Hello my lovely readers.
Lately I have taken some time out in June to reflect on my life and with a blink of the eye, we are in mid August. Time flies when you don’t spend days overthinking and worrying.
As you know from my previous posts, I have had quite a rough life journey so far. Being bullied at middle school, going through depression, grief, having an alcoholic and a gambler father, being made redundant, having addiction to shopping and putting through hell my beloved long term partner with my moods are just a few examples of why earlier this year I have decided to seek professional help once again. The results: prescribed serotonin uptake inhibitors. In March this year my brain was so exhausted that I literally was craving something to help me. But the reason why I am touching base on this topic because it’s been six months since I have taken my first dose and I want to share my experience with antidepressants.
People are still worried about taking them and the effect it will have on a everyday life, and I wanted to assure you that my mental health has never been better since March. The best way to describe it, I guess would be on an example. Imagine a water spin that runs so fast you can’t even put a finger in it, as if you do, your risk hurting your hand. So that water spin has been in my head for pretty much last twenty years going faster and faster with every year. Why was it going faster? Well, because every day I was adding more negative and anxious thoughts to it. It all started with an innocent: that girl is better than me at maths. A small, very simple sentence. Nothing more. Then the next day I’ve added another one with ‘I am not as good as that boy’. Then ‘oh, my parents can’t afford this’, ‘that girl is so pretty, I wish to be like her’, ‘i can’t cook as good as someone else’, and so on. Not only I started to compare myself to others, but also stopped liking myself. Suddenly my nose was a problem to me, teeth, breasts, legs, ankles, hands, even the sound of my voice was annoying to me. When I entered an adult life, real problems appeared, and so real shit went into my head. And so as a result the water spin was going quicker and quicker not allowing me to sleep or function properly. At the age of thirty-three I finally went for antidepressants. And boy, I wish have done it sooner.
What they did was simply to slow the water flow. That’s it. I know it’s still there, however it no longer bothers me. Antidepressants allowed me to forget about every negative thought I had and focus on a current day. In the last six months I’ve learned how to appreciate everything around me and be grateful for every day given to me and my family. In the evenings, I don’t spend hours in bed worrying about others opinions, but rather am looking forward to the next morning to do stuff for myself or my family. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night to think about my past. And I don’t lose my sleep over the future. Instead, I just focus on tomorrow. Of course I make plans for future, but being on antidepressants mean my brain don’t overthink that future.
One of the reason why I feel good on antidepressants is that my hormonal moods have stopped. Every month, just before my period I would go bonkers, from crying to laughing and being angry in a matter of seconds. EVERYTHING and EVERYONE annoyed me. People started to hate me for being a bitch, but they didn’t necessarily know I had zero control over how I behaved. We eventually stopped seeing friends & family because I would just be snappy to everyone. So what medicine has done was to regulate my hormones, and a regular level of hormones mean no mood swings, anger & frustration. I was able to go though my periods without causing a drama every month.
Another thing that have changed since I started to take Sertraline (my antidepressants) is that I smile more. It’s not a happy pill that makes you immediately joyful, but you slowly learn how to live the life to the fullest & enjoy every single moment of your life, and that ultimately is what makes you happy. The reason for it couldn’t be simpler, you just don’t have this heavy stone baggage filled with spinning thoughts that occupy your everyday life taking away from you all joy and happy moments. Your life and your head is just peaceful.
An additional benefit of being on antidepressants is a condition of your overall body. What I have learned over the past twenty years is that stress causes loads of illnesses. People don’t even realise how badly stress can affect your body. Your hair are starting to fall out, they are thinner and weaker, your skin isn’t radiant & becomes dull and grey, your nails are breaking down and you look old and sick. Looking inside your body, one of the worst affected areas are your intestines. When you stress, your blood circulates much quicker, leading for your organs to work much harder. That results in intestines digesting everything in a matter of seconds, which then causes lack of nutritions in your body. Whatever you eat, it’s immediately flashed down, and your body just doesn’t have time to absorb all the good vitamins and nutritions from food. And when you are on antidepressants, stressing out is the last thing that your body wants to do, and so your overall health is in a much better place. And when you don’t have these problems any more, like hair falling out, then you are again, becoming more happy with yourself.
I think the biggest change was with my overall way of thinking. Of course, negative things happen. I am not saying that your life is going to be pitch perfect the moment you take your first pill. Trust me, it definitely won’t be. But first of all, you don’t wait for bad things to happen. You don’t overthink what might or might not happen in the meeting at work. You don’t worry about it. And second of all, you realize what a relief is to have a peaceful mind, and as a result, you are finally able to leave your shell behind and enjoy your life.
I have heard that sometimes antidepressants make you neutral, and emotionless, but I don’t and didn’t experience it. Quite opposite, I am more happy, I laugh more and see everything that is thrown at me, no matter how good or bad it is, as an opportunity to learn. Even the most difficult situation I find myself in, I approach with an open mind, and calmness is the first reaction that you see from me.
So to sum things up, after six months on taking antidepressants, I can honestly say they have changed my existence for better. Not only visually I look better, I feel better inside, sleep better, and am overall happy. I just feel relieved. That water spin with heavy thoughts is still there inside my head, but is no longer painful or uncomfortable. It is running slowly, without interfering with anything else.
I don’t want to say that I highly recommend antidepressants, but I want to let you know, that if you are going through anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and no longer see a light in a tunnel, take my word for it – you can experience a better life. It doesn’t have to be dark around you. And you don’t have to believe everything your own head is telling you. Ask for a help. It doesn’t cost anything, but can definitely save you. No matter had bad you think your story is, trust me when I say – it can and will get better. But it’s important that you do a first step and seek help. And I am here if you need someone to talk to.