A few months ago I decided to wean off of my antidepressants, and I believed that was the best choice for me. So I started the process and weaned off, as slow as a snail.
I have been medication free for two weeks, and I am not my best self. I am just surviving from hour to hour, each day. Some hours are beautiful and full of fun and life. But others are difficult and raw, and I cannot seem to manage things when they get tough.
I have been open about going off of my medication recently, and I feel like perhaps I have misled people. I have been meditating daily, praying lots, practicing yoga, trying to be mindful and zen in all things. But in the end, that’s not been enough. I can be calm for 90% of the day, but that 10% of the day where I am not in control is just too much, especially in this stage of life.
It feels like I am racing to calm, constantly trying to perfect different practices in order to manage my anxiety.
I have been rationalizing how difficult life has been. It’s circumstances. This too shall pass. I just need to eat better. I just need to sleep more. I just, I just, I just.
I have longed to be free from the medication because I have felt like it was weighing me down. But I’m starting to shift my mindset a bit.
This life is a journey. When I decided to go on medication when I was pregnant, I said yes to my health and the health of my baby.
When I decided to go off of my medication, I decided to test the waters a bit. I am so proud of myself and all that I endured. But I am equally proud of myself for recognizing quickly that no, this is not working for me.
This summer my girls will be home, and I will be with them for many hours each day. I want to really soak up this time, and be the best version of myself. I thought that meant medication-free, but I don’t actually think that’s true.
Today I cried and grieved the fact that my hopes to be med-free didn’t work out. It’s okay to cry about these things. I called the doctor, and asked to be seen as soon as possible. As soon as possible is Wednesday. Despite being in distress I was never offered a helpline number, and I am very disappointed in Canadian healthcare and the training of their receptionists.
Luckily I have really good support and I know the number to call if things become too much.
I need to share this because I believe there are people out there that are not reaching out because of shame, lack of support, or familial indoctrination that is anti-mental wellness, anti-medication, anti-help.
I am here with you. In the thick of it. This is really hard and it really sucks. But you are not alone. I am not alone. And help is available.
Brianna Bell Brianna Bell is a Canadian writer, wife, and mom of three daughters. She has written for over thirty print and digital publications, including Scary Mommy, The Globe & Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can find her on Facebook.