I wasn’t sure I could pay attention long enough to get pregnant
I struggle daily with ADD. I’m struggling now. My diagnosis arrived in my mid-twenties. Since that time, I have been on different amphetamine-based medications to find which one worked best for me. All while under the direction of a physician. When Adam and I decided to have a baby, I discussed it with my psychiatrist. We began the process of a slow-taper. This was scary. This was a medication that made a HUGE difference in my life for over 6 years. This was not easy. This is still not easy. This will be an ongoing struggle throughout my pregnancy. This could be controversial . Welcome to the jungle.
After being on medication for years, I’m not going to lie, it was a terrible experience going off. I had planned to do a slow taper. Then I got knocked-up and stopped abruptly. Then the battle for my mind began. And right now, I’m losing.
I understand that some people can live successfully without medication. Lots of people do it. Some people need daily medication. The help it provides them is priceless. I fall somewhere closer to someone who needs it daily. I work better. I think more clearly. I don’t leave the house with the keys in the door. Medication is by no means a magic bullet, after all, “pills don’t build skills!” But my medication acted more like training wheels on a bike. It was my added support while I was driving full-throttle through life but never getting anything done. I lived among the chaos of unfinished tasks, a train of thought that often went off track, and procrastination.
While tapering, my energy levels went wayyy down. I was tired down to my bones. I stayed in bed almost an entire day. I was napping on the regular, which wasn’t normal for me. The sleep was great but the brain fog was setting back in. I began interrupting people in the middle of a conversation, only to offer a random thought. I was slowly being introduced back to a life without medication. It wasn’t easy. Stopping abruptly once I found out I was pregnant threw me into a tailspin. Not only am I dealing with the ups and downs of my first trimester but also the ups and downs of stopping a medication. What symptoms were from pregnancy? What symptoms were from stopping medication? I couldn’t tell. I still can’t.
I have completely been off ADD medication for 8 weeks now. To be honest, the struggle doesn’t get any easier with time. I find myself reverting back to using every bit of effort I have to concentrate. Then becoming mentally exhausted. Then having to find something that will stimulate my mind again. Then going down a rabbit hole about a subject I never knew I wanted to know about. I then loop back around to the task at hand, but I have wasted more time than I realized. It sucks.
Right now, I’m getting by. It’s still early. I don’t have any words of advice. I can only offer solace to any other pregnant moms out there who are going through the same thing. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks to discuss my options. I may not even have any. I will let you know. Keep following as this is one of many future posts about my pregnant life with ADD. What keeps me going? The thoughts of a healthy, happy baby. My little peanut’s health is above my own when it comes to this.