How do you know that the antidepressants your on aren't the right ones for you?
- You're more anxious than you were before you were on them.
- You want to sleep for hours on end, and when you do sleep for hours on end you wake up and still want to sleep.
- You feel nauseous at the very thought of eating, it feels like a chore to eat food like you have to force the fork into your mouth.
I was able to pretend that the above were fine, they were manageable symptoms for months. I was able to manage this because I didn't want to change medication again. I didn't want to restart the whole process again, I just wanted to find a tablet that was going to work- so that it could work and I could get off them.
It was my biggest breakdown in a very long time that made me realise it was time to go back to the doctor and admit that I needed to change, that hopefully, this would be third time lucky. It began on a Saturday afternoon, I was getting ready to go out for Brodies work Christmas party. One minute I was a little bit anxious as usual, the next I was overcome with the feeling of "I can't do this" the feeling of "I need air, I can't breathe in here." I pushed on, I had to do this, I had to tell myself I could do this. I swapped outfits four times looking at myself every time thinking I looked terrible, I looked fat, I looked like I should be kept in a zoo. I was hard on myself, I pushed myself to the point I was anxiously fretting, counting my fingers, keeping my hands moving constantly.
I pulled myself together enough to get to the location of the function, a couple of drinks down and I was lulled into a false sense of "maybe this will be fine". I thought I was handling it well, I thought I was going to be fine. I was wrong. I felt it coming on, I could feel my chest tightening. I put my drink down and made an escape to the toilet, I could feel my stomach turning, I barely made it through the door without exploding. I locked the cubicle door and couldn't breathe, there were tears barrelling down my cheeks, I couldn't catch a breath. My head against the door, I concentrated on controlling my breathing, my eyes closed so I couldn't panic over tunnel vision. Thankfully I did manage to control my anxiety enough to escape the bathroom twenty-ish minutes later. I felt terrible the rest of the night, I bailed on the after-party and went home to cry myself to sleep.
Sunday morning I focused on something other than my anxiety, I wrote articles I had on deadline, I set up my 2020 goals, I cleaned the house more than once. Brodie went out on Sunday night and I was left alone, no work left to do, there was only so many workouts someone can do in one day, I was alone with my thoughts- that was the issue.
At first, it began as a few tears over season two of Greys Anatomy that I am currently re-watching on Stan, Meredith and McDreamy are always sure to bring a tear or two. It was when I couldn't stop the tears I knew what was happening. The tears stopped being over McDreamy and started being over the feeling of "can I just not be depressed anymore." They stopped being about the bloody TV show and started being about me and my damn mental illness.
I felt like I couldn't move from the couch, that the tears were never going to stop, I felt like my whole body was numb except for the tightening in my chest that was heaving. My stomach began to turn, I felt the need to scream repeatedly. My thoughts were toxic, I found a thought I hadn't had in my mind for a very long time constantly popping up, "I don't want to die, I just don't want to exist." It scared and surprised me at the same time, but it reminded me of an old friend reappearing after some time.
That was the point I knew, I knew I had to help myself by visiting the doctor and telling him this wasn't working, rip the bandaid off and admit to needing help. It made me even more angry to admit that this second lot of medication didn't work either. I was mad at my body for not doing what it was supposed to, I was mad at my mind for still not doing what it was supposed to do.
The waiting room in the doctor's surgery was almost a repeat of the toilet cubicle of dinner. My anxious fidgeting was probably giving me away to the other people waiting to see the doctor. When I walked into the office, he already knew what I was therefor, he could see it written all over my face, he could see I was struggling both internally and externally. I didn't have to say much, I just had to answer a few questions and away I came with a new prescription and orders on how to wean myself off the earlier tablets.
Is this a post to vent? Yes.
Is this also a post to let other people know that anxiety is not something we should have to hide. Yes. Is this also a post to let other people suffering know that it is okay, we are allowed to feel like this and should be encouraged to seek the help we know we need? Yes.
We are allowed to need help. We are allowed to swap medications, hell we are allowed to admit that we do need the medication. Know that admitting to needing help will relieve some of the pressure. Know that you can get through this.