Taking A Little White Pill Every Day Makes Me A Better Mom, And I’m Not Ashamed To Admit It Anymore

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“It has been 5.5 months since I asked my husband to go to work late on a Friday so I could attend an appointment I had made just days prior. Usually, I would just bring the kids. This time, I knew I had to go alone.

I hadn’t met this doctor yet. I needed to be focused in order to finally be honest with myself and with her.

That snowy day as I walked into that waiting room, I felt full of shame, fear, and defeat.

Now, I take a little white pill every day and have for almost six months.

I have been attending therapy for just about as long too.

And without a doubt, I am so SO proud of myself all of these weeks later. And you know what? In this stigmatized world that we live in, that is a scary thing to announce and admit, especially to strangers. I completely get it. It has been a secret I have mostly kept to myself since December.

If you knew me in high school or even college, this probably even surprises you a little.

I mean, her blog name is JOYFUL Crew. She harps about gentle parenting and kindness and joy in all things.

She’s so happy. She loves Jesus. She laughs at the awkward and hard things. She was the Valedictorian and the Homecoming queen, and she even runs her own business now! How could she be anxious? Depressed?!

Why didn’t she just pray about it?!

I give every bit of myself to my babies and my family, and I have found that I have been vehemently lying to myself about my mental health for the majority of my adult life.

So a few months ago, I walked into a doctor’s office and sat on a crinkly white sheet, and cried big ugly tears that absolutely soaked my pink floral mask while I sputtered.

‘I’m just not thriving right now. I’m not the mom I want to be. I’m ridiculously irritable and I can’t seem to just be present with my babies. I’ve waited way too long to admit it, and I think I need help. I just…I really need help.

And you know what my doctor did?

She hugged me.

She told me she was proud of me for sitting in that room and speaking the words I was so terrified to say to myself.

The world needs so many more Dr. Johnsons in practice.

But these doctors DO exist.

And because of her and my making a last-minute appointment in someone else’s cancellation spot so I couldn’t cancel myself, I am so much better.

I see the light in every day. I laugh with my kids instead of yell at them. I mostly keep up with housework. And I can now admit to myself that my anxiety is absolutely hereditary, and it is likely chronic. I can admit to myself that I may need help with my serotonin for the rest of my life.

Sometimes you can’t pray your depression or anxiety away.

Sometimes you can’t just decide to be happier.

Sometimes exercise and a healthy diet isn’t enough.

Sometimes you can’t tell yourself the anxious thoughts are irrational.

Sometimes past trauma navigates your present reality.

Sometimes you really will be a better version of yourself if you are medicated.

Sometimes you will need meds for a little bit.

Sometimes you will need them for the rest of your life.

Sometimes your body doesn’t make serotonin as it should, and sometimes a little white pill can fix that.

And if anyone, ESPECIALLY yourself, tells you that there is anything wrong with needing help, they are dead wrong.

Last Sunday, on Mother’s Day, I planted trees at our new home with my babies, and for the first time in years, I just enjoyed their presence. I watch them every day now with tears in my eyes because the overwhelming parts of motherhood just don’t seem quite as overwhelming to me anymore.

So I’m not at all ashamed to admit it anymore. My brain is broken, and it is a diagnosed medical condition. I still need Jesus desperately, but I also need Lexapro.

I want my babies to grow up and see a mom that loves them relentlessly, but also is honest with herself and her limits. I want them to know I’m a mama that will stop at nothing to teach them that they are fearless, capable, kind, and strong- but that they must also learn to ask for help.

Just surviving is not what we are made for, and sometimes our bodies don’t work as they should. YOU are not broken, the world is.

If taking a little white pill makes me a better mama, a better wife, a better friend, a better anything really, I will take that little white pill until the day that Jesus makes us all whole again.”

woman showing the pill she takes for her mental health
Courtesy of Emily Bolander

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Emily Bolander of Joyful Crew. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here.

Read more from Emily here:

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