During the last months of tapering off the “Zoloft” type medication I’ve been on I’ve come to get to know the difference in being depressed and having anxiety. I actually haven’t looked up the definition for either so this is purely based on my own experiences. Recently I have had days of depression filled with panic attacks that has scared me more than any anxiety has ever done. Not that the depression is worse, but it is definitely sneakier. I know now that I have never actually known what “depression” really is and I’ve always just assumed that it was sort of what I used to carry around. But today I’m not so sure. Throughout growing up I experienced dips, often, but it was always contrasted with extreme outbursts of happiness. This, the shit I’ve been thinking, feeling and experiencing is a whole new kettle of fish. I always knew when I was anxious because the feeling was so physical, but being depressed is like “knowing” that there is nothing to live for anymore. But then, once the depression-shadow passes I understand that I was just overtaken by depression and my lack of lust for living was just a waken nightmare. I am lucky to be so aware of the fact that the depression will pass with time, and I am lucky to not act on any scary thoughts I get once I’m in the shade. I can only imagine how hard it must be for someone who is alone or have no tools to use, because everything depression make you feel feels so real and it seems to take over without you noticing when, where and why.
I always say how grateful I am for knowing all different feelings so that I can relate through others through emotions. I always say that I am grateful for feeling like shit because I can appreciate feeling good even more. I always say that feeling like shit has helped me grow, a lot, and for that I am grateful. And I still am grateful for what I’ve been through mentally because it has shaped the person I am today, but I am also ready to move on and leave this world behind. Not this world, but that world. The world in which I need my wounds to survive.
Going off these antidepressants really introduced me to a new world of scary feelings and I don’t remember the last time, if even ever, I’ve felt the need to be so alone with myself. Most days I feel like I just need to be alone, I don’t really feel like meeting up with anyone, and that used to stress me out a little but I know that it is just temporary, whilst dealing with the chemical storm in my brain. I owe it to myself to not push myself too hard and if anyone would call me or think of me as selfish, then so be it. In the meantime make sure I get outside enough, I make sure I look after my body and I make sure I push myself outside of my comfort zone just enough so that I don’t completely vanish inside myself.
Now it has been a month without my “medication” and I know that it is time to come back to life. It is time to start getting up out of bed, for myself, and be excited to interact with the world around me. It is time to be excited to be alive again. I have been in my cocoon for a long time now, and I am ready (and scared) to get my life back.
I read something yesterday (in a book called Anatomy of the Spirit) that reasoned with me a lot and helped me get to this decision of getting my life back. It sort of described to me how I’ve lived my life since.. forever and through seeing it so clearly in front of me I am finally ready to let that go.
My whole life I have used my wounds to connect with people. I’ve never been afraid to mention my eating disorders, my “mental-illnesses”, my diseases, my fears, depression and anxiety as a conversation starter, an ice breaker – an introduction to whom I am. This book that I was reading was questioning why a person feel like every person has to know the pain one has been through as soon as possible and I had to ask myself: why have I always used my wounds to introduce myself? As if my wounds are the most important part of who I am… When did I decide that all the other things I have to offer weren’t who I was? Why my hurt? Why my pain? Why not my love and presence?
I have always lived as if my wounds are who I am, and in a way, they have been. But if I see a beautiful painting or a flower I don’t really care or need to know exactly what paint, type of brushes or what soil has been used to produce them. Yes my wounds are all in my history but just because they were some of what shaped me I need to realise that they aren’t what I am. I am not my wounds and I need to stop using them as my identity or they’ll be unhealed forever.
I am ready to be whole, complete, someone who understand but don’t always have to compare. I am ready to listen. That’s it. Getting off these antidepressants must be the last step for me in order to finally be free from identifying with a wounded person, a wounded soul. I need no more lessons in feeling sorry for myself, I’ve done that enough. I need no more lessons in self-pity and victimization. I am ready to be strong, happy and ready to listen and live life now. I want to be the tree other people can hang onto if they ever get trapped with a storm inside of them. That is who I identify myself with, a helper!