Passionate About Pittsburgh
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Day My Anxiety Medicine Stopped Working

Let me preface this article by saying that there is nothing wrong with antidepressants. If you need them, you need them. it’s all good. I took Lexapro on and off for 9 years. It truly helped me. I have something lurking in my brain somewhere between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Raging Crazy Person disease. It started before I had kids but definitely got worse after kids. On the bad days I felt paralyzed. I felt that I couldn’t take the next step. In any direction. I would second guess, over analyze, and become VERY fearful. I would lose my appetite and suffer panic attacks. On the good days I was just aware of a buzzing anxiety cloud around my head.

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I was very lucky. My psychiatrist prescribed Lexapro and it worked almost immediately with very few side effects. Over the years I would go on and off of it for whatever reason. Sometimes I would need a larger dose and then I would go back down to a lower dose. One summer I needed to add Ativan as well. I definitely felt better on the meds than off the meds.

Somewhere along the line I stopped going to see my Psychiatrist and started getting the Lexapro from my PCP. Gosh who has time to go to a Psychiatrist AND a PCP after you have kids?!? (AND the dentist and Gynecologist and God forbid actually get a hair cut???).

Things went well for awhile. I knew I felt better on the meds. I did have a very tiny voice in my heart somewhere that was whispering something but I didn’t pay much attention to it. What I did pay attention to was how hard being a mother was for me. I did the dangerous stare and compare. I would see other Moms with their kids and think “Wow they look so happy and they so obviously belong together.” It would leave me feeling guilty and sad because I didn’t see myself that way with my kids. Other Moms would tell stories of how hard terrible twos and teething are but always end with “But it’s all worth it.” Or I would see Moms post on Facebook about how much they missed their kids and couldn’t imagine being away from them too long and I would think “Really?” I could easily leave mine. That sentence was really hard to type. I could easily leave mine. But that’s how I felt. I didn’t get it. It’s one thing to have a day or two (or even a week or two) of feeling like you need a break. But I always felt that way. And gosh I’m crying right now typing this because it sounds so awful and waves of guilt wash over me.
Of course I loved my kids and took great care of my kids. I just knew I was missing something. Something real and true and visceral.
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God works in funny ways and one day the Lexapro just stopped working. I was like a ship wrecked sailor flailing around in the water. I didn’t know what to do. I was taking my medicine and still feeling the strong grip of Anxiety around my throat. My sister handed me the number of a therapist and I started seeing her. That was my first baby step in the right direction.
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I heard the tiny voice in my heart a little better. It said “Slow down. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.”
I slowly started taking better care of myself. I made time to eat well and exercise and even meditate. I cared enough about myself to dive into that scary ocean of my inner self and start swimming. There’s a lot more to it than that but a lot of things came together (and fell apart and came together again) to make me feel better.

I can’t pin point the exact day it happened but slowly and bit by bit I started to feel this big piece of my heart growing. I giggled with my daughters and held them in my arms and started to SEE them. I guess I let myself fall in love with them. Maybe I was scared of that before. When you fall in love you are so vulnerable. You open yourself up to so many risks. Maybe I was shielding myself from that before somehow.
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I am so happy and thankful that my medicine stopped working. I am Uma Thurman in Kill Bill laying on the bathroom floor crying tears of joy happy and thankful. I don’t know what the future holds and if I will ever have to go back on medicine but for now I am just taking it one beautiful day at a time.

 

 

Tricia is a photographer at http://vivaportraitstudio.com and loves capturing beautiful everyday moments.

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One Response to The Day My Anxiety Medicine Stopped Working

  1. Sandy July 30, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    Great article, Patricia! It takes great courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest. Talking openly about your struggles makes others feel not so alone in theirs. Thank you for sharing your story!
    P.S. Love the Kill Bill reference – I love that scene where Uma is crying tears of happiness on the bathroom floor. 🙂