How are you feeling today? I hope you’re feeling light, despite the stressful tone of the season.
So, i kind of took a week and a bit off from posting, just cause y’know, LIFE STUFF. But i’m still here, and I never left. Anyway, i figured my last few posts have been on a variety of subjects, but i haven’t done an update to recently on my journey going off meds. So i figured i’d describe what it’s been like over the last few weeks.
To be honest… from a surface perspective, not THAT much has changed. If you are just tuning in- HI! You should reference my other posts in regards to this HERE and HERE, cause to be honest I don’t much feel up to explaining this whole decision making process and experience up until this point over again in it’s entirety. Long story short, I have been on an anti depressant and anti anxiety medication called Cipralex for about 4 years, and almost 3 months ago now I made the decision to start easing off of it.
So almost 3 months in now, and i’m still at half a pill. Which I was at the last time I posted about this. As I mentioned in that post, I’m in no hurry. I have nothing but time, so the best thing I feel I can do is take advantage of that.
In this life, I feel that we are trained and conditioned for desiring instant results and instant gratification for all things. For how we look, for our passions, our achievements, our work, our relationships, our day to day mundane lives. And to be honest, (maybe THAT should have been the title of this post, ‘to be honest….’) I’m not into it. My brain is 100% conditioned to feel that way a lot of the time, just like any one else. Especially dealing with any form of anxiety, you attribute a lack of instant results or gratification to failure. Sound familiar? Guess what? IT’S NOT TRUE.
And when it comes to your medication, and easing off of it? You have to take a very large step back and face what you are truly dealing with, and the reality of it being that there is NO instant gratification coming to this party. It never even got the invite. I have, on a separate occasion, tried going off my meds and I did it in such a stupid way that I don’t care to admit the details. I wanted, and begged for and expected those instant results- “Hey! Look, Ma! I’m me again, sans the prescription!”. Well, what do you think happened to that reverie?
I digress. This time around, I made a promise to myself to take things slow. Even then, what do you think I did? I didn’t listen to my body right away. I didn’t ‘read the room’- the room being life, and life being crazy and topsy turvy and full of changes. So i might have taken it slower than I have before, but I still initially listened more to that hopeful voice in the back of my head, the one that holds the highest expectations over everything I do. The one that dresses up as the angel on your shoulder, but it’s the one that ultimately leads you to your mental health and anxiety demise. Soooo I got a little f*cked for awhile. And now i’ve learned, AGAIN, the importance of taking this slow. The importance of listening to your body, of ‘reading the room’, and of pacing yourself. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible to pace yourself ENOUGH.
So I had to go back up from 1/4 of a pill to a 1/2. Big deal! Guess what happened? I have just about stabilized again. I feel about as normal and stable on 5 mgs as I did on 1 full 10 mg pill. So on the small scale of 3 months, I have taken a small step back. But on the big scale of being on medication for 4 years? Of at one point having to take 20 mgs to function? I have taken a couple of leaps and bounds forward.
I still have my blue days here and there, working out the kinks on these 5 mgs. Allowing my body to settle in, and quit it’s kicking and screaming. But overall, I feel like me and I am not obsessing over the details of my medication right now. I am just letting life play out and do it’s thing. I’m focusing on more important things like moving in with my girlfriend, planning out the holidays, writing, taking care of myself. So that’s pretty cool.
At the end of the day, I don’t want to be shut off from life. Cipralex has never done that to me, but mental illness has. I want to allow myself to feel as vulnerable as i need to to make sense of this world, but without letting myself spiral down to that place where nothing about yourself, your thoughts or feelings are forgiven. So for now, I take my time and I allow my body to settle in for a long winter. I’m gonna use this time to focus on the good stuff happening, as there is plenty. And I’m gonna use this time to reinvent what it means to be vulnerable and awake in the most healthy way, whatever that means to me.
So that is my update for you, lovely readers! I hope if anything it brings some sliver of hope into your day if you are dealing with something similar. Regardless, I hope you have an amazing day, and never forget that you are strong, and oh so very capable of anything.
Have an inspired day!
-Spirit Sister, Nicolle-