My History, Part I

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I have been on anti-depressants since I was in college. I go in and out of phases; I know my depression is triggered by major life change. I believe I first went on the pills when Mr. V and I got engaged. Obviously, totally not a bad thing–just a change. Like most good Baptists, change does not agree with me.

I grew up in a culture of worry that I try not to pass down to my own child. I often still wrap myself in panic like a warm coat. By 2003, my mind was warped and diving into itself and I doubted everything I did. I went to see an actual psychiatrist a few times, who told me everything stemmed from jealousy of my sister and gave me a prescription for a combo anti-depressant and anxiety medicine.


I would still tell you that I kind of loved that medicine. I don’t love being on medicine in general, but I accept a diagnosis of chemical depression that I know I honestly cannot change. That lovely pink pill helped me get through college graduation, marriage, and moving far away from my family all in a few short months.

In March 2007, I knew the time we might start trying to have a baby was drawing near. I took the fairly stable time to wean off the Pill and the pills. I was elated when I finally turned up pregnant in February 2008. I made it through Libbie’s pregnancy stable, although I asked my OB to put me on anti-depressants right before I delivered her. I feared postpartum depression with a deep, icy fear, knowing what triggered my episodes. I started a different, safer-for-breastfeeding medicine and had been on it ever since when I got pregnant with David.

Then I was sick.

Really, really sick. Although I only threw up when plagued with stomach viruses and gall-bladder confusion, I felt awful. I could barely remove myself from the couch. And there was no way that tiny pill was making it in my stomach. I could barely tolerate food, nevertheless medicine.

That’s about the time I wrote this.

More tomorrow … 

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3 thoughts on “My History, Part I

  1. Was that first pill Zoloft? That's what I'm on. And I don't know if it's the Baptist in me or what, but I HATE change, too! (Sweetie, have I ever told you how proud it makes me that you talk openly about things like this? The ongoing social stigma of depression will never go away until we MAKE it go away.)

  2. Jessie – this blog is supposed to be about YOU not ME! Chemicals, depression, sister problems since forever, being Baptist, etc. Maybe that's why I just keep coming back to your blog.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. It really feels like you are writing about me (accept I'm Catholic instead of Baptist 🙂 ). It is so comforting to know I am not the only one. I am trying to decide whether to go back on antidepressents after 5 years off. I feel like such a fool that I can't handle all the change in my life that everybody has. The changes in the past months with new school for one child, starting school for another and having my beautiful toddler daughter around sent me spiraling and I'm not coming back up. Thank you so much again for putting everything out there. I hope you know, too, that you are not alone.

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