I realise I never quite rounded up my three parts on my experience with anti-depressants (Part 1, Part 2). Things changed a little, and have changed since, both of which have been an important part in my recovery too.
I stopped taking my anti-depressants late in 2017. I’m still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. It was not a conscious decision as such, I just didn’t think I needed them anymore. I felt happy, for the most part, and had just been on the most refreshing holiday I’d ever been on. I felt light, and for a brief period worry-free. More accurately, I felt secure and I felt like I have a purpose and a direction- things I value above most else in this world. I did, and still do, have some days when I’m down and I lack the energy to function, but the majority of days I’m okay. And this seemed to outweigh the negatives of taking the anti-depressants- the tiredness, lack of appetite and the reminder every morning that I am quite poorly.
Change is hard for me, whether it’s a good change or a bad change. I value stability and security which in my eyes is the antithesis of change. So when some changes started to happen late last year it was a little difficult for me to adjust. Luckily in these instances I am fortunate to have some time to adjust, plan and work out my approach to the changes. I resorted to my usual tactics of writing lists, timelines and planning my goals.
However, some change isn’t so great. Some changes can happen instantly, and seem to impact everything, and in the beginning feel impossible to control. You can overthink, you can question and when there is nowhere to direct your anger the only place that seems accessible to direct my negativity is myself. However, in a lifetime of self-doubt and low self-worth, this wasn’t new.
Yet, this was where the real change happened. It wasn’t the positive changes I could plan, it wasn’t the harder changes which I couldn’t control. No, it was hidden in a sentence. A sentence which came out without much thought, and I believed it to be true.
‘It will be okay’
Four simple words that signified a vision past the end of the conversation, end of the day, and end of the week. The acknowledgement that I will be okay, but just not now, and that is fine. It’s okay that I’m not okay now. My brain is quite slow to process negative changes, and in the past they have been all consuming, so much so that I thought my world had been torn apart and I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore. But this time was different. Yes I’ve had times where going to work was hard, getting up near on impossible and nights of tears, and it’s not quite okay now. But it will be okay.
I will be okay. I will be okay, and I completely believe it. And do you know why? Because I am in control. Because I can achieve great things. Because I have the best set of family and friends around me who love me for the person I am. I may not believe them sometimes when they let me know that I’m great, because I have a disconnect between how I see myself and how I believe others see me. But I’m starting to believe it. I have secured an exciting, scary, challenging new job- which I’d have to be capable to do. I have friends and family that want to look after me, make sure I’m okay but also want to be by my side when I’m well and tolerate my awful taste in music and trashy TV. Yes, sometimes my brain decides other things for me: I’ve cried myself to sleep, I’ve felt lonely and worthless, but it’s comforting to know that in this difficult time I’m able to think rationally and see the future. And, hopefully, I can be sensible and in control and manage my mental health.
I think my future could be pretty great.