Evan is just over two months old. FOUR TIMES in the past two weeks, I have had people ask me when I am due while at work. FOUR TIMES. One went even as far to ask "boy or girl?" ...so clearly I looked far enough along to know the gender. I don't have the guts (no pun intended) to correct them, so I just kind of smile and walk away. The first two times it was funny to me and I joked about it. The second two times... it got freaking OLD and started to make me feel really bad.
It also got me thinking, though. I take terrible care of myself. There was a time, many years ago, when I never took any medication. Ever. I remember a time I had a headache and my mom suggested I take a Tylenol. It literally never occurred to me to take some Tylenol, and when I did take some, I was amazed that it helped! I just never thought "medicine" when I had any little symptom.
Being diagnosed with post-partum depression 9 years ago after Ethan's birth, I believe, started the downward spiral of turning to chemicals to help every little symptom. When I saw my doctor and was evaluated (I was in a very, very bad spot, so medication definitely saved me, please don't get me wrong) ...I had no idea what I was taking, as I had never heard of antidepressants before. Prozac? Zoloft? Lexapro? All foreign to me. I remember she also gave me Ativan for the panic attacks I was having, and I couldn't even pronounce it. I had no idea what it was, I just knew it made me sleepy.
I haven't taken medication for the past 9 years straight and I honestly don't know exactly when it started and what started it, but I because I legitimately do suffer from anxiety and depression, I started taking an antidepressant daily, and an anti-anxiety medication as needed. My anxiety caused horrible insomnia, which lead to being prescribed a sleeping pill on top of that. Then it got to where I was dependent on sleeping pills to fall asleep, and since there is literally NO sleeping pill that is safe for every night usage, I was put on all different kinds of medications to help, none of which worked or magically cured the inability to fall asleep without relying on some form of pill. Then I started getting daily headaches, so I took Excedrin. Excedrin is VERY well known for causing rebound headaches, which meant I started taking it more frequently, which lead to taking it daily for the headaches. So I would take a pill to help me sleep, wake up feeling groggy with a nagging headache (gee, wonder why?) and take medication for the headache and caffeine for energy and to make me feel more alert, then at night repeat the cycle. It has now gotten to the point that for every little symptom, I think, "there's gotta be a medication for this." Where the heck did I go wrong??! OF COURSE I feel crummy every single day. My body has literally zero idea how to just do what it was meant to do. My brain has become so trained to think this is okay, that I have allowed it to continue far too long.
(This started out as a weight thing and I totally went off on a tangent...stay with me, here.)
Bottom line, I feel like I lost control. I eat terribly. I skip meals very often and I love sugar and carbohydrates like it's nobody's business so I am sure my blood sugar is all over the place (no, I am not diabetic) ...but that can't be helping the headaches. When I work a 12 hour shift, I will not use the bathroom ONCE during the entire time, so my fluid intake is horrendous (hello, headache!) I don't even allow my body to try to fall asleep naturally, so that thought is completely foreign to me now, but I have zero consistency in my sleeping regimen... I stay up late, some days I nap, I occasionally get to sleep in on the weekends when I'm off work and Jay is home, etc. There is no routine whatsoever. I don't exercise AT ALL with the exception of my job (which I do feel is pretty physically demanding).
So yeah. A light bulb went off in my over-medicated brain this afternoon. I hate people looking at me and thinking that I am pregnant when I am certainly NOT. It hurts my feelings and makes me feel more self-conscious than I already am. But... obviously I am showing the signs of being very out of shape to make people question it so I can't place blame on anyone but myself.
So I am going to try something new. I'm going to "detox", so to speak. I'm going to attempt more structure. Less inactivity, more activity. It's going to suck. BIG time. I'm already feeling the caffeine headache. But I am going to do this. If not for me and my own pride, then for my kids who need a positive role model in their lives and we can ALL benefit from healthy living. My 9 year old already plays way to many video games. This is an opportunity to break him from the television and get active. My 3 year old is SUPER active, but has my sweet tooth. If the two of us don't have the sugar in the house, then we will have to find something else to satisfy the urge. She's 3 and I am 31. It's time to retrain her little brain NOW while she's little than to wait until she's in her 30's like me. She's worth it.
I have no idea if I can do this. I don't have much confidence in myself at all, but it's worth a shot, right?
That's what I thought.