A note to your future You
I guess the most important thing to say to my future self is to always remember that every challenge you faced in the past was one that you thought was going to break you, but you didn’t let it. Every time you fell down you thought you wouldn’t be able to get up, but you did. Every time someone made you feel worthless, you proved them wrong. Every time you made a mistake and thought it was the end of the world, you realised that it wasn’t. Every time you thought you were completely alone, someone stood by you. Every time you felt that there was no way out, you found one.
By reading this, you have proved yourself wrong. You have overcome the impossible obstacles that were in your way. Regardless of how long it has been since that ‘impossible obstacle’, you past it. There will be new challenges that may slow you down, make you feel like life is over, but you are proof, that nothing can stop you.
Between dealing with the ups and downs of new medication, a sinus cold and a sick, cranky three year old I haven’t had much time for myself these past couple of weeks. I’ve got a lot of book reviews to catch up on and quite a few blogs written out in my head. Hopefully I will have the time to catch up this week, and maybe set a few blogs aside for future backup.
Going into this experience with anti-depressants, I only had negative personal experience to relate to.
Now that I’ve been taking the medication for just over four weeks I think I’ve come to fully recognize some of the side effects that I’ve experienced.
The most noteable is the dry mouth. I can drink a whole bottle of water and still feel parched. Which isn’t so bad–it means I remember to drink water more often.
The second side effect I’ve noticed is constipation. I’ve increased my fiber intake and managed to regulate again–but the first few days were not fun.
The final side effect I’ve experienced thus far is an increased sex drive which is definitely welcome, but uncommon. From everything I’ve read and been told a decrease is to be expected–at least in the beginning.
Side effects aside, I’ve continued to notice an increase in my ability to handle stress-inducing situations. I still have bad days where every little thing annoys me, but I’ve found that even on those days it doesn’t take as long to calm back down.
Obviously these are just my experiences and each person will have their own unique reactions to anti-depressants. I am just here to share my experience and take this road to self-acceptance one day at a time.
Everyone is different, and as such everyone who is affected by mental illness has different experiences. Even those categorized as the same.
For example, just because you have anxiety, doesn’t mean you can fully understand what someone else, who also has anxiety, is going through.
But that doesn’t mean that we cannot relate to one another.
To relate to someone, on any level, is one of the most basic human needs. We crave connection, however temporary, to prove that we are not alone. Those of us with mental illness often need that connection more than we even know.
I guess I truly realized this a couple of weeks ago when I finally decided to go talk to a psychologist. His knowledge of things I had previously felt as exclusive to me and my struggles gave me the reassurance that I can work through this.
Socially, those who don’t understand mental illnesses try to convince you that you don’t need drugs to be ok, that there are other options that work just as well.
I personally had a bad experience with medications when I was in my early teens, so for most of my life I felt that I had to suffer alone, since those ‘other options’ didn’t work for me. When I realized that I’m not alone in this illness, I made the decision to try medication again.
Today is only day five, but I can’t begin to explain how much better I feel. The changes that I have felt even after just one day. My results are not what everyone will experience, but if nothing else has worked medication is worth a shot.