So, as of today, I’m antidepressant free. Some of you may have seen my rant of last night. I took a calmer version of this to my GP today, and he listened. He saw where I was coming from. I didn’t argue him into submission (I doubt that would work anyway), but I asked him all of the questions I raised in my last post. He agreed that I had some valid points, and that yes, the only way of establishing whether or not I still need medication is to see how I manage without it. I may need to weather a storm for a couple of weeks as my body adapts to managing without the chemicals, or I may sail through it. Withdrawal may make me feel really low again, or maybe it’s too soon to stop and the low will be depression coming back. Or, and here’s the really crazy thought – maybe it will go really well! Again, only one way to find out.
But. There are provisos. He agreed to this ONLY on condition that I check in with him regularly, to begin with, this time next week. He also wants to hear how Hubby feels this is going, so he will be coming with me to my next appointment. I’ve to continue with the other half of my medication, the mood stabiliser. I’m to be realistic. If I’m not doing well, I have to let him know. I have to be prepared for the fact that if this doesn’t go as well as I hope, then there may be no option but to look at further medication. I have to be willing to listen to those who are outside my head, and who may see behaviour that I’m not aware of. Today, I accept all of that. Mostly I’m just so grateful that he didn’t dismiss me out of hand and insist that I continue with medication. I’m more comfortable taking his advice than that of my psychiatrist – he knows me an awful lot better than she does, and has seen me come through more than one episode over the last almost 6 years now. I trust his judgement. As he pointed out, I’m doing this in the safest way possible – controlled, supervised, and open. I didn’t just make a decision out of hand to stop taking medication as I have done in the past, and then do so cold turkey (always, always doomed to fail). I also have a lot more support in place now than I had back in February, and a lot more awareness of what I need to do to keep myself well, together with much more insight into how I’m feeling and how to recognise the warning signs. Work is stable. My gorgeous girl is finally, finally, sleeping through the night. I’m walking. I’m writing. I’m still working with Therapist. Now is as good a time as any to try.
I’ve had this poster on my wall for over a year now. I contemplated taking it down many, many times. I’ve mentioned before I’m not a huge fan of the ol’ inspiring quotation, but at the time that I bought this, it really struck a cord with me (that and facebook wasn’t as overrun with positivity as it is these days. Sorry, cynicism is as strong as ever). I looked at is this evening and realised that I’m almost at the end. I’ve been taking all those steps, without even realising it. I wasn’t even aware of what the impossible thing that I was working towards was. But it struck me this evening that maybe, just maybe, it’s possible for me to be ok. To be enough. I hope with every fibre of my being that I can hold on to this and that I’m not telling you a very different story a week from now!