Oh, the difference pharmaceutical therapy makes…
For the past month, since the semester started on the 18th of January, I’ve been seriously struggling, if you couldn’t tell from a few EMO-tional posts (see what I did there ;D). No, but really, I was barely hanging on and questioning whether I could even make it through the semester or if I would have to leave school completely. My anxiety was constant from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. I also started having some social anxiety, which is super weird cause I’m a social butterfly. But anywho, this past weekend I went back home, saw my doc, and got a script for valium that I like to keep in my emergency toolkit. Being home was nice, but it didn’t magically lift my depression to be around loved ones. My anxiety was through the roof. But a few days ago, I tried something that my psychiatrist recommended and took both of my Wellbutrin tablets in the morning instead of spacing them out by 8 hours.
Well, who knew those 8 hours were culpable for my misery! It’s only been a few days so I don’t want to jinx it but I haven’t felt this good since I left treatment last August. Oh Mylanta, I had been chronically fatigued, low energy, low mood, and high anxiety for so long I forgot what it was like to be, well…me! It seems the biggest change was overnight, I just woke up with so much natural energy this morning, not the caffeinated kind that makes you jittery. I’ve gotten SO much schoolwork done, I’ve even gone ahead. This time last week I couldn’t get my brain to focus long enough to read more than 3 pages let alone produce analyses. As happy as I am to feel okay and sane again, I am a little sad to realize how dependent I am on my anti-depressant. And I know that logic is not only problematic but silly, I mean why should I suffer just because I need meds to achieve the same brain chemistry as people without mental illnesses?
Yet, still, because of my experience the last time I was on Wellbutrin (numerous side effects including migraines, visual aura, numbness & tingling, etc.) I’m scared that I can already feel small signs of those effect coming back. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather pop a pill every day for the rest of my life than lead the miserable existence that is a life of major depression and anxiety disorders. I think it’s just the stigma that surrounds mental illness that gets to me, even though I’m the biggest proponent of fighting it. There’s just this, sometimes unspoken but often expressed, pressure to “just be strong” and “cheer up”. It pisses me off to no end because there are times when I am so debilitated by my illnesses that I can’t leave my bedroom, let alone my apartment some mornings. So to suggest that the answer to my problems is at the mercy of my will but I’m somehow too weak to just will myself cured is not only insulting but completely invalidates the reality of clinical depression.
Anyway, that’s my little rant for now. But my point was to say that I’m okay! I’ve got a positive outlook, a good feeling about the future and I’m trying my darndest NOT to live life waiting for the other shoe to drop. Although, I think my last battle with the beast has taught me to soak up and enjoy every moment of my normal and fully functioning brain while I can!