Here's To Antidepressants
I’ve been quiet about this, at least in terms of the more public sphere side of things. I wanted to wait until the dust had settled, and honestly, a part of me was vigilantly on the alert for a “relapse”.
It’s been 52 weeks & 24 days since I initiated the process (under the guidance of my psychiatrist) of tapering off of my antidepressant.
And I have been 100% antidepressant-free in the past 52 weeks & 10 days. So, yes 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Thank you. Very humble brag 😉
And yet, I have been very reluctant to share this chapter. My worry is that someone will read this and think, “I can do this too,” or conversely, “No fucking way I can do this.”
The truth is managing a mental illness will be one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do. I want people to fully comprehend this, because truthfully, if you haven’t lived it, your feedback, while well-intentioned, is not welcome. The conclusion that pharmaceuticals are all inherently bad because they’re not “natural” is not fair, and it’s not yours to make, as an outsider to those of us who are just trying to lead a more meaningful life.
The truth is, while I consciously debated the benefits and risks of remaining on a course of treatment that wasn’t really adding any more value to my life, I am grateful for my antidepressant. As my lovely colleague, Alanna Prather, so eloquently put it, "antidepressants are a container." And boy, did I need one 4 years ago. I was reckless with my life and with my soul. I needed to be numbed out just enough to take better care of myself and understand my wants and needs a bit better.
So this is me, at least for now. And if this is you, as well, I’m so stoked for you. And if it’s not, you are still on the right path and your life, your choices are just as valuable and purposeful.