It's been about a month since I have been completely off medication. This is the first time I can say that since 2001. Naturally this is a huge milestone for me, albeit a frightening one.
I haven't been on Crohn's meds in a while but over winter break from school I knew it was time to wean off my anti-depressant. I know that I do not suffer from chronic depression and mine was merely situational, but it was still a scary thought to finally rid myself of that last medicine, because I know how much it helped me.
I admit that coming off this anti-depressant was hard but I am not sure it could ever be easy. I lingered on my lowest dosage for weeks and when I finally went to the doctor he told me I should just stop taking it. It was a weird thought for me to go to bed that night without taking medicine. Maybe I invest way too much thought into these simple routines but it was hard to let go of that last crutch. Even though the amount I was taking for the past few weeks was likely having little effect, it was a big moment for me.
I began taking an anti-depressant almost two years ago after I started seeing a psychologist. Even when I started taking it I wasn't sure I actually needed it, although friends and family members assured me it made a difference. I am still not quite sure of the extent of its impact. When I started taking it my circumstances were far from anything resembling "normal" so it is difficult to assess the exact affect it had. What I do know is that it leveled my moods. I stopped randomly crying in my car. I no longer went from high to low in a matter of minutes. This part of my emotional well-being I can say it improved definitively.
But, I also know that I needed someone to talk to as well. I know that it was a combination of therapy, medicine, and my resiliency that healed me. No one of these things can be isolated as the sole reason I am sitting here today managing a full-time job, pursuing an education, and maintaining a social life.
Sometimes in the past year I felt like my anti-depressant use kept me from crying. I felt like I was supposed to cry more than I did. Maybe I had gotten so used to crying that I expected it was a normal part of life and something I would do when I experienced great sadness. When something really bad happened I often thought, "I should be crying. I want to cry." But then I had a conversation with a friend recently who reminded me that I was never someone to wear my emotions on my sleeve in the past. And since being off medicine in the past month I've realized this is true. The only reason I cried so much before was because of my illness and it is completely okay that I can greet stress and hurt now without tears.
And yet, while I am aware of these things, I cannot help but be afraid of the possibility that I am not as happy as I think I am. I tend to over analyze every moment of anger and attribute it to the fact that maybe I do need to be back on medicine. This is just a fear that I need to debunk in time and I have a feeling once I get through this next semester of school I will be completely comfortable being med-free.
Otherwise, life is great. Stressful, busy, and crazy at times. But I wouldn't trade a minute of it.