Saturday, September 11, 2010

Off Meds

I realized this afternoon that everything I post here gets automatically posted on my Facebook account. Well, we'll see how long I leave that up. I don't want EVERYONE I know to know the truth about me.

And the truth is... I'm nuts. Honestly, most people already know this.

Nuts is probably too strong a word. I've suffered from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder for years. About two years ago, I finally started taking medication for it. Honestly, this was the best thing I've ever done for myself. I could think. I could order my day. The anxiety stopped taking over and I was able, not just to function, but to thrive! It seemed a true miracle.

A year ago, another miracle happened. I converted to Orthodox Christianity. This conversion forever changed my life and for the better. I found a more holistic faith- one concerned with mind, soul, and body... a faith whose emphasis rests on the healing and restoration of the soul (aka- salvation) rather than on how many different ways you've offended God and how lucky you are that he arbitrarily loved you (and not the guy next to you) and decided to save you.

The Church has been called a hospital and its practices, the prescription. We all take the same "pills"- prayer, fasting, caring for the poor. Some take extra medicine which is specific for their own unique affliction.

What does this have to do with my crazy? A lot, actually. I don't want to take my meds anymore. I forget to take them regularly. I'm not a good pill person. I know I need to set my alarm and take them at the same time every day blah blah blah... but getting into that routine has proven ridiculously difficult for me.

So, I haven't taken them for over a week now. And guess what? I'm fine! I feel neither crushing depression or paralyzing anxiety. What I do feel is a greater awareness of my own sinful thoughts and attitudes. I know that I have a shorter temper with my loved ones. I know that I get offended a bit more easily. I know that its more difficult to turn off the snark.

But do I really need medication to take care of that stuff? I mean, medication in the form of a physical pill? Or can I accept the Church's medication and let that try to heal my soul. What I mentioned in the last paragraph- those are issues that a lot of non-depressed people struggle with. And, if they are seeking to grow in their love for God and/or for others, they find ways to deal with it.

So, I'm experimenting with myself. I have nothing against psychotropic meds. In fact, I'm a big fan of them for people who really need them. I could very well be one of those people and I have no problem going back on meds if I think I need to. But I am encouraged in this- my husband has been one of the biggest proponents of my meds. I'm very sensitive to them in that, if I miss a day, it is very noticeable. Mark can always tell if I haven't taken them because I go immediately from regular me to crazy me overnight.

Not this time though. He says I've been doing really well. I can feel his support. I draw comfort from him when I struggle and I think this brings us closer together.

I had a minor meltdown yesterday. I do get overwhelmed a bit more easily. We were trying to get out of the house and I was being pulled in five different directions. Multitasking is a bit of a challenge for me, but I'm learning. Anyway, I got overwhelmed and started to cry. I hid in my bedroom for 5 minutes and let it out. Somehow, I was able to calm down and get some perspective on what was happening. With Mark's help and encouragement (and unending patience!), I got up off my bed and finished what needed to be done.

I'm proud of that.

So, we shall see. Can a med-less life be done? Should it be done? I don't know. But I'm going to try and I think I'm on the right track.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!


  1. I know it's different for everyone - people have different conditions, are on different meds or combinations of meds, etc. I do suggest you talk to your spiritual father about going off the meds though. Sometimes we have combinations of spiritual and physical ills. The Church has always encouraged people to seek and accept medical assistance as needed. Going off of your meds is a rather major decision and, especially if there's a spiritual component, not to be taken lightly or done against a blessing. Not scolding here (I promise!). My spiritual father's instructions (not advice) have been "Take your meds." I completely understand that that's a specific blessing for me, not applicable to anyone else. I'm also a nurse though, and am wary of anyone going off of meds cold-turkey without someone keeping a close eye on them. I'm glad your husband is so attuned (mine has learned to be too (c; ).

    Anyway, I swear I'm not trying to be annoying or anything, just don't want to see you get hurt. Forgive me if I've offended you.

  2. Not offended at all! I think those are reminders I needed to hear. I need to get my bootie into confession so that I can talk with my spiritual father about these things for sure. Thank you for being honest with me! I'm such a newbie to all of this. I need all the reminders and encouragement I can get.

    Have a blessed Sunday!!