Q: What is the easiest, fastest way to make something change?
A: Blog about it.
When I wrote the babble piece about my decision to take anti-depressants last winter, I was still working on accepting this dark part of me. I was also feeling just a tad bit high from feeling better, especially the change in my ability to tolerate the type of frustration that is an inevitable part of parenting. My longer fuse was the best, most high-inducing result of my medication.
I have come down just a bit now.
I still feel like the medication I take has helped me immensely. I believe it is a huge part of why my life, my marriage, my parenting and my psyche are so much better today than this time last year. Pr0zac brought my mood up enough that the community building, self care and therapy I've been working so hard on actually made a difference. But sure enough, as soon as I blogged about it, extra-publicly, a harsh reality set in: I still get angry and I still don't know how to deal with it.
Being home with the girls this summer was not easy for me. Their intense interactions, while often heartbreakingly loving and sweet, are just as often loud and combative. My days are filled with high drama, even higher decibel levels, and constant mediation. This week has its own challenges: CG's away and Z started full day school, with our usual collective issues in transitioning.
In the past few weeks, I've found myself gritting my teeth again, yelling when I should have walked away, apologizing later. It was a particularly ironic time to also fielding comments on a public piece about Feeling Better. There have been moments I felt like a fraud.
On the whole, I am feeling so much better. On the whole, I am happier, more patient on this medication.
And I am still a deeply imperfect person. I still get frustrated and angry with my children and medication has softened that but can't fundamentally change that.
When talking to my mom last night, I lamented a scene earlier in the day, when the girls repeatedly interrupted a phone conversation I was having and then followed me while I tried to get away from them to calm myself down. "But I was yelling and stomping around and felt so angry and out of control," I said to her.
"That's what anger looks like," she said kindly. "It's okay to get angry."
I know it's okay to get angry - theoretically. I know it's supposed to be healthy to let it out. But I hate the way it feels: the muscular tension, the burning desire to destroy something, the momentary lapse of my relative sanity. And I hate that my children, who look to me as an example of how to behave, who are so small and vulnerable, see me like that.
Z and I talk a lot about what to do with our "bad" feelings, because she's an emotional, intense, sensitive person, too. We talk about how it feels to be sad or angry or frustrated, what we want to do when we feel that way but shouldn't because it might hurt other people or ourselves, what we can do to help ourselves that is healthy and reasonable.
I just wish I was more than a step ahead of her on this journey.