'Is there someone you have who can spot your warning signs?'
'Is there anyone who you talk to. Someone who will notice any signs.'
'Can you give me an example?'
I knew exactly what she was talking about, but I wanted to make her say it out loud. I wanted to hear how she would articulate that the emotions I consider normal cohorts to grief are what she considers 'warning signs'.
I had explained upon arrival at her office that I was finished my prescription and was not planning on refilling it. Her first words?
'Oh. Oh, my.'
WARNING: SHE IS LOOKING SAD TODAY.
WARNING: SHE APPEARS TO BE FEELING A LITTLE ANTISOCIAL.
WARNING: LET’S GET HER BACK ON THE DRUGS, IMMEDIATELY.
'You mentioned your temper before. And crying often.'
In my mind: ‘OH MY GOD Lady. THAT’S what you call signs? Then I’m fucking CERTIFIABLE, with or without the antidepressants.’
In reality: 'My husband and I are close. My mother and I are close. I have a good friend here now.'
‘That’s good. They’ll know you well enough to spot the signs.’
Next I tried in vain to describe the physical side effects I’d been suffering from over the previous 48 hours since stopping because frankly, I was pretty freaked out. I was dismissed, albeit in a very polite manner.
Walking home from my appointment, I realized with a shiver that my bare legs and flops would soon go the way of the closet in order to make room for tights and boots and English wind and rain. Why hadn’t I noticed the temperature two hours earlier? Was it the same reason I forgot to open the window for the dryer exhaust? Or why I left the milk out all day?
I imagined with the seasons changing that I might have an embroidered toque I could pull on, serving the dual purpose of alerting anyone to the difference between these infamous signs and a banal annoyed mood resulting from a hard day at work.
It could be white, with pink letters sewn in. And reversible!
On one side: BAD DAY & BITCHY
And the other: DEAD BABY MAMA
How's that for a sign?
I've had to take two days off from work this week after finishing my last pill over the weekend. I'm dizzy; really fucking emotional. I feel dopey and foggy and have tried unsuccessfully too many times to count to describe the weirdo tracer vibe I've got going on. Every blink feels as though it's taking me three steps further than I'd intended. Does that even make sense? I guess I'm Coming Down.
Is there a rehab for this kind of situation? Cause believe me, I'd love to go. Three weeks would be perfect. Goodbye world: I'm taking a well earned breather.
In the end, Doc's only explanation was 'heightened awareness'. I've been dulled profoundly around the edges for almost a year now, leveled out by a magical chemical concoction that has kept me on a relatively even keel.
Don't get me wrong - as opposed as I was to antidepressants in the beginning - my opinion has changed completely. I was several months into our loss when I saw Christmas on the horizon and started to lose my shit all over again. I couldn't cope. I sought medical intervention. It helped - no question. I just wish I'd known how profoundly and physically I'd be affected by the removal of said chemicals from my system.
So far, I'm hanging in there. Five days in, one tentative step at a time.
I am 100%, honest-to-goodness, wholeheartedly of the Whatever Works for You camp. I can't say with certainty I won't go back to this form of help in the future. But right now, fulfilling the promise to myself of weaning back to my 'natural state' (HA, I know) within a year is important to me. The idea of another pregnancy this year plays a huge role in my decision, of course. But more than anything, right now I just need to follow through on ONE thing. With my most basic self.
I worry minute to minute how my revived and heightened awareness will affect my progress in moving forward. How will I cope, just me?
Only time will tell.
Have you had experience with antidepressant since your loss? Have they helped you? If so, would you mind sharing what led you to the decision, and whether or not you've decided to continue?