Pardon the pun - but yes I did mean to write the Medication Mindfield.
One of the many things I have had to come to terms with on this path was the fact that I had to take medication.
I was one of those annoying people who said to others, you just need to take your medication and then you will be better. But when it came to me, I had to fight my own instinct to
a) Not see the doctor in the first place
b) Not accept that I needed to take any kind of medication.
My thinking on this was twofold.
Firstly, I remember an outburst I had that went along these lines.
“ You just want me to go to the doctor and take some pills so that you don’t have to worry about me anymore - I will be someone else’s issue. You wont need to care about me anymore.”
I realise that the intent of the person encouraging me to do that was not to just forget about me now, but at the time, that is what I thought.
My second barrier was the thinking that somehow, depression wasn’t a ‘real’ illness that required medication. ie I was not bi-polar, schizophrenic or manic, I didn’t have a serious mental illness ( in my expert medical opinion), therefore I did not need to ‘take’ medication. People with depression ( I thought very boldly and ignorantly), just needed to get up in the morning, make the bed, get dressed and go to work - i.e they needed to just keep going.
All of those points, I know to be true, but the nature of depression, serious depression, not general everyday I feel down today, cannot just be sorted by doing the above.
It took a lot to admit that I could not do this on my own.
It took a lot to admit that my brain was letting me down and needed help.
I realise now that it wasn’t, that was just how it felt to me. But it just added to the overall feeling of being overwhelmed and adequate - a real catch 22 situation.
Each of our brains and how they work is an amazing thing and unique to each of us. There is so much to learn in this area, so much we do not know and so much we can grow to understand about how we think, why we react the way we do and why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over needing something to reset the balance.
I can say all of the above only now - after months of taking medication. I know first hand what a difference it makes to mental wellbeing. I also realise that not everyone’s medication story is the same as mine. Each time we take something there are side effects, that need to be worked through, as each of us reacts differently to chemical reactions in our brain. So yes there is a little trial and error that may occur. I think I was very lucky, that my medication has worked for me. I realise that this is not always the case for everyone.
However, I have had to put up with a huge weight gain in last 12 months - in excess of 15 kilos ( I have stopped counting as I am sure it is more. ). That has always niggled at me.
So after a few months of psyching myself up, I have decided to start the process of walking back the dose. I am not sure what this might do, what it might mean at this stage. My psychologist is aware and my doctor, so they will monitor how I go. They are encouraging me to plan into my day and week, some replacement strategies to pick up the slack.
I am keen to see if the steps I am taking to find the good, to build habits that allow me to see good around me and find happiness have started to pay dividends. I am not sure if I can do this on my own as yet - but we will see.
In the meantime, there is always Michelle Bridges to get the butt moving and hopefully shift some of this excess.
Small steps, Good Habits, Happy Mind