Coming Back {Day 17}

It has been two weeks since my last dose of antidepressant medications.

I’m weepy (at the drop of a hat) and achy (like I’ve run a mini-marathon every day) and still have moments where the “brain zaps” try to get me. (If you are not familiar with the symptoms of withdrawal from many antidepressants, “brain zaps” or “brain shivers” are common. Imagine being connected to an electric battery at random moments, like every time you turn your head.) The nausea has lessened, thank goodness, and I’m starting to feel a bit more energetic.

Crazy woman that I apparently am, I opted to start weaning myself off my prescription in the same month that we packed and moved… Maybe I want extra points or something. I knew it was time, just as surely as I knew (after dragging my feet for months years) that I needed help to overcome the cumulative effect of stress, distress, and biological weakness on my spirit, soul, and body.


Anyway… I’m nearing the end of the withdrawal phase, supposedly. It takes 19 days to work the chemicals out of my system, so I’ve got this week left. I’m pleased to say that despite the sudden urges to sob hysterically over a 60 Minutes clip about Taylor Swift, I can feel ME coming back to life, coming out of the fog.

Some of my Christian acquaintances (and myself, at one point) shun the use of antidepressants. Knowing what I know now: Don’t shun someone for getting a prescription for something until you’ve walked a mile in his or her moccasins. I even had to look back and ask myself, “Why did I get on this stuff, it’s a nightmare to quit!”

Well, to answer that… Because I was at the end of my proverbial rope. Looking back, I can see that the prescription I agonized over getting succeeded in toning down my emotions, reducing harmful physical reactions to stressors, and moderating anxiety enough to keep me functional (as opposed to going postal, which was looking like my other option) for the past few years. As a result, I’m not in prison and have no bodies buried anywhere on the property.

No, really.

I’m still married (to the same man, even). All my children are still speaking to me, and not in curse words or screaming arguments. I’ve renewed relationships with my parents and others who’d offended or hurt me. In other words, that prescription got me through a season of life that was taking more of a toll than I realized.

God knew what was going on… if it hadn’t been for considerable time spent in prayer and His faithful persistence to keep telling me “go to the doctor,” I would have never gone in and admitted (GASP) that I, a pastor’s wife, a spirit-filled, word-of-faith Christian believer, was teetering on the edge of a crumbling cliff of depression and anxiety. Sometimes you’ve gotta trust God and what He’s speaking to YOU personally than whatever traditions and doctrines of men you’ve bought into. Just a thought.

Anyway, this next month, the 42nd anniversary of my birth, should be interesting… let’s just hope we don’t have too many moments like this as I return to myself:

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