mother of two.
air force wife.
battler of bipolar disorder
reader of books.
discoverer of joy.
this is my universe, squeezed. welcome.

Ride the Book Trail




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i was thinking back, way back, to the day that i decided to take a tiny little pill for the first time. it was an agonizing moment for me: like i had to dip my head in shame while i swallowed the pill so that all my generations of ancestors wouldn’t see me “give up,” as it were. i was afraid my parents would be disappointed, that my siblings would find me weak, that my friends would shy away. some of it seems ridiculous now. some of it. not all of it.

my midwife first gave me a prescription for the lowest dose of zoloft possible at my six week post partum after v was born. i was a mess. double mastitis. all sorts of unseen wounds, open and oozing. i remember asking said midwife, “is it not this hard for everyone?” and her putting her arm around me and saying, “no, dear. it isn’t.”

it still took me six months before i swallowed the pill. and even then, dear little me, i cut the thing in half. although my experiences with medication since have not been so positive, that first little pill was a miracle. in something short of an hour i felt like a human being again. (and for those of you who have known the crush of post partum depression, you know what a miracle that is.)

even now, three years past that point, i’m not sure how i feel about brain meds. i’m disturbed by how little is actually known about brains and the medications we use on them. i’m frustrated by how many side effects i’ve lived through. frustrated by how many symptoms of my disorder i still have both on and off medications.

but i guess this post is to say, if there’s even a little part of you that thinks, hey, that might help me. give medication a try. because it isn’t a crime. and it isn’t a weakness. and it isn’t the end of a road. and it isn’t surrender. it’s just a pill. and sometimes they really really help. and there’s nothing wrong with that.



5 comments to mental monday: tiny little pills

  • Rebecca

    I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. I know for me it would feel like defeat also and I’m sure it would take me six months to actually take the thing too. Know that I think no less of you for taking any kind of medicine to help you feel better. It’s funny, people have no problem taking ibuprofen for pain, but to take something to help your brain feel better, that’s not always so acceptable. I hope that through your blog, you are able to help change that stigma.

  • Kathleen

    I have not crossed the same road. But, I have had many client’s who have. I really liked the book called BUZZ about a mother who faces her ADHD at the same time she faces her son’s ADHD. She examines all aspects of treatment and I really appreciated her perspective. ADHD is very different from depression, but both can have a tremendous impact on all aspects of life. It seems different times in life, different ages and stages, call for a different answer. But, what an amazing time when he find an answer in medication or another form of treatment that gives a season of happiness…known as normalcy.
    Prayers for you and your fam Jess. Thanks for being brave enough to share your thoughts.

  • Tiff

    I know what it is like to struggle with whether or not to take meds. For me, I have fought it most of the time. When my mom encouraged me to take meds for ADD as a teenager, I fought it and I fought it again several times as an adult. After I saw that I probably wouldn’t pass my oral exams in grad school, I gave in but only for a while. I have never felt like they did that much for me anyway. They help, but not really all that much. And no one knows how they work, what’s up with that? I’m not sure when it makes sense and when it doesn’t but I do know it’s an incredibly personal decision. Best wishes for you in your journey. I am sure you will know what is right for you and your family. And I agree that sometimes we just need to let the baggage drop and try something before we make a final decision. Giving something a trial doesn’t have to make your decision for the rest of your life, and how else will you have the information to make a good decision if you don’t try it out first?

  • Annie

    thank you for this post jessie. it made me teary because it really hit home with me. thanks for saying this. :)

  • amen amen amen. the hardest part was just taking that first pill.

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