Although I’m surrounded by peace and tranquility, my mind is a storm of emotions. My irrational thinking has lead me to bad decision making and I’m paying for the consequences of a not so good choice to go off one of my anti-depressants and decrease a few others. It’s been a little over a month since I made the change, now my brain and neurotransmitters are lacking the serotonin and dopamine it requires to function properly. I somehow convinced myself that I no longer needed medication to help me along, that my depression was finally cured. I was in such a good and happy place, working my program, settling into life, I had dealt with most of my problems, connected with God, and was moving in a forward direction. I was managing my depression and anxiety, so I thought?

I didn’t feel the need to consult my doctors, I acted on my own and now I’m in a very frightened state. Full of shame; remorse, guilt, sadness, confusion, fear and loneliness. The Pendulum has swung in the opposite direction of my best intention. I’ve come to accept many things on this new journey, yet my clinical depression is still not one of them. Disillusioned that this condition will somehow right itself over time, that if I fight long and hard enough it would miraculously just go away. Through a series of unfortunate events; alcoholism, genetics, trauma’s and avoidance – I somehow must come to terms that my diagnosis of mental Illness will always be a part of my life, that my brain is no longer capable of producing the “feel good” hormones needed to function in normal everyday living.

The damage has been done and it can not be cured with “Will power” alone. My best thinking deceived me, believing things would be different this time around, my impatience pride and ego has played a huge role given the current situation. Working closely with my psychiatrist I’ve attempted many time to decrease my medication, finding the proper dosage’s and medications has been an extremely difficult process. With denial and arrogance I acted alone this time, perhaps my sanity hasn’t fully been restored?

I’ve hit the reset button again, going back on the medication I stopped and back up to my prescribed dosages I was previously taking. Starting over again really sucks! Feeling like I’m a mistake or complete failure is hard to get past when the depression really takes hold. I’ve dropped into a deep dark hole and this place is all to familiar, I’ve been here many times before only this time I know the way out, yet wile I’m here I must endure the negativity and lie’s I tell myself. Depression is draining – low energy, self pity, anger and fear, difficulty concentrating, constantly filled with emotions and sad feelings. I have made it out this hole a time or two yet the patience and work it takes to get out requires faith and fortitude.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I think…”This time things will be different”? How do I justify that since I’m feeling better and getting my life in order, I don’t need to take medication anymore. Picking and choosing, playing God, ignoring advice, easily influenced by others who have no understanding of what it’s like living with this disease. This is a very dangerous game to play, this disease has the potential to take my life. When your feeling good, like really good – that means the medication is working, it’s not a sign to stop your meds!

I get tired of taking pills everyday, refilling my containers week after week, month after month, year after year, its a minor annoyance and I occasionally forget to take them, setting alarms and reminders on my phone has helped me be more consistent. Taking medication feels like walking around on a crutch and most of the time I feel like a lab rat…Stop this; try that, increase these; decrease that. Don’t even get me started on the side effects. I have a whole new understanding why people don’t stick with it, dealing with things such as weight gain, migraines, nausea, heartburn, blood pressure, suicidal thoughts. These medications take 4-6 weeks to take effect and just as long to come off of.

It’s trial and error and takes time, this is by far no instant fix. I’ve been on various antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications trying to find what work best and I’m still on that journey and perhaps always will be? Meanwhile, it’s up to me to get through this, use the tools I’ve been given and take action, reflect on my most recent mistake and skewed thinking then make a plan going forward. This game is far to dangerous to play on my own.

I will get back to where I was and out of this hole once again, it’s going to take the utmost attention to detail, discipline, perseverance and being gentle with myself, as much as I feel like beating myself up. Acceptance is the answer to my mental illness, with medication it can be managed, the brain is a very specialized organ and mine just needs a little help. If your struggling like I am your not alone, it’s taken me years and many painful mistakes to learn the lessons I have, there’s no room for shame or guilt when it come to this path. It does get better if your willing to stick with it, ask for help and what ever you do, please don’t think you can do this alone like I did, it’s not worth the pain and suffering. We’re all in this together – keep coming back.

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