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Medicated and proud of it

I’m not going to give you any bull shit here.  I am not my natural happy self all the time. In fact, I can be a real bitch. (no comment James) My favorite question from the husband, ‘why are you so crabby, did you forget to take your pill?’  Back off asshole! I’m crabby because you load the dishwasher like a drunk monkey that is blind and you can’t seem to remember that your clothes go in your closet and not on our bathroom floor!

As I was saying…

I take prozac. Just a small dosage. It’s called Sarafem. It’s for PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. (I know guys, I lost you at premenstrual…)

I seriously don’t know how I would function without it. And I want to tell you my story so you don’t feel bad about yourself, or guilty, or inadequate or whatever fucked up guilt trip you can place that most of us moms/women do to ourselves.

About 10 years ago my good friend Julie died of breast cancer. She was 41. It was in the gloomy post holiday month of January and I couldn’t seem to get a grip on life. Emma was not quite 2 years old and I stayed home with her, like I have done since the day she was born and still do for my kids. I had never lost anyone close to me. Not a peer anyway. Every day felt like PMS. Every day felt gloomy and lonely, especially home with a toddler where I had no interaction with adults accept for reruns of the Golden Girls and Oprah.  My doctor put me on Sarafem which is for PMDD. Like PMS, but different. (Sort of a personality disorder, personality being- you are a bitch no matter what and you can’t blame PMS for it)

Thankfully the little dose of seratonin each day helps keep my chemicals in a happy balance. I am primarily a positive person. I stay cheerful for my children, my spouse and my friends. I don’t like to wallow. But there’s days, maybe weeks, I feel sorry for myself. And then I feel sorry for myself for being so lousy about feeling sorry for myself! I know there’s other people who have it worse, who live with cancer, who lost their job, who have addiction, whose spouse is overseas serving our country,  or whatever else that burdens them. But my bad days are MY bad days. So I let myself have one or two, then slap myself across the face (sort of) and say pull yourself together. And go buy a new handbag. Just kidding James. Sort of. Not really. Usually lipstick. Or shoes. Mostly lipstick…

My point is, I think we need to be honest about our bad days. What are we ashamed of? Who are we fooling?

Do whatever you can to help yourself. Seriously.

A woman in my neighborhood 3 years ago, shot and killed herself while home with her 4 little children. She was manically depressed. I always thought she was happy, managing her household of little kids. I was wrong.  Every now and then, if she had said to anyone in the neighborhood, “please excuse me if you hear me yelling at my kids, they are pissing me off…or, sorry if I haven’t changed my clothes in 2 days, I am so exhausted that I can’t see straight”, then maybe she still would be with us and her children. Maybe she would’ve had that release of, ‘I’m flawed, and that’s okay.’ Although I think she had more mental baggage than just that. But I still think of all of us women in that boat of ‘how did the day go by and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet or organized the pantry shelves’, kind of day.

Another story comes from my cousin who found her best friend hanging from a rope. Another suicide, another depression. My childhood friend shot herself last spring. Depression, suicide.

Folks. When a woman talks about her depression or her medications for it, don’t tell her she’s weak for relying on something to make her ‘normal’. Don’t say that you would ‘never’ take something that alters yourself to be a functioning person. Those statements are so nauseatingly inaccurate, it makes my head spin. Depression is the evil beast that alters you. Not the medicine.

Of course there’s the argument of when people stop their meds, change their meds or certain side effects of meds that do alter their thinking. That is another discussion for another day.

All I can think of is the 8 children I already know without a mother. Will you tell them it’s a weakness to take a prescription for their mental health?

Do you tell diabetics they are pathetic for taking insulin? They should just change their diet, is that it?

If you haven’t figured out already, I’m pleading to us all to be more understanding, to not judge, to not say you’d ‘never’ do something when you haven’t walked a mile in someone’s shoes.

 

 

So I just wanted you to know, nobody is perfect,especially me. Maybe when we peel back the layers, take down the walls, we can accept each other and ourselves with whole hearts. Why do we punish ourselves, –there’s a whole lot of therapy in that answer. But start with loving yourself, and just go from there. Easier said than done, I know. But it will spread like pond ripples I am sure.

 

Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    This is awesome R.. Thank you for sharing this. I am one of those people who has learned to NOT speak of my woes.

    I met some people and friended people who judged me, labeled me as weak and made it clear they were not there for me and definitely not supportive. They even made negative comments about my looks, my family and the area I live in (clearly they have their own issues). Thankfully, I’ve been able to seperate myself from that situation, cleared the toxic people from my life and I’ve learned a ton.

    Things have happened to me and I’ve met some wonderful people and I feel very strong again. I have balance, love and truth. And, you have been a part of that- you and our girls. T, of course, is my voice of reason.. Don’t know what I’d do without him in my ear.

    Despite all of this though, I will hesitate to admit when I’m down or sad, because I’d rather deal with it on my own, than give it to someone else.

    You’re special and I’m glad you recognize everything you said above. You are awake in your life and you’re living it! Carpe Diem! ;-)

    • blondgirl008 says:

      wow, Jen (sniff, sniff) thanks for the sweet words. We do have great spouses, kids and friends to lean on. Never be ashamed of the parts that aren’t pretty, do what makes you happy and I’m glad I’m part of it!

  2. Clarity says:

    Damn…I love this Rebecca! I mean REALLY love this! Thank you for your honesty and candid perspective. Thank you for giving others the opportunity to hear that things can be shitty even if the smile resides on my lips. Giving the space to be real about every day life and how we are all doing the best we can. No reason to be ashamed of what life throws at you or how each of us handle it differently. You rock… LOVE IT!!!

  3. Gin says:

    Truthful and humorous as always my dear! Love you!

  4. Uta says:

    hey you, you also stay cheerful for me, like you do for your children, your spouse and your friends! Or let’s say, when I need your cheer you give it to me. So whatever it takes to equalize you, is just what you need. Just think any outward injury, if it needs attention, bandaid, compresses, icepack etc, you get it, but if the inner works don’t quite function, are you then supposed to hide that? Get that Sarefem, it’s the balm for that problem, x x x.

    • blondgirl008 says:

      I thought of that too mom. I stay cheerful for you. But you let me be grouchy and that’s nice also. We need to be able to let our hair down without judgement. love you all, thanks for your support!! xoxo

  5. Melinda says:

    Love it! I was telling Jeff this morning that it was time for me to hit the Lexapro. Since my last baby, I have had insane PMS..and I mean certifiable!!!! He said he doesn’t know who he’s going to wake up next to during these day. Everybody assumes women talk about their depression with their friends and that somehow that should make them “better”. But we don’t and even if we did, it doesn’t make us “better”.
    Bravo, for callin’ it like it is!

  6. Janice Blackmore says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I’m so glad Clarity shared this. I have re-posted it because I LOVE it, and because it’s important to encourage authenticity in a society that places such value on superficial perfection. I wish we could all agree to quit the charades and just lay it all out there. There is strength in shared imperfection!

  7. Jami DeCesare says:

    This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you. And, if you don’t mind, I am reposting your blog on my wall because it seems to come at a time when a couple of my friends are also having a very difficult time. Lotsalove! Molly’s sister!

  8. Nice blog friend. We all need to be able to “let our hair down” and we all need our friends and family to ask us how we are doing and really want to hear the answer. It can be hard to share how down we feel when others have expectations of us being positive all the time. Thank you for posting. K

  9. BarbS says:

    I try not to judge my friends, or myself. Its one of the reasons (the other being exhaustion) I’ve let go of going crazy trying to clean my house when a friend is just stopping by to drop something off. Sure, if I’m having a party I try and vacuum, hide the laundry, wash the floors, and find the table top. But really, if you’re just stopping by for a minute, breath in the mess that is my house on a daily basis and know that I do not expect yours to be perfect either. Love ya Rebecca!

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