One of the things I convinced myself of when we decided not to try and have children was that I wouldn’t be able to handle the anxiety. I am a basket case whenever the dog isn’t feeling well; I couldn’t possibly multiply that by a million with a baby and survive it. Turns out I CAN survive it, but not without a little help.
I am medication averse. I don’t take anything for headaches, pain, etc., because I usually prefer to deal with the pain instead of any side effect I might get from medication. I just don’t like taking meds. So it was a big deal that I decided to start taking lexapro for anxiety; I was hesitant to say the least. I even quit after a little while, but then started back up again and have been on it for a month or so now. I can’t take more than 5mg a day though or I will be too tired to function.
I can’t recommend it enough. If you need it. And I knew I needed it. I was having meltdowns with Hawk over something little he wouldn’t do the way I wanted him to, or if he wasn’t listening to me, and I was afraid what would happen. Now, I am very balanced, while still being aware of things that would normally make me start to feel anxious. They just don’t go anywhere, if that makes sense.
Most of those things are little, really, like things not being done “THE RIGHT” (my) way, having to always be the one to clean up after Hawk, emptying the dishwasher EVERY SINGLE TIME. You know.
But also I know that my big anxieties manifest daily as small ones, and if I start to let the small ones take over without addressing them, I will start to feel the BIG ones, and get overwhelmed and end up in a full-on panic attack. Those were happening more and more frequently before I went on the medication…
Years ago I wrote about how having the right thing(s) to wear won’t protect you from the pain of life, but I don’t think I truly grasped what I meant, or the depth of that, until now. My first reaction when I feel anxious is STILL to buy/shop for clothes (armor up), but it has diminished a lot on the lexapro, and for that I am thankful. Taking away the compulsive shopping instinct gives me just enough time to remind myself that nothing (definitely not new clothes) will keep me alive forever, which is my biggest source of anxiety now: that I won’t live to see Hawk become a full, independent person. I mean, honestly, I just don’t want to die – ever; I can’t bear the thought of leaving him, or even being separated from him.
This is probably a very common concern among new mothers, along with all the other ones like is he still breathing? is he going to choke? what if he falls? but for me it really feels like it’s something I SHOULD worry about. I’m 48, and given the way my body reacted to having a baby – all the pain and discomfort – I already feel much older than I am. I still sort of remember how it felt to be so strong I could do things most people can’t. I miss FEELING strong. I don’t like feeling soft.
At last I am feeling a shadow of my former self. I can feel some strength returning after consistently doing two or three tabata rides a week on the Peloton, plus short core workouts. Last Saturday I did say out loud that I am finally starting to feel like my body and I can become “one” again instead of remaining estranged.
I know I will die, that is certain. But until I do, I will live. I will do everything I can to be joyful, peaceful, and strong. And for me, right now, “everything” includes medication.
How are you?