Just to Feel Pleasure


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Self-Care Tip #189 – Heal for yourself, and you’ll see that also, everyone heals.

The best thing I ever did was go on antidepressants.

Bianca sat, but her whole body was talking.  She was telling me about her changing life.  She had read some of her journal from a year ago when she pounded on herself for her behaviors.  She thoroughly grieved the time with her children when they heard her scream about small things that kids do.  She told me about her sons face when she was irritable.  He showed all the waiting tension that an open child will when waiting for Mom to lose it.  She was trying to push it aside and think rather about how she now could finally enjoy them.  Bianca said,

I just had no idea before how much better life could be.

Bianca’s face became tight and she didn’t make eye-contact,

There’s no way to describe what it’s like to not enjoy your kids – My own kids! – for most of their born lives and then wake up and experience something different.  I just can’t explain what it means to now actually like being with them.  I’ve always loved them but I didn’t feel the pleasure and I hate that.  I want that time back but I can’t have it and I can’t give it to them either.

I’m so scared it will end, the pills will stop working and I’ll lose this new life.

Before her medication, Bianca worked hard at taking care of herself.  She was a check-list of responsible self-care.  Bianca thought it was important that I knew this.

  • Aerobic exercise – check!
  • Healthy diet – check!
  • Sleep hygiene – check!
  • Bianca talked about God but things got confusing for her there.  She didn’t like to think about Him being on “a list.”  He was in her life and didn’t feel He failed her even though she couldn’t feel pleasure or joy.

Still, she continued to coil up and release hard punchy words at her kids and then hate herself for it.  She had prayed so much about this and wouldn’t even mind if God had to puppet her, if that’s what it took, in order for her to treat her kids better.  She could not stop herself from being what she called,

Crazy Mommy.

But now, after she was treated, Crazy Mommy was gone.

Aside from dropping the shame, the best thing for Bianca was knowing that her kids could trust her, felt safe with her and that she felt safe with herself.  Everyone was healing subsequent to Bianca healing.

How many of you have told us a similar story.  A similar rescue.  Yet, never-the-less others of us are afraid to go there.

Question:  How are you present with others who don’t understand your rescue story?  How do you stand beside someone who needs medical help for emotional illness but won’t accept it secondary to stigma?  Please tell us your story.

17 thoughts on “Just to Feel Pleasure

  1. I remember how medication buffered problems and how amazing that was at first like my first pair of glasses at 12 years old. Each problem just became nothing more than just another problem and no more difficult than the other.
    I even thought music sounded better and was more clear. Driving to work I would think wow life can be this good. If only I had learned this earlier in my life. At one point I made the mistake of discontinuing use and the results were not good. It had been years and I forgot how different it was. Now I question if perhaps the effectiveness was little diminished and that medication could stop working. I would never consider stopping today.

  2. my borother and mam never admit they belive i have BPD in contrast one has ocd the other had a brakedown they just dont take what goes with BPD they justkinda ignore it my sister on the other hand does my mam and brother just think im acting my sister is prepared to take what i say and when i am in trouble she will listen and confort me she went kinda threw what i went threw but a little bit worse i might go into acting maybee noti like what i do at the moment i wouldnt mind been famous but i would not like the fame i would like to be ritch but i wouldnt like the money i wish in a way that i didnt have what i have becuase explaining it to them they just wont accept it but ive got my sister at least thats one out of 3 better than none

  3. The 12 Steps tell us we do not try to “doctor” others and set the boundary at cleaning up our side of the street. However, we cannot ignore the obvious suffering of intimates. It is unsettling that with all the new thinking of our times that has led to the evaporation of stigma issues in race, religion, gender, and especially illness and even more precisely mental illness, a sense of stigma still exists. I think we tend to stigmatize ourselves more than stigma is imposed by external society. Do we think the whole world is looking at little old us and saying “shame, shame”? Of course not ! If I have any type of illness, why would I allow the opinions of others (real or imagined) prevent me from seeking treatment? If my illness is disabling me, why would I allow anyone to make me feel ashamed of wanting to heal. I still am ashamed of events and behaviors of my alcoholic past and still have regrets for that past , but I am not ashamed to be in recovery and never miss the opportunity to share the freedom and joy I have found in recovery. They say “I am a grateful recovering alcoholic” Others ask why one would be grateful for such a curse. The answer is that I have a program that enables be to be well, to redesign and reprogram myself in a positive ways in all areas of life, while the non afflicted do not. My birthday is coming !!! In seven more days I will be 9 years clean and sober.

  4. Again, I relate to this story. For some reason I have always felt a sense of resentment towards my daughter. I don’t know if it comes from the abusive relationship I had with her dad, but she reminds me so much of him at times by the things she says and her “mean” faces. She looks so much like him. I love my daughter with all of my heart and will do anything to protect her. I don’t understand how I can have this resentment towards my own daughter. Our relationship has been getting better since I’ve been on meds, and I try my hardest when I feel that feeling of resentment coming over me. It was so bad at one point where I didn’t even like when she touched me, even if it was to give me a hug. Her touch just reminded me so much of her dad. I am so ashamed to finally admit this to anyone, but I know its not her fault for the things her dad did to me and that they are not the same person. I truly believe that the meds I am taking has helped me take the steps I need to completely overcome those feelings I had of my daughter.

  5. I’ve been off my meds for a month now, but while I was on them I was finally able to feel happy – something I didn’t believe I was capable of.
    We need to heal ourselves in order to truly engage with the important people in our lives.

    • first of all, i really can’t stop cheering for the title of your blog! awesome! i’ve always thought our navels are mesmerizing.
      i like what you’re saying about presence. keep us posted on how this goes for you. 2+ months after stopping meds, things can get tricky. blessings.

  6. My family – pretty much all of them – has, since I started taking MEDS for depression, not approved of what I was doing, who was giving me the prescriptions, who I was seeing for therapy, what I was like on (or off) the huge variety of medications I have been put on over the years. I have said on this site that I put my appointments on my calendar in my own shorthand. I try not to talk about what I’m taking or when I see a doctor for emotional problems. I had gained almost 100 pounds since I started taking antidepressants, and can’t get those pounds off.

    As a result of all of the above, I took myself off everything but Klonopin and the thought of starting any new medication for depression or anxiety or post-traumatic stress terrifies me. Reading this blog last night almost caused a panic attack! However, when I think about it rationally, getting back on any medication or starting a new one has more to do with what my family and friends will think than what the medications will do to me or for me, and that’s silly. I have no reason to even tell anyone if I don’t want to. It’s just remembering the comments and the look on faces…..

    The sad thing is that I know that both of my children would be better off if they were on something that would at least take the edge off. One called me this morning as I was one my way home from seeing the psychiatrist I have found here – and actually feel comfortable seeing!! – and asked how I handled GERD because she is experiencing the symptoms of GERD herself. I know my daughter’s stress level; I know why she’s stressed; I know she would be better off on not just something like Nexium but something like Prozac; and, incredibly sadly, I know, because she’s told me many times, that she will NEVER take any antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication because of what I “went through”. Do I feel guilty? You bet I do!! But all I can do is love her, give her suggestions IF she asks, and pray…A LOT!!

    This was a tough one, Sana. Thanks for posting it, though. It’s made me think – and re-think – and that’s a good thing….I think. :-{

  7. Dear Dr. JQ, problem is…where do we find a docktor like you. One who knows not every pill fits every patient and to LISTEN to the specific signs and symptoms like a cardiologist knows the rhythms of different types of heart maladies…the whole person….

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