It’s a Saturday morning, and I should be getting ready or on my way to some form of MTB adventure because that’s what Saturdays are for.
But I’m not. I’m in my dressing gown. Crying.
It’s the first time I’ve had a proper cry since February 2016, when I started taking antidepressants. It seems like the last few months have taken their toll.
At the end of November I came down with some kind of a sickness bug where I constantly felt nauseous and could barely eat anything. I managed to get a bit of my strength back and had a steady ride at Sherwood Pines during the Christmas break. In January we went on a great snowboarding holiday. In February I was diagnosed with Parry Romberg syndrome. In March I had a bout of sinutisits, followed by an amazing splitboarding holiday. I came back from that holiday hoping to use the fitness I had gained to get back into cycling. Unfortunately it didn’t work and I had the worst exhausted phase I can remember. So April was spent trying to get lots of sleep, eat healthily and do gentle exercise. I got another bout of sinusitis and then my van broke down.
So here I am, half a stone heavier, unfit, lost my bike-confidence and trying to just get out of bed.
I posted up in a Facebook group I’m part of (MTB chix and trails) and asked what other people had done in similar situations, and got such amazing supportive responses. But then that got too much for me and I haven’t been back on Facebook or twitter since.
I was thinking this morning while getting ready as I always do, but today it was about medication specifically.
I’m asthmatic, and have to take 2 puffs twice a day of an inhaler, which stops me feeling like my chest has some kind of very restrictive corset on.
I also have depression, and have to take 2 20mg tablets every day, which stops me feeling like my brain has some kind of very restrictive corset on.
This year I’d set myself a goal of reducing the anti-depressants to 20mg a day.
Today I asked myself why I’d felt the need to set myself this goal, I wouldn’t do it with the inhaler, after all.
I realised that I’d put this pressure on myself because anti-depressants are, at least initially, viewed like a plaster. You put a plaster on to keep a wound clean, and help the healing process. And for some people this is exactly what anti-depressants do – help them get back on track, start and maintain their healing process until they feel like they don’t need them any more. But what if for me I need them like I need my inhaler?
So today I gave myself permission to not feel any pressure on this subject, to drop my ‘goal’. If I need to be on these tablets long term what’s the problem? Mental health is like any other form of health issue, so why treat the medication for it like a temporary fix?
And along with this I’d set goals of blogging twice a month. Well I’ve obviously succeeded at that… (NOT)* so in the name of reducing pressure I’m going to forgive myself and just blog when I can/feel inspired. Because what’s the point in forcing something?
*Wayne’s World is 25 years old. This terrifies me!
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