Thursday, 13 October 2011

The wonder of happy pills...

Me yesterday...
Yesterday was a shocker and I mean a SHOCKER. It was one of those days, if I said it was white Reilly argued it was pink and purple polka dots until he got his way, urrrggghhh. Mind you the day wasn't helped by my fragile state of mind and noble attempt to count down the happy pills (anti depressants). You know when you feel like your just about to really loose it, that surge and then you pull back. That's what I felt like all day and my poor little man had one snappy scrappy mother. Needless to say we bounced of each other and Reilly escalated as the day progressed, it was not pretty. Happy pills you are my friend and my enemy...

For those who don't know, I had quite bad post natal depression immediately after the birth of Reilly for about a year, that was nearly four years ago now. Since then I have had more than a few ups and downs. Post Natal Depression is an insidious bastard, it stole the first few months of precious moments with Reilly from all of us. In addition it also nearly destroyed my marriage. On the up over time it has  but taught me allot about myself and made me stronger. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed and make no secret of my depression  or the importance of my happy pills (medication) in keeping me on the up.

Anyone who has been there knows how horrible post natal depression can be. How deep and dark the big hole is you fall down and how powerless and paralyzed you feel to do anything to get out of that hole.  The closer we got to Macca's birth at the start of the year, the more worried my husband and i got that I would go post natal again. I was determined I was not going back there.  Obviously when I found out I was up the duff I went back to check my med's with the psych. In an attempt to be proactive I went to the Post Natal Depression course at the Private Psych Hospital. Sharing and listening to others journey is incredibly powerful and normalizing. It was all a little overwhelming and took me back to some uncomfortable memories but gained a heaps of new skills that help me today. After Macca's  birth, with the support of my Psych I pumped the happy pills up and a little more and a little more. Thankfully No deep dark hole this time... touch wood....

Me and Macca
The Mac man is six months old next week and I have survived so far. I have kept my sanity for the most part and been able to enjoy both of my boys. So I figure it is time to ween of the happy pills a little. Don't get me wrong I have no problem taking the medication and if it was a choice between taking it or becoming unwell again I would happily take them the rest of my life. But I would like to get off them one day and be able to manage the depression through "good" thoughts, good diet and exercise, so I figure reducing my dose is a good place to start. Unfortunately I am still working on the exercise and diet.
I must, I must, I will, I will..
So two weeks have passed on 1.5 not 2 happy pills once a day and boy have I noticed it some days. Poor Mr C used to be my emotional and verbal whipping boy when I was unwell. I am by no means unwell right now but I have been reminded of some of those old feelings and frustration lately. Mr C will do something insignificant that shits me and inside I just erupt and sometimes comes out with a foul look, a snide comment or a profanity. Sadly Reilly has copped one or two of the explosions as well, on a bad day when he's being challenging (like any 3 1/2 year old) it can all go down hill quick. Or there are the blaahhh moments where I feel as flat as a tack and like all emotion has left my body. When I have these moments I have a giggle to myself at my ability to fake it, I hear my voice all upbeat talking to the kids but inside there is nothing for that bit of time.  On the upside the eruptions and catatonic states are getting few and far between and I am able to control myself better when they do. I pat myself on the back for that, good girl Carla, good girl.

As I sit here typing I realize how happy I am right now and that life is good bla bla bla. I'm not ready to give up the happy pills just yet, will just keep trucking along and enjoy the daycare days.

Life is good
Here's cheers to happy pills and getting the exercise going next....

Cheers Carla

I am no expert on the subject but if you are a new mum feeling more than just blue, like shit, crying at nothing, erupting like an Iceland volcano and generally not getting over being pissed at the world or in my case feeling nothing about the world or new baby. These are my tips based on my journey:

1. Don't ignore it the hole just gets bigger.

2. If you can't talk to your partner, family or a friend, breakdown to your doctor they are a good place to start and they can medicate.

3. Give yourself a break and lower your expectations of yourself, they are probably far to high. Nobody is perfect, some are just really good at faking it.

4. The shower is the best place to cry, no one has to know, no one has to see and your eyes don't get so puffy.

5. Remember you are not alone. I was amazed when I started to talk about my depressions (drip by drip), how many other mums we in the same or similar boat. I never ever would have thought it because they presented so well.

6. Don't let the shame, guilt and feelings of failure eat you up inside, it's the most destructive part of the illness. Even though it doesn't feel like it there are 10's of 1000's of mums just like you out there, you just have to find one or two good ones and you will start to feel a little more normal.....

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