Thursday, April 14, 2016

That time I pretended I didn't need my antidepressants

Jovie and her pink blank-let.
Recently, I'd been thinking the grass might be greener over in the magical land where I don't have to take an antidepressant.

I'd been feeling as if I'd become too complacent about things I would've normally felt justified in being angry, anxious or sad about. Not having these authentic reactions made me feel as if I weren't really holding the reins of my life (well, I'm not sure I'm ever really holding the reins of my life). It's seemed like there were issues that I should take action on but wasn't because. Meh. 

In addition to this omnipresent air of "meh" I started feeling like I was missing emotional cues in my interactions with others. Like I was hearing them on that deeper level.

I understand this all sounds very vague and perhaps not grounded in reality, practical thinking or sound medical. 

But that's how I felt. 

So when the family was tackled by a stomach virus last week, all the nausea and vomiting seemed as good an excuse as any for a self-prescribed cleanse of my antidepressants. (I.E. I just sorta kinda stopped taking them for a week).

And the grass was greener. It was lush and springy and filled with wildflowers. You know, metaphorically speaking. But very quickly it was overtaken by prickly weeds and brambles and those shrubs with the giant thorns on them. My idyllic wonderland transformed into the Fire Swamp from "The Princess Bride." It was all very adventurous and wrought with emotions. 

And while I didn't run into any ROUSes, I did become convinced our family should adopt this cat:

His name in Pretzel ... because in our house,
we prefer to name our pets in such a way that
we would be comfortable eating them in the event of an apocalypse.
That was a joke FYI.

This all came to a head Tuesday night. 

One minute I was raging to Brad about how awful the kids had been during a playdate I'd hosted earlier in the day (the pièce de résistance was Lily hissing at and scratching her friend like a cat and spitting on me. Like, for real, actual spit. On my face). Then I turned to philosophizing about how ideas shared in Mark Ronson's TED Talk on how sampling transformed music, could be used for integrating communities and businesses in York. Then I was lit-rally* laughing so hard I snorted over this raunchy video on Tosh.o (don't watch it, Ma!) about a video game called "Genital Jousting" (seriously, Ma, just don't.). 

Then Jovie wandered out of her bedroom bleery eyed and ruffle headed with her pink blanket, so obviously, I started bawling.

"She won't do this forever," I sobbed to Brad. She won't be little forever. She won't carry that greying, fuzzy pink blanket everywhere she goes. She won't need me to tuck her back in. She won't grab my face between her two little hands and kiss me on the nose.

It wrecked me.

You seem to be a little all over the map tonight Brad observed.

It was a gentle observation on his part. 

An emotional map of my day would've resembled one of those "Family Circus" panels where Billy runs hither and thither all over the neighborhood, except mine would've had stops at screaming at my kid in the kitchen, giggling at stupid-funny internet memes and flopping on the couch in tears while the girls stare in confusion and concern.

I wasn't just all over the map. I'd crumbled up the map, torn it, stomped on it, spilled chocolate milk on it then used the remnants to blow my nose.

The map was useless.

I confessed to Brad and to a friend that I'd accidentally on purpose sorta kinda forgotten to take my antidepressants for almost a week and that I had a strong suspicion that my epic journey through the mystic realms of all the emotions ever was an unintended result.

I don't know what the answer is here. I don't want to take antidepressants for the rest of my life. But I also can't afford to jump aboard a nonstop emotional roller coaster every day either. I have two little kids to take care of. A dog. Nine fish. Two cats, one of which is currently attacking my fingers in vain attempts to stop me from typing (should I take this as a sign to give up the dream?)

It can take up to a year for antidepressants to help your neurotransmitters to reset (i.e. restore the nerve pathways that were broken down by stress and depression). So ... what's that? Five more months? Maybe six. 

I can do that. 

The grass isn't so bad here anyway. Winter's gone and it's getting greener every day.

I took my pills. And you know what, Jovie and her blanket is still one of the sweetest things ever.

I'll end with this cuz it's pretty and a little sad (H/T to Beth for finding it):

*If you get this reference to "Broad City" than you and I are automatically besties for life. I will send you tickets to my celebrity cruise as soon as I secure the boat, book the the celebrities and get over my unjustified hatred of cruise ships.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your insight. I think I'm going to try to follow through on the trying them out for a full year thing and reassess then. You are right, we don't get a lot of time on this earth and there are so many adventures to be had. Good days or bad days, I'm enjoying the journey.

  2. "Two cats, one of which is currently attacking my fingers in vain attempts to stop me from typing (should I take this as a sign to give up the dream?)"

    NO. You are a writer. A damn fine one. Don't you dare stop writing or giving up on dreams.