There’s still a minimum of drama in my life, but there’s been a lot more going on the past few weeks. A tragic death, a car wreck (no injuries), a graduation, three birthdays, and two anniversaries (90 days of sobriety and 27 years of marriage). Life on life’s terms is always a challenge. And lest anyone think they are in control: tornadoes.
It doesn’t sound impressive in comparison to all that’s been going on, but I have a miserable cold. I’ve been on the couch for almost a week doing nothing but watching TV. My head hurt too much to read until today. I feel lazy, but (as my sponsor used to say) feelings are not facts. I’m resting and taking care of myself, not being lazy.
So now that I’m feeling well enough to type for a while, I figured I’d go ahead with posting about the problem we’re having with sex. I went to a psychiatrist a while back, on the recommendation of my therapist (who I saw because I was totally freaked out when I lost my sobriety a few months ago).
My sole diagnosis at this time is PTSD, and the psychiatrist was surprised to find that I was taking Wellbutrin and not Zoloft, sinceZoloft is indicated for PTSD and Wellbutrin more for depression. After a long explanation (can I just say that most of the time I feel pretty normal but telling my story was like having the worst low-budget, indie, film-student ridiculous drivel come pouring out of my mouth; I hate it) the psychiatrist mentioned that I might want to try adding Zoloft. He assured me that I wouldn’t have any sexual side effects since I’m already taking what’s prescribed to alleviate those side effects.
Well, that’s not exactly how it went. I started taking the Zoloft and stopped being able to “ring the bell.” That kind of sucks, but not as much as I would have thought. My husband started having panic attacks, which aren’t exactly a nice thing to experience during an intimate moment.
The good part about all of this is that we’ve had to talk about it. Isn’t it funny how difficult it can be have a conversation with someone you truly love and use grown-up words like fear, erection, arousal? Isn’t it funny that it’s often easier (an easier, softer way) to lie when you’re being intimate rather than telling the truth?
The bad part is that I still can’t ring the darn bell.
So many of you are probably wondering, why not stop taking the Zoloft? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because I really like that my kids can come up behind me and touch me without making my skin crawl. I like that I’m more relaxed about the future. Since I’ve started taking the Zoloft, I’ve chased my 15-year-old through the house with her screaming in laughter — more than once! I can talk to my mother without having it upset me. It’s easier to let go of stuff that doesn’t matter (which is most stuff). I go for longer walks. It’s easier to laugh.
Basically, I’m doing better with this added medication. I really, really like how the kids can come up behind me and give me a hug and it feels good, not icky. It feels good not to have to suppress my feelings so my children won’t be hurt by what feels to them like rejection. I never had trouble hugging and snuggling when they were little, but as they’ve grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to just enjoy their hugs.
It’s an easy trade.