Sanity is very rare: every man almost, and every woman, has a dash of madness.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Playing catch up again this weekend. Friday’s prompt:
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
I’m not going to go into a ton of details on this, but the short answer is going back on anti-depressants after an optimistic attempt at stopping (with my doctor’s approval and after tapering down the dosage over a period of time) that lasted about a month.
I took my last pill on July 3rd. At first, I felt great, so glad to be off the medication after 13 months on. Within two weeks, my panic and anxiety came back almost full-force. I fought it as long as I could, trying every strategy my counselor had taught me to rein in my whirling, pessimistic, fatalistic mind. I lost. I cried in my office at work, I cried at home, I cried in my car. Finally I called my counselor and said, “I need to come back.”
Ultimately, I made an appointment with my psychiatrist and we agreed I needed to start taking my medication again. I hate it. Every day I open the pill bottle and feel a fleeting sense of defeat, that I wasn’t strong enough or brave enough to face my anxiety and panic and sadness on my own. I do know that’s ridiculous, that the medicine keeps me from letting my darker angels dictate my actions, keeps me on this side of the edge rather than right up to it, peering down, wondering what it would be like to jump.
But that comes with a price. Weight gain. Decreased libido (I hate that word so much). Lowered affect overall (that is, less sad/anxious/scared/etc, yes, but also less elated/exhilarated/happy). And I wonder if I’ll ever be able to stop taking it again or whether this is just my reality now. And I worry that at some point, this dosage won’t be enough, that I’ll need more and eventually more to keep my craziness at bay.
So how has my “wise” decision played out? I’ll get back to you.