I was taking Quetiepienne and Serraline. (I wrote a post about Sertraline that might be beneficial for you. You can read it here – 5 Things You Need To Know About Sertraline.) I took Sertraline for years and Quetiepienne was a bit newer and being used for sleep.
There were a few things that bothered me about these meds and though I tried to talk about it with my doctor, I’d often leave feeling unheard and like I was making it all up. I’ve been on this journey for roughly 5 years now. Five years of frustration, side effects, and feeling like there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. Five years of feeling like my situation wasn’t going to get any better. Sure, sometimes I had moments, maybe even days, of feeling a bit more stable, and a bit more in control, but for the majority of the time, life was pretty down.
Five weeks ago I decided I had had enough and wanted to give it a try on my own. Though research does indicate that Bipolar Disorder does usually require medical treatment, I went against this and took myself all off everything.
This is definitely something I do not recommend doing.
Making it through the withdrawal was beyond tough, but once I finally came to what my new “normal” was going to be, I fell into a little routine that made my soul spark. I was feeling again. These feelings were new to me, and full of passion and power. My reaction time was often too quick to filter, but I finally felt alive. I wasn’t just existing, I was finally living. Or, so I thought.
I’m not confident on whether this was mania or withdrawal, or simply my sober feelings.
And I’m not sure anyone could tell me really. In those 5 weeks I wrote more than I ever wrote in my life. I was busy, productive, and felt like I had a sense of purpose in life. My writing career exploded and before I knew it, I was busy, and generating income. A stable income that my family and I could count on. To be able to do this with writing, was simply a dream come true.
When my depression visits me, even on medication, I’m left feeling a whole bunch of nothing. I’m numb. I breath only because it’s instinct, and not because I want to. And this is how low it is, even on medication. So 5 weeks into this journey of being med free, my depression came, but not knocking. Ripping the entire door off its hinges and ready to suck the life I had bubbling inside me.
It took everything from me, and left me curled up in a ball sobbing, asking “why”. The feelings were so intense I physically hurt, simply from feeling too much. My skin was prickly, and hot. My hands couldn’t stop shaking, and everything was feeling way too heavy.
This was depression without meds.
And it was trying to take me. I’ll spare you any gruesome details but the day was a struggle and I’m lucky I made it out. Needless to say I was put back on meds as soon as I reached out to my doctor. Hello Sertraline and Quetiepienne again.
My first initial feeling was that of complete failure.
I felt so disappointed in myself that I couldn’t manage it myself. And the doctor that I spoke with was so kind and gentle, and she said to me, “When we’re sick, and need cold medicine, we don’t judge ourselves. But now, when our mental health is struggling and we need help, then we judge. Why?”
I thought I had accepted that I live with Bipolar Disorder, but maybe I hadn’t. I was told that I would likely always be on medication and going off of it puts me in great danger. I’m still working on acceptance and allowing myself grace in understanding my disability.
Do you take medications for your mental health? How do you feel about it?