The medication has run its course through my body and is fully washed out, now. Now I am empty; now I am doing this on my own.
People keep asking me why I chose to go off antidepressants. I was doing well, I was stable, and there were no side effects. Talk about a miracle drug. I could be happy and as close to carefree as I’d ever been, and it cost me nothing.
But maybe you can understand? These blogs, they’re not unlike my journals. They’re full of anguish, frustration, hope. And yet as I looked back at what I wrote even a year ago, I saw intense emotional upheaval over events and situations that didn’t merit it, things that felt almost childish.
I thought, maybe, I’d grown up since then.
So this is what I told people who asked about my decision with genuine concern: I feel more stable now than I ever have before. I had begun to look at the pill in my palm each night and wonder why I was taking it. I had never intended to be on the medication forever.
Did I feel shame about taking it? Not really, not anymore. I had felt shame at the beginning when my grandmother passed away, and I felt as though I was trying to be happy when I should have been grieving for her. But now I know that there is no shame in getting help, in realizing when I can’t do it on my own.
But now I believe I can. I believe I can do it on my own, and not because of trying harder or having more faith. Instead, this time of medical support has taught me through experience to see redemption and goodness instead of despair. It has shown me that life is not as bleak as I once thought, that my mind is not a prison, that there are good things within reach and this is not the end. It has distinguished between the real me and the sick me: the one who believes her friends talk about her behind her back as a burden and wish she weren’t around, the one who can do nothing but sit and cry, the one whose every word is a plea for attention and affirmation.