Ok, so let me try to navigate through the timeline of how I got to this point of being a mother that pops pills.
I’ve never had the stomach to easily take pills. Obviously, I’m aware that taking them helps us to feel better, so they’re a must-have, on some occasions. For some people, this isn’t a big deal; which is great, more power to you! I’ve always done everything else possible first, however, before resorting to taking pills.
In large part, that’s due to overdoing it with them as a teenager – one time in particular; making myself sick from doing so! That’s always stayed with me in regards to thinking about pills.
I’m a migraine sufferer, but with these even, I’ll attempt to “tough it out” for awhile, before taking something. Even though I wouldn’t be able to live comfortably without pills, I still can’t stand them!
Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Well, she’s a little ungrateful, isn’t she? I mean, especially if pills are providing her the comfort that’s necessary?? Getting nauseous from them or not!” But, when you’re able to continuously replay your stomach churning, over and over again in your mind – simple little things like “they also take me out of pain” doesn’t make a big difference. My brain’s aware that a prescribed medication’s way different than taking a few too many pain relievers, and still my first response is always “suck it up and deal, buttercup”.
Becoming A Mother…Again
When I left my full-time job that I’d been in for many years, obviously more time became available to me. And its been difficult, financially, for my family..in adjusting to what comes with big career moves, like this one.
Everything in me knew that I needed to be available for our youngest girl, as well as for the older kids.
You see, I’d never had that desire or need to be home, when the others were babies, even though I cherished being their mom just as much (and I think I was a pretty good one), it was just a different season of my life. The thought of not being able to do much else, except be home with the kids, caused me to become extremely panicked.
My anxiety existed as I decided to proceed with leaving my job, as well. Like I said, I’d been doing it for close to 5 years, was receiving a great income, and had fantastic benefits, too. So really, you could say that my anxiety had actually increased, in some aspects.
I’d been yearning to be home with our baby, even while she was still growing in my tummy. I cried many tears when I had to leave her, and return back to work after my maternity leave had ended. When I finally left, there was a loud voice inside me, assuring me I was doing the right thing. I felt as if my life was requiring me to have a bigger presence in my home. Oddly enough, I can’t even say I had any questions about how it would go, whatsoever.
In the beginning, I felt a little giddy, but not enough to be disillusioned. I knew that the expectation was for me to immediately get to the drawing board and figure out how to earn some income and contribute. It was through these expectations, that made many of my days seem to be extremely long. Saying that I had some regrets is probably the response most people think I’ll say, but I never have felt this way. Not on this decision, anyway. But because my decision wasn’t the popular one (I was always made aware of that), my anxiety began increasing.
It seemed that I had virtually no support at this point, and showing my anxiety would’ve been one more “reason” for telling me how wrong my decisions were, so I stuffed it.
I was in emotional turmoil inside, but I knew (read: absolutely no questions) I was exactly where I needed to be. Like most mothers, I love my kids more than life, and I’d do anything and everything to ensure their happiness. When all of this took place though, I felt like I was failing them. I wasn’t willing to give up the days I had with them to be at work, providing for the roof over their heads. The fact that I don’t believe the latter is more important, didn’t stop me from questioning myself, because I was clearly expected to be so much more.
Being completely transparent here, I’ve never been the mom who’s amazingly creative, or even very imaginative. Playing with my kids on a regular basis, isn’t what completes me. Actually, quite the opposite; it usually rattles my nerves.
And I’m not always selfless; I can be considerably selfish, at times. Look, I barely make it through these 30 minute shows that the kids watch (actually, less than that when you’re factoring out commercials).
I’ve got a very busy mind..too busy, usually. It goes over all the tons of stuff I’ve got to get done every day. “Don’t we all?” True. Not all of us hold our breaths until being able to achieving them, though.
Let’s go back a little more: The discovery of my last pregnancy caused a major whirlwind to my life. Different than it had with the other kids. It was as if I began slowly reconstructing every part of myself, giving a full makeover, if you will.
My mom and I had some hiccups in our relationship at the time of this big career move; my dad was busy, as were we, and we’d rarely see him. Every relationship in my world, with the exception of my family in the house, felt as though they’d vanished, in a very short amount of time.
Then the self-talk came in…”Perhaps, I’m just meant to do life this way. With no one.” I felt like my kids were just stuck with me – nothing at all like what they deserved. Not at all.
Anxiety, sadness, and just feeling pretty worthless all around – these were my frequent state of emotions. The goal was for my kids to have the mother they deserved – except, my mind was on overload from the amount of expectations weighing on me: from myself, my husband, family.
A large part of the emotional turmoil came from being so stressed out about all the reminders how I needed to find something, and fast, but also knowing that I needed to remain the caregiver available for my kids. I felt like I lacked an identity: no career; can’t completely focus on being a mother. What do I do? I didn’t know. I’d lost who I was in trying to be everything I was needed to be, and supposed to be.
The stress started proving to be much more than I could handle, eventually landing me in the E.R. I was going full-force as mom, keeping up the home, and all the while, wracking my brain to try to figure out how I could do everything that I needed to.
Who I Was
Throughout my life, I’d dealt with seasons of depression and self-loathing. My resistance to taking pills played a large role in the decisions I made to discontinue different prescriptions I’d been on at various times.
I learned that having a busy life was how I functioned the best. The feeling of satisfaction existed, as long as I had something to focus my mind on: work, games, movies, books. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be doing two or three of these at once. My husband would look at me, a little bewildered, because of how I’d say that I wanted to watch a movie, while grabbing the laptop, maybe even a book, to prepare to starting whatever we were going to watch.
Hell, even my prior place job, I’d work with a book open – you know, in case that person I was speaking to moved at a much slower pace than I cared for. I called it multitasking. It actually astonished me when others would get “stressed out” by their attempts to complete one task. Why. Are. You. Being. So still?! My nails would cease to exist if I attempted that.
Parenting: Who I Want To Be
All of a sudden, we had a small child in the house again. One that was picking up on our every move.
I teach her, through my actions, and how I respond to things.
All of a sudden, we’ve got a small child again, that’ll one day be a bigger child. Then an adult. Maybe she’d become rigid, and set in her ways, similar to her mother.
Growing up, my own mother exuded a lot of these characteristics of mine, too. Which makes me think, when I glance at my diva, whether these characteristics will also someday be in her.
Then I wonder: Should these traits pass down to her, even just a little, will I be okay with that?
Is it ok to be teaching this little girl about impatience, rigidity, wanting to change things frequently – because repetition’s like nails on a chalkboard? Stressing out because maybe she changes her mind about something, but not wanting to quit what was initially started?
Is it ok if she constantly feel like her brain’s pounding, from too much running through it? Is it ok if she has a strong need to be doing something, because if not, her frustration may burst? What about if she chooses not to participate in things, because there’s so much more to finish on her to-do list? Is that ok?
My hope is..this little girl’s not like her mama. I hope that she’s able to live with the feeling of peace! Should she be like me though, my behavior surely needed some adjusting. Passing down bad habits needed to be stopped, so that she could change whatever she’d already started to pick up, before growing any further.
My goals for myself ought to be ones that I’d be thrilled that she, too, might have. My desire was for the ability to completely focus on the time we spent together – and enjoy it! For giving my kids a parent I felt like they deserved.
Well then, an appointment was needed. After a discussion with the doc about what was going on, the pills started popping – against my initial judgments. My anxiety occasionally starts shooting up still about taking it. Actually, my fears.
When I used to take meds for my depression, it tapped into some unhealthy behaviors – withdrawn, on edge, obsessive. Which is why the anxiety pops up. To remind me I can spiral at any given time, which these current pills certainly have the ability to do.
The anxiety definitely still exists! However, with the meds, I’ve got hope.
It’s going on about a year and a half that I’ve been taking them, so obviously I’m seeing more positive than negative by continuing to do so. Though I have to say – I’m always aware of how I’m feeling and behaving.
It’s been a major difference maker in regular day-to-day living. You don’t realize how agonizing the days prior to taking medication were to you, until being able to look back with a fresher perspective.
My youngest daughter just received a very large doll house, which I’ve sat playing with her for hours a couple different times – leaving both my iPad and phone in the other room. No coffee or Red Bull with me, giving the perceived source of energy to get through it. It’s all about the time of being a great mother to one of the gifts God has provided for me to care for. After a while of Barbie play one of those times, we then went and sat down next to each other on the couch. And while I handled some work, she watched her favorite emergency vehicle videos on YouTube. My nerves weren’t shot. We were together, mostly engaged, and having a fun afternoon just being with one another.
My brain had been working on overdrive for quite a while, and then, it calmed down a bit. When she crashes out after a busy day, I plant a kiss on that sweet girl’s cheek, say goodnight and feel satisfied. Before, my head might have started swimming with guilt from all the ways I’d failed as a mother that day, or how I could have done better. Stressing about it all, and causing me to feel as though I might be having a heart attack. My poor body must have been so exhausted. How did I do it three times before?!
This mind’s not constantly frantic anymore, trying to figure out how or where I messed up. (I mean…Who actually searches their memory for that kind of stuff?? A glutton for punishment, that’s who!) Cuz we’re always going to make mistakes.
Some days were almost physically painful. Right now though, there’s no desires within, to be anywhere else in the world. There’s really no way to explain the way I feel about my life presently, except that it’s mostly pretty fantastic. My outlook’s more peaceful, and calm. Maybe I’d be ok with my kids being just a little bit like me?