Let me start by saying that this is one of those blog posts where I feel a bit like I’m ripping my guts out and smearing them all over the page (apologies for the rather visceral visual…). It’s very personal and there’s always that worry that someone will take what you say and use it against you. In short; be gentle with me.
As you can imagine, the past few weeks have been something of an emotional rollercoaster for myself and my family. Grief is an unfathomable creature, making you feel one way and then another without so much as a moments notice. I imagine I’ve been quite difficult to live with, really.
I’ve suffered most of my life with some form of anxiety or depression, remembering even as young as four or five the abject panic that set in when I was away from my Mum, the cutting out of primary school 5 minutes after I was dropped off and chasing my mum or nan up the road, begging not to be left. Anyway, the point is, I’ve dealt with it for about 20 years and have largely managed to resist taking tablets to get by. I’ve seen counsellors, been given diagnoses and had them taken away again, but I’ve always maintained that there’s no point in giving myself a false high if there’s something underlying that’s causing my issues. I’m anti-paperingoverthecracks, if you will.
A couple of days ago, Husband was listening to me pour my heart out for the millionth time, about how sad I feel, how I feel completely and utterly cheated out of the chance to get to know Lorraine better, something which I took for granted while she was alive and am completely rueing now. At her funeral, I found out she was a fan of The Only Way is Essex and Alanis Morrisette, two things we have in common that I never knew about (despite THIS post. Yes, I know, I got sucked in. What are YOU saying?!) I’m struggling to get my head around the fact that she’s no longer here, my heart actually physically aches for my Dad when I think of how devastated he must be, how he’s got to go about his daily life despite the fact that his world has been torn in two.
My family life is suffering because of my grief, and while I know this is normal, I hate the fact that I’m grumpy, snappy and prone to tears at the drop of a hat. So, I asked Husband, shall I go to the Doctors? Well, he said, you know they’ll just offer you anti-depressants. And it’s true. I don’t know if it’s my surgery or all of them, but ours seem to have a stash of pre-printed prescriptions. Anything physical; antibiotics. Anything mental; anti-depressants. It’s like a conveyor belt where you get handed one or the other, no questions asked.
So, do I take them? I came to the conclusion that it’d be largely pointless. Hear me out, this is not me casting judgement on people who DO take them. Some people’s depression genuinely does come from their body’s inability to process serotonin adequately and they need a helping hand. My ‘problem’ isn’t chemical, it’s real. I could take anti-depressants but when the time came for me to come off of them again, the ‘problem’ will still be there, Lorraine will still be gone and I’ll still miss her. Sure, they’ll give me a boost for now, but I still think I’d be better off going through the natural process and dealing with each stage of grief as it comes.
I was explaining to Husband last night that although I still feel overwhelmingly sad at times, some of that sadness is giving way to a really intense anger that was worrying me. He gave me a wry smile and told me to Google ‘stages of grief’. Step One, denial, Step Two, anger. So while I might be feeling awful at times, at the very least I know I’m normal. And that’s something to be positive about, right?
I don’t know how long it’s going to take and I feel guilty for saying I even want to feel back to normal already, like I’m doing Lorraine a disservice by not permanently grieving, but I know for a fact that it’s not what she’d want. She adored Sausage and would be gutted to think that I was making her suffer with my behaviour. So, I need to use every ounce of mental strength that I have to stop me slipping back into the mire of depression, as it can be so bloody hard to get back out of.
Wish me luck…
9 thoughts on “Guilt, Grief and SSRI’s.”
What a heart-breaking article. I completely understand your stance on anti-depressants. I didn’t take them after a family bereavement, but my Mum did. There was no judgement attached to either of our decisions and it worked out for us both. It always has to be your decision that you own, not something you feel pressured or guilted into.
Thanks for your comments. It’s interesting to know that you’re happy you didn’t take them, I’ve questioned my decision a few times, especially now that I have other stresses in my life which seem to be affecting my health as well. I also worry that, for my Husband and Daughter, I’ve not been the easiest person to live with. Having said that, I do feel happy knowing that, when I come out of all of this, I’ll have done it by myself with no chemical help.
Thanks again for stopping by and for your thought-provoking comments.
You have started on the same road as me with this blog post. I came to you via Jo over at Slummy single mummy as I too am featured in her blog carnival ( I am at No wriggling out of writing). Anti-depressants can help but I started taking them after my dad died and have been on them on and off for the past 20 years now. I will never know whether they have just ‘papered over the cracks’ but I do know there have been times when they have saved me. I do hope that you have found someone to talk the options through with. You have been through a tough time. Take care of yourself x
Hi Suzie, thanks for stopping by. It’s tough isn’t it? Sometimes, as much as I’ve been vocally opposed to ‘papering over the cracks’, I have felt like I could really do with it, just a little bit of respite from the stress and anxiety, but I’m also very scared of going down that path and not coming back up it again, or turning into a different person. Thanks for your kind words, I’ll be coming to No wriggling out of writing to check it out. xxx
You can do this chick, but please give yourself time! It’s been less than a month and she was a huge part of your life. Allow yourself the opportunity to feel these emotions and to remember and grieve for Lorraine.
sending hugs, what a brave post.x
Hi Jayne, life can be so hard, grieving can be a long process, I get tearful when thinking about brother Rob, he’s been gone almost 18 months, I remember similar emotions two or more years after my dad passed away, it does get easier but you’ll never forget those that leave us behind. Of course we can all make a bigger effort and try to know people better while they are still with us but we don’t and we can’t always do it and do these people want to share more with us ? probably not. Baby katelynn was killed by Walmart, that was as tough as it gets, we are getting closer to living with it now. You will do just fine, think a lot, cry a lot. We love you dear girl. Rick