If you can’t beat ’em…

Erin is challenging everyone to write about something “Big” before BlogHer. I spend a lot of time writing about things that make me laugh. I do this because 1) I don’t really consider myself to be a writer and 2) I read the blogs I read mostly because they make me laugh. Anyway, here goes…

I think I am about to join the ranks of what seems to be the vast majority of Mommybloggers. I’m going on medication.

I know – the last thing anybody wants to read about is one more SAHM that can’t get her shit together. One more person that has everything she ever wanted and still can’t get happy.

I’m just one more person who recently came to the realization that she feels like screaming almost every time one of her cats rubs up against her leg. One more person that just realized that she wasn’t just being lazy, and she wasn’t just really tired from having twins, but she really was having problems getting out of bed, and getting off of the couch and a trip to the grocery store was really all she could handle doing in one day.

Let’s switch over to first person. It makes it easier for me and plus this is a good place for you to stop reading if you don’t want to hear this exact same thing that everyone else has already written more eloquently. I’d stop, but I need to do this for myself.

I don’t think I qualify for the post-pardum thing, my kids turned two a couple of months ago. Plus this hasn’t been going on for that long. I don’t know if the move triggered things, or if I am just handling it poorly, but I am seeing my doctor on Wednesday to try to start sorting it all out.

For a while I really thought I was just being lazy. I thought I was just spending too much time on the computer to get all of my stuff done. I made myself a deal that I would make it a point to post less. To try to only check bloglines one or twice a day. And I still couldn’t get off the couch.

I still thought “Oh, I’ll take a shower tomorrow”.

I used to be a person who bathed every single day. I washed my hair every day. I’ve always been lazy, but I’ve always had good personal hygiene. I used to get depressed if I went two days without leaving the house, now if I go grocery shopping AND take the twins outside to play with the other neighborhood kids I feel completely exhausted.

I kind of feel like an asshole. Haven’t you already heard this story? Am I just trying to fit in with the other Mommybloggers. I think we’ve all established that anti-depressants are trendy. Now I’ll be able to have intelligent discussions with my closest friends about which medications make us feel jittery, or hungry or loopy. I’ll be able to tell all the other ladies at BlogHer what Zoloft did to my sex-drive. It’s like getting a tattoo in college or following The Greatful Dead for a couple of months. Now can I get on the blog Homecoming court?

I really considered not talking about this on my blog at all because it has all been said. And because some days I feel just fine.

So there is my serious thing. If you guys want more “real” from me I can always tell you all why I am not a Christian. Or if you’d ratherkeep it light I can post a video of my kids singing “20 Eyes”. (We’ve been working on it for a while).

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  1. First of all, I’m proud of you for talking about this. IT’s not easy. Especially when it’s not your normal blog thing.

    Second of all, I still feel like an asshole. But I’m an asshole that is getting help. AND as I get better, I feel less like an asshole and more like a super smart lady.

    Third of all, if there is a blog Homecoming Court, I totally want to be the Queen.

  2. I think you’re being too tough on yourself.

    If you were President, would you be afraid to admit that, hey, come to think of it, this job is pretty hard? Sure, it’s what you’ve aspired to do your whole life and you’re the most powerful person in the world and it’s pretty sweet gig, but DAMN this shit is hard. There’s stress and big decisions and who knows if you’re doing the right thing and then there’s that pesky Congress and the electorate and the damn press keeps yammering about something or other.

    Replace “President” with “stay-home parent” and “Congress” and “the electorate” and “the press” with “spouse” and “pets or in-laws” and “the blogosphere” and you’ll see where I’m going with this overtaxed metaphor. (I said overtaxed. Get it?)

    Since you don’t get a Cabinet or a staff or a pension or a nifty oval-shaped office, the least you can do is avail yourself of a little pharmaceutical assistance.

  3. This just hits a little too close to home for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “I should be taking medicine”. I blame mine on post-traumatic stress (early twins, major parental accident, and liver disease kaboom in less than 3 months).

    It’s not easy to talk about – it’s not easy to admit. Kudos to you – I hope the Zoloft helps.

    Finally, sex drive – what parent of twins has sex drive?

  4. Your blog, your rules. Sometimes it’s the Doodlebops without make-up; sometimes it’s mom without a shower. But it’s what you need to write. (In other words, we like it all.)

    You’re not an asshole for being able to figure out what you need and getting it. LHM is right, you’re being too tough on yourself.

    And, personally, I thought you’d already been elected to the mommyblog homecoming court, theme song by Jordy.

  5. I’m totally going to campaign for Queen of the homecoming court. Sarah seems to think I will lose out to Dooce…but whatever.

  6. No offense to you, I’m just saying – she is DOOCE, and I mean, have you seen her pictures? Plus, remember that one time she accepted comments and got over 1000? Have any of us even ever hit 100? I think I’ve topped out around 40, and at least 5 or 6 of them were from me.

  7. Give yourself a break. You were brave to seek help when you knew something is “not right” with yourself. And I don’t think it’s trendy to be depressed and on meds. Maybe it is because it is a very tough job, or maybe it’s because SAHMs are the ones that have their crap together enought to do something about their problem instead of wearing a butt hole in the couch.

  8. I thought about taking an anti-anxiety med to stave off my depression a few years ago but had too much anxiety about taking the anti-anxiety medication. To stave off a breakdown i just took a LOA from work, I feel your pain.

  9. So there is no difference between high school and now, it’s all a popularity contest. I will never be homecoming queen. Even in the blog world.

    Sniff. Sniff. Stupid Dooce. Sniff Sniff. I’m so going to write her name on the San Jose Hyatt bathroom door with a sex line number.

  10. You are not an asshole. And I would LOVE to hear about why you aren’t a Christian.

    I did cringe at this sentence: I think we’ve all established that anti-depressants are trendy.

    While I’m certainly glad that the stigma is fading (sort of), are we just replacing it with a new stigma? Am I going to start feeling compelled to say, “No, REALLY. I’m seriously CRAZY. I’m not just taking these to be COOL.”

    Oy. I didn’t mean to get all heavy, but suffice it to say that I’m happy to hear that you are doing what you need to do – whatever that may be.

  11. You are not like everyone else in this. You are you. And it is your blog. If it makes you feel better to write then, please do so. We will listen.

    I hope it helps.

    Um…when you are felling like sharing, I would love to hear about the Christianity thing. :)

  12. I was bitter about the medication thing, too. I felt so typical. But you know what? I like my kids now. Before the meds, I just faked it. How terrible is that? I’d do everything I was suppossed to do, smiled and laughed appopriatly, had healthy snacks, etc., but the whole time I was screaming to them in my head “Shut the fuck uuupp!!!!!” And I felt guilty about not being a perfect mom every. day.

    Now I want to be around them, and crave them when I’m not around. Really. And although I’m not thrilled to be up at 5:30 am with the twins, I no longer seethe and cry about having to do so.

    But the sexual side effects SUCK!!!

    Who cares if the medication thing is ‘trendy.’ If you need it, and it will help you cherish the time you have with your family, I say go for it.

    And as for the side effects, I hear Drugstore.com sells… ahem… ‘personal massagers.’ Not that I know for sure, I’m just sayin’.

  13. I haven’t had the sex side effects. I mean…desire wise. It does take a wee bit longer to um….you know…get there. But not much.

  14. Sarah,

    I’m proud of you for writing this and hope you find relief quickly. You know, not all of your readers are so blogger-savvy. To me, you are not just another SAHM. You are a friend and someone whom I admire (even though you are a Tiff and I’m a WAC).

    And, just look at it this way: everyone needs a happy pill every now and then, at least you have an explanation for the laziness (although, honestly, from what you write on here it does not appear that you are lazy), and if you do have to invest in an … ahem … “personal massager,” you will never regret the purchase.

    One more thing — I’m glad you wrote about something serious, and you should do that whenever you feel the need, but I seriously come here every day looking for my own little happy pill in the form of you and the goon squad and blue bushes and poop stories and drunken kitchen demolition. Thanks for cracking me up.

  15. Do what you need to do to take care of you and your family. You know that all of your closest friends, and from what I’m reading above, all of your Mommyblogger friends, support you. All I ask is that you share with me!!!

  16. More moms are dealing with depression, temp or more permanent,than many folks realize. It is a sign of strength to seek help (medical/medicinal/psychological/whateverical) My friend Tracy has a book coming out next month about Maternal Depression. It is NOT about PPD, it is about about later, or earlier, or whenever depression and motherhoood mix. It is called “The Ghost in The House: Motherhood, Raising Children and Struggling with Depression”. I got to read an advance copy and it is excellent! I’m sure it will be in all of the major libraries in addtion to bookstores. I highly recommend it. Them’s good readin’!

  17. oh hell. I forgot to write Tracy’s last name. Duh. Tracy Thompson, she is a Pulitzer Prize nominated writer who used to write for the Washington Post. She is a gifted writer and damn funny too. I told her after I had read her book that it was an “enjoyable read”. That’s right, a book about depression was enjoyable to read! Tell me you aren’t just dying to know how that can even be, but let me tell you, it’s an awesome book. And I am not just sayin’ that cuz Tracy is my friend. Library Journal agrees with me! LOL Tracy’s blog is Maternally Challenged. I don’t know how to link in blogs, so you’ll have to google, sorry!

  18. I think we all realized that parenting is the best mirror/magnifying glass, etc into our soul and or who we are an what our strengths and weaknesses.

    Motherhood made me realize that I had been dealing with a mild form of depression pretty much since I hit puberty. I just lived with it…..you can’t do that when you have kids. You want to be the best person you can be for their sake if not your own.

    When I realized that exhaustion was affecting me more than it should..I did some research and went to my doc and got myself some meds that DON’T stunt my libido or cause weight gain and seem to work if I am careful with the dosage.

    I think would be ok without them and will have to be if we do go for baby no. 3…..but knowing that there is something to help me over the rough patches is a relief and I feel no shame..despite a husband who is still in denial about what ‘real’ depression even though he has suffered from it!

    He is happy that I feel happy.

    That is enough.

    And sure…do tell about the christian thing…..I got LOTS to talk about on that subject too!

    I also can’t decide….do I blog like a journal or whatever is on my mind or try to sound like a serious feminist 21st Century mom…or do I tell people how much I geek out over Battlestar Galactica?

  19. If this is jumping on the mommy bandwagon, then I fucked up because I did it six months before even getting pregnant. You do what you gotta do. I hope you find the right thing for you whether it’s zoloft or yoga or a long vacation or scientology and vitamins. Okay, maybe not the last one. Mucho support from here and everywhere…and kudos for spilling it when it pains you to do so. That’s the sign of a real writer.

  20. There is no way you are an asshole. It must of taken a lot to publish this. You have friends and people from the blog world to support you all the way!
    You need to do what is right to get yourself back to your normal self. You are amazing. Take care x

  21. Assholes don’t teach their kids songs like 20 Eyes. Whenever I come here and read stuff like that, I realize that parenting can be done right. I vote for the video, but would still like to know why you’re not a Christian. Or is the answer something simple like ‘Because I’m a Buddhist’? I’m Christian because my parents are, though I’m not very active, and I don’t see the point in trying other religions when I know they all fulfil the same basic purposes anyway.

  22. Man, I love Mich. I love you too. And I love this medium for keeping us all in touch & somehow pulling us closer to the friends we’ve known for years in real life. (Geeeez, I just GUSHED all over your blog :).

  23. btw, I love the tag you’ve created for these ‘crazee’ posts.

  24. My wife went through the same thing after pregnancy, and is still on medication for it; 4 years after The PB & The J were born.

    This is something that, for decades, had been misdiagnosed and grossly misunderstood; only in the last few years has more about it become known and, a little more, understood.

    And you are not an asshole.

  25. Great minds think alike – I think we were typing almost the same thing at almost the same time.

  26. I disagree with everyone and say that you are an asshole.
    You know I love you more than my luggage.
    I think to myself, frequently, this great line from PARENTHOOD where Steve Martin is getting ready to go to a little league game and his wife says “Do you have to go?” and he says almost in a rage “My whole LIFE Is HAVE TO”…..
    that’s how it is. My whole life is have to.
    And there are days that it’s just too much and I can’t do one more freaking thing.
    But I still have to do them.
    I think it’s a great thing that we can all talk about it and not have to go all June Cleaver about it…..”oh no nothing is wrong, everything is perfect and wonderful.”
    It’s all crap.
    Just like when you discover everyone else’s families are crazy too.
    Life is stress.
    There is nothing wrong with saying “oh crap I can’t take this anymore.”

    And I do love you very much.

    You are not an asshole. (but I am!)

  27. I think everyone thinks meds are trendy because we’re hearing so much more about them BUT I don’t necessarily think people are using them as a crutch. It’s not taboo anymore so people are opening up about it, thus educating more people who may not think they have anything medically wrong. And it’s your blog, you can write about whatever the hell you want. I’ve been on meds for about 6 years and it saved my life. (That in conjunction with therapy). I don’t regret it at all. Now I know what to look out for when I do eventually get pregnant, as I am obvioulsy more prone to PPD. But I have done tons of research and already talk to my OBGYN about what needs to be done. If it weren’t for ‘talking about it’ I’d be even more out of control than I once was.

    So I wish you the best of luck on this journey. We’re here to support you. And talk to us about whatever you’d like!!

  28. darling sarah. i love you. i hope this helps. i will tell you from personal and professional experience to try one of the newer meds (lexapro, effexor). zoloft/prozac and that generation of meds tend to cause more side effects. i actually am just going off lexapro this week, have been on it for 6 months. so i support you!!!!! you are not alone, and i hate those life phases when things aren’t “right” but you will get through. love britt

  29. Obviously, you’re not alone. You’ve clearly got a lot of friends and support (mine included) so let me tell you a little about depression.

    There are two types essentially: Genetic (this also applies to families that have a culture of depression since it is both genetic and situational) and situational. Presumably you’ve been okay most of your life, but you’re facing challenges, facing situations, that have maxed out your coping ability. Two years of not enough sleep, enormous stress (and I know how hard two is, right?), trying to be THE MOMMY to two babies and now two toddlers AT THE SAME TIME, plus trying to keep a marriage together, plus so much more. If you are depressed it is situational and maybe medication might help you get through until you feel better.

    Two sayings I love about depression:
    “Just because you feel screwed up in a screwed up place and in a screwed up time does not mean you are screwed up.”

    By someone who didn’t want to take meds to fight depression. “I don’t want chemicals f$@^ing with my brain.” “Chemicals are already f$#@ing with your brain. Medication just makes it a fair fight.”

    We’re all behind you, Sarah.

  30. Just popped over from Queen of Spain’s site – I’ve been meaning to get over here and check you out!

    There’s nothing wrong with realizing you need a little help. I’ve been on and off antidepressants three times in my life, the last being a post-partum bout of depression. I just recently weaned myself off again, and I’m still in the phase of trying to determine if I’m OK off of them or not. I can remember the bad days (just like you described it, too!), and I know the meds really helped me reach a point of feeling like a normal person.

    And yeah, let’s hear about why you’re not a Christian. I’m all for deep posts!

  31. Oh wow Sarah. I too am glad you wrote about this. I don’t think we’re “trendy” as SAHMS on meds. I think we’re powerful, in control, and ready to kick some depressive ass.

    In other words, we won’t take the depression shit lying down. And really, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    P.S. I am almost 1 year into my Zoloft and depression therapy. Just so you know, you may need to up your dosage several times over the course of many months. If that’s the case, don’t beat yourself up. I didn’t realize this when I first started, and was so hard on myself because the damn meds weren’t working.

    When you hit the right dosage, you’ll know. And if you do need to “up”, it doesn’t mean you’re “more” crazy. It just takes different amounts for different bodies. 😉

  32. My sweet, sweet Sarah.

    There is nothing lovlier than watching honesty, even pain-filled honesty, be put out there. What I really thought about was the fact that the cliches we have are cliches for a reason: LOTS of people feel that way. Lots of mothers need help. LOTS of women want to get healthy. LOTS of people need to reach out.

    When we get to SJ I’m going to reach out and hug you. You probably knew that already. But it’s going to be extra-special.

    For this. For your bravery. For your honesty. For being fabulously you.


  33. Just wanted to say you have my support and I’m thinking of you. This SAHM thing can be a tough gig with little in the way of accolades. I think that’s been the hardest thing for me to adjust to–no one recognizing the amount of work you do.

    Good luck.

    Oh, and I, too, would love to hear about the Christian thing.

  34. I like you funny and I like you depressed, Asshole.

    Seriously, good for you. This Mommy shit is way harder than I thought it would be and the whole twin thing makes it all that much more difficult. Funny, but arduous. If meds make it easier/better/happier/less suckish, then bring on the meds. You have to take care of you first.

  35. y

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  1. […] I know for sure that the strongest reaction came from my post about depression. I got so much support from everyone it was wonderful. I don’t think I have a favorite post of my own. I’m always happiest with my posts when people think they are funny and then leave funny comments. […]