I’ve been thinking more about taking an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant. Specifically my counselor and GP recommended Lexapro. I am considering it.

However! (There has to be a however — otherwise there wouldn’t be a blog post.) I’m wary. Absolutely some of the wariness can be chalked up to typical regional/generational/familial stoicism and independence — I can do it! I don’t need drugs! I can think my way out of this! And also who am I to presume my mind needs fixing? My mind is likely fine! Mind over matter mind over matter mind over matter miiiiiiind streeeeeeength 

And some to general medical paranoia — what if this drug fucks my head up worse? What if this drug makes me horrible, and I can’t tell?

But most of all, I’m worried that the things I am anxious and depressed about … are things that I and anyone else, regardless of brain chemistry, would be anxious and depressed about.

The counterpoint to this is, so what? If you take the medication and it doesn’t work or you feel no different, you stop the medication. That’s a bit glib, because side effects are possible, but there’s really no wailing downside to attempt it, or other meds. And I’ve always enjoyed that logical argument* in favor of anti-anxiety/depressant meds: if your leg was broken, or your guts were inflamed, or you were bleeding copiously from a cut, and you are not a Christian Scientist, you would go to the doctor and get the proper medication. The brain should be no different. I wonder, too, if the reason we think the brain should be different is because We Are So Unique, such Special Snowflakes, how could anyone possibly fix My Brain, which has special problems, with the same drug that fixes Bob My Neighbor’s Brain, who is so not special or is at least totally totally different? Ha ha, yes, that’s silly, isn’t it?

Second counterpoint is simply, yes, these are normal things to be anxious and depressed about. But you are not processing them normally. You are not getting over them.

I’m going to say it again: “getting over things” is hard. Really, really, really hard. I have a few good weeks, and then bam, I’m staring at a book or watching a neighbor kid bike down the street or Baby E. is having an extra fussy day, and I am stricken again, again with all the shitty West Syndrome & premature birth & brain damage & seizure & delayed development knowledge, like I somehow managed to give myself temporary mom-saving amnesia. And then I am crying. Again. Bah.

It is frustrating to feel like I still am not finished grieving over Baby E.’s future, or my and A.’s new path. It is frustrating too, I suppose, to feel frustrated. It’d be okay to just feel it, accept it, and not feel shitty afterwards for giving into tears or solo pillow-shredding** rage, for not having my damn head on straight yet, for not getting over myself and my selfishness yet.

I know it’ll take me as long as it takes me. It just seems to be taking a long, long, ridiculously, childishly long time.

So, Lexapro. Any experiences you all feel like sharing? I’m currently trawling through the Ask Metafilter archives, and boy, do they not disappoint. But I’d still like to hear your thoughts, if you got ’em.



* I think from Ursula Vernon? Or maybe it’s older, or just general wisdom by now.

** Punching, actually. In the guest room with the door shut, far away from the baby. I know catharsis isn’t supposed to work. It doesn’t last. But it feels good for a few minutes.


3 thoughts on “MIND BULLETS

  1. Second counterpoint is simply, yes, these are normal things to be anxious and depressed about. But you are not processing them normally. You are not getting over them.

    Who defines “processing them normally”? Isn’t grief a very personal thing? What you and A. are going through is not unlike the death of a loved one, in a lot of ways — the loss of dreams and hopes that are dear to your heart is very real, and different people take different amounts of time to come to terms with that. And you haven’t just lost an imagined future, you’ve been handed one that is much more complicated and challenging, so it’s a double whammy.

    I don’t have any advice for you regarding the meds (the one time I took Valium, so that I could get on a plane to go to Ireland without coming completely unglued, it worked like a champ but I hated it) but I would say to trust yourself and your choices — you are the best judge of what’s right for you. What does A think?

    I think of you often and send you good karma and mental hugs ♥


    1. Curses – that’s a good point. And so elegantly stated, too. :( + :)

      I suppose my baseline of “normal” is like everyone else’s — not actually a thing. (And even what I’d consider normal for myself is affected by vagaries and idiosyncrasies I’ve picked up and developed as I’ve been alive.) My grieving doesn’t feel normal for me. But maybe I’m a different me, now.


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