Friday, December 14, 2007

nice legs.

one of my favorite blogs is dooce. one of my favorite posts is this one.

i'm a big advocate of therapy and medication (if it's needed and supervised). i took Zoloft for a year, about 6 years ago. my general practitioner prescribed it for me after i had a breakdown in his examination room. i was there for a routine physical. i had asked his nurse TWICE not to tell me how much i weighed, i even stood on the scale BACKWARDS, and she still told me, loud and clear.

"DID YOU NOT HEAR ME?" i yelped between sobs.

i felt as if i did not exist. as if my needs and desires did not matter. and then, of course, there was THE NUMBER.

i don't even remember the number, (it had to have been pretty low, i was knee deep in anorexia at this time) but i remember i could not stop crying. try as i might, i was sniffling and weeping and sniffling and weeping. i was able to pull it together just for a few moments i can do this, i can do this, when Doctor L walked in. just as my doctor extended his hand to shake mine, my face crumpled, tears fell. i could not do this, after all.

i was already in therapy at this point, but had never considered medication. i just couldn't. medication is for weaklings. crazy people. not ME. i was a pull yourself up by your own bootstraps type of gal. it's in my genetics, steel threaded into my DNA. never feel sorry for yourself, never be weak, never be... human.

doctor L convinced me otherwise.

"margaux. say you didn't have any legs. you're on a street corner and you desperately needed to get to the other side. i walk up to you with a pair of legs and tell you you can have them, you just have to say 'yes.' wouldn't you take them?"

i took it for a year, and it did help. i ate more. i got my period after a year of amenorrhea. i became more social. it's taken me awhile to attribute my improvement to the Zoloft. at the time, i just liked to think i was getting better all by myself! (those damn bootstraps again) i remember feeling less stressed, less anxious, less angry. or maybe not less, so much as i just found i could deal with the stress, the anxiety, the anger more effectively, more sanely. fasting on steamed cabbage with dijon mustard for three days would not solve my problems after all!

they do say that you cannot rely on drugs to fix your problems, and that you shouldn't take drugs alone, but in conjunction with therapy. i completely agree. one way or another, you're going to have to hash out your issues someday in therapy, in a support group, somewhere other than in your sweet little head. meds just keep you from completely losing your shit when your realize how many issues you really have.

thought you were over that childhood trauma? yeah... NO. start over.

i'm no longer on any anti-anxiety medication. i just stopped taking it one day. (not advisable, unless you like numbness in your extremities. i should have gone off of it under the care of my doctor. he would have tapered the dosage to avoid withdrawal effects). i'm also not in therapy. but all of that is for RIGHT NOW. i'm sure there will come a time when i'll feel the need to return to therapy. i'm also open to the possiblity of taking medication again if need be.

i like crossing streets, and there are so many ways of doing so.


azusmom said...

This is weird; I just started taking Zoloft again TODAY after having been off of it for 5 years. I'm also back in therapy. I'd thought I had "conquered" my anxiety, and was too stubborn to admit that, while the panic attacks were gone, the anxiety was still there. Bootstraps, indeed.

Rachel2 said...

It's really weird how that works. It waxes and wanes, and that's perfectly okay. Congrats for admitting that the anxiety was still there, AND doing what you needed to in order to regain balance.