We’re back from vacation, and the short version is that it was awesome, really. It was exactly what I needed and I enjoyed it tremendously. The long version is theoretically going to be another post for tomorrow-ish.
And now we’re back to reality, in a couple ways.
I was really, really surprised after the first 2 nights at the beach house that I hadn’t had a single nightmare. I expected to have many, especially considering the monster staircase in our house that we had a very hard time protecting the kids from, and because the beach is filled with hazards and I’m pretty creative in my sleep. And yet, until our 6th night, I slept better than I have in months. The 6th-8th nights weren’t as good and since coming home, everything has unraveled again, but it was a nice and needed reprieve.
I know a lot of you are concerned and have expressed frustration with my comment about not wanting to use medication in a previous post, and I get the concern and since giving it more thought and reflection, to an extent, I share the sentiment. It’s something that needs to be considered, which is half of why I scheduled an appointment with my doctor today. I spoke with her about it at length (admittedly, it was my obgyn, but I don’t currently have a PCP and she is great) and am still unsure of what my next move will be.
Currently, I’m getting help. I’m in therapy twice a week (sometimes 3 times), and it is helping. In very obviously noticeable ways, it’s helping. I do think that medication has the potential to be beneficial here, but I think therapy is more important right now. Obviously the two are not mutually exclusive, but my concern is that if medication levels me out right now, I may not really get to the heart of the issues and then when I go off of it, it’ll come back, as it has in previous periods of anxiety.
The other issue is that I have struggled, like spent several days on a bathroom floor retching every hour around the clock, when starting SSRIs in the past and I’m just not sure I can subject myself to that again. I need to be able to take care of my son and work, and while my mental health is incredibly important, right now I can do both of those things without medication and I can’t do either if I’m laid up the way I have been before. There is another drug that I can take and have had success with in the past, but it’s not an ideal option because it is very difficult to come off of and it’s because not safe during pregnancy. And before you freak out, I am not pregnant. We are not attempting to get pregnant. At all. But if birth control failed, it could be potentially harmful and it’s a risk I’m not sure I’m comfortable taking.
I think it’s much easier from an outside perspective to say that medication is the answer, and maybe that perspective is a better one than my own, I really don’t know. I just feel like from here, in the thick of it, that medication is not going to change what happened or teach me how to manage it. It’s not a tool that I can use in the future if I start to struggle again in the way that therapy is. It just feels like a bandaid and I have done enough bandaging with this that I really want to stop the source. I want to deal, to find a way to manage it instead of trying simply to lessen it.
My doctor gave me several medications to consider and I’m going to take some time and think about it (but not research it because nobody needs that noise). My preference would be to avoid taking anything for as long as possible, but I’m not so selfish and bullheaded that I will refuse what I need because I realize that others rely on me and need me to be okay. My husband and I have spoken about it at length and he is on board with my current decision, as are the family members that I have discussed this with. I have a tremendous support system and things are getting better, just more slowly than I’d like.
I do truly appreciate the concern and I don’t write this as a means to blow off anyone’s suggestion, because I think they are completely valid. I am giving it considerable thought and am far from being decided on what the course of treatment will look like from here on out. I got a week off of all my obligations and it helped clarify a lot of what needs to happen in the coming weeks and months. And I hope that with a little more time, I’ll have a solid plan and be on the way to recovery, or perhaps even better than I was before.