Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Depressing Little Secret

About two weeks ago, for reasons that I thought were good at the time, I decided to go off my antidepressants and try to "tough it out." It was not a smart thing to do, and I am now back on them after a crash that should be called impressive to say the least. However, while I am very glad to be back on the right path, and not running into the bathroom at work to cry when I read something sad (which is a A LOT, people really suck sometimes), I have to say, it wasn't all bad.

That's the dirty little secret about going off meds when you have been on them so long. There are moments when it is the best feeling ever.

Now, I am not saying that being suicidal, or crying uncontrollably, or thinking that everyone is out to get you is fun. Those are the reasons for medication. At least the reasons for my medication. However, the medications also dull the other emotions that can be larger than life for a person with depression -- like joy, and love, and excitement. Once the meds are gone those feelings are so overwhelming it's like no one else has ever, or will ever feel them that way ever again. You kind of feel bad for people on an emotional even keel.

For instance, last Thursday Meg and I were playing some stupid game, and she crawled into my lap and put her cheek against mine. I breathed in the smell of her hair and my eyes filled with tears because I love her so much. At that moment I KNEW no Mom could love a child more. With that feeling I really believed I could balance out the absolute emotional destruction when the pendulum swings the other way.

Wait, no it didn't. That's just crazy talk.

While those feelings are wonderful, and exhilarating, and make you think life is dull without them, they are just a trick. A mirage to bring you in that leaves you sucking sand. And in the end, feeling pretty good all the time, instead of feeling either stupendously terrific or world endingly bad, is an excellent trade off -- especially if you have a kid.

I'm glad to be back.

I mean, not crazy glad -- after all, I'm on meds.

15 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

Glad you are back. Know the feeling. Email me anytime you need an ear to bend (or just feel like hearing someone say, "Fuck!")

Chelle said...

Glad you're feeling better.

Scribe said...

I've been on anti-depressants on and off for the past 10 years. I have my bouts of depression that seems to happen when I'm not being true to myself. I'm happy you were true to yours - on or off the meds you are aware and I think that's the most important thing to remember. Just my thoughts.

Scribe

LL Cool Joe said...

The depression I've been suffering recently has been very damaging to my family. I'd trade feeling "okay" for the immense highs and lows.

Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing that with us. I never thought about the other side of antidepressants- the fact that it dulls the happy emotions. But, you made an excellent point, it's better to be even most of the time than really sad all the time. I'm glad you're back. :)

Nicole said...

Welcome back! I'm on day 3 without my mess (have to get to the store to pick them up. . . Life's just getting in the way). I have no intention to stay off them, but I'll be damned if I haven't had some excellent highs. And one crazy explosion at the kids. I know it's only 3 days in, but I know exactly what you are talking about. Even been thinking it might be time to wean off. I'm very wrong about that.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. I think anyone with depression would trade the highs and lows for one big set of even emotions. It's way better to feel okay all the time than to suffer the crushing lows of a depressed state. I don't suffer from depression as a rule, however, I took anti ds for a while years ago, when I was working in a job I detested, with insane stress levels. I was miserable all the time, a nervous wreck and exhausted. I'd cry for no reason. I'd have done anything not to have to go in the morning. So I got some anti depressants and they worked great. I still hated my job and still was miserable while I was there, but I could cope and I could let it go once I went home and having those pills got me through it. Feeling okay all the time was DEFINITELY preferable to the usual daily misery.

When I quit that job I stopped taking the pills and haven't taken anything since, but at a time I really needed the help just to cope, they did what they were supposed to do. If they're helping YOU on a daily basis, god knows, they're a good thing, dude.

zeghsy said...

I'd love to be able to go off my meds. But if I even miss a day or two, I can feel my whole world slide off kilter. Thankfully, having worked with my doctors to find the right combination and dosage for me, I still get to feel my feelings. They just don't take over my world anymore. I'm still in charge.

Patty O. said...

Glad you are feeling better. And i appreciate your honesty. For a while now I have been wondering if I needed some anti depressants. It's nice to read some honest posts about such a tricky subject.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

This is my favorite line:

You kind of feel bad for people on an emotional even keel.

Poor suckers!

(And nicely written, as per.)
Ellie

Granny Annie said...

And God created depression meds and said, "It is good". Amen

lifeisacrapshoot said...

Sometimes, the mania scares me more than the depression does, because I feel invincible.
Glad you're doing ok!

Jen Has A Pen said...

Glad you're back. :-) I was on anti-depressants in my early 20's for about a year. I decided I didn't need them anymore/was too lazy to pick up my script at the pharmacy, so I stopped them cold turkey. HOLY OPRAH! I thought I was falling OFF the world. Not vertigo. Just falling off the world. I happened to be in Memphis for a work conference and I sat in the corner of my hotel bathroom for maybe 11 hours trying to hang on to the world. Needless to say, my ass is petrified of those suckers now. :-)

Little Ms Blogger said...

I'm glad you recognized their overall benefit. I know people who don't and it's scary. It's also scary for the people around them who can't help them.

I'm glad you're feeling better.

Rassles said...

Dude, sucking sand sounds super gross.