Being totally transparent, I went back on anxiety medication.
I slowly realized that I was no longer feeling like myself and that I wanted to feel better. I don’t feel stigmatized by having to take medication, but maybe subconsciously I had prided myself on being able to manage my anxiety with exercise, writing, and therapy alone. My pride had to go.
I think for me everything just compounded. My husband’s work schedule is very busy especially in the summer, which means that most of the time I am juggling 2 kids on my own, each with their own set of needs. Oscar’s waves of feeding struggles, introducing new methods of consuming water, home therapies, and appointments is all on me most of the time. That’s just how it has to be, my husband has to work. I can’t underestimate the effect that COVID and lock downs have had as well.
We had booked Olivia in for 2 camp weeks over the summer. I was so excited for her to go to camp and get some social interaction and I was also looking forward to having some “me time” that week while Oscar napped. The first day Olivia was at camp Oscar would NOT sleep. I didn’t have the flexibility of letting him fall asleep and wake up whenever because I had to go and pick up Olivia at a certain time. So I lay with him for quite awhile. He still wouldn’t sleep. I thought that maybe I would give him a break, leave his room and come back in a few minutes to try again.
The next thing I knew I was literally on the floor of my closet crying. My long anticipated moment of “me time” was now consumed with struggling to put Oscar to sleep. I had totally underestimated how much I had needed that time to myself until it was taken away. And I cried.
That was probably the lowest I had felt in a while. That is when I knew I needed to go back on medication.
I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. She reinforced what I had been feeling but had been unable to label… “Chronic Stress” was the label. There is always something. There will always be something. That is how it is when raising a child with special needs. That is being a “medical mama”. That is just my life now. That is what makes it “Chronic Stress”. So she agreed that I should go back on medication.
My doctor also reinforced the need for self care. I need to create time for myself. Finding time to myself has been a struggle. Or I have made it more of a struggle than it needs to be. We don’t have child care for Oscar and to say that I am actively looking for it would be a lie. He is on a waitlist for daycare which has been delayed by COVID, but that is as far as we have gotten.
I have been back on my medication for close to a month now and I feel better. I feel more like myself. I feel like I have more space. I feel like my window of tolerance is larger. As far as the “me time” piece I have decided to get back into setting my alarm early so that I am awake for an hour before the kids get up. Baby steps…