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Author: Tori Margaret

what antidepressants changed in me, and why I stopped taking them anyway

what antidepressants changed in me, and why I stopped taking them anyway

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.

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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.

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The Gospel I Love is not the Gospel We’ve Been Told

The Gospel I Love is not the Gospel We’ve Been Told

I do not know how to tell my story without Jesus in it.

And I think this is what I’ve been running from. I’ve been running from telling my story to people who don’t understand or don’t want to hear it. I’ve been running from the fear that I might offend, be misunderstood, not be taken seriously.

And in the process, I’ve been running from me.

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Photo credit: Alexis the Greek Photography

If I stop to think too long, I have to evaluate where I fit into this world—this world I don’t fit into. I have to admit that not everyone will approve of me or “get” me. That being myself means being misunderstood.

The only way to change that is to tell my story with all honesty: all the messes, all the despair, all the hope that guided me through. If I do not want to be known as a pretty Christian, I cannot hide my story’s ugliness. If I do not want to represent a neat Christianity, I cannot pretend I have no messes.

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When You Know It’s Not A Coincidence

When You Know It’s Not A Coincidence

25 days. Count them. Watch them slip through your fingers like water.

25 days will not last forever. Your life here will not last forever. Family dinners, family jokes, family movie nights will not last forever.

You are leaving. You are leaving the room where you grew up, the room with clothes and books strewn in piles on the floor, the room where you don’t have to share anything. You are leaving your cozy bed and your bookshelves and your art on the walls.

In 25 days you will pack your things and move into a new room with a new friend. You will start a new life at a new school. Colby College is waiting for you, hopefully with a good on-campus job and the classes you requested. But you don’t know. You have no way of knowing now, and the information comes slowly, and the pieces are fitting together even more slowly, and you just aren’t ready yet.

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