Y’all? It’s been a challenging couple of weeks. In the blink of an eye, I went from being motivated, confident, and optimistic to overwhelmed and anxious. That’s the thing about depression and anxiety – just when you start to feel safe, it can creep back into your life. I often wish it could be removed surgically – cut out permanently – but that’s just not how it works.
The doctor warned me that as pregnancy changed my body, medication doses would need to be adjusted. I knew all along she was right – after all, I’d already increased the dose once before. But secretly, I was feeling so good that deep down, I hoped we had found the perfect combination of medication and therapy.
When I started to feel edgy, I talked to my therapist and we agreed to give it a few days. After all, sometimes a bad day is just a bad day. It’s all-to-easy to overreact to a bad mood after you have experienced the lows that accompany a mood disorder. I took deep breaths, reached out to friends, let my husband know how I was feeling, and spent my time living self-care. After a week? It just wasn’t enough.
The amazing thing is that I was actually managing the episode quite well. All the self-care and coping skills were allowing me to function normally: to work, care for Doodle Bug, and enjoy time with friends and family. But it took so much emotional energy that I was exhausted. Pregnancy is tiring enough. I didn’t need to be struggling to feel good.
My mom asked if there was anything wrong. She suggested that life has been stressful lately and that we’ve been very busy. She was right about one thing – we have been so very busy. But it’s not been anything worth being overwhelmed by. In two years of therapy, I’ve become very good at looking internally for issues. And I knew for sure that life was good. All the busy? It was a good busy. This wasn’t life getting me down. It was the chemical imbalance in my brain.
I was sure of it…so why was it so hard to call the doctor? I know I was afraid of the side effects. No one wants to sign up for a week of zombie-brain and headaches. But I think I stalled partially because, well, it sucks to have to increase meds. I know it’s not my fault. And I know I need the medication to correct my chemical balance like a diabetic needs insulin. But I feel a little like I’ve let myself down, no matter how unrealistic that is.
So. I allowed the feelings to be what they were, but I chose to ignore their narrative. I called the doctor.
This is day one on the new full dose and I’m a little fatigued…but also feeling less tense. I knew I did the right thing when I called the doctor, but now I also feel like it, too.