Yesterday marked my one week of being on Anti-depressants. I still don’t know how to feel about it.
As many of you may know after reading my post on depression, I suffered with it pretty badly during my teenage years. For the most part, I was lucky enough to be depression free for most of my early twenties, something I am forever grateful for.
A few months ago,however, without warning, the hated acquaintance that is depression came knocking on my door. At first I could ignore those thick heavy thuds, drowning out the noise with things that made me happy. I thought I could hold it off again this time, but it just got louder and louder until last week I reluctantly unlocked the door and let it in.
I’m not sure what had been my tipping point. Perhaps it was being late for work, or the slightly condescending tone in which one of my colleagues decided to use with me this one morning. Either way, I left work just over an hour later, having spent most of my time crying in the girls bathroom. It was all very nostalgic.
Telling my collages I was feeling unwell and that I was going to the hospital, my first point of call was the English speaking GP down the road. I’m normally pretty cool with Japanese, but I was so shaken and weak I didn’t want to have to try and explain myself in Japanese. He turned out to be pretty useless. He told me ‘But you’re smiling, so I think you will be okay.’ I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. Didn’t he understand I was smiling to keep myself together, because it’s a social convention I had been raised to adhere to strictly. That one conversation highlighted the issues behind mental health in Japan and served as a jabbing reminder that this country has some of the highest suicide rates in the world for a developed country.
I left the clinic feeling more defected and heart broken than I did going in. I felt like a fraud, like something twisted and slightly broken. I felt like a malfunctioning human that could uphold all the outward appearances of a normal being but was short circuiting inside.
Luckily for me, I have a caring and supportive boyfriend who took time off work to come pick me up and drove me to a psychiatrist that was recommended by a friend. Unlike the GP this doctor knew what was up and treated me with care and attention, listening to what I had to say, letting my words sink into the paper before him.
I knew I would be given medication. Before I even entered the building I had this gut feeling that I would be prescribed happiness in a bottle to help me live my life. I left feeling dejected, but also a little more settled. Perhaps the right word would be resigned.
Since It was my first time taking medication I would be starting with 25g of Sertraline, otherwise known as Zoloft, along with 10g nausea medication since Zoloft often makes those who take it a little sick.
I was instructed to take them after lunch today and found myself hesitant, dreading the lunchbox that sat at the bottom of my workbag (which is a rarity because I am usually a glutenous pig).
My hands moved slow as they brought each bite closer to my mouth. For once I longed for dinner time to be hours away, but time was ticking an I knew I had to start my road to recovery sometime.
I tried to distract myself with a new netflix show, but found my mind wandering. All I could think about was how Ive been here before and how last time I didn’t need chemicals to produce attainable happiness.
Sitting at home, freshly showered and wrapped in my comfiest pyjamas, I had never felt so small and sick. Up until now I had been telling myself I was fine, that I was just being dramatic.
I forced myself to recall all the positive things I had read about anti-depressants. About how there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. About how they are just there to help rectify a chemical imbalance, giving you time to catch up to a happiness you just can’t seem to keep pace with.
I took the next two days off. I found myself pacing, lost in empty thought. Taking each tablet became a dreaded chore and as each one slowly disappeared from the little plastic case the reality of my situation came clearer in my mind.
Telling my family and the people I care about was hard. I needn’t have worried, however, as they were all as supportive as I should have know them to be. The last week has been filled with ups and downs, but I’m finally starting to understand my situation. I am sick, just like anyone else with a physical illness. I am sick and it’s okay to give myself some time if I need it. It’s okay to cut myself some slack and be honest with myself and others when I just can’t.
This week was pretty bloody difficult, but three people in particular made it bearable, and I would like to dedicate this space to thanking them;
Chad, my gariad, you are so wonderfully supportive and really pulled me along through this tough week, so thank you. Claire and Jess, you guys made me laugh even when I wanted to do nothing but curl up and sleep away the days. Thank you for a great friday eating pizza and introducing me to RuPauls Drag Race.
All in all, it’s been a hell of a week filled with some good days but many terrible ones. I truly belive that mental health and the treatment of it is not spoken about enough, so I want to share my anti-depressing story with you all and hope that in some way it can help or just amuse you.
If you have any questions about anti-depressants or depression please feel free to comment below or DM me over at Twitter which I check regularly through the day.
Stay tuned next week for Week Two of my kinda depressing but also uplifting journey to more good days than bad.