This is not my first go-round with antidepressants or anxiety medication. One might say I was a trendsetter when I was prescribed Prozac at just 17 years old. When that wasn’t a good fit, I transitioned to Zoloft in my twenties.
It came to a point in my life when the dose was so low. I had met the man I would marry, and I had moved past a lot of what made me start taking medication in the first place.
Medication was my past, and I boldly moved into my future. I had a career and a husband, bought a home, and became a mother three times over. Things were good until they just weren’t.
When I say things were good, I don’t in any way mean things were perfect because nothing is perfect. I’m naturally anxious, socially awkward, don’t have family support, lived through a pandemic, and have had to figure out a work/life balance, all with three young children.
For a while, I thought the hardness I was feeling was natural. My kids are young; this is how it’s supposed to be. As years passed, things that I thought would get easier didn’t, and I felt worse.
Depression wasn’t my thing. Whatever goes on in my head and in my body diverts to anxiety and anger.
I have become an angry mom. I was overstimulated to the point where everything irked me: touch, sound, and messes naturally occurring in our home. When my children went off to school this year, I got a much-welcome break to work on myself. But the minute they’d step off the bus and break down from holding it together all day, I’d break down, too.
I asked my doctor for something “to take the edge off at my physical appointment.” It sounds odd to ask for, but that’s the best way to describe what I needed. Something to lessen my big feelings and quick reactions and function how I truly wanted to.
She promptly prescribed Zoloft.
When I was much younger and told someone I was on antidepressants, the response I got was, “Just be normal.” That statement has stuck in my head for probably twenty years in a quest to be “normal.”
It took a long time to realize that to have the life I wanted, I needed to be medicated.
If you are feeling off or not like yourself in any way, don’t hold back from asking for help. I’m so happy that I did, and I can’t wait to see how my “normal” supports me in this new year.