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Daisy among roses


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I have been absent from this site for some time. I feel bad about it actually. So many people have offered me help in the past and I haven't been around to help anyone or just listen. I've only posted a few time in the past year. I suppose in a way I've felt unable to help anyone as for a while I was unable to help myself.

I started a completely new life in 2011. As I have spoken about before, I started a new job, broke off an engagement, started dating someone new, "donated" my beautiful cats to my mother, and moved into a new house. Change is hard for me. Change is hard for most people. But the biggest change, and most significant one I made last year was that I started to take medication for my anxiety and depression.

For so many years I hesitated thinking that it would somehow poison me and turn me into a drug-dependant zombie. I had such a negative attitude towards it. It was only when I saw my boyfriend go through a period of withdrawal from an anti-depressant that I realized what these drugs do. When I met him, he was such an upbeat guy. He was open about his anxiety issues and how he had overcome them with therapy and exposure (social anxiety), but that he may need medication for the rest of his life and he's accepted that. I was in awe. Knowing him as I did, I would never have guessed that he had an anxiety disorder. As I got to know him, more signs of the issue began to show. He has a strong shell, but his is soft and vulnerable on the inside. Still, he is grounded and he does what he needs to do to deal with his disorder.

In the fall, his doctor made the decision to change his medication. My boyfriend found that it was not working as well as it used to, so he put him on Wellbutrin. I decided to give it a go as well, although I felt forced into the idea by my boyfriend. Both of us had adverse reactions to it. He was off work for a month. I was only off a week but I wasn't coming off of any other medications like he was. To say I felt scared by that first attempt at medication is an understatement. I was horrified and I didn't want that "junk" in my body. I decided I wasn't trying any more. My boyfriend tried to go without medication. He got through the withdrawal symptoms and went on with his life sans medication.

I started to notice changes in him. He was dark and negative. He didn't listen anymore, and simple situations seemed impossible for him to deal with. It put a huge strain on our relationship. I shed many tears. Meanwhile I was severely depressed and having new anxiety symptoms. I felt sick all the time. I couldn't turn to my boyfriend because he was battling his own demons, and my family has never understood. I do have a few friends who have been wonderful though. Either way my therapist became concerned. My doctor became concerned. After many years of therapy and mentions of being "totally stressed out all the time", I was finally diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This came as no surprise to me. Deep down I knew that, I just wanted someone to validate it.

My boyfriend ended up back on Cymbalta, which is what he was taking when we met. I can't tell you the change it's made. He's himself again. I realise now how much he needed that in his system, and how much it's helped him. I thought to myself, maybe who I am now is not the real me? As in, maybe my anxiety and depression have taken over who I was? Truth is, I had no clue who I was anymore. My wants, my desires….it was all a jumbled mess in my head and I could sleep or function normally.

I started taking 10mg a day of Cipralex about a month ago. Initially, I felt pretty sick. I could barely keep my eyes open for the first week. Luckily since it was close to Christmas, work was slow and I also have a wonderfully understanding boss who gave me as much time off as I needed. A month into this "drug therapy", I feel different about medication. I feel feelings that I haven't felt since high school. That feeling of being happy just for little things in life. I am calm and I can think clearly. Admittedly, I'm more tired now, but that’s ok because I don't hate everything. And I can sleep! That's so wonderful.

People around me have started commenting. I'm a lot happier now and it shows. I have plenty to work on, but I feel like I can now, whereas before, my anxiety wouldn't let me. It seems better to suffer alone than to let all my feeling out of the cage I built for them. I have a much firmer grip on reality.

I found this blog today: http://daisyamongroses.com/ It resonated with me. I'm a daisy among roses. I exhaust so much energy comparing myself to everyone around me, which only makes me feel strange and inferrior. But I do love myself for who I am. And I feel like I am on my way to loving myself even more.

Just an aside, I bought a kitten and he makes me very happy. He's such a sweet cat. He follows me everywhere and plays fetch. It's nice to not feel alone all the time. I feel like I always have a loyal non-judgemental friend by my side.

Anyway, I'm trying to start the year off right this time. Not that everything that happened last year was bad, but it was a very turbulant year. I'm hoping for smooth sailing in 2012 :(

Happy New Year everyone.

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Happy new year, Cass!!! And thanks for your wonderful news!!! :):P

(I also have a great experience with medication (mirtazapine), so I can relate. Unfortunately, it's so uncommon to hear somebody with good experiences with ADs...)

I know I have my inbox full and I'm going to fix it finally...

Take care!

L.

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