On the whole, things are starting to look up. I've seen a marked improvement in how I'm feeling since the last time I posted, and I'm starting to be able to do more of the things I need to do to keep myself well, other than taking medication. I was with my GP yesterday. I've said it before but I have to say it again - he's a really good doctor who takes the time to listen, explains what's going on as well as the potential pitfalls, and doesn't prescribe medication unless it's really necessary. He also knows me well at this stage, and I trust him completely. He made a really simple analogy, and one that made so much sense - think of an antidepressant as a long term antibiotic. We all know what happens if we don't finish a course of antibiotics. Same goes for antidepressants. If I'm well again, really well, and I don't need them anymore, coming off will prove far less of a problem for me. The fact that things fell apart so quickly when I stopped was a sure sign I wasn't ready to be off them. I have to admit, I was sceptical initially, especially since my track record with stopping/changing medication is not pretty and the interweb is bursting at the seams with tales of withdrawal trauma and the horror that is antidepressant medication. But maybe I need to push my scepticism aside for a while and put my faith in the people looking out for me.
So, with that in mind, I come to the other things, the things I can do for myself. I have one serious weapon in my arsenal, one which unfortunately I haven't been able to use as much as I'd like. Yoga.
This pose here, the wheel, this was my nemesis for a long time. A looooong time. I was terrified of it - of the feeling of letting go, of dropping back into the unknown, of getting myself safely back down out of it without giving myself concussion in the process....it's a fairly good analogy for life really. Last year, in between episodes, I managed to establish a daily, and sometimes twice daily, practice. It made an incredible difference to me. Physically I was strong, and mentally I was strong. I was calm. Then one day, without even trying, I managed to get up into the wheel. The boost this gave me was incredible. Anyone who practices yoga will know that back bends are tough if you're not in a good place emotionally, so to be able to get into this one physically, gave me a huge lift emotionally. But then came the crash
, the massive, monumental crash of last February, and with that, yoga, along with everything else, was gone. I've yet to get it back.
So here's what I'm thinking, and I hope to god I can follow though on this. I now need to treat yoga, along with walking, and getting enough sleep, as a secondary prescription. These are things that I have to do to stay well, and more importantly, to get to the point where I'm well enough that medication isn't going to be a problem for me anymore, because I won't need it anymore. I suppose the irony here is that I need the support of the medication to allow me to put in place and make a habit of the other things that will ultimately do away with the need for meds. Does that make sense?
So I'm going to try. I shared a picture on fb the other day that a reader sent to me, along with a quote from her. I'll share it again here for those of you who missed it.
'I'm running a half marathon tomorrow and I want you to know, I'm doing it for all of us, everyone on the blog and for you especially, and for me the most. Because when I'm feeling like I can't do it tomorrow, I will think of what we've all been through and what is ahead of us all that we're going to have to face in the future, and I'm going to suck up the physical pain/tiredness/whatever and know that when I'm finished, I'm gonna feel so good'
C, I'm taking inspiration from you. Depression is my marathon. So I have to keep myself fit to make sure I get to the finish line, wherever that line may be, and get myself there in one piece. I'm going to get my yoga back. Depression took it from me, but it can't have it anymore. I'm going to keep walking. I'm going to look after myself. Tonight I'm resolved, and determined, and (reasonably) optimistic. That's enough!! Tomorrow? I'll take care of it when I get there.
Labels: achievement, compassion, GP, Medication, recovery, relapse, Self care, sleep, support, treatment, walking, withdrawal, yoga