Xanax Makes Me a Better Mom…

and guess what? That’s okay.

It took me a long time to admit that. It took me a long time to “forgive” myself for needing any sort of medical treatment following my battle with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

Every morning I would get out of bed, drag myself into the kitchen, open the cupboard and take out the little orange bottle with my daily anti-depressant in it….

The label may as well have said…

“FAILURE”…

“You are weak, you wanted a big family but in truth in you can’t handle it, and now you need to rely on ME to make it through your day…”

I opened the bottle every morning and took my medication feeling defeated. Hopeless. Broken.

Then the fog lifted…

The light shined through some of the darkness, and I emerged from the anxiety feeling triumphant! So I did what every normal, sane, rational woman who never struggled with mental illness in her life would do…

I stopped taking my medication. I was healed. I was fixed. I didn’t need it anymore….

Until I did. One day, out of the blue I had a panic attack. We had been sick for weeks as a family, no one was eating well and everything was upside down. My body didn’t have enough energy to care for all of the physical needs around me, and my mind was too mentally exhausted to process the stress of the situation.

I called my psych – who I happen to love – and told her what was going on, and that I had stopped my medication weeks ago…

Her words struck me hard….

“You need to get back on your medication.”

I was devastated. I had failed again. My mind keeps continuously giving up on me, and I didn’t have the strength to fight back on my own anymore…

3 weeks into starting the medication again, the anxiety lifted and I was functioning like a normal, happy mom – still facing regular stress – but not flooded with panic anymore.

But there was still a shame in taking my medication, in needing it in order to be “me” during this season.

Then a friend once said to me…”If you had a heart illness, you would take heart medication without shame. If you had a stomach illness, you would take stomach medicine without shame. Having a BRAIN illness should be no different…”

We get so caught up in the term “mental illness” that we feel like there is something wrong with us if we need help during a season.

I felt as though I had a breakthrough…

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Needing help is NOT a sign of weakness. Realizing that I have areas of life that I struggle in and working on those to create a better me is a strength.

Ensuring that I am the best me – physically and mentally- everyday is a gift to my family, allowing shame or guilt to creep in and keep me from the steps I needed to take to heal would have left them with broken pieces of me that I was trying desperately to put together on my own.

So I will continue to take my medication, until I feel like I truly don’t need it anymore. I will take my Xanax if I am suffering from a panic attack, and I will not feel ashamed about it. I will embrace this crazy, stressful, fulfilling life and all the crazy that comes with it…

but I won’t add my own crazy by sacrificing my mental health…

We have to take care of ourselves mamas – in WHATEVER way that looks like for you. Therapy, self care and medication are NOT signs of weakness. We are not perfect and life is so messy.

So do what you need to.

Get the help you deserve.

And then shout it from the rooftops, because there is no shame in needing help.

 

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Any medications that I have taken throughout my journey have been prescribed by, and closely monitored by a board certified Psychiatrist. I recommend meeting with one if you think medication is something you may need, and let them decide the best course of action for you. Always take medications as prescribed by your specific doctor. **

7 thoughts on “Xanax Makes Me a Better Mom…

  1. I am crying while reading your post! I decided today after being medication free that I couldn’t do it anymore. It was beautifully kismet that I read this tonight as I’ll be meeting with my Dr after Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing your journey you’re an amazing woman! 😃

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      • Thank you Meaghan I really needed to read this out loud and hear your words. I have struggled for two years being medication free with two special needs children I love so much. I wasn’t being fair to them knowing I needed help and trying so hard to go it alone. It was the worst and most detrimental thing I could do with my selfish pride leading my mind. Your courage makes me be brave and do the one thing that’s the scariest for me. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to say but I’m so grateful for your divine intervention with your timely story in my reader. ❤️

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  2. Meaghan I love reading your posts. Your honesty and pure commitment to your faith is refreshing. The fact that you can admit your weakness to God, and totally give it to God is something to celebrate. When you need a boost, just remember Our paths God planned for us were created before we were knitted together in our Mother’s wombs. God never makes mistakes. We were made in His image. Your plate is full, and I know the feelings of feeling overloaded. Satan is doing a happy dance on our emotions then. Boy how he loves to lay guilt trips on our hearts. Remember, 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, (negative emotions). because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world. Cry out to God when life squeezes to much. I have you and your beautiful family on my daily prayer journal. Keep writing when you can. It’s truly beautiful. Merry Christmas Morris family. 🙂

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  3. I love this post so much! I had PPD then full blown depression/anxiety since my daughter was born almost 11 years ago. I go through seasons where I feel “normal” and like I can handle things. I go through seasons as well. I am in the hard season unmedicated and I hate it, but I have not found anything that makes me feel entirely human without sacrificing my energy or my personality. So I applaud you for doing what is best for you. Mama deserves to be taken care of 100% no matter what. It makes you a better mom, not a bad one.

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    • Finding the right method of treatment is SO HARD. I really thought I would be one of this people that got it right on the first try! It took me almost 6 months to find a medicine that even helped, and even longer to find the right dosing and combo. Finding a good doctor is VITAL, but knowing yourself and specific triggers can help a lot too.

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