Sliding Towards Happy

I suppose it’s natural that after selling one’s house and quitting one’s job and moving to another city away from one’s parents (one’s main source of support) that one would eventually come to a point where things feel somewhat less than hunky dory.

Or that’s my experience, anyway.

A few weeks ago a good friend asked how the transition was going and whether it had been at all hard. “Not at all,” I told him. “I don’t feel like I’ve even looked back.”

I’m one of those people who likes change. I love new places and new things and anything that gets me away from the stagnant ordinary. I get bored way too easily.

I’m also one of those people who doesn’t like to lose what’s overly familiar and who ticks along best with a routine.

These two ways of being are not mutually exclusive. They’re also not the perfect recipe for existential equilibrium.

Throw in stubborn and a dose of high standards and I’m pretty much screwed.

Things were going really well and I hadn’t at all questioned our decision to do this. However…I mentioned that I lowered my anti-depressant dose about three weeks ago. I did that for all sorts of reasons, and in large part because I don’t want to be dependent on this medication anymore. But I am.

I blame the ramping-up period of getting on to this medication for my breakdown earlier this year. Turns out coming off is no picnic either.

I knew within a week or so that coming off wasn’t a good idea. But once you’re in the crap, you kind of don’t want to lose the withdrawal days you’ve already invested, you know? So I kept going with the lower dose, praying that it would even out and I’d find myself again.

I didn’t.

I’m now at the end of week two of being sick with this horrible cold that’s going around. I missed a bunch of work last week and found myself very glad for the excuse of illness that allowed me to stay in bed a bit more than usual. Wanting to stay in bed is never a good sign for me. But it’s one that’s so easy to ignore. What is not easy to ignore, however, is having a record-breaking fight with your husband. In a restaurant. In front of your son.

Oy.

For a minute it felt like we were right back to the horrible state we were in a couple of years ago, except this time we were in it after having made a major decision that left us in a totally new world. Totally stuck, in other words.

It was awful. This past weekend was awful.

But my husband, bless him, was able to ask me if having lowered my medication dose was perhaps not such a good idea, and I was able to rail and say No, it’s not and but I don’t want to be on it and I’m scared.

And then I upped the dose again.

It has been immediately, noticeably better. Which, frankly, pisses me off. I will resent this medication for the rest of my life, whether I ever come off it or not. (I know, not a constructive way to feel, but there you go.)

But I suppose better is good and good is better than wanting to run away into the mountains and hope nobody notices you’re gone.

So that’s where things stand. The whole lot of suck from earlier this week is gone—or temporarily beaten back, anyway—and I feel like I can cope again. And maybe when I get over being sick I’ll be able to look a little farther afield and find my happy again.

skating-outdoor-rink


 

Comments

  1. You deserve some happy, my friend. xo

  2. I know you don’t like the meds, but I’m relieved that you are in a better place. Be strong Robin. You can do this.

    • Thanks, Rach. I knew I needed to do it and I’m glad that it’s better this way, so I’ll just need to let it go I guess.

  3. So many hugs to you. I can imagine how hard it is to find peace with the medication, but I also know you deserve all the happy you can get. xo

  4. I’m sure that accepting the medication is difficult, but you deserve to feel better. You deserve your happiness.

  5. Carolina says:

    Hi there. I am a new follower of your blog.

    I understand all your feelong with antidepressants.
    I am on them too.

    I am writing on my blog in different parts about my disorders.

    Check out my blog if you like and follw me back if you would like :)

  6. Chibi Jeebs says:

    “It has been immediately, noticeably better. Which, frankly, pisses me off. I will resent this medication for the rest of my life, whether I ever come off it or not. (I know, not a constructive way to feel, but there you go.)”

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I’m glad you were brave enough to say it because I can’t. And it makes me feel like some kind of mental health stigma busting traitor. Love you, dear heart.
    xoxo

    • Nah, you’re not a traitor. I think it’s a good thing to admit, because it’s an honest piece of the struggle. And besides, it reinforces that we’re not all pill-popping junkies. ;)

      Love you too, my friend. xx

  7. I know how you feel. I got off of my medication after I got pregnant with #3, and went rightback on after she was born. My husband will probably say that I should’ve stayed on. It’s just better to be happy in general. Being on medication doesn’t say anything about you (or any of us) as a person. It definitely doesn’t define who you are.

  8. I am sure that cope again you shall — you are now wiser than ever before. Yes, you are.

    Sending love, Txxx

  9. I know and completely understand where you are coming from. I have to be on medications for the rest of my life to control bipolar disorder…the “L” drug…yea, that’s next on the list of crap to try.
    Anyways, look at it this way…a diabetic needs insulin every single day for the rest of their life…and sometimes our brains need medications too to function. It’s no different.
    I know that you’d rather not take them, lord do we all, but it’s ok. It’s totally ok.
    xoxo

    • I like that point of view, and I never remember it. But I guess part of my struggle is that I never needed them before, so why should I now? I know, the logic still applies for someone diagnosed with diabetes as an adult, but my brain likes to argue. ;) Thanks for always being such a great cheerleader. xx

  10. i’m sorry you have to take the med when you don’t want to, but i’m really glad they are helping.

  11. Thank you for this post Robin. Interestinly my sucky therapist keeps saying to me “Well you don’t want to be on medication the rest of your life. You need to learn to cope.” which pretty much makes me want to punch her in the face but it also got me to realize something. I have all sorts of coping skills but it really is the meds that, at least at this time, are keeping me all together and allowing me to find happiness again. If I must be on then, then so be it because I really just want to be happy.

    • That makes me want to punch her in the face too. One thing I know for sure – whether I like it or not – is that sometimes I can cope and sometimes I can’t, but at this point in my life I need the meds to get me to the point where I can. This little experiment reinforced that.

      I’m glad you can see that her perspective isn’t the only one. You do deserve to be happy.

  12. Oh lady. Big internet stranger hugs to you, sounds like you have had a crappy week. Fights are no fun, especially public ones. And it sucks to be taking something when you don’t want to be – but it sounds like you’ve had a lot going on recently (your contradictory character sounds a lot like mine in terms of your reaction to change!) – so see this as something to get you through now rather than a life sentence. Take care – and keep blogging. You are brilliant xx

  13. ((((hugs)))) I’m glad you are doing what is best for your body and mind right now. Maybe your brain isn’t ready for a taper yet.

    People who carry around judgements about people who take psych meds forget that sometimes people like us *need* them so that we can function and be happy. I know I certainly judged a lot of people about taking psych meds before I became mentally ill and had to take them myself. I think perhaps when I get angry at Society(tm) for making all these judgements, I’m really angry at my old self who used to make them, too.

    • True. I never understood meds at all until this happened to me. I definitely still carry some of that stigma in my own perspective, even though logically I know it isn’t that way at all.

  14. Thank you for writing out your feelings. I’m grateful to know your perspective, and proud of you for sharing your resentment of the medication and your fear. I hope you are able to balance out again soon, and be genuinely happy. Sending lots of love to you. *HUG*

  15. Ah, this does not sound fun. Thanks for sharing this … I think it will help other … but I am still sorry that you had to go through it.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  16. This is such a difficult situation at all angles and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it! I’m glad the medication is helpful even though I totally understand your not wanting to be on it any longer!

  17. I used to feel exactly like you. I have been on & off anti-depressants since 1999. I hated it. I felt it was a sign of weakness.

    This last time, when I almost destroyed my marriage, I had a moment of clarity & made an appointment with a psychiatrist & was put back on an SSRI. The doctor confirmed what several other doctors & therapists have tried to tell me since I was a child. I have major depressive disorder. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. I need a pill to help my brain work correctly just like my mom needs metformin to help her pancreas work correctly.

    I did not cause this but I can manage it.

    I had to make peace with it. I hope you can, too. You aren’t weak. You aren’t defective. You are deserving of happiness.

  18. Im sorry you’re struggling my friend. I’m in the middle of med switches and trials and I wish I could just quit them all, but like you I’m dependent for now.
    It’s frustrating.
    I get it.

  19. I think you are brave for taking the pills. I have been prescribed anti-anxiety meds and for numerous reasons I am too freaked out to take them. Everyone around me is like, “Take the pills!” like it’s no big deal. Sigh.

  20. It’s not a dependency; it’s a necessity. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. xo

  21. Very cute picture of your son skating. Sounds like a rough week. Hope next week is a better one.

  22. Dear friend, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Reading this was like a deja-vu to me, because I had almost exactly the same episode one month back. I was down with the nasty flu, and things just quickly went on a downward spiral. Like you, I noticed I wanted to stay in bed, longer and longer… and that’s not a good sign.

    As someone who might have to take those meds for the rest of my life (I’ve tried to wean off my meds for seven years now to no avail), I can totally relate to how you feel. I hate those meds, hate having to depend on them in order to function normally, hate that whenever I tried to lower the dosage, I had to wave my white flags after a while and upped the dosage again. I hate it when almost immediately after doing that, I’d feel better.

    I’m glad that although away from most of your family, you have your husband and that precious little boy close to you. Robin, you gave such a beautiful voice to an ugly thing like depression, and you’ve inspired many with that voice. Keep on fighting the good fight, dear friend. I wish you much brighter days ahead!

    xx

  23. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I am so glad that you have access to something that will help. It can make such a difference in life to find the balance that you need and meds can give that wonderful balance.

  24. Happy is a good place to be and I wish you all that you may stand. :)

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