You Can’t Do It Alone

You can’t do life alone. No matter how much you want to be independent from everything and everyone, you need something bigger than yourself. Whether that something is God or friends or Google, we all need things outside of ourselves to keep us going, to help us in hard times, and to inspire us to be better.

I take an antidepressant. I have been taking this same medication for approximately a year and a half, and in general, I have been doing really well emotionally during that time. Sometimes though, I think that I am doing “well enough” to stop taking my medicine. I have never really liked medicine or doctors, and I am usually defiantly independent, so every few months or so, I try to lower my dose of medication or only take it every other day to see what happens. And honestly, it’s not a good experience. I might keep doing well for a few days, but slowly, I find myself drowning again. It becomes harder to see the light. A heaviness overwhelms me and I hurt for no explicable reason.

This last time of trying to get by on a lower dose of medicine has convinced me that it is not worth it. I would rather pay the money every month to buy my medicine than find myself contemplating suicide or wanting to give up on life. At one point I thought that accepting the possibility that I may need to take medication for the rest of my life was giving in to depression. If I have to keep taking medicine to avoid being depressed, then obviously the depression is still there, right? But I am coming to realize that taking antidepressants is the opposite of giving in to depression. As long as I am doing things to keep myself safe, to fight my depression, to keep on going, I am not giving in to anything (accept maybe happiness).

The truth is that we all need something to help us keep going. For some people, that something is running or doing some other form of sport or exercise. For others, that something is eating chocolate or avoiding sugar or doing something else that helps them feel good. I am coming to accept that medicine is what helps me to keep going. I also need friends and exercise and good food and sunshine and moments of silence offset by moments of crazy fun, but I can’t enjoy all those other things if my mental illness is keeping me from being able to be myself.

So, I am calling today a victory. I am deciding today to use the resources of modern medicine to help myself find peace. And I am encouraging you to do the same thing. Do not allow yourself to feel embarrassed or weak or less capable because you need something. Taking care of yourself is the strongest thing you can do, and no matter how you do that, if it works for you, it is the right thing to do.

3 thoughts on “You Can’t Do It Alone

  1. That’s certainly true, “no matter how you do that, if it works for you, it is the right thing to do.” We are all unique and what works for one, may not work for another. As you have found, medication is the answer for you and for many others it is the same.
    I am hoping now things are good in my life, I am hoping to come off my medication. I am on a low dose and I was hoping last year to come slowly off it, but I felt at the time with what was going on in my life I wouldn’t be a good idea. My doctor was happy for me to stay on them and for me to come off when I was ready, with it being a low dose and for last couple of weeks I have now started taking my antidepressant every other day. I feel good so far, but I won’t reduce it to every couple of days until after another couple of weeks and see how I go from there after a couple of weeks, before making further decisions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Am so proud of you and as you said it’s better to be on antidepressants than contemplate subside. If the medications are helping you to function in society you should do what is best for your mind, body and spirit. You are never alone.

    Liked by 2 people

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