Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mended broken bones and brains

Okay so. Brave post coming up.

Know that I am nervous about posting this, but sometimes it's good to make brave admissions. During my times of struggle there were times where only hearing people's stories got me through. Some were told by loved ones (see my logs post, one of the best and most helpful stories for me of all time), and some by complete strangers, usually online in spaces like this one. The people who had the courage to open up about their own stuff helped me more than words can express.

So I'm paying it forward. Telling my stories and digging around for my courage to tell the big ones too.

I've been on Effexor (it's an SSRI, helpful for peeps with GAD) for around a year.

I'd been on it before and gotten off it (which I previously posted about). But I had to go on it again for reasons that aren't important. Loads of therapy too. Therapy is amazing by the way.

Anyway last night I saw my meds doctor. My doc who has been there with me for yeeeears, since the beginning of all of this. Last time I saw him we talked about me stepping down in May. Like, this month. Now.

As part of the process to decide if stepping down was still a good idea, I caught him up on the events of the last few months, since the time I last saw him. Spilled my guts on all sorts of emotions that popped up during that time. I wanted to share the responsibility in the decision to come off them.

Last time I ignored his advice and came off too soon. So this time around I had told him I'd just trust whatever he thought and give myself a bit of space and time to recover properly. Totes took the pressure right off and just didn't set myself any sort of deadline.

"So, doc, how's it looking, am I ready?" I asked.

He grinned and said, "more than ready", and then some other nice things. They're just for me though.

I squealed with delight. I was never 100% comfortable having to take them (side effects, dependency, etc), although I do understand they were necessary for me for a time and I'm no longer ashamed about needing to be on them. (Yeah, that one took quite some time.)

So, today is day 1 of reduction in SSRI meds.

I feel nervous, but also excited. Both, in equal measure.

Stupid side effects be gone! Yay!

I wonder how I'll go without them! Hmm. *ponders

Only one way to find out.

As I was leaving the doc's office, I remembered something my Mum told me years ago. At the time it was super helpful and last night it was helpful again.

She said, "you know Mary, after a broken bone mends, that part of the bone is stronger than the rest of the bone".

Thinking about that sort of floored me. Really?! Wow, that's so cool.

For a while my brain was a bit broken.

We put a plaster cast on it for a while, and wrapped it in (lots of) cotton wool.

Now the cast is off and it's all exposed and a little scary, but I can 'walk' again on my own now without crutches and without a cast.

'Am hoping Mum was right about the broken bones thing too - and its applicability to brains.

If nothing else, it's nice to wriggle my toes.

My brain's toes. I'm being metaphorical but I'm sure you get that. 

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