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Fat Girl Friday - 02/02/2024 - Week 5 - Look Ma, No Meds

Updated: Feb 8

I've been numb to feelings for my entire adult life (and even before that) and I didn't even know it! With the exception of the hand full of times I thought I was "better" and dropped the medicines myself suddenly ( which was not a good idea any of those times) I consistently had at least 2 pills I was throwing down my throat daily since Deshaun was about 3 weeks old.

I know I had medicine before for various reasons, but I don't clearly remember what all for and to be honest I don't care enough to go find out. But, I remember when I was put on Zoloft. I had the hardest time bonding with Deshaun. From the moment I first saw him I had a feeling that sat in my stomach, and a re-occurring thought that ran through my head like freight train.... There was No Way in hell I was good enough to be the mother of such a perfect baby. I didn't say anything when I first noticed the thought was on continuous repeat, or that every time I performed a basic motherly task I would throw up because the rock that lived in my stomach would get so heavy that I had no other choice but to try to push it out of my mouth.

I would sit and stare at Deshaun sometimes until the voices would be screaming in my head all the reasons I'd never be a good mother. I never let it prevent me from taking care of him though, or from playing with Deshaun, but in my head that wasn't enough to feel like he didn't deserve a way better mother than he had got stuck with.

At about 3 weeks, I had a check up with my OBGYN, she was the 1st living being I told about my thoughts of being a terrible mother. She immediately wrote a prescription for Zoloft, a medium dose she said. About 2 weeks later something clicked. I woke up and instantly noticed the rock like feeling in my stomach was GONE. I jumped up and ran to Deshaun's crib, fearing that having him was all a dream, and when I saw him sleeping peacefully I was so in shock. I couldn't believe it, I felt the outside of my stomach and looked at him as if I couldn't figure out how he was there. I couldn't fight the urge to reach down and touch him, and as soon as I touched him he begin to stretch... I swooped him up so fast I'm pretty sure I startled him awake. I hugged him, I FELT how amazing he felt cuddled up to my shoulder in my arms. I took him upstairs and pulled out every single toy we owned and for the first time in almost 2 months... I enjoyed every moment of being a mother that day.

Things with me and Marcus were rocky, there were a whole lot of contributing factors to our inability to get along, and most of it stemmed from my lack of ability to communicate without emotionally breaking down and having an outburst. But I was loving every second of being a mother. Every task I did that before seemed mundane and like I wasn't doing right, I relished in. March 5th seemed like my life was perfect and on track. Marcus got home from work and we decided to order pizza. We watched some random show on tv and played with the baby.

I let Deshaun taste his first piece of pineapple and Marcus and I had a good laugh at the cute little face he made when he licked the pineapple, and then the squinchy face when he realized it was a different flavor than he was used to. We went to get ready for bed and Marcus change Deshaun's poopy diaper, I laughed as Marcus commented on how stinky Deshaun was as Deshaun cooed and kicked. Marcus feel asleep and just as I was dozing off Deshaun started to get fussy. I got up, excited to see him again, and I picked him up. I laid him onto our bed, Marcus naturally moved laying half off the bed (We had a mattress on the floor because I didn't prefer bed frames and Marcus was always terrified of rolling over on Deshaun) and I laid on the other side, as I dozed off with my hand on Deshaun he reached up and grabbed a strand of my hair. I giggled and said "It's not playtime, go to sleep, we'll play more in the morning"

And the next thing I remember I'm standing next to the washer, Deshaun is in the bed. He looks like he's sleeping but there's something heavier than the rock that I JUST got rid of a few weeks before in my stomach. And I'm screaming. I'm crying and I'm screaming. HE'S DEAD. I just KNEW he was dead. I rushed upstairs, almost like I was a SIM and someone else was controlling me, I didn't think about it but I just knew where I was heading. To the bathroom where all the pills were. As I climbed the steps all I could feel was remorse, regret, like if I didn't end it soon I'd literally pass out.

My dad was in the kitchen, right at the top of the stairs that led to the basement where Deshaun laid (and Marcus? I don't know, I couldn't tell you honestly even seeing Marcus in the room before I started my trip up the stairs) and before I could get to the bathroom, my dad stopped me.

"Angie what's wrong" He says as he turns the burner down on the eggs he's cooking.

"Deshaun, He's not breathing" I say frantically but somehow the words slide out of my mouth like butter sliding down hot corn on the cob.

"Did you call 911" my dad asks, as the worry starts to form on his face.

Fuck, I think to myself, why didn't I think of that. What the fuck is wrong with me?

"No" I yell as I reach for the house phone and pound the numbers so hard I swear the phone cracked a little under the pressure.

"911 what are you reporting" An elderly sounding woman's voice says through the speaker.

"My baby, he's not breathing, I need help" I say fighting to remain calm enough for her to understand this was serious.

"Where is the child, Ma'am"

"He's in my room, I'm in the kitchen upstairs"

The lady instructs me to go get Deshaun. I rush down the stairs (I still don't remember where Marcus was, even to this day but I know he was there the whole time) and pick up Deshaun. He feels heavier than last night, and not by just a little bit.

She tells me to get the child to a flat hard surface. I RUN up the stairs, clinging to Deshaun, and lay him on the table in the kitchen. She instructs me to remove his clothing. I do, frantically but carefully. And that's when I see it.... the bruise. Right under his little nippleline. My thumbprint from the day prior when I attempted giving him a bath in the kitchen sink and he got to giggling and kicking his feet and after I had begun the washing process he was more slippery than I planned. He kicked and I saw him about to hit his head on the faucet, so I held a bit tighter to keep him from it. It left a bruise. I didn't mean to hurt him, I was just so nervous about his little still soft spot making contact with ANYTHING, I reacted out of panic. (Disclaimer: I'm fully aware now the bruise was NOT the reason I lost him, there will be more about that later when I've recharged my emotional cup)

I scream to the lady on the phone "There's a bruise, OMG" She disregards my statement and asks me to check and see if there's anything blocking his airways. I flash back to middle school CPR classes and I swoop his mouth, his tongue is stiff but still warm and wet, it doesn't seem to be blocking his airway, but he's not breathing.

Just as she beings to give me instructions on infant CPR I hear the front door open and in literally the blink of an eye, I'm shoved (gently) against the sink and I watch in horror as the EMT's rip off the remaining onesie, pull out a hand pump bag (I'm not in the medical world, give me a break), place it over his mouth and nose and begin pressing so hard on his chest I fear they will crack his ribs. They attempt like hell to bring oxygen back into my baby's lungs.... and then the room goes silent. My entire body goes cold. Not Ice cold.... Death cold. And the shortest of the EMT's turns to me and says "Ma'am what is your name" I barely whisper "Angie" as the tears are streaming down my face and my entire world stops.

"Angie... I'm sorry, your baby is dead"

"NOOO" I scream as I push past him (not gently) and through the other EMTS into an almost empty living room. I look across the room and I see my Dad. I run to him. I don't say anything. He just hugs me. I hug him tighter than I ever have, to be honest I don't honestly remember at what point I stopped hugging my Dad but this was the first one in a long while. He doesn't say anything. My mom is right behind him, she made it before the paramedics. They knew what was happening, because unfortunately they lived through the exact same nightmare.... years before... with my brother Damien.

My Mom called the doctor and they immediately doubled my Zoloft. I became numb quite a bit faster than it took the meds to originally work, and I'm not sure if it was because I shut all the way down as we moved through the process of burying my not quite 3 month old son, or because I already had some of the medicine in me. I didn't care I couldn't feel anything.

At Deshaun's funeral I remember getting upset at myself because I couldn't cry. I sat there in the pew listening to the chaplain give his sermon about children of God and when babies are taken, but I didn't feel anything. Until I heard another attendee of the service (Still fuck you Erica) who brought her son who was born a month prior to Deshaun (and who also was asked NOT to attend with her baby because my actual friends were concerned how it would effect me). I heard her Shhing her just starting to coo baby. I couldn't see her, but I knew she was rocking her child, I knew she was holding her child, and I knew I would never hold mine again. And then I lost it. I cried so hard I couldn't stop. And I didn't stop until the service was over and we got back to my house.

Fast forward 16 year later....

I've given birth to an amazing little girl, 8 weeks early. She was healthy, especially for a preemie. She came home and then ... she caught the common cold and because her little lungs were so underdeveloped the bug collapsed her right lung and she was on a ventilator for 11 days.

On the day of Deshaun's death, 16 years later, Zabrina was home... and I couldn't stop the SAME thoughts... she doesn't deserve a mother as awful as me, I'll never be enough to give her the life she deserves, and worst of all and a new addition to an old school mental playlist.... if I love her... she will die.

I was again diagnosed with heavy anti-depressants and anxiety medicines. They again got the thoughts to stop (or at least slow down to a manageable level). I again began connecting with her in ways that I LOVE so much.

Zabrina is 5 now, and last year I made the conscious decision to explain to my doctor that I didn't want to be numb anymore. I didn't want a false sense of "everything is great". I wanted to FEEL the ups and downs of life, because the ONLY way I can teach Zabrina, is to learn myself. So we stepped down off the medications. I've been off them completely for almost 6 months.

Now I've started this Glow Up, I've started The Year of the Underdog. I've started dreaming. I've started hoping. And mostly I've started doing. I've overcome ALOT in the last year, especially considering ALL the odds stacked against me. Now, I have a 5 year old that watches everything I do, that mimics everything I do, that idolizes everything I do. Now, I have a purpose and a new found desire to live, and fear of dying. Now, I don't have time to shut down and give into the thoughts that have started again. I don't have energy to battle the solid evidence of the thoughts that ARE TRUE. I HAVE failed financially, I'm living at my parents house in the same room I was in when I as 15, I can't hardly afford the bills I've got and I have NO sight as to when it will get better. I don't have a good routine down with Zabrina, and to be quite open aside from the basic tasks it takes to keep her healthy (and slightly spoiled)... I'm NOT nailing the Motherhood game.

For the past almost 2 weeks, those who have been watching and those that genuinely care have seen me hit the lowest mental point I've been at in a LONG time. Because the thoughts are back, because I can't get a routine down, because I'm not losing the weight I need to, because I'm giving up so much time that could be spent with Zabrina (or making money), because I can't seem to get it together, because every man I give myself to either treats me like an option or uses me, because I held so close to toxic people/thoughts/situations that my mental space is 100% contaminated, because that damn Equinox gives me more anxiety than the first day of highschool, but continuously (IYKYK).... because .... because .... because....

I ALMOST called the doctor today (Okay it's Monday the 5th, this is just hella late) but I decided NOT to... because this time.... no matter how dark and scary it gets.... no matter how badly I want to give up and go numb again.... I won't. I can't. I HAVE to push through this, without the numbing, without the crutch I had for so long, without the addiction to anti-depressants. This time I will FIGHT the battle, and for the first time in my entire life..... I.... WILL.... WIN....

This time when I get myself back balanced on the bicycle of life.... Look Ma, No Meds.

Until later this week.... Stay Humble, Stay Hydrated.

*PSA: I don't have anything against medications, nor do I think poorly of anybody on them, This is a personal war, against my own brain and against all the seeds that have been planted and have grown into forests in my head. And there is a chance it WILL become to much and I'll end up needing the meds again, so never feel shame or like you can't talk to me about your personal journey with prescription helpers, please always remember that (new me) is a safe space, for everybody on the Squad, and those who aren't.

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