on them, but I thought about if the doctor had told me I needed to do certain things to help my physical health, I would have done them, so why not do the same for my mental health?

    *hugs*

    • There’s so much stigma around it and that makes me so sad. Imagine how many people go through PTSD and don’t get help? I can’t even imagine. I wish I’d had the sense to ask for help immediately after Oden was born. I feel like things would have been so much easier.

      I love how you put that, if the Doctor had told you to do things with your physical health you’d listen so why is mental health any different! SO true.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      xx

  3. Bonnie says:

    That means so much to me. Thank you love.
    Some tears now. 🙂

  4. Bonnie says:

    Brlliant post and such good timing. Only took me 34 years to decide/realise that I am not as strong as I like to think I am. Finally took the plunge so here’s hoping for better days. Thanks for telling me that you’re proud of me, that helped a lot too.
    I am so proud of you for sharing this vey personal story, I know how tough it was for you too.
    Love you as big as the sky
    Xoxo

    • Mom, just because you need a little help doesn’t make you any less strong. You are the strongest person I have ever met. You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders day in and day out and that is what makes you strong, not sometimes needing to lighten the load a little. I am so very proud to call you my mother and of every single thing you do. I love you as big as the sky <3

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