Hello everyone, and apologies for the lengths of time between my blog posts lately. I have been having a lot going on, much of which I cant blog about (again…writing on the internet so being careful what I say here, please bear with me)
Aside from our house being infested with germs and us being poorly, we have had a remarkably good week. We have seen friends, done our hobbies and had fun. However there is another reason where this week has been very special for us both.
A few weeks ago, I made the decision with my doctor to try and reduce one of the medications I’m on. This decision came after another panic attack that followed me being unable to find my medication. I became very fearful and teary, and at that point I realised. I felt like a drug addict of some sort, and that I was controlled by the medication I was on. The psychological effects on me were that I feared that I might have a “bad day” if I missed a dose or without my tablets. The medications used to treat my anxiety and depression take a while to get into your blood stream/body and to stabilize your mood. In my experience it takes me approximately 3 weeks to notice positive changes in myself. Now please do not take this the wrong way, I am in no means saying that people shouldn’t consider taking them important, but missing one dose would not affect me in such a way to make me fall into a bottomless pit of misery. Its certainly not advisable, but it should not make me as anxious as I was. I feared feeling negative, but I also felt controlled by my tablets. I did not like that feeling so I decided after talking to my husband to seek the advice from my doctor.
Another thing you should know about the medications used for my conditions. If you just stop taking them straight away, you can be hit with some pretty nasty withdrawal symptoms and in some cases you can have a pretty nasty relapse. Therefore it is always important to follow the advice of the doctor as to what they recommend. (If anyone out there would like to reduce or come off their medication please do speak to the doctor first!).
So anyway, I went to my doctor and updated her on my progress. I also asked her advice. She could see from my records that on the whole my depression had stabilized and that mainly my issue was with the anxiety. Therefore she advised that if I wanted to reduce my antidepressants, I could do so slowly and over time. This was something I was over the moon with, and I have been working over the past few weeks to slowly reduce my medication and to try and keep one of my dogs under control.
On Monday, I began my first week without my anti depressants in a very long time. It is now Sunday, and thanks to the support of those around me, I have found the strength to stand up to one of my dogs this week. I am over the moon with this!
Now I am in no way “cured” or “better” or whatever you want to call it. I am under no illusion that suddenly everything’s going to be fine and my invisible illnesses will go. As I say frequently, my dogs will always be there, and I will have relapses. I just go through life where I have patches that I can stand up to them on my own, and patches that I need extra help to get the strength to stand up to them. On Monday, although I wanted to come off the medication, I still feared the week ahead. I was terrified that I would struggle, turn into a bitch from hell or end up feeling terrible and having to go back on them. However it is now Sunday and as of yet I have found it to be easier than I thought. The further into the week I have been the more confident I have become and the stronger I have found myself to be. I now have a little more faith in myself and that can only be a good thing!
I have a long way to go but to me this is a massive step forward, and I am so chuffed to have finished this week with a smile on my face. I hope that this is the first week in many that I can stand up and face the world, with only one dog on my back. Who knows, maybe I will be able to say goodbye to my other dog for a while in the future!
Fingers and toes are crossed eh?