It’s been a while since I’ve written…. same old excuse – busy with work, life, and school.
But I’m on Summer Break now, and there’s been a topic I’ve really wanted to write about. It’s a little out of the norm for my blog, but it certainly does pertain to mental health, and I wanted to share my experience with anyone who still reads my blog after the long weeks with zero posts.
Here goes: I’ve been experiencing extreme stress and anxiety for the past year, possibly longer. My work environment only increased my stress and anxiety, to the point where it was spilling over into my personal life. I would become worried about absolutely nothing, and when I sat down and thought really hard about WHY I felt this way I realized it really was for nothing. But that didn’t help. The ongoing depression persisted, I would cry uncontrollably at work, I would call off work and skip school, I hated getting out of bed every morning, and the walk to my bus stop in the morning was absolutely miserable. I always had a heavy weight on my chest, had a pessimistic outlook, and I would feel my chest compress making it difficult to breathe when I would encounter unpleasant situations.
I finally said, “I’m done feeling this way, I HAVE to do something about it.” Overall, I’m a very healthy person, I eat well, I exercise, I have a great family, great job, and an awesome support system, so I had no logical reason to be feeling anxious and depressed – perhaps I had a chemical imbalance.
I asked Derek what he thought about seeing the doctor and perhaps taking medication for my mood swings and depression. I was extremely nervous asking him. We both don’t really believe in Uncle Sam pills, but Derek said it was ultimately my decision, after all, he had no idea what I felt like nearly every day. I hated putting him in the position of dealing with my roller coaster of emotions, so I made the decision to go see the doctor and see what she might suggest.
Honestly, I was willing to try anything to rid my anxiety and depression – counseling, supplements, nutrition plan, meditation or yoga etc. I just knew something different had to be done, whatever I was doing wasn’t enough. No matter how hard I tried to just BREATHE and learn to take a step back, I suffered from the control anxiety had over me.
About 9 years ago I was taking Fluoxetine for what my doctor and parents thought I had – PMDD, which is basically extreme PMS. I wasn’t taking it for very long, but during the short amount of time I did, it worked wonders. So, I told my doctor I had taken Fluoxetine in the past, and asked her if it might be something I could try again. She almost TOO readily prescribed me a 90 day supply of 20 mg of Fluoxetine. When I started taking it, at first it made me really sick and jittery, I would grind my teeth, I felt really manic with highs and lows, and lost my sex drive, but after a few weeks I became very even keeled, relaxed, and dare I say – HAPPY.
Honestly, making the decision to take Fluoxetine was one of the best decisions I made for my mental health. Some people may or may not agree with my choice, but I’ve made every possible effort in my own power to beat my anxiety and depression. I love being genuinely happy. I would describe it as the gate opening and allowing me to express my optimism freely. Being able to think clearly, rationally, and socialize with people with a sincere smile on my face has been liberating beyond belief. I want to say “Hi!” walking past people in the back halls of my work, I can smile at a stranger walking down the street, I go out of my way to be nice to people, talk to them, and ask them how they are. I am no longer held captive by my anxiety and depression, and it feels fucking amazing.