Anxiety, Motherhood, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, Postpartum

I’m so tired. Who am I?

I’m so tired.

I have been taking a medication since getting the diagnosis. And it just makes me so tired. I take it before bed, but I am still wrecked in the morning. One coffee won’t do. I feel like I’ve had a handful of Gravol or Benadryl. That groggy.

I’m a Mom. I’m a breastfeeding Mom. This little pill is compromising what I want to accomplish as a mother. Or just as a person.

I can’t pump (express the milk) after the medication is taken as it is not the best for baby. So, I have to wait until morning to pump again. And if I could get up at 5:00 am then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But this little pill has me so groggy and exhausted, I simply cannot get out of bed. As a result, hours go by and that’s signaling my body to make less milk. So, now I am stressed out about that too and the inability of not having enough food for my baby (don’t worry, he is supplemented with formula, he is one well fed baby!).

I didn’t take the pill the other night, and when I woke up at 5:00 am I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. I had so much energy. I got so much done. Like, SO MUCH. I felt like SuperMom! I had my energy back and it was wonderful. The down side? I noticed the OCD and anxiety so much more.

Truth be told, I didn’t think there would be much of a difference. When I had started the medication, I felt like I didn’t notice much improvement in symptoms. So, when I realized that I did not take it, I assumed my day would be like any other. Wrong.

I was indeed full of energy. But I was also full of unwanted thoughts, worry and angst. It was paralyzing at times. I must’ve checked my heart rate 150 times.

It doesn’t help that my POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) (heart arrhythmia) is acting up. I’m now 8 weeks postpartum so my water and blood volume are going back to normal following pregnancy, making my POTS worse. Also, it’s been hot AF here the past few days. I am very intolerant to heat with my condition and high heat aggravates my heart a lot. So, there I was with a wonky heart and anxiety and the compulsion of measuring my heart rate repeatedly all mushed together. Blech.

Without the medication I was fully aware of what was going on and how much I obsessed over my heart, even though I knew I was going to be fine.

I’ve also been noticing these compulsions in everything else I do. It’s really sending me through a loop. I hate it. I see myself doing all these things and I don’t know what’s me and what’s the OCD. I like to make lists. My lists have lists. I love them. But I’ve been so scared of lists since finding out I have OCD, that I have been avoiding them. Being told this thing I love to do is part of a mental illness really spooks me.

I’ve always turned every pop tab on any pop can ever 90 degrees. Always. I never thought of it as weird, just something I did. I always knew which pop was mine? Now, realizing I couldn’t drink my pop without the tab turned to the side, there’s another compulsion to add to my lists. Oh, my lists.

I count everything I do. I just thought this was a way to occupy my brain. I don’t usually count things to a certain number, I just count everything until I am done the task. Things like how many times I stir my coffee, how many steps from my car to the store, how many brush strokes of my hair until I am satisfied, things like that. But now I find out that that’s an indicator of OCD? It feels like everywhere I turn here’s a problem with my brain. And I just don’t like it. I can’t tell where I end and where the OCD begins. Are we one in the same? Maybe. But that makes me feel uneasy.
If I ever get this under control and “fixed” as it were, what will be left over? Will I still like me? Who am I?

Do I take this medication and sacrifice the best food source for my baby? Or, do I not and have loads of energy but be in a constant state of angst?


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