***This is a personal blog. You are not required to read it, nor comment on it. I write what I feel and see.***
What did I get myself into?
I’ve been using Depo-Provera (or its generic equivilant) as my method of birth control since college. Since I started using it, I’ve had a total of 2 periods. One when I went off of it to get pregnant with Em (and subsequently got pregnant right after) and one after I gave birth. I haven’t had a normal cycle in 9 years. I also haven’t really needed birth control in 4 years. I just enjoyed not having a menstrual cycle every month, not bloating, not having to endure the emotional ups and downs of hormone fluctuation, the fabulous acne that gets worse a week before my period and not having to buy feminine products in bulk. Being on Depo for such a length of time is risky, though: it can affect your bone density. Which is why my doc always scheduled me for a check-up when I went in for my yearly female checkup. I started on Depo because pills made me sick; I figured puking them back up 10 hours after taking them wasn’t doing me any good. But that was 9-10 years ago and there are now lower dosage options. So I’m going off the Depo. I was due for my next shot at the end of February…
I’ve been a smoker since my senior year of high school, slowly increasing the number of packs-per-week I consumed. I quit a few weeks ago and have done well, only having cravings when I am in certain situaions: driving to and from work and after Em goes to bed. These times are my “free” time; times when I can do whatever I please and no one can tell me not to. And smoking for me ultimately started out as a way to express my independence. A kind of “you can’t tell me what to do” thing. As of today, I’m 2 days away from being smoke-free for 4 weeks. It’s not easy. There are times I definitely want a cigarette…
And now I’m experiencing full-blown “what the hell kind of monster have I turned into” moments thanks to changing my life 2 steps at a time.
I recently remembered a time when I involuntarily quit smoking: when my now-ex-husband was deployed overseas. Through a series of events, I once ended up with very little cash between paychecks. I had to make a choice: buy food or buy cigarettes. I made the smart choice. But those two weeks of no cigarettes turned me into a crazy person. Literally. I have a friend whom I’ve known practically my entire life that I still have not worked up the courage to apologize to for the shitty thing I did to her. Knowing now what I learned shortly after that episode, I shouldn’t really be ashamed to talk to her about it. Basically I was missing my husband, missing my cigarettes and desperate for company. My friend drove the 60-something miles to hang out with me, to console me. And I wouldn’t let her in the apartment. I couldn’t. I wanted the company but I didn’t want the company. I wanted to crawl in a hole so no one would see my tear-streaked face. I listened to her banging on the door, yelling at me to let her in, that it was I was f’d up for leaving her outside. I wanted to run to the door, yank it open and hug her with all of my strength. But I couldn’t move from my bed. It was like I could see myself on the bed in the fetal position and no matter how much I yelled at myself to get up, I wouldn’t move. A different friend suggested I see a shrink to find out what was wrong with me; the doc diagnosed me as having depression and gave me a prescription for Lexapro. I took the pills for about a week and stopped because I couldn’t leave the house for the fun digestive side effects I experienced (I’m guessing the formula for the drug has been changed in the 9 years since I took it as none of the side effects listed mention this). But I did just fine without the drugs…
Because by then I was able to afford more cigarettes.
It’s been known for a few years now that nicotine has an antidepressant effect. It is believed that some people with depression self-medicate by smoking without even knowing that’s what they’re doing. Some smokers are even prescribed an antidepressant like Bupropion to start taking a few weeks before they quit smoking and continue to take it for up to 6 months after quitting.
So I’m wondering if the lovely drama-filled posts and tweets I’ve been producing lately are a compliation of fluctuating hormones as my body prepares for it’s first period in almost 7 years and because I’m no longer sucking on cancer/antidepressant sticks. The mood swings from happy and thinking things are great to questioning why it is that anyone even reads any of the crap I put on here is very exhausting. I cried myself to sleep last night. I can cry just about anytime of day. If you asked me to cry right now, I could do it without even thinking about it. And just thinking about crying makes me cry.
A part of me wants to go see my doctor right away and get on something. But I’m going to wait. I’m waiting to see if I still feel the same way after my period.
In the meantime, this up and down (mostly down) is exhausting. Exhausting because I’m having to keep myself still, to prevent myself from doing stupid things I’ll regret in a few horus. In my really down moments I’m VERY tempted to delete this blog, to throw out the things that are taking up couch-space in my living room because they’re in my way, tempted to eat the rest of the mac and cheese because even though I know eating won’t help me, it’s better than just laying down and crying.
So please just bear with me. I’m just so tired. Exhausted.