When I decided to detox from psychiatric medication, I knew better than to put any sort of expectations on the process, so I didn’t. However, I absolutely wasn’t expecting this.
All the drugs are out of my body now, which is a relief because that was a seriously uncomfortable six-week span of time. (Not only did the withdrawal symptoms run the entire gamut, but the dryness in my earsnosethroat region lead to two separate infections that required no less than four antibiotic treatments – one of which was administered via needle into my butt at tooeffingearly o’clock. Grumblegrumblegrumble…) I’d read that many people were excited to be greeted with a gorgeous, beautiful reality in which everything was vivid and colorful and full of wonder, but my fears stopped me from anticipating that, and I secretly stayed nervous that I’d plunge back into the depths of that oily, dark, suicidal depression I’d battled with for the years before I started getting psychiatric aid. I didn’t sit around dreading it, but I wasn’t oblivious to the very real possibility that more awfulness was lurking just over the threshold. I just didn’t know what would happen when I was left to my own mental devices.
Instead, I got the one thing I’d not even thought about: I feel fine.
Let me clarify that. I don’t feel amazing or terrible or moody or, actually, anyplace specific. I’m fine. I feel fine. I’m content, but not overjoyed; I’m cautious, but not paranoid; I’m peaceful, but not euphoric. I’m just… I’m fine.
Dude. I don’t think I’ve ever been “fine.”
I’ve always aaalways been at one extreme or another; I’ve even always said that “I feel things in technicolor.” I’m known for getting passionately angry about “silly things” (for example: I’ve been known to go on tirades about varied musical artists and pop culture in general for entirely too long… It’s sorta my thing… Or, it was) or wildly excited about things that ordinarily aren’t a huge deal… or even a “deal”…
Without the medicine in my system, I’m down to a range of “Oh, hey! Neat!” for things that are pleasing and “Well, that sucks.” for things I find disagreeable. And, a lot of the time, I don’t have any real feelings about stuff at all... which is a foreign concept to me altogether.
I feel like a part of this is what happens with age, but, noting the suddenness of it, I’m inclined to believe that it was the medicine holding me in that youthful intensity for so long, which, in turn, lead to a lot of my overanalyzing and grandly reacting to practically everything. I wasn’t unaware of the fact that I tended to be a Crazymaker at times, and, especially in the last couple years, I’ve found myself engaging in general Crazymaking behaviors, being completely aware of how I was acting, and still being entirely unable to stop myself. I never once thought that it could possibly be my medication perpetuating that sort of constantly-intense mindset I’d always assumed was a part of my natural makeup, and yet, as I’ve observed my thoughts and reactions wind slowly down as the chemicals have left my body, I’m more and more convinced that that is, in fact, what was happening.
So that sucks.
It’s amazing to have such a welcome relief from the type of mind I thought I’d been cursed with. Honestly, this blog post is the most analyzing and regimented thought I’ve indulged in in about a week; whereas, before now, writing things down was my only means to the cacophany of thought going on in my head just fucking constantly.
I’m quiet. And calm. And I’m able to take time before reacting. And I don’t feel like talking so much. And I’m okay being still and not having to connect with people compulsively in order to feel alive (that was a huge thing for me. It’s why I’ve become so hopelessly addicted to social media in the years since I became homebound with a child.)
This is a new reality for me altogether. I really, really like it.
Making the sole, executive decision to get away from this medication I was repeatedly told I’d never be able to live without again and trying to figure out who I’ve actually become in the decade since I started psychological/psychiatric treatment is turning out to be the very best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
The next challenge is re-learning to generate my own energy. Every morning for the last howevermany years, I knew I wasn’t “on” until I heard/felt that little fizzy-crackle behind my ears that told me my medications were in my system and propelling me forward. In the last couple months, it’s been weird to get used to waking up and remembering that there is no “magic” pill that will power me up for the day (I’m not gonna start a caffeine addiction because I don’t wanna) and I’ve discovered that my body isn’t used to keeping itself energized on its own, so building my own strength has been a bit of an uphill battle, especially since I’ve been on antibiotics during this time. I’m trying not to be hard on myself because, again, I’ve been dependent on psychiatry for more than a decade now, so expecting myself to be able to jump back into full gear is a bit ridiculous. But I’m slowly getting myself more active and making sure to get all the nutrient support I need without stalling the process on booze or copious sugars. I have a feeling this crap would be easier if I was still in my early twenties, but whaddayagonnado? It’s slow going, but it’s happening.
Ultimately, what I’m finding is that I’m not just recovering the person I was when I first started Crazypills; I’m discovering that that person was able to heal and turn into someone else entirely, which is a far better story than what I’d anticipated at any point. I’m really, really glad my Inner Self has hesitated to crank out a memoir during these years (despite my frustrated desire to produce one), because a story of healing from mental illness and chronic depression [in this world where we are still being taught that this is impossible] is one I’d be much, much more passionate about and driven to share. In 12 years with therapists and counselors, nobody ever told me, “What if you tried to heal? What if you didn’t need this anymore?” until about 9 months ago, and I think working toward actually recovering (instead of being “in recovery” for the rest of my life like the majority of the industry teaches) is what has been the thing that helped me turn the corner. I know it seems ridiculous to say, “I didn’t know I could heal until someone told me I could”, but being that we’re still in what I consider to be the Dark Ages of Psychiatry, it’s been hard to know when to trust my gut, especially when my gut thought I should kill myself at one point.
I know. I’m rambling. My point is that this is a far better ending to the memoir-in-progress than whatever I’d planned before now. I’m not done with this phase, but, if it continues giving me these unexpected surprises, I’ll be more than ecstatic to write about it when it’s time.