I wanted to get back to writing on a more “positive” note. I wanted to get back to writing by creating all the old race reports and backdating them. Then I realized I couldn’t lie or deceive that way. Not without an explanation. Soon the exercise stuff, first more emotional stuff.
Many of you know I made the choice to come off my antidepressant (Lexapro) last month and completed the taper in early July. This was the end result of a lot of discussion with my doctor, my counselor and my close friends and family. It was not an easy choice and it is also not a reflection on my stance of medication in general. It is simply the choice I made for me at this point in time.
The largest contributing factors were my mood and weight. Since January I’ve been struggling with blunted affect. This is normal for being on SSRIs, but I didn’t like it. During the whole process of buying my house I never felt overly stressed (good) I also never felt overly joyed (not so good). I kept waiting for the joy to set in, I kept waiting to be overcome with happiness and it never happened. I WANTED to feel something, but I felt nothing. I was middle of the road, even-keel the whole time.
After this I sat down and thought about things. Sure it’d great to be protected from breaking down into tears at tragedy, but guess what? It still happens. It’s not so great to be pulled away from bliss and excitement. Sure it’s nice to be able to sit in a large crowd and blankly stare as they all speak, it’s great to be “chill” and “cool” and “part of the group” it also isn’t true. That is a medicated version of me and while in the beginning I needed it because I lost all sense of self, in the end it became an intruder.
Life has been interesting the last 6-7 months. As I changed…the way my mind and body used the meds changed. I’m not a doctor. I’m simply sharing my interpretation of how it felt. Last fall the meds kept me stable, they allowed me to think and focus and plan. They allowed me to think before speaking and acting. Since January they have held me back. I developed skills and built a better network of support, and it was time to use it. In the fall it seemed only the meds could keep me stable and everything was spinning out of control. This spring I looked around and I had an amazing life, but lost all passion to be a part of it. Meds pulling me up from depression to stabilize was life changing. Meds pulling me down from happiness was frustrating.
I stopped working out because I gained no sense of pleasure or achievement. I stopped blogging because I felt no sense of connection. This allowed me to connect better with close friends and family. Allowed me to partner with the man of my dreams, but then when it was time to return to it all, I had zero motivation. Each day was a lazy stroll by the sea. I went to work and came home. On weekends I had lunch with my Mom and read or watched TV. On the rare occasion dishes and laundry were completed. I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t happy and no one rocked the ocean….and I gained 50 pounds.
200 pounds places me at my heaviest adult weight. 200 pounds places me at almost TWICE the weight I should be for my height. Attacks on BMI and medical charts aside….I am overweight…I am fat. I do not like the way I look. I do not like the way I feel. For the last several months food was one of my only sources of happiness spikes though. I came off the meds with the thought they alone caused the weight gain. Once I was off and the TWO WEEKS, yes TWO WEEKS of withdrawals stopped I realized I was comfort eating this whole time.
Life after Lexapro is work. Issues with coworkers is work, I can no longer just tune it out. Social anxiety is work, I can no longer sit there and stare off into space. Balancing life, love, career and health is all work. It’s all worth it though. After all if it wasn’t all worth it then why did I go through the trouble of starting meds and therapy to save it all?
My dreams have come true and I took the steps make that happen. Now it’s time to take the steps to feel like myself in the middle of it all. Nine months for demolition and foundation, maybe another nine for the framework? A lifetime to fill it all in, but I think I’m up for the challenge,