I have been back on Citalopram for 38 days now. I take 10mg of it every day and even though it’s quite a small quantity (usually the starting dose is 20mg), it’s working well as it always has (this is my 3rd 1-year stint of serotonin-increasing meds since 1998).
I have not had any anxiety episodes, any hypervigilance episodes (well, maybe just a few little ones) or any insomnia for most of the last month. It feels great not to fear my bed at night, it feels great to just get in and sleep. It still takes me 30-60 minutes to fall asleep but it no longer takes me hours and getting a normal amount of sleep is priceless.
People who haven’t been on anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants think that if you take them you’re constantly happy and kind of “drugged”. I can tell you that that’s not the case. I still have a normal range of emotions every day, I just don’t have the extreme lows, the anxiety episodes that feel like your heart is about to burst out through your throat or the flashing visuals of something terrible happening to my kids (that’s the hypervigilance).
The only downside to being back on the medication is the same thing I’m trying to fight against – the stigma. I find it very easy to talk about my mental health issues when I’m not on medication but when I am, I feel vulnerable. I find myself not really wanting to talk about it and I feel weird blogging about it. I think subconsciously I feel that the fact that I’m back on the meds means I’m weak.
Rationally I know it’s not the case. Rationally I know that there is no shame in taking some meds if they are necessary but every time I hear someone new tell me “Oh I’ve been reading your blog”, my stomach drops…
I know I will not stop blogging because I have done it for the past 9 years and I know that every blogger goes through the phase of “what is the point of this?” or “why do I need to tell the whole world about my life?” on a regular basis. This too shall pass and I will blog on. Once a blogger, always a blogger 🙂
It’s interesting though how it’s surfacing again that one of my biggest fears is that people think that I’m weak. I don’t know yet how to get my brain to accept that just because I’m taking Citalopram again, does not mean that I am a different person now, that I am in fact weak or not determined or not badass enough…
The good thing is that I’m not agonising over it. I’m ok with who I am or whether I take meds once in a while or not. I just don’t really want to talk or blog about it much right now.
Get ready for your usual posts on running, Crossfit, Bikram, bouldering, parenting (the most extreme sport of all!) and food!