Monday, November 26, 2007

Let's chat

So, for a couple of weeks now, I have been taking anti-anxiety medication. Since I felt like a failure and a wuss for taking medication to control something that good Christians should be able to handle with daily devotions and the prayer life of Hudson Taylor, I have not written about it on the blog; that's also mostly because I'm a little spacey because of the medication and I waste a lot of time now sleeping, enjoying my family and getting sick.

I toyed with trying the medication for about a year, but I could always come up with a good excuse to not try the medication. A couple of days before my birthday, though, I found myself in a screaming argument with my husband because he interrupted me while I was working. While I passionately defended my feelings, somebody sane hovered above me and whispered how absolutely crazy I was to be yelling at a guy who was trying to be nice. In fact, I yelled a lot for no real reason....just everything felt like the "LAST STRAW!" And a couple of weeks before that, I came home from church and cried. I stood there in Robb's arms crying, wondering why I was crying, since I'm not really much of a cryer. The only thing that I could figure out...I felt like I was going to die. Soon. Imminently.

So I talked to some friends. And I made an appointment. And the doctor wrote me a prescription. After some Matrix jokes about red and blue pills, I took the medicine. It made me sleepy and very dry in my mouth. But I also felt like the knot inside me had been untied. It no longer pulled into an impossibly tight knot every time the phone rang or I had to go to the grocery store or the mail came.

I try to remember when I felt like this last. I think it was when we first moved into our house in Michigan. I think it was when Mattie was small. I think it was sometimes in college when I was falling in love. I think it was parts of high school. It's been a long time. It's been days after day of not knowing if we would make it financially. Day after day of being disappointed, put on hold, and held up. Day after day of waking up believing that I needed to beg God to meet our needs because if I didn't worry and beg and plead, He wouldn't provide. And like grooves worn in the road by endless cars, the chemicals in my brain stopped absorbing the calm and good seratonin and only tasted the sour and sad.

Now I see with different eyes. I no longer hate morning. I don't feel dread all the time. I don't dwell on negative things. I'm much more likely to take a nap or sit with the kids or really stop what I'm doing to be with Robb. I don't drink as much coffee and I've lost a little weight since I'm not searching for a little high to get me through the drab afternoon hours. I need to exercise more but with my defenses down, I've gotten sick repeatedly...have a sore throat now. So I rest. I'm a little behind at work, but I don't worry much about it. I don't feel low lows or high highs. I haven't yelled at my kids in weeks. I laugh easily. I'm a dull conversationist. It's hard to enter into worship because I only seem to play in one octave of emotion. I often picture myself as simply sitting at God's feet just being with Him. I don't plan to take the medication forever, but it's nice for now not to be so conscious of my emotion.

So that's where I'm at. This is part of my story and I always want to tell my story.

12 comments:

H said...

Welcome, its very nice to meet you.

tammi said...

Keep'n it real: one of the things I admire most about you.

Nothing to be ashamed of in medication...after hearing your Before Medication and your After Medication, I'm wondering if I might not need some myself. Your life seems to freakily parallel mine.

Glad you're feeling on the up and up.

So....give it up: is your "medication" really some wacky weed? I've heard it works well...you know, medicinally.

:)lol

gerbmom said...

Vanessa,
I hit that wall two years ago. My family was on eggshells around me all the time. And when I wasn't yelling, I was crying, or standing zombie like in the middle of the grocery store aisle with no ideawhat I was doing.
I've had many people criticize me for taking the meds. But my family (and myself) are very thankful for them. I have a Christian doc, and a very supportive church, and good non judgemental friends.
Even-ing out the highs and lows is a good thing. Take the break. You need it, and you deserve it.
I'm glad you were brave enough to do something about it, cuz so many people won't, fearing others (especially other Christians) reactions.
I am finally able to handle the holidays again. And, I have learned to cut way back, not obsess, and let things go, cuz in the long run it doesn't matter.
Happy Holidays Vanessa!

klasieprof said...

I remember looking out the back window and SEEING IN COLOR!!
WTF? there was Color in the world?
somehow...along my path everything had turned to Grey!
The shrink had 'plained to me as if my brain had been in a wreck...it had gotten so used to stress that it was a chemical state of being. Until the imbalance could be dealt with, the synapses would not be occrring correctly.
Better living through drugs? Yah baby.
I am much more compassionate, understanding and also forceful. I am a better advocate.
It doesn't have to be for forever, but don't be in a rush to get off them either.
RELAX and lay back in the arms...let HIM hold you instead of feverishly wrestling with Him.

I was on tons for a long time. Now I'm not. And...I'm still ok. I think I will know if I need them again. OK I NEED THEM !!! LOL

The running joke in our house was "thank You Zoloft"
OR
"THank you Atavan!!"
Oh yah...sex gets better too. LOL!

ness said...

What the heck IS up with the grocery store??? It beat me. I just couldn't take all the decisions anymore.

I'm learning to let a lot of things go...it feels really nice.

Sandy said...

Thanks for sharing this part of your life, too. We all tend to just put up the fluffy, pink parts of our lives and not admit to the black, barb-wire covered parts.

Glad your meds are helping and glad that you got help. God did give those drs. and chemists the gifts they use to help us, you know.

Matthew said...

Grocery stores have broken a lot of people (stupid prosperity and all of its choices!). I have spent more time than I care to admit wandering around in one trying to remember just what it was I was looking for ("What?!?! I've been circling the aisles for 10 minutes looking for...? Dang it! Why am I here again? Aaaah!"). I think it's the sensory overload (I'm just a little obsessive/compulsive and will read labeling until my eyes practically bleed), but I'm not sure.

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better. I will pray that everything works out for the best.

May God bless and keep you. :-)

Heidi said...

From a "kid" who had a parent start taking meds...you did the right thing. = ) Sometimes its so hard to do those things that we grew up thinking were "unChristian". I suppose thats another conversation for another time though.

Amber said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, Ness. :D

kendra said...

Ness, just want you to know that I recently joined the medication club for my anxiety. Just got tired of holding it together, calling my hubby from the grocery store in a state of panic searching for some odd type of "grounding", feeling like I could leave the cart and run, letting EVERY little thing turn into a mountain, and then, like you, be the cranky, on eggs person in the house. I feel better now and am glad you do too. The last straw came for me when I realized that I had no more physical or emotional strength to control myself...that came after a few years of kids, busy job, 2 miscarraiges and marraige stuff. Keep the chin up!

Candice said...

The grocery store was the pinnacle point to my inability to leave the bed for days! Is there a conspiracy?

Just wanted to lean across the backyard fence between Winslow and Springdale and tell you, Ness, that I am thinking of you often and I hope it is evening out. I like your brave vulnerability, there is nothing but love for you here!

Matthew, you crack me up!
Donna, I love you! (I HAVE BEEN IN THE GRAY!)

ness said...

you are all GREAT. It means a lot to hear your support.

Tammi...not this stuff, but if it doesn't work out, that's a good option :)

Kendra...I was just thinking about you. I'm apparently in very good company!

Matthew...time for Russian lit again!

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