How Being on Antidepressants has Changed My Life
I've dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my life. It's a battle I've almost lost before, and for years after I was able to survive. But I was never, ever thriving. The disorders are always there, running the show in ways I didn't know. It took some big a-ha moments for me to realize I wasn't doing as well as I thought. In fact, I got almost the highest scores possible on the anxiety & depression crisis scale EVEN THOUGH I seemed like I was functioning pretty well. So, I made the decision to go back on antidepressants.
I’ve been on them for around two months now. Honestly, the difference is like night and day. Literally. While everything felt dark and overwhelming before, there’s now a new feeling of lightness within me. I’ve started to realize that things that seemed normal to me, like constantly racing thoughts, feeling “blah” or having very strong emotional reactions to everyday events, were not actually part of who I am. They’re part of these disorders.
Anxiety is like that friend that talks so much you can’t get a word in. The antidepressants seem to help in that it slows the chatter down a little. It's just enough that my higher, kinder self can interject some love & gentleness into the conversation.
I do still have anxiety & deal with the heaviness of depression some days. But now I’m able to see it as a small part of a bigger picture. I’m able to approach it with more understanding, and am more gentle with myself on the harder days.
This extra space and self-love has given me the ability to focus on other things that help with healing these disorders. I’ve been working through Lacy Phillips' Reparent, which addresses the root causes of where my anxieties come from. I have the energy to go out for walks more often and don’t panic when I leave the apartment. I’ve been able to create a routine for myself and stick to it most days. I’ve had the energy and interest in starting a daily meditation practice and setting aside time everyday to just connect with myself. I don’t believe it’s that the medication magically fixed me; I think it’s a key piece of a very large, intricate puzzle that’s missing like half the pieces and the photo of how to put it together.
It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had a lot of side effects from the medication, especially nausea and dizziness. I’m lucky that my doctor eased me into the full dose, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to stick to taking it. The fact that I was still recovering from surgery and dealing with these side effects anyways also helped. It’s also hard to not feel disappointed on the days that are really dark. It really hits home when things aren’t right, and the darkness feels extra heavy now that I know what it’s like to feel light. On those days it’s hard not to struggle with feeling abnormal because of these disorders.
That said, I do think going on the meds was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health. I’m fully approaching this with the mindset that it’s an ever evolving journey. Hopefully there’ll be a day where I’m stable enough to not need them. But if not, I’m okay with that too.