Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Obviously, this is a topic near and dear to my heart, so I was really proud to see my newest essay How Coming Off Antidepressants Taught Me to Give Myself More Credit go live on Woman’s Day this week. I wrote about the experience of deciding to come off some of my medications following my depression. It’s been a journey and one I’ve been wanting to talk about. I’ll no doubt be writing more about it in future blog posts, but this essay serves as a good overview!
Here’s an excerpt of the essay, where I unleash my trademark honesty…
To my relief, the meds continued to work, and life settled into a comfortable, familiar rhythm. So when my mom first suggested that I think about going down on my dosage, I was very hesitant. After all, I liked how things were now; why should I change a good thing?
“You’re on a lot of medication, and of course you needed it when your depression was so acute,” she said. “But you’re out of the woods and doing so well these days. Just think about it.”
She had a point. It had been nearly five years since I was hospitalized. For some reason, though, despite improving, I continued to cling to those pill bottles; they’d become some sort of security blanket. Maybe I couldn’t live without them.
My biggest fear was relapsing and ending up back in the hospital — having to drudge back up that mountain of recovery for a second time was just too overwhelming to even think about. I’d become afraid of who I was with the medication and even more afraid of who I’d become without them.
But maybe I could live — even thrive — without them. Maybe, at long last, it was time for a change. Those meds had saved my life and were there at a time when I needed them most, but you know what I’d also realized over the last few years? I saved my own life, too.
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo