I TAKE ZOLOFT
So...yeah, I take Zoloft. I started about 6 weeks ago when my son was 5-6 weeks old. It's not the first time I've taken antidepressant medication either.
I've been contemplating writing this post for a while. Even now, after speaking and writing so openly about my own mental health it is still hard to write this. Admitting I am back on antidepressants is hard for me for a couple of reasons.
First, there is still a general stigma surrounding mental health and medication. People make comments along the lines of "she's depressed or bipolar -she has to take medication for it."
But secondly, I've never wanted to depend on medication for happiness. I've been on and off antidepressant medications since I was 22. My goal has always been to ultimately be off of medication.
Postpartum anxiety/depression and hormones are REAL!
For me, all of that manifested itself through anxiety -something I've never really felt before. Motherhood brought such a strong surge of animalistic instinct and protectiveness that surfaced as fear. I lived so full of fear that it was as if love emptied itself from my body.
I was capable of no emotion other than fear.
I wasn't happy or enjoying motherhood the way I expected or the way I hoped I would. It felt like it would never get better and like I would never get better.
I questioned everything -why did I think I could do this -be a mother? Why did I go through with IVF?
There was a day I called my mom crying. I told her...
"I don't want to do this anymore."
That was when I knew.
-The mother I was, wasn't well.
I scheduled an appointment with my counselor. There was no question or doubt from either of us as to whether or not I needed to be medicated -I did.
I felt small changes almost immediately after starting Zoloft. After a few days -maybe 3-5, I noticed that I was smiling as I grabbed my son when he woke from his nap -something I had done countless times before but never with a smile. When I changed his diaper, I "baby-talked" to him and played with his feet more. I kissed and cuddled him more. I began sleeping and almost over night I fell in love with my son. I fell in love with feeding him, with dressing him and bathing him, and with every little face and noise he made -I fell completely in love with him and with being his mom.
The smallest changes in the smallest things changed my entire world and my entire experience as a mother. I could sit here and solely thank Zoloft for all of that but, I thank myself for recognizing that I needed help.
I wanted to write this because...
it's okay to ask for and seek help,
it's okay to be medicated,
it's okay if your relationship with medication is life-long,
It is okay to admit you're not well.