As many of you know, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a very long time. I personally believe since childhood, but my parents always brushed off my behavior. I did not receive any treatment until I was over 18 and decided to seek help on my own. I was on many different things before being prescribed Effexor. At first, I believed this was my miracle drug, the answer to my prayers. I felt a million times better. I was even able to finally get my drivers license because I wasn’t afraid anymore.
After being on Effexor for almost 2 years, and being with my current boyfriend for a little longer, the thought of us having children came up (See post Small Steps Toward Opening the Window). I have heard many horrible things about taking antidepressants while pregnant, especially something so strong. When I brought my concerns up to my doctor and explained my desire to come off of this drug she laughed at me, “like a crazy person” lol. She down played the strength of what I am on.
Someone like me NEEDS to be on a medication like this. The BENEFITS out weighed my RISKS. She would not hear me out. After leaving her office I tried to come off the medication on my own several times, each time ending in tears and panic attacks. This left me little hope.
Recently due to a job change, I lost my employer insurance, and have been placed on state insurance. About a month ago, I went to refill my medication and I had no insurance. My state insurance had not been approved yet. What does a person like me do? The price of my Effexor for one month, plus one month of my birth control was well over $200 for one month. ONE MONTH. Are you for real!?!
Clearly, I am not making as much money as before, hence the need for state insurance. I left the pharmacy in tears, scared I would slip back into my depression after a few days of it leaving my system.
So I went home, and I waited. I babysat my emotions. I was trying to prepare for the black cloud to swallow me whole, but it never did. I’m not saying I haven’t had my share of moody moments, and emotional days, but nothing like what I have felt in the past. Actually, I feel happier most of the time. I feel the best I have felt in years.
I feel much more alert. I feel my good emotions much deeper now. I have dropped a few pounds, not a lot, but a few. My sex drive is back! I was afraid it was gone forever.No more headaches. And I am less tired all the time. I used to be able to sit down and fall asleep any time, any where, even if I wasn’t tired. The past few days I have actually had a hard time falling asleep.
Were my meds making me worse? I believe it is very possible. I feel I was put on a medication that was too strong, and while it did work for a while, it wasn’t necessarily good for me. I guess it would kind of be like taking morphine for a simple headache. It will take the pain away, but you could probably accomplish the same results with less drugs. I hope, even if only one person reads my blog (which is very possible, I have a small following. But shout out to you, One Person!) that they will be able to use my experience to make sure something like this doesn’t happen to them. ALWAYS RESEARCH what ANY doctor is prescribing you. If it doesn’t feel right, STOP TAKING IT. Do not blindly trust doctors just because they went to more college than you. Do you know who pays their student loans? Pharmaceutical companies.If doctors actually heal you, then you aren’t making everyone else money. Think before you take these medications.
Who was I before everyone else told me who I was? This is a question I have been struggling to answer lately. I finally went back far enough into all of the family photos to find this picture. I was this girl. Crazy, sassy and hyper. Loving all things art and baby dolls. I was quite confident in the fact that I could paint a master piece with a baby on my hip. Two of the main things I have always wanted to be are a mommy and an artist. Even when I was told I could never make money in art, and that being a mom “isn’t a real career”. I always held these dreams in the back of my heart thinking that someday maybe I could find a way to make it all happen while following the path I was told to.
Well, it’s my birth month. I will be 27 this year, and I am finally ready to be who I am. Maybe not a mom quite yet, I mean I would like to be married first, but as far as being an artist, I’m starting my journey. My first step was starting my current job, which I love. Second was getting my life in order so I have more spare time. I am about to that point. Now I need to push myself to explore my creative side again. That is how I plan on spending this month.
I will spend this month Becoming Myself.