Reprieve

I’ve only ever ridden an actual rollercoaster a couple of times in my life. There is a point where the rollercoaster has plummeted down the crest of a hill and I’m screaming to be let off, certain that we’re all going to die. But then we don’t. The rollercoaster temporarily evens out and there’s relief before the next torturous turn or ascent.

For me, Celexa was my reprieve from my depression. The doctor played with my dosage to get it just right. Too little and I was a sobbing, snotty mess. Too high and I was an absolute zombie, lifeless and emotionless. But with the right dose I was a functioning, productive human being again.

I found myself in a new relationship and within a couple of years I was pregnant. When I was four months along we got married. Unlike my previous elaborate 400 person wedding to my first husband, we opted for a cheesy Elvis wedding in Las Vegas. That’s right. I was married by a singing Elvis. The pictures are ridiculous of course. My husband wore a gangster outfit, Elvis had a one piece rhinestone jumper complete with sideburns, and I was decked out in a cheap wedding dress plump with baby.

As my due date approached I ballooned to the size of a house. I could have had my own postal code. This is my first recollection of the onset of anxiety which I wouldn’t learn until much later in life, is a dancing partner for Bipolar Disorder.

I began to have anxiety about my body, would it ever go back to the way it was? (no shocker here but it did not rebound to pre-pregnancy glory) Could I really push a baby out down there? Could I do it without drugs? What I didn’t realize and wasn’t prepared for was the absolute carnage and horrid aftermath of childbirth. That was something the women in my life omitted from the ‘pregnancy and childbirth is beautiful’ spiels. I don’t remember anything in the manual about adult diapers, hemorrhoids and massive sore boobies. So this is me letting you know that there is some shit that goes on after labour and it is crazy!

But after 21 hours, a good dose of ptocin, some laughing gas and an absolutely brilliant epidural (I strongly endorse lol), I had a beautiful baby girl that I affectionately dubbed the Bear. After three days we were able to go home and then it hit. I knew literally nothing about keeping a baby alive. Cue the anxiety and stress and an increase in my meds. Overall I think I did ok and we fell into a nice rhythm, no crazy ups and no crazy downs (mind you everything is kind of a blur as a new mom). But life isn’t one steady straight track and I didn’t realize that the rollercoaster was kicking into another gear and that some of the screws in the structure were letting loose…

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