My mother would like to know what the point of having a blog is if I'm not going to write about her grandchildren so HERE YA GO, MOM
In which the bershon might kill me

Side effects

I went to see the brain doctor today. Before I say anything else, I want to tell you how much I LIKE my brain doctor. With the exception of my beloved but not entirely effective naturopath, she's the only medical person I've seen about anxiety who trusts my reporting of my own symptoms. Does that make sense? I felt like every other doctor was either comparing me to the last anxious/depressed person they saw and copying their prescription OR filtering everything I told them through a Can't Trust A Half Crazy SAHM With An English Degree filter. This doctor BELIEVES ME. 

So going in today to talk about WEIGHT GAIN was not as painful as it could have been (and HAS been in the past. Previous Brain Doctor: "You're probably just eating more." YA THINK?) Well, it was just a checking in appointment, but since weight gain is basically my only side effect, that ended up being the topic of conversation. FUN TIMES. 

The bad part is that I've gained a lot of weight. Sometimes I feel okay about it. Most of the time I don't. And then there are days when I feel horribly ashamed and hate myself. Like, more than the average lady is ashamed of and hates her body. 

The good part is that my doctor agrees that the meds have played a large part in my extra padding (even when I told her how much cake I eat - she said, "I don't know, this is more weight than just CAKE") and she suggested a few options. The one I'm going with is lowering my dose for a while and combining that, when school starts again, with the Taking Care Of Myself routine I used to have before meds made eating well and exercising feel totally pointless. I was going to the gym pretty regularly before school got out and even though I wasn't losing weight, being active made me not hate myself as much. You know? And it was SO GOOD to have a regular schedule for exercise. Sometimes I beat myself up for not being able to lose weight when I was able to lose so much weight after having Molly, when I had TWO BABIES. But I remind myself that they were BABIES and had nowhere to go and were nice long nappers in the afternoons. I DID have more "me" time then! Believe it or not. 

ANYWAY. We'll see if that makes any difference. I don't feel particularly hopeful, but I do like having a PLAN. Or something to TRY. It will require me stepping on scale, something I haven't done in a few months, and I am horrrrrrrrified at the prospect. But my doctor doesn't trust me so much that "just going by how my pants feel" will be enough data for her. Unfortch. If it works and I'm still feeling like a normal person, then yay! If I get anxious, I'll go back up to my current dose. WE SHALL SEE.

In the meantime I remind myself over and over and over that I would rather struggle with how clothes look on my body than be anxious. THAT IS HOW MUCH I DO NOT WANT TO BE ANXIOUS. I would rather stress about what shirts hide my muffin top and if they go with these pants or that skirt or maybe I should just give up and wear that maxi dress for the nineteenth day in a row. I would rather not be able to wear most of whatever they're selling at the Loft than be anxious. (Not that I like anything at the Loft these days. Hit or miss, that place.)

Phillip completely wholeheartedly agrees and does not seem to mind my expanding size at all. He says so often and I almost believe him. I really really wish that made me feel okay about myself, but guess what! It doesn't really help! Is that a women-in-general thing or is that just ME? It seems like it should help. It helps right when he says it, and then I go back to wondering how to cut my hair because I think my neck is too fat for a pixie.

Anyway, this was not meant to be a Woe Is Me post or a I'm Doing So Poorly post... I just really wanted to write about What It's Like and be honest, for my experience anyway. I don't want to blame it all on the meds, I mean, I eat a LOT of cake, especially when NOT eating cake doesn't appear to have any benefits. I think the truest way to say it would be that meds have made it next to impossible for me to LOSE weight. I am a responsibility taker! I take responsibility for the cake!

But my doctor, who has DEGREES and an OFFICE and a PRESCRIPTION PAD thinks it's a bit more than that and it is VALIDATING. She had ideas and that is HELPFUL. And when I told her that I've been chubby my whole life and that my two sisters are cute and thin and so much smaller than me, but *I* have a SCINTILLATING PERSONALITY, she laughed. Does it sound like I think she's a fantastic doctor because she likes me? YOU'RE RIGHT AND I'M KEEPING HER. 

I am not my pants size. And even if I could fit into the size 8 jeans I keep stashed in the back of my closet, I would not be a better person. I might even still not like the way I look. I would probably still take issue with many parts of me, just like every other woman I know, of every size. The "celebrating the body that produced three amazing humans!" perspective doesn't completely speak to me, but I do think the person INSIDE my body is pretty awesome. I like me. It's been nearly a year since I started this new med and it's been a good one. Lots of great stuff happening, new stuff, fun stuff. It's a near-daily struggle not to let a year of weight gain cancel out all that great stuff, but it's a struggle I generally near-daily win. 

Comments

Carrie

I don't have much input other than the fact that I saw you last week and you looked beautiful as you were and you are friendly and compassionate and your children are nice little people. That my kids talk about incessantły. You are not a number on your scale or clothes, you are God's daughter who prays for others and lives her family and friends and I think you are terrific. I am blessed to have you as a friend.

Katie

As a primary care doctor (though obv not your doctor) and long-time reader (mostly lurker), I approve of both your priorities (not being anxious is more important than weight) and plan (lower dose, more exercise, close follow-up).

LB

I could totally relate. My weight has ballooned since I've been taking a particular SSRI, but without it I'd be a nervous wreck. Living life mostly anxiety-free is a beautiful thing. I just hate that I can't commit to weight watchers, which helped me lose 15 lbs about 10 years ago, pre-kids. But, I'd rather be overweight than anxious any day of the week.

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