Happy Mother’s Day

I’m lying on the bed with my now 15-month-old baby boy (toddler really) in my arms. It’s hard to write but I feel compelled to scribble my racing thoughts down.

I’m sad. I’m sad that this is my second Mother’s Day and that nothing has really gotten better in the past year. I’m sad that my husband hasn’t done anything for me, no wishing of Happy Mother’s Day, no breakfast in bed, no roses, no gifts, no nothing. Absolute silence. We haven’t even exchanged two words today. It’s like he enjoys to ignore special days like birthday and Mother’s Day and it always makes me so fucking depressed and sad and upset. 

It’s outside stimuli like this that used to make me suicidal. But I think maybe I’m growing older or just getting better, or maybe I just know I can’t let my mind wallow because I have a baby that deserves a mother who functions. Yeah I think it’s the last one. 

I’m almost done with Effexor. I haven’t taken any in two days and I’m dizzy and my mood swings and depression are back. I tapered off in just about 3 weeks. I wasn’t on a super high dose but it’s still been a bit challenging. Especially now the final 25% that I’m trying to get off by taking it every two days is really tough. 

I think I know why I was on it. After M’s birth I was allllll over the place. Even before his birth I was all over the place. Fuck, I think I’ve been all over the place my whole life! 

Antidepressants make you numb.

They lift your mood so that nothing really stings that bad. Outside events hurt occasionally but you don’t go way down into the abyss of depression anymore.

Without medication my mind is sharp. The mental fog is gone. I’m one of those “non-compliant” patients but I don’t care. I just felt like this is what I wanted to do. I was fed up with the side effects: severe debilitating insomnia, lethargy, tiredness, weight gain. Most of all, as I’ve decided to keep breastfeeding until M self weans, I’ve started wondering what this kind of long-term exposure to venlafaxine from birth will do to him.

My psychiatrist has been doing medical research forever and has done a study on venlafaxine and breastfeeding. He gave the paper to me and I found out that it does go into breastmilk but they hadn’t found any adverse reactions. Yet, these studies were done on little babies and they didn’t follow them into toddlerhood so no one knows if the kids ended up having ADHD or autism or allergies or physical problems. M still isn’t walking for example, and I can’t help but think it’s my fault that he isn’t because he gets milk with venlafaxine. 

I wish I had blogged more during the past year. It’s been absolute hell 80% of the time and bearable the rest. I can barely even remember what happened but I know he has just cried and cried and cried day and night for months and months. At three months I remember him crying 8 hours a day plus the nights. He woke up every two hours up until 14 months. I never slept. For about that 14 months I got max 6 hours of sleep in two hour intervals. 

I don’t know how I am alive. It’s been fucking awful. Sleep deprivation is torture!

I have barely done shit all year. All my ideas of walks on the beach, ocean swimming with baby, getting a job and working from home, art and craft classes and jogging with the baby have gone out he drain. I have barely functioned and barely made it.

The upshot is that it’s getting better. With me and the baby for sure. He cries less and he interacts with you and it’s easier. Oh and he sleeps more! My husband and I almost divorced many a time, both of us threatened the other one many many times during the past year. I’ve wanted to leave so many times, go back to Finland and have my mom help me out with the baby and say fuck this shit and never come back. I’ve been so close!

I tell everyone not to have a baby. It’s tough.  Especially if you have mental illnesses, motherhood just exacerbates everything. I feel guilty for saying it but I have fucking hated everything a lot. And I also feel like I’m not allowed to say I love it. It’s like, happiness is for other people, people I envy and I’m jealous of, but misery is what’s in store for me. I can’t bond and like my baby because it’s not my place. I’m supposed to hate everything.

Ahh so happy Mother’s Day to me and to all the moms battling mental illness, addiction, loneliness, all the single mothers and mothers with special needs kids and rainbow babies and no babies and fur babies. Cheers to you all because you’re the real MVP!

M

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Day Four of Withdrawing from Effexor (Venlafaxine)

I still haven’t told my psychiatrist. I don’t think I will anytime soon. I feel like he’s just gonna tell me it’s a bad idea and that indeed I just need to increase my dose.

Did I say I hate psychiatrists? I do. 

I feel pissed off because I think all the shit feelings I’ve had during the past year are due to side effects from the drug.

  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy
  • Bad dreams
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Moods

All of these are also listed as venlafaxine side effects! I wish I’d never taken it and maybe I wouldn’t have wasted my baby’s first year being lethargic in bed and feeling guilty about not functioning???? 

Getting off of Effexor

Just quick news, I have decided to get off of my antidepressants and I know tapering off is important and side effects can be awful but I just don’t want to be on anything anymore.

Pretty sure my life is messed up because I’m on it anyway. I’m lethargic, anxious, tired, have no energy for anything usually and I keep putting on weight. I first thought it was because I wasn’t sleeping because of the baby, then I thought it was the depression, but now I actually think I feel like shit because of Effexor.

Wish me luck! I know last time I got off of citalopram I ended up on the psych ward….

M.

Rachel Dolezal and Race Faking

I have been meaning to write about this topic for some time because it’s really personal to me. Like Rachel Dolezal, I also have had serious identity crises over the years and despite being 100% white of Scandinavian origin, I lived as a black person for a few years in my early twenties.

For those wondering how a blue-eyed blonde white woman be thought of as black, well, let me tell you a story about race, ethnicity and social markers. There are things people look for in other people to place them in a familiar category and unfortunately no matter what your skin color is, if you pick certain things about the African American culture and apply them to yourself, well, people will think you’re just a light skinned black person.

I’m not writing this post to be demeaning or cause controversy or be racist or any of the sort, I could see how that could happen and I can assure you, while all humans have stereotypes and racist and xenophobic attitudes and ideas, this simply is my story and my thoughts and no harm is intended.

I was in college in Wisconsin and got my hair braided with brown extensions. I always had long acrylic nails and wore “Black” clothing brands. I went tanning a lot and that’s about it. My racial identity was changed.

I don’t know exactly why I did it. I didn’t grow around black people or any foreign people for that matter. I don’t know why I picked that “race” but somehow I started identifying with the African American culture in high school and that’s it. 

I also didn’t ever feel like I belonged. I remember someone asking my mom once if I’d been adopted. I didn’t have the values everyone around me had. I felt like an outside most of my life. I kept imagining I had been adopted. My favorite story to tel people was that when I was being born, God made a mistake and sent my soul to the wrong person, and I got theirs, and right now somewhere in Central Africa there is a girl who loves skiing and moose meat. 

I think the abuse and bullying and traumas like that made me change my identity. I went through a period of hating white people. I hated what white people around the world had done to other people and because I went through trauma I could identify with people who had been traumatized. I think. 

I have a mixed race child now but it’s not because I hate white people. I just kind of got used to dating Caribbean people as I was really into the culture in London, and I haven’t really dated white people in a long time.

So I get what Rachel had done. I totally do. I also change my name legally and took an easy African middle name. (She recently changed her name). Rachel’s story is my story. I get her. It’s not faking it’s much deeper than that. 

I think I’m comfortable with my racial identity now. I used to think in racial terms, like, I didn’t wanna have white friends and I couldn’t watch a white movie and so on, but I’m cool now. I’m over racialization and I do honestly see people as people, but I get that everyone is a product of their culture and their socialization. 

I don’t know what I think about my baby. To me he’s not black and he’s not white, he’s Finnish and he’s American and he’s Jamaican and he’s just his own person. I hope that one day we can get rid of racism on all sides and just see people as people and see cultures and see tradition and see countries and nations, but not judge based on color of the skin.

M

I have not self harmed in one year!

I was thinking about it the other day and I realized I actually haven’t done any cutting or anything for over a year!

That’s actually really big for me because I think from the age of 9 or 10 or whenever I started cutting, not a year has gone by without me doing it.

It has to be the baby. I think he’s the only reason why I haven’t gone there even when I’ve felt the familiar urge. There have been times when I’ve felt desperate to relieve the mental pain through a physical outlet but somehow I’ve managed not to drink, smoke cigarettes, or cut. I think it’s pretty huge but I of course can’t go on shouting it from the rooftops.

So I wrote about it here. My only outlet for the real raw truths about my life. It feels comforting to know I always have this space.

M

Baby M is one years old!

Or is it one year old? In any case, yes, it’s been a year since that traumatic day when he entered this world.

What a crazy year its been. I don’t think I have ever in my life gone through both this much and this little at the same time.

I mean. I haven’t really worked in a year. My employer let me go after my 3-month maternity leave (unpaid) because I asked to work from home because of extreme postpartum anxiety and they said no. So in that way I haven’t done much at all. 

But at the same time I’ve popped out a baby and now he’s an 18-pound boobie monster. So in that way I’ve gone through a lot!

I will write another post about what motherhood has been like because it’s a whole topic of its own.

So on this momiversary I just wanted to take stock of everything and marvel at how quickly this whole damn year went!

M