Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fire in my veins

The world is cold and dreary.  S. is starting the terrible twos early, work is a snarling pressure cooker, and it's been less than 7 weeks since I delivered the second of my twin babies six months early in a rush of blood and horror.  Seemed like as good a time as any to stop taking my anti-depressants.

This is a scary post for me, but I just finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth and I'm feeling a little Dauntless.  I don't like talking about the anxiety and depression that has stalked me as far back as I can remember, and for the most part other people don't like hearing about it.  Can I blame them?  It has always seemed self-indulgent and even immoral to be unhappy in the midst of such wealth, living like a queen in my first world country, surrounded by love.

And yet.  Right or wrong, these are the scenes of my life, a steady slide show of panic and exhaustion slapping me brutally and helplessly between them.  Four years ago, I finally sat in my doctor's office shaking and crying as I asked her for a referral to a psychiatrist to find out what the hell had always been wrong with me, and why I was such an ungrateful bitch.  After 2 hours of discussion, I left clutching a prescription like a lifeline, hoping I'd found my saviour at last.

The next few days were euphoric, like the first time I put on glasses and saw the crisp, beautiful world that had belonged to everyone else all this time.  Weeks, months and then years went by in a comfortable, lulling rhythm, the sky always a pleasant shade of light blue with no clouds in sight.  I smiled softly as I ambled along the peaceful corridors of my new life, smoothing my hands over the extra weight that settled like wet sand around my calm body.  It took me a long time to realize something was missing.

I want my soul back.  Edgy and prickly it may be, but it's who I am - that fire pulsing in my veins, the passion surging through me until I throw my head back in the lightning and thunder and shout with the power of it.  Spinning sleekly through the minefields and laughing in the face of it all when I get back up again, wiping that last blow off my cheek. 

So the pills are gone for now and hard-core cardio workouts have taken their place, fueled by excitement and anger and grief and the whole blazing range of emotion.  Because it's never too late to get it back.


  1. This hits me.


    So few people write about anxiety and depression. People need to.

    I found out less than 2 weeks ago a friend of mine was suicidal. No warning.

    She suffered through a life of panic and anxiety and just wanted it to stop.

    She hates drugs.

    She is now taking them. Again.

    Life is a roller coaster. She goes off the drugs when it's good, but if the stressors are too much, they trigger her and she usually recognizes when it's time for meds again.

    This time she didn't.

    I know you miss the non-drug part of yourself.

    Just remember during hard times, leave the option to go back, and do not think yourself a failure if you do.

    Because you wouldn't be.

    All of us need help in our lives in various ways. Some people need meds for blood pressure. Some for anxiety. Some for depression.

    I do think exercise is a great focus for your energy.

    And I am so, so sorry for your losses.

    Good luck and hold your support people close.

    Sorry about the comment.. it's just... depression is on my mind constantly right now.

    Here from Write on Edge.

  2. Depression is a tricky creature. I wish more people talked about it.
    There are so many options, treatments, therapies, ways of living with it, managing it.
    I hope you can find a way to feel your spark without the beast ever electrifying you.

  3. Hey, I know what you are going through...It is dangerous to stop taking meds without slowly going off of them. Don't look at taking meds as a weakness. It is a disease just like diabetes. A diabetic would never dream of going off insulin...One day at a time...

  4. Wow...helluva post. I stopped taking meds after two years on them, and have only looked back occasionally. I know where you are. Some days are a bitch just to get through, even now. I fight the darkness every day. It seems as though there is always a shadow lurking behind me, waiting...even on the good days. I do have more good days than bad now, so it is possible to function without the drugs. If you ever need an ear (or eye), don't hesitate to contact me. I have been many of the same places as you, Ixy, and I know...I also know about wanting to feel yourself again...the bitch, the snarkiness, the said it so well. I hope you find your spark again and that it ignites your soul!!!

  5. It's such a hard balance. When I finally started taking Zoloft (and I eventually switched to Wellbutrin), it actually gave me my soul back. But a friend of mine just stopped taking medications and says she feels more like herself again.

    And I'm going to have to mine your blog to find out about the babies, because that sounds scary as hell.

  6. Thank you for visiting yep this is my life.
    Don't drive too far for the pretzels... check the grocery store freezer. Yum,

  7. I'm so sorry for your pain.

    My mom is in the hospital right now for her anxiety and depression. She too feels like the medication makes her lose some parts of herself she'd like to keep.

    I wish I knew what to say to you. I've never lost a baby, but I did experience something close. It can take a long time for that pain to subside, but hold on.



  8. How brave you are to share this. I didn't have anxiety at all until menopause. And I think it brought along some depression. It is hard to deal with the hold it can get on you. More power to you!

  9. This was beautifully written Ixy, I felt all you said. And I have to agree with your need to become youself once more. I am almost off my mood meds too. (from 275 ml to 50ml) and can't wait to stop stuffing my body with toxins. I have to admit, there have been no changes in my mood at all, which I hadn't been expecting. But you and I must always be prepared for the fact that we both may need them again at some point. I take 1000mg omega 3 a day now too - it has a world of benefits for your whole body, in particular, your nervous system. Look it. And good luck :D X

  10. I'm glad you wrote about this... I really do think that a LOT more of us suffer from anxiety and depression than we generally admit.

    I stopped taking my antidepressants too, when I realized that I had lost the ability to feel love. I still knew, mentally, that I loved people, but I wasn't able to FEEL it. And it took almost a year of being off the meds before I felt like my old self.

    Hugs for you!!

  11. I just don't know what to say other than if you need a shoulder or an ear I am here. I know what it is to be depressed and feel this way. I am happy you got off those meds, you don't need them, they only blur the mind. You need to go through the feelings and emotions, writing them out can help too.
    You have a friend here if you want another one.

  12. It veins are completely dependent on the functions of surrounding muscles and valves in the veins help blood to flow in the right direction towards the heart.



Lend me some sugar!