Un-Medicating Mamma


Holy Mother,

I hardly know where to begin. I have had absolutely no desire to write. Not just here but anywhere, and if you knew me well enough, you would know that this can only signify Bad Things.

I have, of course, been busy with life, the universe and everything. My wee Bear approaches two (TWO!) with unseemly haste, my Beanie girl has started school and is loving it as only a preppy can. The hubble and I have decided to up sticks and move to Maine (in America! – more on this later), and I have been squashing in any crafty bigs of goodness, sewing, knitting, needle felting etc, that I can manage. Bear and I have just come back from four days in a ‘sleep school’ *sigh*. I don’t know how I feel about any of that to be honest. It was a desperate attempt by a desperately tired and resentful mamma to get some much needed sleep for the wee man and, more importantly, myself. And – three weeks ago – I decided to come of the anti-depressants.

I know. And I have felt like I have nothing to say.

I guess I just don’t want to re-cover old, OLD, ground about how difficult I have found this mothering journey etc. Yet I am still so stuck in this place of extreme tiredness and, often, desperation for things to change, to turn a corner, to improve. And the truth is, the medication has only served to separate me even further from my true emotions. I have difficulty identifying how I really feel at any given moment. As someone who detaches emotionally when things get tough, or threaten to overwhelm, this is not a better scenario at all. In fact, it has been interesting to note just how far back into myself I had retreated. I reduced my dose by half and suddenly there I was again. Not in a happy, clappy, all is well kind of way. But neither in a mad, bad and dangerous to know kind of way. So that’s, if not fine, then manageable. In fact, my (super awesome) therapist (also called Kat) noticed the difference straight away. And yes, the emotions have come flooding back to the surface. They are not comfortable emotions – rage, anger, resentment, grief, sadness, guilt – the usual all star performers in a mother’s emotional repertoire – but they are real. And, for some reason, that’s ok with me. The week after I reduced my dose, I cried for the first time in at least 9 months, if not longer.

In some ways its been interesting to experience the anti D’s. I am someone who will try all alternative and natural remedies before I finally give in to medication, for the most part at least, yet the meds did take the edge of the unbearable anxiety I felt at times. They even kept the lid more securely on the simmering pot of my anger. They did NOT help me process that anger though and so, here I am, a year and a half later, still simmering, still struggling to find a way through these tempestuous emotions and still fighting to escape the attention of this big black dog that has been following me for nearly six years.

And yet.

There is a subtle shift. It’s not visible yet, merely a sort of soft haze around my consciousness telling me that things are changing. My therapist is helping me to investigate a little and yes, I am still Miss Resistance 2012 – (retaining my crown since 2006!), but I am showing up and being called to pay attention. And I am so ready for this part of my life to be over. I am ready to walk in the sunshine of motherhood finally and to really connect to my babes. I am ready to find more mature ways to handle my frustrations, my anger and my resentment.

Sleep school has helped a little in this. It has at least helped me see how attached my son has become to me being his pacifier. He wakes every hour or two to reassure himself that I am still there (and I always am) and goes back to sleep with a gentle pat and some loving words. And now I don’t have to boobie feed him every time he wakes. We have weaned him from his during the night feeds (which were comfort not nourishment) and his during the day feeds, which, as he approached two, feels right. Sadly, the night waking has increased in frequency as he adjusts to this new approach but I am hopeful that with some gentleness and yes, some firmness, he will learn to sleep without my constant presence and that will do us both the world of good. Seriously, don’t underestimate the damaging power of long term sleep loss. It is NOT good. So my attachment parenting approach has taken a bit of a battering recently but I would rather let go of some of that, than continue to be the Banshee mother that this much chronic sleep loss has created. It’s five and a half years and counting since I had any kind of regular sleep pattern or uninterrupted sleep. I think I’m going to let myself off the guilt, just this once!

As to other things, like Maine, I guess I just finally reached a point where I knew that I needed to be back in the Northern Hemisphere again, for a while at least. The opportunity to move there came about through my husband. He finally found an agency he wants to work at in Portland and so we are in the process of negotiating the who, what, where, when, why and how much of the move. I honestly cannot wait. I cannot wait to see snow. I cannot wait to have the seasons in the right order again, to celebrate Hallowe’en in true crazy over the top American style, to feel Christmassy right up till the day and maybe even a little after it. I cannot wait to have an adventure, even though I know it will be tought to uproot, leave behind my many, hard won, deeply loved friends here and my support network of family. I will be more alone in Maine than I have been before, but I will also be experiencing something new. Hopefully, I will be able to connect with other crafty mammas and forge connections that will be nourishing and fun and enjoy time away from my Southern Hemisphere home.

So much change is in the air. So many things to be thankful for. So much to prepare for. It’s good. It’s scary. It’s exciting. I think life is good when it’s like that, don’t you?

Until next time. Here’s some pretty pictures of what I have been doing with my (complete lack of) time.

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2 thoughts on “Un-Medicating Mamma

  1. Hey lovely! I have been missing you. We so need to catch up. Life certainly sounds like it has been huge for you, but you know I’m not far away. Come over for a cuppa and bring that sweet boy of yours for a play. How exciting for you about Maine, we are still in the throws of what we are going to be up to next year, hopefully it will included the Northern Hemisphere. Take care, and call me! Jacinta xx

  2. hello beautiful mama!! Holy heck!! since you’ve moved your blog it’s been hard for me to keep up with you (your new blog hosting “whatever it is thingy” is not compatible with the yahoo format I use to keep track of blog-pals (but now that I’ve found you on fb… ha!) So, now wait… what?? You and your clan are thinking of moving to Maine in the good old U. S. of A.?? Is this going to happen? Okay, Maine is no where near me, but it’s in the same country… so… hmmm… Do send me an email when you have a chance…

    xo

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