My Heart, Your Home: Life after medication   

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Life after medication

Ever since I first sat in my Drs office and told him I am suffering depression and would like to go on anti-depressants my life has never been the same. Taking home that first box of pills was terrifying, I felt so weak and deflated, I felt as though I had let myself down and that I was incapable of being able to live my life. When I took the first pill, I cried. I was so disappointed in myself for not getting through, for not being strong enough, for giving up. 

Each morning I would wake up and slowly, without truly being aware of it, I would be feeling mentally stronger, just a touch. Each night as I swallowed one more pill I would feel a little less defeated and a little more faithful. Until one day when it became routine and there was no more thought about swallowing that little white pill.

For the first two weeks that pill slowly gave me wings, until one morning where I began to feel sick. So sick that I could barely get out of bed. I hung on for weeks thinking that the side effects would wear off, they never did. So I made the heart wrenching decision to quit taking the pills and try for another one. I was devastated at the thought of having to go through it all again. I slowly backed off the pills until I was no longer taking any. I spent over a week without a pill and yet I was still sick, I was still suffering. At this point, I realised that it can't of been the medication and I took a pregnancy test, only to find that I was 10 weeks pregnant.

Once I got the all clear from the Drs I went straight back on that pill and waited for its effects to take full swing. From the moment they began to kick back in I started to accept that I hadn't been defeated and I was not weak. In fact, I felt stronger and more capable than I had felt in years. I knew that the decision I made to go on that medication was the best possible decision I could have made for myself. I had been drowning for so very long, hiding from the world. Living the life of a "shy" girl, believing that is who I truly was. Living with the lowest self esteem, distrusting of everyone new I met. Doubting anyone's interest in me as genuine. Living life, worthlessly, as I believed that was who I was.

Since starting my anti-depressants life has changed, in swings and round abouts. Each new day has bought with it a new found confidence, self love and self belief, strength and happiness. Of course I still have terribly hard days like any other person. But my tolerance is so much higher. I no longer find myself sobbing on the driveway before Anthony has even left for work, I am no longer locked in the bathroom in a panic attack, I no longer call Anthony begging for his return home. 

My relationship is stronger that I have ever known it to be. I have more energy to lend to Anthony, more time to give to him and more tolerance to share my affection with him. Prior to starting this medication, by the time he came home the absolute last thing I wanted was for him to touch me after a day of children crawling all over me. We communicate better, we laugh more, we enjoy each other. I love stronger.

My patience with my children has risen to unbelievable heights. The whinging still drives me batty, but I don't end up in a meltdown at the sound of it. I can negotiate, I can tolerate, I can handle. I can remain calm and composed. 

My shyness has been cured. I have learnt that I was never in fact shy, just incredibly and brutally down on myself. My esteem and self worth was unbelievably broken. I truly believed that I had nothing to offer and only ever thought people liked me to use me. I settled for any friendship or relationship, toxic and abusive, because I didnt believe I deserved better. It has been a long, hard fight to change my belief in myself and one that I am continuing to work on. But, I am in a place now where my life is full of genuine friendships, of love, of trust. I can walk into a room and talk to people. I feel strong within myself and no longer describe myself as shy.

I am focused. Something I haven't been in many years. I have a goal and I am sticking to it. I am studying social welfare at university. I study. I read. I write. I learn and my god, do I feel proud of myself for doing it! I believe that I can do it.

I have began babysitting to help contribute to our family finances. I walk into the house of strangers and I have open and honest conversations with them. I play with their children and fall in love with each and every one of them. It has been strangely empowering. Each time that I leave a job I feel strong, likeable and positive. I haven't walked away from meeting a stranger feeling likeable for so many years.

Taking medication has been an unexpected journey filled with so many emotions. I honestly felt nothing but defeat in those early days. I cried and cried about how I had failed living life. But now, I feel nothing but pride. For taking those steps to better myself and in turn, bettering the conditions for my family. Life has never been so good. For the first time in so very long, life feels full, life feels like we are living. I am busy, strong, capable and happy.

Antidepressants are not to be ashamed of, are not to be hidden. Antidepressants are just that shoulder of support that we all need every now and then, sometimes this is the best shoulder to choose. Life has never been better, than life after medication

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