Three thousand, eight hundred and fifteen days ago I started a course of anti-depressants which at the time were touted as a six month helper to get me over the hump of starting university and all the drama it brings. All these days, weeks, months, years later and I’m finally over the hump.
I’m stopping my SSRI’s.
I’ve worked out that I’ve taken approximately seven thousand, six hundred and thirty white anti-depressant tablets. I’ve spent approximately nine hundred and seventy nine pounds on prescriptions for SSRI’s alone and have spent countless hours worrying what people thought about me needing those little white pills to keep upright.
Well, no more. I’m done with the anti-depressants at least. I know for my own wellbeing and for the good of those around me I must keep taking my mood stabilisers so I don’t drive you all utterly insane in the membrane by being so hyper I can’t sit still, but I think I can handle just taking one medication instead of the NINE I was on at one stage. I’ve always been very open about my depression and the headmess it brings and I’ll still be just as open about what it’s like to go solo after all these years but I don’t plan to go back on them if I can help it. I’ve been and spoken to my wonderful GP who agreed that he thinks I’m ready to do this and so as of today I’m done. Citalopram, you and I are no longer friends.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m not saying I’m not going to struggle with feeling emotions again but I feel it’s time to fly the anti-depressant nest. I’ve come to realise that feeling the lows as well as the highs is part of life’s rich tapestry. In the past I have dreamt about being so heavily medicated I could float through life with no discernible feelings or emotions but I’m ready to face up to things head on now. Not that I think depression is to do with hiding for everyone however for me it very definitely was.
I think the exercise has a lot to do with it which makes me want to shake my fist at the sky screaming ‘Damn you, you were right!’ about all the countless health professionals, friends and family members who have extolled its virtues to me in the past as being a way to lift my mood. The other massive plus point that I have found by lowering my dose and deciding to stop is that I have my creative mojo back – my brain doesn’t feel like it is wrapped up in cotton wool anymore and I can FEEL my synapses firing, zinging little nuggets of writerly goodness round inside my head like a pinball machine.
It’s not right to say that I am excited about coming off the pills, it’s a healthy mixture of excitement, trepidation, fear, pride, happiness and uncertainty. In short, it’s a mixture of all the feelings I’ve been hiding from for the past three thousand, eight hundred and fifteen days.
Wish me luck.