What absolute madness the last few weeks have been. Aside from travelling to two different countries, housesitting, working and writing I’ve also been coming off my anti-depressents and I have now reached the stage where I am on nothing at all. Nothing. It feels absolutely bonkers!
Two years ago when I was first prescribed Escitalopram I felt elated that finally something could help with my anxiety. I had been to two psychologists, did yoga, meditated, maintained friendships and kept busy at university and work but my anxiety raged on in the background relentlessly wearing me down and making my life a miserable slog. A week after I began taking antidepressants I announced to my Mum that I never wanted to come off them. Looking back, I feel as though I’d completely lost trust in my own body and mind to function ‘normally’. I was so exhausted from battling my anxiety disorder every day that I felt as though Lord Jesus Christ himself had flown down from heaven to craft a little white pill just for me, it felt like a fucking miracle. But it wasn’t.
Antidepressants did their job in stellar fashion- giving me a reprieve from mental illness, allowing me to live the life of a care-free 20-something year old, and giving me the ability to investigate my anxiety disorder to truly understand it. Now I’m 22. I’m fucking killing it here in the UK. I’ve got a fabulous boyfriend and a great job. A month back I got this sudden feeling of empowerment and capability and I wanted to ride the wave and begin a journey to come off my medication. And it’s been brutal. Shaking, sweating, hypoglycemia, dizziness and head zaps are just some of the joyous side-effects that have invited themselves into my life over the last few weeks. I feel fragile all the time and some days I just want to sit down somewhere and have a cry for no real reason other than my brain is whirring away trying to balance all of it’s intricate little chemicals.
But has it been worth it? Absolutely.
I’m teaching myself that I can carry on without my ever present antidepressant crutch. I can enjoy life, I can calm my anxiety and I have the tools in my belt to stop anxiety completely dictating my life. It’s been an incredible journey just to get to this place, and I will continue to take things day by day, hour by hour as one usually finds that they have to when they have been handed a mental illness.
Just remember the ‘you’ two years ago does not have to be the ‘you’ of today, and the ‘you’ two years from now does not have to be the ‘you’ that is sitting here reading this. Humans are not static beings; we are fluid and ever changing and we are all capable of growth. I am no longer the exhausted and frightened 20 year old, I am strong, I am wise, I am capable.