"Keep a journal of your feelings and responses," said Dr. Christine. Very well. Let me just say that I rather loathe having joined the ranks of the medicated; and while I know this is an irrational position, having never questioned the right of anyone else to seek whatever medical assistance is required in the pursuit of sanity, I am yet deeply conflicted.
I have been more tired-feeling than usual, which didn't prevent two hours of middle-of-the-night wakefulness last night. There was the added discomfort there of feeling as though genuine sleep was within reach, but just beyond my grasp, and I had to get out of bed and pace the house a bit in order to "un-stuck" myself. The day went fine, was enjoyable actually, spent in the company of husband and child after church. I had one glass of wine (and had a cider and a half last night at dinner), which caused no undue discomfort but there is a latent feeling of not wanting/needing to overdue it either. (Dr. said one was ok, but she cautioned me.) Was rather restless this evening. Fell asleep while putting my son to bed, nothing new there; woke up hungry and (strangely enough) kind of itchy. And here I am.
The depression seems (after a mere 36 or so hours) to have been aced by the Zoloft, though my anxiety appears in somewhat sharper focus by contrast, undiminished (though not increased.) There is still that slight fuzzy-headedness, that latent "slowness" I was told to expect and recognized on day 1. I forget the exact term Christine used to describe the effect -- perhaps it was "detachment," or something similar. There's that too. But I recognize the possibility that the anxiety could still blow it out of the water.
Things that concern me about the pill:
- The possibility of weight gain. From what I've read, this has at least as much to do with changes in eating habits as with changes in metabolism, and I know already how my caloric intake affects my weight stability. I suggested to my husband that he be prepared to see me, maybe both of us, cutting back on calories again. Today's yummy dinner notwithstanding. Restlessness probably translates into increased snacking for some people; I'm familiar with that pitfall regardless, so I'm hoping to apply the same old willpower to avoid problems with my weight.
- The possibility of decreased focus and/or creativity. This is a complaint aired to me some years ago by a friend who has long used Zoloft, off and on. I've never forgotten it. She is a different kind of depressed, the can't-get-out-of-bed, suicidal thoughts kind, so I'm hoping both she and I can get around the continued possibility of this side effect.
- The possibility of being "changed" in some substantive, identity-oriented way. This is the toughest fear to pin down. Ostensibly one takes anti-depressants to in fact change one's habits and responses. But I like myself just fine (except when the moods grip me and I don't.) I don't want to give up any part of myself, just treat the parts that don't cooperate -- but the doctor was very cautious around this subject in our conversation.
There may be more to add, but I've gone from itchy back to tired again, and tomorrow's lucidity may depend on tonight's bedtime. I'm nervous about the class I'm teaching tomorrow night -- not sure how much is being left up to me, versus the person who thought up the project in the first place, and I'm therefore unsure how much I need to prepare. I pray that comes off well. It's going to be a busy work week, and I pray too that I can handle it effectively.