Just Write: Waving the White Flag

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I’m linking up today with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write.


the last few months have been really rough.

it’s been a personal victory to come off of all those meds. to be rid of the evil benzos, to kick the Cymbalta to the curb, and to know that i’m capable of surviving a gargantuan wean.

i’ve gained a clarity i’ve not had in quite some time.

(let me be clear: all the medication i was taking was prescribed & I was under the close supervision of my doctor. it just so happens that my new doctor alerted me to the high doses i was on. i had no idea. he wanted me to back off of some (not all) the drugs, and i was eager. i even pushed him, pushed myself, to get off of everything, because i think it’s impossible to make a diagnosis (or confirm a current condition or past diagnosis) without a baseline. but who knows what my baseline is, seeing as i’ve been taking these prescriptions for 3+ years?)

so now, what i’m left with? is a different me. a new me. a somewhat unfamiliar me that’s having a tough time adjusting.

so today, friends, i gave up.

i went to my psychiatrist and refused benzos, but got a new prescription for something to help with the anxiety. i’ll give it a go. i won’t develop a physiological dependence like with Valium/Klonopin, the two benzos I’ve taken previously. my new medicine is not a benzo at all.

yet it still feels rotten. some argue that pills mask or lessen the symptoms, and i’ve never disputed that. the ultimate treatment lies inside of me, and whatever work i can do with a therapist that really knows how to help me address and resolve my issues. but, if i have a disease, i’m not sure it just goes away.

i’m on a quest to find a new therapist. I have an appointment with cognitive behavioral therapist next week. i’m looking forward to working with someone who can help me learn how to help myself.

so with that, i’m waving the white flag. i surrender. i give up. and i’ll take some magic medications at bedtime, and during the day tomorrow. and the day after that. and again and again until they make me feel better.

because, truly, there is no other answer.

white flag bandiera bianca
photo credit

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  • http://auercommunication.com/ Kerstin Auer

    Erin, I don’t think it’s failing or giving up. You are doing what you need to do to get better and there is nothing wrong with that!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks so much, Kerstin. It helps having your support. And your little menorah from your card? Is still sitting here, keeping me happy. A sweet reminder. xo

  • http://blog.imran.com/ imrananwar

    I do not know you, completely stumbled on this page by a random click on a tweet, but want you to know, never believe you are alone… Never give up. All the best.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      thank you so very much for randomly clicking and taking the time to read and comment. the kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. i appreciate your thoughtfulness and encouragement. ;-)

      • http://blog.imran.com/ imrananwar

        All the best and hope things are better for you.

  • Adrienne Jones

    I’m so, so sorry. This is hard. Painful, shitty, and a raw deal. And I also know that you’ll find your way out, with new drugs and CBT (that stuff is magic) and if we in the box are the only ones whose love you feel now, we’ll try to love you enough until you find your way back to your flesh-and-blood people.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Your comment made me cry so hard. Because right now? I almost don’t feel like I HAVE any “flesh-and-blood people.” I think that’s the depression talking, it lies. But it’s hard not to listen to it, hard not to believe it sometimes… thank you for reading and commenting and being a good friend. xo

  • Lisa Allen

    I love you. I’m proud of you for advocating, for keeping on when you feel like you can’t and for being the GOOD mom you don’t yet see yourself to be (but others–like me–do). xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are a treasure. I am so happy to be working with you and getting to know you better this year. You’re a ray of sunshine on the bleakest of days. Had fun today w/ you and let’s get another date on the calendar soon.

      love you.

  • Jill

    You gave it a whirl and it didn’t work out. There are many different types of medications to help with this. Personally, I hated Cymbalta. Lexapro was a life-saver for me. Literally. It balanced both depression and anxiety. Taking medication gave me anxiety so it took me a while to actually become regular with it, but it gave me my life back. I took it for three years and weaned off successfully. It was my time and it worked. Keep fighting. Kudos to you for having the strength to go back for help. Truly.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks so much. I’m off the Cymbalta, so that’s good for now. I’m on a new medication (Buspar), and the doc says it takes some time to kick in, so we’ll see how things shape up over the next few weeks. It’s so good to know I’m not alone and I appreciate your honesty and willing to share here in the comments!

  • Greta

    I second Kerstin. You’re not failing anything. You found out what your baseline is, and you’re working toward feeling normal again. Nothing wrong with that.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks. I guess I just hoped my baseline would be… better than this? Different? Not so hellish? I think my expectations weren’t realistic. I don’t know. But I am so lucky to have you in my life, to consider you a friend. And to go see JT with!! xoxo

  • Alexandra

    You’re not giving up. You’re searching for answers, asking new questions, giving something new a try. Yours reaching out. There isno way to go but up, erin. Sometimes what stood before has to be burned to startles growth. You’re on the cusp, erin, the light is up ahead. And he’ll yeah, we Re real.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I mailed Auggie’s money today, please watch for it and let me know when it comes? Thank goodness you’re real. Keep telling me that. Because what I keep hearing on this end…. is the opposite and I start to doubt everything, even what I’ve been sure of…what I’ve known to be real…


  • Alexandra

    I hate auto correct.

  • twitter: LisasLeben

    Oh Erin, if you were a diabetic you would take your insulin wouldn’t you? There are times when certainly talk therapy is important in dealing with anxiety or depression, but there are also times when your brain chemistry is simply “off.”

    I completely get how you feel because I just came off Ativan a few months ago and am on year two of Zoloft with no weaning off plan yet. I also don’t want to be on meds any longer than necessary, but when your brain chemistry is off, you need to treat it.
    What’s important is that you take care of yourself so you can be the best “Erin” you can be. Wave the white flag if you must, but have the flag be a symbol of your strength in saying, “I will do what I need to do to get my life back,” not a symbol of failure.

    You ARE STRONG because you are helping yourself.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • chambanalaura

    You are not alone. That is all. You are brave and beautiful and loved, and I hope you can find what works for you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I don’t know how to thank you. I don’t feel very brave. But I’m trying. And yes, let’s hope this new prescription does the trick. Should know something within a few weeks. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me some love. I miss you, hope I get to see you SOON! xo

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    Don’t give up, Erin. You WILL find what works for you and makes you FEEL loved, just as you are. By us and by those who are around you every day. I just don’t want you to feel this way. I want you to feel GOOD and KNOW that you are loved so I pray that you can find what does work. I love you. WE love you. xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I love you back. And I know you are there and I’m so grateful for that. I don’t know what I’d do without my virtual (& IRL) blogging community. In all seriousness…others may think I’m nuts, but… YOU ARE REAL. And I feel it. I know you’re there. SOmetimes it sucks hard that you’re far away, but…I should also pick up the phone more often and make it REAL-ER.


  • http://singedwingangelspad.com/ Angel Shrout

    Ok kick me later for not coming by more often hun. But I will tell you what you are describing sounds more like bipolarism at its finest. As a mom to a bipolar I saw so much of what we went through with him. Yes medicine helps but so can behavioral therapy. Yes it is hard, it was hard for me to live with and deal with my son and his swings, especially when each doctor chose to ignore everything I told them about what they weren’t seeing when he left the office. It took nearly 5 years to find one who said this is all wrong.. and put a finger on his complex diagnosis. Let me put it this way.. if someone who is religious tries to tell you that taking medication is wrong and not depending on God tell them even Jesus told Paul to heal himself. Sending you tons of love darling.. and prayers for peace and a doctor who will listen

  • Alison Lee

    You did not fail, Erin. You are doing what you need to, to get better. Know that we are here for you. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You. Always here, YOU. Always. How do you manage to be everywhere at once and do ALL.THE.THINGS? I love you and consider myself truly lucky and blessed to count you as a friend.

  • http://mommynanibooboo.com/ Jenni Chiu

    I love you. I understand this. I am living a different version of this story with different symptoms… But the same loneliness.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I am so sorry I’ve been clueless about what you’re going through. Do you have my #s? Please know I’m a phone call away, anytime. I hope that the natural docs can help you with an approach your body responds to, and that it happens soon. Juggling motherhood and regular day-to-day life things are so much harder when you heap this “stuff” on top. Love to you. you? are an inspiration to me. If I had my kids in the car…I just don’t know that I could’ve handled getting myself to the hospital as gracefully and safely as you did.
      love you!

  • Bobbi Parish-Logie

    Oh Sweetie, I’m very sorry you feel so terrible. I hate that you’re going through this. It isn’t fair! I’m glad you got a new prescription and I hope it helps…quickly! Aoove all else know that you are very, VERY loved! And you aren’t alone. Many, MANY of us know the path you are on and are walking with you. Many hugs! ~ Bobbi

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      THank you so very much for your continued support and for being so understanding. It still helps to hear I’m not alone because even though I’m reminded of that daily… it’s still a very lonely road to walk. Thanks for the hugs!

  • Mindy

    Erin, I can relate to this post in so many ways. My life is overflowing with good things right now, but I dint feel happy like I should. But I went off my low dose meds because I thought I was doing better. But I’m having a faith crisis and everything feels like work. But I don’t want to be depressed or work through depression again or take meds. It’s so frustrating and I feel likea failure. How many times can I get what I want in life and still feel depresssed?

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I feel like a failure, too. But we have to remember that depression LIES. We can’t listen to it or take too much to heart. This is totally hypocritical of me b/c I have a hard time with this as well…but there is nothing wrong with you and I don’t want to be depressed, either. I also have to remind myself that it’s a chemical imbalance— so no matter how awesome things may truly be? Your brain, your mind? Will still feel sad. Hugs. And we do need to chat by phone. Soon? xoxo

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    It can take a long time to get things right. For anyone, in anything – you are not alone. You are doing exactly what you need to do to be well. I hope and pray for support to surround you, even as it comes from this side of the computer screen. It’s easier to be touchy-feely from a distance, as strange as that sounds. Please know that you are helping others cope with their own heartaches and hardships. You are so brave. xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Andrea. I don’t feel brave. And for what it’s worth, I wish you were closer than a click or a screen away. Your friendship is appreciated so much during this time…

  • http://www.fromtracie.com/ From Tracie

    Oh Erin. I don’t feel like this is a surrender at all. It is a new choice. You made a choice to go off of all the other meds to find your baseline, and now you are making a choice to try a new medication. This new choice was made very carefully, taking into account which class of drugs you did not want to take, and dosage sizes you feel are unacceptable. You made another choice to look for a new doctor who will honor your medication choices and work with you to fight this battle. That all sounds extremely responsible and strong to me.

    I am so sorry you are in the dark and lonely place, and you don’t feel support from your family right now. That sucks big time. I wish those of us on the other side of this screen could be in your right now life, that you could feel hugs and love coming from each one of us today as we cheer you on (yes, CHEER you on, because we are proud of you) in this fight. I’m sending you all of my love, and lots of prayers. You are not alone. Not in the places where hearts connect and love lives, because those are places that aren’t hampered by electronic wires or boxes, but exist in a pure cloud around us. I hope you can feel that cloud today – sending you love and holding your hand as you walk this path.

  • Lina

    Is this Erin or Heather’s story? I’m a little confused. Either way, it is all going to be ok. Women are so hard on themselves. It makes me so sad that we have a criteria for perfection and feel like failures when we don’t meet them. Whatever you need to feel whole and happy is the right choice, even if it means getting help though medication.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      It’s my story (this is Erin, it’s my blog. Just Write is a weekly meme/link up hosted by Heather, so we all write something and then post links at her blog). Thank you so much for you kind, reassuring words. Yes, I too often hold myself up to unrealistic expectations. It’s hard. And yes, feeling whole and happy is important. Happy mom/happy wife = happy life, right? So I’m working on it. Trying to keep the bigger picture in focus instead of feeling as if I’m falling short where all the little things are concerned. I so appreciate your stopping by to read and share your thoughts and insights. Thank you & happy holidays! ;-)

  • Adrienne Bolton

    Always a brave post, Erin! You have not failed! Sometimes, accepting our weaknesses is a strength. I’m learning this VERY slowly, as I have been on a similar road that I’m just not prepared to write about yet. I understand every word and I believe you are doing what’s best for you and your family. For you, that includes meds right now. Good for you for being brave enough to take the steps you need to in order to be the mom and wife your family needs! That’s not failing, Erin! XO

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much, sweets. Ironically, I’m not sure I’m prepared to write about it, either, but I went ahead anyway. LOL! I appreciate your reassurance and kindness more than I can say. I’m sorry if you’ve been struggling in a similar way. Please know I’m here if you ever need anything! hugs!

  • BipolarMom (Jenn)

    I’m here and I’m real. And I don’t think you’re failing by trying a new med. The thing about mental illness is that it doesn’t ever go away. We learn to live with it, we work hard to find the best medication for us that allows us to not be completely numb. Something that allows us to feel true excitement, happiness and grief at the times in our lives when those emotions surface. We let ourselves express what this life feels like through our writing in the hopes that those who don’t get it will eventually start to understand. And until then, we have each other. Sending you big hugs. xoxoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I know. It just sucks. I was naive. I thought…. I guess I thought I’d be in a better place when I weaned off. My depression and stuff has always been cyclical… maybe up until now? So I’m just muddling through. Thank goodness for friends like you who get it. And get ME. xoxo

  • http://www.deepestworth.com/ Shannon

    Changing course does not equal failure. I hope with all of my might that you will find what works for you and a way to feel good about it. I hope you can feel the love, the real true love coming from the screen in front of you. And I wish you peace, within yourself and your family. You can do it.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you. I’m trying. I’m taking one day at a time, the only way I know how. Hopefully soon I’ll pull through this rough patch…and feel more at peace with myself, and with everything else going on. ;-)

  • Stacey

    Oh Erin. I just want to hug you and make it better. But I know all too well the battle. I have fought it in varying degrees, I watched my mother and brother-in-law fight the same fight. You are not failing by taking pills. I think the key to all of it is to find the best possible solution, and right now meds may be it! Hang in there. Your family loves you, even if you are difficult to live with! As the child of a depressed mother, I can tell you that your children love and need you, even a struggling you!

    Also, I love cognitive behavioral therapy. I think it is the absolute bomb. Have you ever read the book called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. It made so much sense to me.

    Hang in there!

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    We all do what we need to do to get through the day and that is different for all of us.Nothing wrong with that at all.

  • Bridgette White

    You are not alone. Sending you love and will pray for you. Keep writing and working. Your are inspiring others with your honesty. Keep going.

  • Meagen

    Not a failure! You just know what you need to function best and there is no shame in that. Thank you for being brave enough to share and to seek the help you need.

  • Kelly Phillips

    Erin, that you recognize, understand, and can articulate the issue is a HUGE win! And don’t knock the meds. I felt the same way until I had a bought of depression that I just couldn’t get past. This is NOT a failure. This is a step toward healing.

  • My Inner Chick

    Love your authentic, fabulous, identifiable ((voice)) X

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Inner Chick,

      I’m sad that you can relate to this (I wouldn’t wish this on anyone), but am grateful for your support and kind comments. HUGS!

  • Gina

    Hi Erin,
    We don’t know each other at all but I can safely say that not everyone close to you hates you. I think it’s true for me sometimes too until my friends tell me it’s not. Asking for help, getting help is not failing. It’s being brave. This post is. You are. Those people below are to real. I can see their words of encouragement. Keep after it!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you. Your comment choked me up a bit. I have to remind myself that depression/anxiety lie. That I can’t always trust what my brain is telling me, or how I “see” things. Which really stinks. Yes, these people are real and thank goodness for them, and for YOU. I don’t know what I’d do otherwise. HUGS

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    You are loved, Erin. And you are important to so, so many people. I’m proud of you for searching for the best you. It doesn’t matter that the best you needs a little help. xo

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    Erin, we’ve “talked” since you wrote this, so you know that I can relate on a very personal level. I view you as a heroine. Keep fighting.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Heroine? Hardly…and I’m not sure I’m a fighter, either. What would I do without you? What would I DO??? I love you. xo

  • Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    You are not alone, Erin. You are doing what you must do to feel better and I am sending so much hope that your efforts will soon be rewarded.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for the reassurance. Feeling so alone is the shittiest part. And even though I know deep down I’m not?? I still feel like I am. Doesn’t make sense, but it’s the truth. So keep reminding me of that, will you? If you think about it?


  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    Gosh. 1) You aren’t giving up by taking medicine if you need it. 2) We are real, not made up and I really don’t give a fuck what those other people in your life think. 3) They are all lucky to have you, yelling or no. 4) Cut yourself some slack. For real. 5) I love you. (That should have been number 1.)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Your comments (numbered & all) made me laugh. I am blessed to have you in my life and count you among my closest bloggy friends. I’m glad you’re REAL. I just wish my family could meet you and understand more. As for slack, I can’t cut myself any. I don’t think there’s much room for that right now. ;-(

  • http://mamaandthecity.blogspot.com/ Mama and the City

    I don’t really know what type of anxiety type you have, but as one who has suffered social anxiety for almost 20 years, I know it’s not easy.

    I was fortunate to enrol myself in a gvmt-funded cognitive behaviour therapy and it helped me a lot. The reminder I was also fortunate to catch (from my therapist) the name of the drug that could help alleviate my symptoms and asked for a prescription. While I do think medicine is not the immediate solution, that really helped me. It was like a “safety net”, like a “tiny push” to help me do the rest on my own. I realize I was lucky since not everyone respond the way I did. And I hope everyone could do the same way since I know living with anxiety is not fun at all. I can only imagine depression on top of that.

    Wishing you can find the help that really kick-start your better self. soon soon :-)

  • ManicMom

    You are brave and loved. I know this sounds too simplistic, but also try juicing. Beets, carrots, apples etc. when my body gets vital pure nutrients, I feel better. I just was prescribed Valium. I have a bunch of things I’m battling. But the better I eat, the better I feel. That is self care. Then I’m able to stay steady for my loved ones and give them what they need. When I use the chocolate, ice cream, carb route- I end up 30 pounds overweight and unable to care for much. I feel God will help us if we ask. And I hope to get rid of negative blame. Just feel the love, within. Your self love. And things will work out. That and a good friend.