Not normal after all

June 5, 2012

I stood in a crowd of people fighting back tears this afternoon, trying to hide my embarrassment and upset from my dear, sensitive boy. It was over such a silly thing, not really worth noting, a ticking off from a WI member at an event my mum had organised over a piece of cake.

That wasn’t the problem it was my reaction. Recently something is bothering me. Emotions are close to the surface and I am easily scratched. Easily upset, prone to snapping, over reacting. Something is bubbling in my chest, taking my breath away, stopping me from being able to be still or quiet.

Anxiety.

I know it well, a constant companion for most of my adult life.

And suddenly, during this long and dull drive home from Cornwall it occurs to me that I know what this is, and why I feel this way.

Ten months ago I started taking anti depressants for Postnatal Depression. In the last month I have finished taking them. In the main I was ready for this. I think that the PND has passed, and that it was the right thing to do.

But now I am left with me. And suddenly it seems clear to me that it wasn’t just my PND that those tablets were helping. I remember remarking at the first meeting of my PND support that I had found it easier to turn up than I usually would have because my usual anxiety wasn’t as bad as normal.

And that’s where I am now. Back to me. Low level anxiety pervades me and our life and makes everything so much harder, so much more effort. I’d forgotten what this was like and I don’t like it at all. At all.

I don’t know what to do. Do I go back to the doctor, back to taking those tablets? If I do will I ever be brave enough to stop taking them again? If this is normal for me how can I?

I lived with this for so many years without realising that it could be different. And now I know there’s an alternative I don’t want to go back.

I’m a little bit lost, and very scared.

What do you do when you realise your normal isn’t that normal after all?

9 Comments

  • Reply Emily June 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I’m sending huge hugs. I’m in an eerily similar place and I think, I hope, that the answer is low level meds until my body sorts itself out. That said I also worry how much I think is my PND/Depression/Anxiety but is actually real life stress and a “normal” anxiety.

    The key phrase to me is this: “I lived with this for so many years without realising that it could be
    different. And now I know there’s an alternative I don’t want to go
    back.” You don’t have to – that calm brightness is yours to be had – and always remember that you deserve it.

    xoxo

  • Reply Dani Askins June 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I know how you feel, anxiety takes up so much time of my life, I panic over silly things that people can do in a heartbeat. I don’t personally know what it feels like not to have it as luckily I didn’t get PND which I really thought I could get due to my nature, I am pregnant again, and again my anxiety has heightened, this time around I am going to mention it and ask for help rather than suffer in silence, especially as I can see my chance to getting PND heightening as my anxiety seems much worse this time around. If the tablets really do make that much of a difference I’d say it’s worth going back to you doctor, there may be another alternative too, you never know. I wish you all the best as how horrible it is to live with on a day to day basis. x

    • Reply Kelly_A place of my own June 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      That was the one positive (in a weird way) for me, that I know what it is like to be depressed so I knew that things were not right after having Kate and I went to the doctor straight away. You know yourself the best, and it is always good to talk about it.

  • Reply Erin June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Ah Kelly, I understand a bit. Before I had Elliot I was going through a nasty patch with my OCD and managed to get some therapy through the NHS for about a year. That really helped, but I was also taking heavy duty decongestants to sleep (and truth be told, during the day too when it was all too much). There is no shame in taking medication to sort out the anxiety – the amount of energy we waste on worrying is incredible. The constant high levels of stress we manage to live with isn’t good for us either. If it was working, do it. Like Emily says, you’re so worth it.xxxx  

    • Reply Kelly_A place of my own June 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you for commenting. I think I need to get to the bottom of why I feel like this, and I know that taking the pills gives me the head space to do so.

  • Reply Snaffles Mummy June 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Firstly I wanted to send a hug. I don't think there is such a thing as normal, we are all different and all unique. I have no knowledge of medicine so don't understand thr long term implications of going back on medication etc buy if it makes you happier, makes life easier to manage, means you enjoy your family then it can't be a bad thing.
    going back to gp doesn't necessarily mean back on the tablets, there may be other courses you can do, ones to help manage anxiety.
    hope you find a solution that you ate happy with. people will love you for who you are, we all get. emotional.

  • Reply Snaffles Mummy June 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Firstly I wanted to send a hug. I don't think there is such a thing as normal, we are all different and all unique. I have no knowledge of medicine so don't understand thr long term implications of going back on medication etc buy if it makes you happier, makes life easier to manage, means you enjoy your family then it can't be a bad thing.
    going back to gp doesn't necessarily mean back on the tablets, there may be other courses you can do, ones to help manage anxiety.
    hope you find a solution that you ate happy with. people will love you for who you are, we all get. emotional.

  • Reply Lisa June 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Like somebody else said, perhaps there is an alternative?  Talk to your doctor maybe he could recommend a natural alternative?

    • Reply Kelly_A place of my own June 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      I am going to start with my doctor. I am happy to take the tablets for a bit longer of I need to but I also need to tackle the root cause of the problem.

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