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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 …