I LOWERED my antidepressant dosage, and I feel – SCARED. AS. HELL.

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It’s no secret I’ve struggled with mental health for most of my life. I’m very candid about it because when I started to feel different in my mind I felt like something was wrong with me, and I know hearing stories from other people like me would have helped tremendously. I was 9 when I first started experiencing anxiety, and I had no grasp or understanding of what the hell it was that was happening. Years went by and I still had to yet to open up for a proper diagnosis because I felt so much shame. Therapy was still pretty hush hush and medication was still wildly stigmatized.

This was during my bout with PPD. I was in so much pain.

It was 10 years ago that I finally went on antidepressants to help aid me in processing trauma after I was drugged. I had moved to a new state days before, and was starting at my new college the next day. But after a night in the ER, my time in Nevada would take a different direction than I had planned. I was diagnosed with depression and crippling anxiety after that night, but as you know that anxiety lived with me long before I was drugged. You see, I had made choices in my life up to that point that were extremely poor. I cheated on someone I loved, I took so many people and things for granted, I had a horrible relationship with my body that was detrimental to my health – I was trying to hide from myself, because I didn’t even like me for these things I was doing.

It was as if I was making these choices to self destruct. I still didn’t understand what was wrong with me, I still didn’t understand my anxiety. But after I was drugged I had no choice. It was time to finally face my fears, and confront my issues head on. It was the only way I was going to get through. Because at that point I was completely debilitated. I couldn’t be alone by myself let alone perform daily tasks.

I sought therapy, help from family and friends, and as you know now, went on medication. I searched everywhere I could to help me understand what it meant for me to do good and make good choices while still staying true to me. I traveled, went to monasteries and temples and explored different religions. I took hallucinogens to find truth in any space I could. I moved away and came back home multiple times. I learned who I wanted to surround myself with and who I didn’t. I even met depression once more during postpartum and STILL searched for the meaning of life after I thought I knew what it was. And I clawed my way out of that dark hole of depression but it also revealed to me who I am and what my purpose is. There’s that silver lining.

I’ve worked my ass off to try and be the best person I can be. There’s been highs and lows, but I can truly say on this day that I’m proud of who I am, and who I’ve become. But I’m scared because I’ve been down this road before, and I ended up returning to my full dosage. I already feel the shift: I’m tired, I feel like I almost have a fever, I’m dizzy, and I have low motivation to do things. This all feels very ironic. I’m trying to combat these feelings by being productive, but at the same time give myself grace and know I can only do so much. I’m trying to remember during this scary time that there is growth in pain, and I’ve found it before so I know I can find it again. Whatever happens, I’ll try and do my best in this trying season.

xo

Tori

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