3.15.2012

My Latest Milestone

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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

are you still hanging out with your nephew? what has he been up too? and why are you taking so long to post updates? its hard to stalk you when your arent providing enough information.

Ellen said...

YES I STILL HANG OUT WITH MY NEPHEW EVERY DAY HE IS THE MOST AMAZING KID EVER AND I HOPE I HAVE FIVE JUST LIKE HIM!!!!

Anonymous said...

REMEMBER WHEN YOU ACTUALLY USE TO UPDATE THIS?