It’s been 34 days since my last
confession post. I know this not because I’ve been counting, but because WordPress (the blogging platform that sits behind my website) seems to enjoy reminding – or is it taunting? – me of how long it has been.
Whenever I spend a large amount of time away from my blog, I’m always at pains to be upfront and provide you, dear reader, with an explanation, since I feel fortunate that so many of you subscribe to my ramblings. 😃
Over the past month I’ve been experiencing the sheer emotional joy and physical pleasure of coming off one of my two sets of medication; in this case, beta blockers (I still take anti-depressants).
I’ve spent several months stepping down my dosage, following my doctor’s orders by stepping my daily 40mg dose down to 20mg in order to avoid a major shock to the system, yet I knew that eventually the day would come where I needed to simply get it over and done with. Like tearing off a band-aid, I decided it would be better to drop from 20mg to nothing quickly instead of stepping down to 10mg first. Not exactly doctor-sanctioned.
So, one morning I simply stopped taking them.
The first few days were mostly fine – if anything, I just felt a bit light-headed. It wasn’t until about two weeks later when something unusual happened. I felt anxiety for the first time in several years, which made me feel even more anxious for a while. Then, as I started to feel anxious about feeling anxious over my anxiety, I caught myself and started laughing. Thankfully, I was alone. I laughed because it was such an odd sensation, one I hadn’t felt in a long time thanks to the beta-blockers I took every day that made me feel sluggish and forgetful. I laughed because I felt, for a brief moment, like myself again. I laughed because I realised that I was able to control the feelings of anxiety myself, something I lost the ability to do for quite a while. Mostly, I laughed because I felt joy in that moment – because in that moment, I knew that I would be okay.
I have a long journey ahead to get off my anti-depressants, those 100mg little devils that saved my life yet took away as much as they gave. In hindsight, choosing the period of the pre-launch campaign for my book, where I’m raising funds and attention, might not have been everybody’s first choice for a great time in which to seriously alter the chemistry of my brain by dropping one set of meds, yet is there ever a ‘right’ time? Not really. There’s always going to be something. And when it all boils down to it, it might be a cliché however we only have the now, this day. So why not Carpe that Diem and live your life to its fullest?
Note: Everybody’s medical situation is unique and you should always seek your doctor’s opinion before changing any medication. Stopping medication can be highly risky. In my case, I had been on these meds for three years and was stepping down with my doctor’s support. If in doubt, seek professional guidance.
Pre-orders are now open for my upcoming book, Depression? F*** Depression!, which is due for release in October 2015. All funds raised through pre-order will be used to promote this self-published book so please pre-order now. Available in eBook and Print versions, pre-order at www.jeremygodwin.net/store today!