Let me first start off that this post may have some triggers for some. I am going to be very real and honest because that is what I have promised I would be. I want you to be warned that I will be talking about some sad things today.
I need to give some background information. Since I started going to see my therapist I was dead set on not taking antidepressants. I felt that if I took them I would be less of a person, less of a women.
I wanted to be able to fix myself without the help of a pill. Well guys, I gave it a few good years of consistent talk therapy. I even tried Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing theropy (EMDR and it was very cool). Everything that I did with my therapist worked. It worked to some degree.
I have mentioned before that I know this is a life long journey for me. This is something that I will have to carry my whole life. I don’t love it. But once I accepted that fact, I could let go of some of the control.
Because I can’t control depression. It is a mental illness that I have. It will never go 100% away. What I can control is how I deal with it. I can control the things I do to help make my life more enjoyable and livable.
I can choose to let things effect me. Or I can work on choosing to let things roll off my back, fall down, and roll away. The later is becoming more and more easier. It’s a heck of a lot of work though.
Is it Worth it?
Ummm YES!!! It is worth it 100% of the time. Because the alternative is living in a dark, black hole that is alone and scary. I didn’t like the me when I was in that place. The me now, I kind of like this chic. 🙂
So, Why Did I Take the Plunge?
About a year ago we had some family members go through a very tragic experience. My sister in law and brother in law went to their 26 week OBGYN appointment. They could not find a heart beat.
After an ultrasound, it was determined that their sweet little boy, Banks, was no longer alive. My amazing sister in law’s body started to go into labor later that day.
After my Eddy got off work he went over to the hospital to be with them. Banks was born that night, a beautiful stillborn. The next day I was blessed to meet and hold him.
Over the course of the next few days so much had to be planned. The family rallied together to help as much as we could. Some more then others and what a great help and comfort they were.
My sister in law asked me if I could take Banks’ outfit that my mother in law crocheted, in a matter of hours, to the mortuary. When I went to pick it up at her mom’s house she was so grateful that neither of them had to take it over.
I was happy to help, it was such a small task. I had a few errands to run anyways so it was added onto the list.
After a few minutes of driving around the cemetery I was able to find the correct building. I parked and walked inside. It was a pretty building inside. To my surprise I wasn’t the only one there.
There was a young couple holding the most beautiful white dress. The first thing I noticed was the size of the dress. It was small. Too small. Their sweet daughter must have been about 1. ONE!
I could feel the tears forming in my eyes.
Then an older couple walked around the corner. They were talking with one of the employees. She walked away. There still wasn’t anyone at the reception desk. So I continued to stand there completely uncomfortable.
This is moment that had the biggest impact on my discussion to start antidepressants.
The older women walked over to the younger couple and gave the young mom a hug. Her words were simple and so heartbreaking. She said, “I’m sorry for your loss. We just lost my daughter after a battle with depression.”
It was all I could do to not lose it right then and there. The tears started streaming down my face. If they said anything else I was unaware.
As I looked over to the reception desk with pleading eyes I was happy to see someone sitting behind the desk. I hurried over to her to drop off the delicate clothes for Banks.
I wanted to say something to either of those grieving couples. I had no words, so I walked by them on my way out. I wish I could go back to that moment and tell them how sorry I was for their losses.
As soon as I walked outside I took a huge gasp and cried, super ugly and loud crying. As I sat in my car crying I could not stop thinking about one thing. I can not, CAN NOT, put my parents and Eddy through that.
I can not leave this world and let them plan my funeral and pick up the shattered pieces I would leave behind. I have had suicidal thoughts. Most of the time they are fleeting thoughts. A few times it was a bit more serious then that.
I learned right then that I am a bigger and better person admitting that I needed more help. I was not less of a mom, friend, daughter, sister, wife, or a women. I am strong! I am worth it! And I am pretty darn proud of how far I have come!
It wasn’t long after that day that I called my OBGYN and asked if they could send a prescription over to the pharmacy. The wonderful nurse and I chatted for a few minutes.
I then texted Eddy to let him know that I had a prescription of antidepressants coming his way. I started them that night. And I have taken one every night since that day.
Was it Worth it?
Again, I’m going to say, you bet!! Do I love that I am taking antidepressants? Umm, I really don’t care. Let me tell you why. I am feeling better! I may not be 100% better, nor will I ever be. But I am not only copping but living my life.
Do I still get depressed? Yes. Am I still grumpy and down? Yes. Have I had fleeting suicidal thoughts? Oh probably, but I can not remember one specific time. That’s a good sign.
Am I ready to taper off or stop taking them? Nope. If something is working then why mess with it, right? For now I am happy taking my pill each night. I like to joke that it is my magic blue pill… haha It is blue and it is magic.
Many things changed for me when I started taking my antidepressants. Those things are good and happy changes.
I have wondered many times why it had to take me so long to start antidepressants. I have many thoughts but here are a few:
- I needed to try my hardest to get “better” without it first.
- I needed to know that it wasn’t my first step of action. By trying other things I knew it was the next step for me.
- After I hit publish on my blog I got so much loving support! This has helped me to be more open with others and more open to continue to help myself.
- By going to see my therapist I have learned and gained many skills and tools that have helped me. They are still helping me and I know I will continue to use them for a long time.
The decision to take antidepressants is a very personal one. It should be between you, your doctor, and your therapist (if you have one). Please DON’T assume it will work right out of the gate for you because it worked for others.
You may need to test out different kinds or doses. It may take a long road to find one that fits you. or you may find you don’t like it once you start taking antidepressants. And that’s okay!
You need to do what’s best for YOU!!! My hope in writing this post was to give you an idea of how long it took me to want to start taking antidepressants. And that it took a somewhat dramatic experience for me to have the flip switched in my head that that was my next step.
I want you to know that I have faith in you! You are worth it! So very worth it!
And I am an email away.