I know it’s silly, but I feel like a failure writing this post.
It’s the same feeling I had when I couldn’t produce enough breast milk for Misty, and had to supplement my (starving & skinny) child with formula – a sort of guilty disappointment that my body was not living up to my high expectations.
With all my “Pro-Natural,” “Hippie-Power,” and “Earth-Mother,” ideals, it’s a bit of a conflict of ideas/beliefs….. turns out I can’t really handle being off medication for Depression & Anxiety.
Yes, I felt fine, great even for the first few weeks…. but as I reflect back, the drugs were probably still in my system in small amounts. Once those last dregs disappeared, I started to revert back to the “Lou” that I don’t like so much. It’s not that I turned into a hysterical, sobbing basket-case or anything, it was more subtle than that – but it was noticeable. My moods changed considerably – I became negative, harsh, and my patience “fuse” was about half a centimetre long. Not good when you have a toddler that likes to test the boundaries.
I think it’s confusing because I don’t like to feel as if I need to take a pill to be myself – but in reality, maybe that IS the case? Viper likens it to someone who needs to take insulin for Diabetes, or blood-pressure lowering medication…. I have a chemical imbalance that really does need the medicinal attention I give it.
I feel like a failure when I read stories about how others have managed to ‘kick the pills,’ and embrace a natural approach to mental well-being….. but when I really think about it, this is a pretty detrimental mind set. Comparing myself in this way, in terms of emotional-health, is like feeling bad for not being able to jump as far as an Olympic Long-Jumper or something…. just like I don’t have the physical strength to leap 8 metres into a sand pit, I don’t have the emotional strength to survive on herbs alone. And that’s OK.
Just like diet, there is no “one size fits all” with health – be it physical or emotional. I suppose I need to be grateful that a) I live in an age where medicinal therapy for mental health is pretty advanced and b) I am lucky enough to have found a medication that DOES work for me, with pretty much nil side effects – I know that I’m one of the very fortunate ones.
Anyhow, within a week of taking medication again, I feel back to the “Lou” I like. Funny that. She’s a lot calmer, a lot nicer, and easy to be around. I am continuing with my natural “support crew” – large doses of Vitamin C, heaps of nettle tea, pro biotics, a clean diet, yoga/meditation – because one cannot simply rely on the pharmaceuticals and expect results, right?
Again, it’s all about balance – you have to do what is right for YOU…. some people find success with herbs and natural therapies, some find it with exercise, some find it with a prescription. I’m down for working with the whole threesome.