How anti-depressants can make you feel
I’ve finally succumbed. After years of resistance, I am taking anti-depressants & that really depresses me.
Surely, the person with my organisational skills who is always able to get things done would not have a problem with being confident? My CV that includes teacher, headteacher, governor & ‘leader’ would be a reflection of an all-together person, comfortable in their own skin & happy with life.
Well, let me tell you – I am one of life’s swans!
I appear to be at peace with the world, dealing with whatever the waters of life send my way, continuing to glide serenely through each day. What you don’t see are the legs paddling like billyo to keep me upright. The greater the challenge the faster I paddle but always making sure the panic is out of sight of anyone else.
So, what has brought about this change & why does part of me see it as a failure?
As a child, my parents would tell friends & relatives that I could be a bit ‘highly strung’. Another favourite phrase was that I ‘suffered with my nerves’. I never understood what that meant & it felt like they were talking about someone else. Obviously, my behaviour must have exhibited something that was not quite ‘normal’ & that was how the grown-ups dealt with it.
Growing up, I was always there when things needed doing. I loved to be part of a team & usually liked to lead it. My activity when I was out to play often involved the neighbours being my class with me being the teacher. Some would call that bossy but I think it reflected the pathway that I would take as an adult. If asked, people who knew me as a teenager would probably be quite surprised to know that in my later years my mental demons started to really get hold.
It was not one negative incident as you might expect that started me on the road to where I am now. In fact, it was the most positive thing to happen to me in the preceding 35 years of being alive. I met my husband. Suddenly, my inner-self seemed to be able to front up & say ‘Life has been too hard with too much stress. You are safe now so we will start to address some of the angst that is holding you back & not helping with your physical, mental & emotional fitness’.
I found this really hard to cope with. I was happy, settled with not a care so why did I suddenly feel like I needed a duvet day every day? It has taken over 20 years to come to terms with that situation but in that time I have led 3 schools, toured the world with my 100 Word Challenge, spoken in front of hundreds of people & even now have a key role in school governance. The swan has done well!
So why the tablets? Well, things this year have been hard for a number of reasons & my worrying & anxiety was taking on a manic character that was frankly exhausting me & my wonderful Nick, my support for all these years so we visited the doctors. Neither of us was keen on medication & have not only dismissed the idea for years but have been advocates for ‘doing it naturally’. I’ have a personality that can become quite obsessive & we were worried that it would not be long before I was reliant on the little white tablets in the silver packets.
As it was, the doctor explained what they would do. He reassured me that they were very mild so not addictive & that I could start with just a half a day. My fear of medication has been that it would change me either up, being ridiculously hyper or down when I would become a zombie.
Neither has happened. I still get upset but don’t scream. I still worry but don’t feel helpless. I have to go back to the doctor to report progress & I’m happy to keep taking the same dose. Any more, & I’ll worry which will defeat the object of the exercise.
Being now on regular medicine & travelling a lot I need to plan my prescriptions ahead of time. This has led to a discovery. Did you know that there are online pharmacies? Like all things ‘internet’, you must take care of spotting genuine online pharmacies as there are lots of scammers out there but it is reassuring to know that there are rules & regs to keep us safe.
So, I am taking the tablets & gradually seeing them as a good thing rather than a failure. I will always worry & get upset. That’s part of who I am but I need to be sensible & realise that if I want to continue making an impact in the way I want, at the moment I need a little bit of help.
What do you think about taking anti-depressants? Success or failure?