I haven’t posted in a while. That’s because I’ve been going through some changes. And I didn’t want to write about it until I felt secure in my decisions.
I don’t feel secure right now. But the fact is, I’ve never felt secure. I’ve always been waiting for the other shoe to drop. This time – I’m not waiting. I’m moving forward with my life (other shoe be damned).
Here’s the big thing: I’ve stopped taking medication. In some ways I feel better. In other ways I feel shaky. And I must admit (in the interest of full disclosure) that the number one reason I stopped taking my medication is because I want to lose weight.
It was an impulsive decision. One that I did not make with the direction and care of my psychiatrist. So, don’t think I’m saying meds are bad and no one should be on them. Far from it!
Medication helped me for a long time. It got me through some really dark periods in my life. But I’m coming out of that now. I’m coming to terms with my past. I’m coming to terms with my urges. I’m using the tools I picked up in DBT group to regulate my emotions.
Am I well? No. My husband describes me as neurotic and emotional. My sobriety is “paper thin.” But I’m awake! And I’m embracing being alive!
Of course, I know this is probably mania. Maybe. But I’m sleeping, and I wake up mostly refreshed. I’m eating with only slight feelings of guilt. I’m working with a clear mind.
I still feel lots of anxiety, but with my tools I can refocus my thoughts and recenter myself into the present moment.
I don’t mean to sound defensive, but there is a part of me that feels like I need to defend my decision to stop taking medication. Especially since I stopped taking it so foolishly – without the help of my doctor.
It was a whim. A casual, half-thought decision not to take meds one day. And to skip them again the next day. And the next… until suddenly it had been two weeks without medication – and without catastrophes! Without cutting – without restricting meals or purging.
The urges have been there, but I haven’t acted on them. I’ve been reinforcing positive thinking with positive action.
I would never suggest anyone stop taking medication as carelessly as I did. I could have had some very serious withdrawals. And I did experience withdrawal symptoms.
I think I’m finally embracing my humanity – bones and all. Medication didn’t prevent me from doing that. It took a “click” (a phenomenon about myself that I will probably never understand). Something inside me has “clicked,” and I feel ready to face this day (one day at a time) with courage and grace.
So – don’t do what I did. If you decide you want to go off medication, talk to your doctor first!
But – I’m back. Ready to write. And I think my writing is going to take a more joyful direction.
Banner image art can be found here: Reaching for the Light