“Jesus, it’s just a little pill,” I chided myself when I balked at swallowing the smallest and most innocuous-looking pill I had ever seen. It felt as light as an eyelash. I had taken pills three times this size trying to beat back menstrual cramps or to avoid malaria in India.
“What’s the big fucking deal? It’s just 25 mg of Zoloft. Take it!” Now I was hysterically screaming in my head, while my husband brushed his teeth next to me at his sink.
I couldn’t believe how hard it was to swallow the pill. The hardest part was supposed to be over, right? I had survived the C-section and its attendant pain. Sure, I was still soaking pads with blood almost everyday, but even I had to admit I wasn’t going to die.
But Depression had come unbidden, casting ominous shadows over everything. I was actually grateful my Depression wasn’t subtle. If the Grim Reaper is the Angel of Death, Depression is a seriously pissed off, insatiable asshole whose chief attribute is greed– she wanted all my joy, my spirit, my will and my light.
I pinpointed the day she dropped her bags in my psyche as the day I spent the afternoon certain that Sadie’s umbilical cord was infected (so of course she was going to die), while watching Will and Grace re-runs. I knew Depression had arrived, not because I felt her hot breath on my sore neck, but because nothing that Jack, the hilarious queen of Will and Grace, did made me laugh.
“I have to take this to enjoy my baby? Isn’t the bliss of motherhood my birthright? It’s bullshit that I need medication to enjoy my baby.” I continued my internal debate, while Jeff moved silently around me getting ready for bed.
My shrink had not hesitated to offer a prescription; he wanted me to enjoy my baby. Still I resisted.
“Bob Dole told the world he needed Viagra, so you should be able to swallow a pill for depression! Get a grip!”
I shook the bottle. I had a three-month supply thanks to Costco pharmacy’s unsurprising policy that I had to order in bulk. I studied the one in my hand and reminded myself that I had not hesitated to take the full complement of drugs the hospital offered after my C-section. In fact, I rather enjoyed the appetite suppression from the Norco.
I tried to appeal to my vanity. ”Swallow, Christie, maybe you will lose weight faster.” After all, that extra baby weight wasn’t helping with Depression.
I heard Sadie let out a cry from her co-sleeper. According to the clock, she wasn’t due for a feeding for another hour. I felt my breasts tingle in anticipation of the imminent feeding; my heart tingled with rage at my devastating lack of control.
“Maybe this pill will make these moments easier,” I spoke more gently to myself.