September 14, 2011

Anti-Depressant Independence--I'm free!

Alright, so as of today, I am totally free of anti-depressants.

How do I feel?  I know you are dying to ask.

I feel has been good.

I'm not going to lie.  Like I hinted in my last post...last week was hard.

About a day after I went down to 1/4 dose, I was hit with some pretty lousy withdrawal symptoms. 

I spent most of Thursday and Friday huffing and puffing mad and yelling at my children.

I felt awful for doing that.  But i couldn't quite pull it together.  I was so worried I was headed back into the doom dimension---that dark place of anger and rage I was trapped in for over 2 years--that I became more upset and more anxious.

Finally, Friday afternoon I took some time to examine things a little closer.

Did I really FEEL angry....I mean in, deep down within me where it had put up residence before?  Or was the anger merely an outward manifestation of something else.  It took me a while but I finally figured it out.  The answer...NO....I wasn't really mad.  Thank goodness.  

I was however extremely anxious...and not in a way you would normally think of anxiety.  I wasn't worried about anything in particular.  It was more of a physical anxiety.  Like...a drug induced....or more accurately...a lack of drug induced anxiety.  My body was completely keyed up and on edge.  I wanted to crawl out of my skin...literally...that's how anxious I was....and yet, of course, I couldn't.

Once I finally realized the source of my emotions I was better able to control them.

Saturday was a good day.

Then Sunday hit and I was a complete basket case.  I cried....ALL morning.  I couldn't control myself. 


I didn't know what to do.  I had all these thoughts going through my head.

"Maybe I'm not ready to go off.  What if I head back down into depression.  I cant go back there...I just cant.  Should I go back up to 1/2 and just ride it out for a while.  Should I just forge ahead and hope for the best.  What if I crash...I don't want to crash.....etc, etc, etc....I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! 

My mind was A MESS!
After we got home from church and got the kids fed and bedded down for naps I discussed the dilemma with my husband.  The all wise man suggested something I hadn't thought of in my mental frenzy.  "Why don't you pray about it."  (I told you he was wise)

And so I did...and I was filled with a good measure of peace and able to function the rest of the day.

I made up my mind to call my doctor the next morning and discuss my options.  But, I never got a call back.  Despite that, Monday was a good day...

Yesterday, Tuesday was a good day as well.  I got a message from the doctors office...but I didn't call back.  I'm not quite sure why.  Maybe because I was feeling better...maybe because I HATE making phone calls......probably some of both.

So, like I said, as of today I am medication free.  I'm sure I'm in for a whopper of a week....with the final withdrawal symptoms and all...but for now....this is the way it is.

To be honest....dealing with levels of emotions I haven't had to deal with for over 2 years is a little hard.  Even the good ones.  I mean, the range is wild.  There is something to be said for being "numbed" a bit by anti-depressants.  At least having things kept in a manageable level is, well, manageable.  I'm going to have to pull out and dust off some of the "coping" skills I have acquired over the years.

So...for now...I'm happy to be off.  I'm excited to be off.  My HOPE is that I will be able to remain off.

But...I've learned my lesson (or at least I hope I have).  I will never intentionally allow myself to go back to that dark place of destruction again.  Not necessarily for my sake (although that too) but more importantly, for my husband and children's sake.  I love them too much to do that to them again.

If that means going back on anti-depressants at some point in be it.  I will be forever grateful they were available to me when I needed them.  And if I ever need them again (even if it turns out to be sooner than later) I won't hesitate to use their "assistance" again.
 P.S.  For those of you who have been on anti-depressants before...what was your experience coming off of them?  and did you ever have to go back on them?  Just curious.....

Leave a comment! I love to hear from you!

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Me said...

Hey Melanie- it's Jocelyn- I'M SO PROUD OF YOU- but I have to say- wow, that was fast! I've been just "shaving" pills for a month now. After attempting anti-depressant freedom before, the slower the better I hear, so I actually am taking it very, very, very slow. But actually, as of yesterday, I'm done as well. WHOOO! So congratulations to you. It's horrible, isn't it? (Coming off). At any rate, I was thinking of starting another blog called The Anti-anti depressant, with people's stories of coming off, tips on doing so successfully, etc. So I'm dying to hear from some of your other readers and from you. You've been a critical through this Journey I've been taking. Following your example has been key. Thank you!

Melanie said...

Jocelyn...thank you. That means a lot to me.

Yeah...I have a good friend who is a drug rep and suggested i come off very slowly as well. I considered it. I really did. The truth is that I'm quite an impatient person and when my doctor suggested we do it in three weeks (with an understanding that the side affects and withdrawals could be bad but WOULD eventually go away) I jumped on board. For better or worse, that's what I did.

I would LOVE to participate in your new blogging adventure. Just let me know when, where, and how. XOXO

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