When I turned 27 I thought a lot about what it meant to be this age;…
I was on antidepressants for just over a year from February 2016 to April 2017. I had my dose reduced in March so it’s not a surprise that the months following this have been fairly rocky. For the past year my mood has been relatively stable and in hindsight, I feel so relieved I decided to start taking medication. Being on antidepressants is like being wrapped in bubble wrap. In fact, it kind of feels like when you visit the dentist and they give you a numbing injection in your gums just before you have a filling, but for your brain. If you’ve had a numbing injection in your gums then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that coming off meds is the aftermath of the filling-feeling when your senses start to come back and the awful ache of the former dental procedure starts to creep up on you. Coming off antidepressants is a prolonged, convoluted version of that.
During my time weening off antidepressants I felt – to put it simply – shite. And it wasn’t just one of those ‘I feel like shit so I’ll have a bath’ moods. It was a full-blown motherfxcking-monster-rollercoaster mood. I could not predict or control my mood. Monday was up, Tuesday down, Wednesday right, Thursday left and fuck knows what was happening during the end of the week because why make life easy, right? I was also extremely teary coming off meds. I kept crying at really inconvenient times. I would arrive at work, have someone ask me if I’m alright and I would burst into tears. So embarrassing. I think that exact scenario happened about half a dozen times.
It’s safe to say antidepressants are a pretty hefty numbing device. It’s been 4 months since I started to ween myself off medication and things have definitely settled. I think all of the emotions I had been unable to feel for a year, came out in the space of 1 month. I’m glad I’m somewhat stable in comparison to how I felt then. I like that I have progressed, I think I’m always progressing now. Slowly. Very slowly, but still I am moving forward. Things used to feel as though they were moving backwards but now, I only see what’s in front of me. There are still times where I sit and reflect but now, most of my reflection is for the purpose of progression.
I know last February I was at crisis point and I’m so grateful I took the support offered to me at the time. I do believe antidepressants are more of a quick-fix, something to mask the pain for a while but that’s exactly what I needed. If anything, the withdrawal symptoms were enough to make me never want to get to crisis point again so I don’t think I’ll be going near them any time in the near future. Or the far future. Or any kind of future.
Here’s to progress.
– peace and love, Emily -xo