Confessions of an addict

I haven’t run out of things to say, I just haven’t been myself this week.

Everything has seemed more dramatic than usual. By mid-week even radio commercials would send me in a tail spin of hysterical crying. You can imagine what a couple of kids, a house-training puppy, a laundry laden mud-room, selling a vehicle and a husband do to neurotic mood swings. I was shaky, ravenously hungry one minute, then sick to my stomach the next. Sleep deprivation was definitely an issue because the minute I sat down during the day I would fall asleep, which meant that I wasn’t tired at night until dawn. My brain apparently took a vacation as well because I couldn’t remember anything, nor could I make any real decisions without enough anxiety to cause some serious bowel predicaments.

For lack of a better word – I have felt “sick” this week.

It had been a week of hell anyway – we are in the process of selling our minivan but add the super crazy mental status and I was certainly not in the running for mom of the year. By Thursday night, I should have been committed.

DW: “I’m almost done here and wondered if you needed me to get anything on the way home from work.”

Me: “Are you coming home soon…sniffle, sob, sob, hack…’cuz I really need you to come home now.”

DW: “Yeah, soon…is everything alright?”

Me: “NO! Everything is NOT alright. I am a friggin mess (and yes, I used the f-bomb) and I need you to come home now…right now…as soon as humanly possible now before I friggin explode…this car guy is not being nice, this summer schedule totally SUCKS, I don’t have a clue what I am wearing to my brother’s wedding, there is nothing in the house to eat ‘cuz I can’t get to the grocery store, I can’t stop crying, I’m so tired I might even be sleep talking right now and not even know it and to top it off….I just realized about an hour ago that I have forgotten to take my THYROID pills for almost an entire freakin’ week!”


Me: “DW? Are you still there?”

DW: “How many of those thyroid pills can you take at one time?”

About 20 minutes later, he showed up with a bag of salt and vinegar chips, some Rolos and opened a bottle of Corona for me when he got home.

I never realized how dependent on a drug my body had become. I have hypo-thyroid. It causes weight gain, depression, thinning hair, loss of memory, and anxiety among other things. My dad had gone undiagnosed for ten years, when all the while he just needed a simple blood test to determine that he had hypo-thyroid. He finally got help when my Aunt noticed all the hair on his arms and legs was missing and remembered that hair loss was thyroid related. He had been suffering all that time, with no reprieve. The pictures of him during those ten years are almost unrecognizable. His puffy eyes seemed like they would be swallowed up by his face any minute.

I was diagnosed with hypo-thyroid shortly after The Tortoise was born. I thought I was just struggling with a year-long battle of postpartum depression, but when my hair started falling out in huge clumps and my speech started to become slurred, I knew my thyroid needed to be tested. I do highly recommend though that you find a women’s health specialist to run the tests and work with you like I did, because it took a few doctors before anyone would really listen to me. I finally found a doctor that would treat all my symptoms instead of look at a bunch of test numbers and determine that “I fell within the normal ranges” even though it was obvious that I was falling apart minute by minute. Apparently, “the normal range” was determined by a bunch of testing in the 1970’s. The test group was of course, all male, making it next to impossible to compare those test results with the average woman. My doctor explained to me that even if your TSH and other levels fall within the “acceptable” range, if you are still symptomatic, then medication should be prescribed. It was disappointing to have a handful of professionals tell me it was “all in my head” or to “just get over it”. Over the years my prescription strength has changed, but for the most part, it has been a simple process and highly effective.

Until this past week.

A week ago, I filled the prescription, then set it on my kitchen desk instead of bringing it up to the master bathroom. Out of sight, out of mind. Almost a week later, I was a nut job.

It was probably the perfect thing to happen to me this week though. One of my children has been struggling for a while with anxiety, depression, focus, organization and age appropriate communication. She has been tested for diabetes and thyroid issues. Both negative. Then last year it was suggested that she see an ADD specialist, but we politely declined. “Not my child.”

However, this year it hasn’t gotten any better, in fact, a little worse. I finally decided that perhaps after a year of counseling, parent/teacher involvement and many, many bottles of wine we should try another approach. A medication was prescribed on Thursday, but did not get filled right away. I just couldn’t help but wonder if we were only throwing band-aids at the situation. What if we were becoming her crutch and she never figured out enough balance in herself to really be happy in life? I felt like a bad parent for “needing” to get drugs to help mold a child into an organized, honest, well-spoken and motivated young woman. Is medication truly an answer or a crutch?

Yet, after experiencing such major withdrawal first hand, I did come to the conclusion that sometimes, drugs are good.

12 thoughts on “Confessions of an addict

  1. Congrats on the “FP” – I am a bit late to the party… Perusing your blog and reading this post prompted me to comment. My husband and I have spent YEARS testing and advocating for our learning disabled son. He is 12 and entering 7th grade. He was classified in 2nd grade. He is not ADD, as the school phyc. presumes PRIOR to any testing. We did try meds., just to shut some people up (teachers, school phyc.)! He does have an central auditory processing disorder, which essentially means his brain can’t hear well. I still suspect some form of dyslexia is at the root of his disability. The hardest part is advocating on his behalf for the school to provide services because my son looks and acts (relatively) normal. If he was visibly impaired – blind, deaf, missing a limb, an obvious need exists for academic support . I guess what I am trying to impart on you is if your child had a physical disability, you would provide her the things she needed to be successful. Consider her cognitive needs the same way. As upsetting as it is to medicate your child, if it helps her be a happy, successful student, and a happy child, medication is a necessity. I wish you and your family nothing but the best… and lots of wine.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. You are absolutely right, too, it is more important to help her live a happy and successful life than worry about the stigma of medicating. I am so sorry to hear about your son, but he is obviously very blessed to have you and your husband as his advocates. Big hugs to your family.

  2. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. I feel like you were describing me during the month or so when we were house-training our puppy. I would break down and cry because this small little dog was controlling my sleep, mood and my life! But then I gave myself a slap in the face and said, “It’s just a dog.” Plus Bailey stopped peeing everywhere so I got my sanity back…until the pants-nipping started…

    Hope you feel 100% soon!


  3. Ummm, yeah….I’m for drugs. And wine…and a massage by my husband. And I just HOPE all this qualifies for Hypo thyroidism…cuz, I havent been diagnosed with this, but pretty sure it sounds like me. Love you Pajama Days girl! 😉

    1. Thank you for giving in to my whining. I am feeling much better – still need more sleep, but story of a momma’s life, right?

  4. Hello! Found you in a round-about way.

    Everyone needs a crutch, sometimes. And, if it happens to be medically prescribed for a medical condition, so be it. Unfortunately, I have also experienced the “friggin mess” syndrome. But, I have nothing to blame it on, except lack of sleep and bouts of sensitivity…(sigh) Hope you’re feeling better, and best of luck with your daughter’s situation~

    1. Thank you! It is amazing how sleep effects the body, isn’t it? I look forward to popping over and reading your blog!

  5. My son has a developmental disability and my criteria for drugs or no drugs has always been is my son happy or not. The bottom line is that my son is happier, and more successful when he has the correct medications which give him a better quality of life.

    1. Well said – thank you for the support. It helps to hear from people that have had to make similar decisions…and have found success!

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