Some people have great success with antidepressants and if that’s you then that’s awesome.
I was not one of those people.
Ten years ago today I became Paxil free. In some ways it seems like just yesterday, in others a lifetime ago. It was a lifetime ago. I’m no longer that person.
I see it more often than I would like to, so many people who love their meds and swear they are helping when they aren’t. I was one of those people. I remember telling a coworker how wonderful Paxil was and suggesting she “get on it”, because she was stressed out over the declining health of her mother. I looked her right in the face and said, “It doesn’t stop you from having problems. It just stops you from caring about them.” That statement makes me want to cry now.
We should care about our problems. We should want to work on them. We shouldn’t just want to numb ourselves and go through life without a care in the world. I didn’t care about anything or anyone (other than myself) for way too long.
Things seemed to be fine until I hit “poop out”, which is basically a tolerance that often happens on antidepressants (especially SSRIs) where the brain and body adjust to the dose, you feel like you are going through withdrawal and the side effects are amped up considerably. This happened to me at about the five year mark after I started taking Paxil … and that’s right about the time I lost my mind.
Today I sit here smiling while typing.
I thank God every single day for that jail cell that saved my marriage and probably my life.
Here are just a few things I do NOT miss about the Paxilated me …
the violent rages where I would scream and throw things
the uncontrollable fits of crying over the smallest things that could last for hours
the dizzy feeling I got every single time I stood up (to the point of passing out several times)
the selfish behavior where everything had to be about me
the reckless behavior where I put my life and my children’s lives in danger (speeding) and caused a tremendous amount of debt (spending) that we are slowly digging out of
the attacks on people for saying things I didn’t agree with and then wondering why they didn’t want to be my friend (this was a common occurrence)
the horrific anxiety that constantly made me want to run away from myself and claw my own skin off
the attention seeking behavior (dressing inappropriately or like a circus clown on crack … it was NOT a good look for me … or anyone who had to see me)
the thoughts of hurting myself or other people
The one I really don’t miss is thinking that I was fine, it was everyone else that had a problem.
No, these kind of reactions don’t happen to everyone … but they DO happen … probably more often than people care to admit.
That’s why I’m writing this site.
So that people can realize that true depression and anxiety are VERY different than being tired, overworked and/or stressed out. So that people can understand the difference and not run to their doctor for pills when there are other options. So my readers can understand that small steps to simplify, declutter, live a more honest life and just TRY to be a little better every day can make a huge difference.
That’s why. So my story has a purpose.
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