I forgot my antidepressants at home. A four day getaway with my family ended not so well. The longest I have ever gone without my medication is two days, and even at that point the withdrawal symptoms set in. This time however, the horrible effects of withdrawal went another level further.
In her post Under the Influence of Drugs, Natasha Tracy exposes with truth and honesty the perception some people have about anti-depressants. Normally “I CAN think just fine.” and I’m fortunate to have worked closely with my Doctor over the years to reduce my dosage VERY slowly. So even though I’m on a mild dose, the impact yesterday was terrifying.
The Fear and Darkness of Self-Harm
For the first time, I could fully understand people who self-harm. The entire day I was overcome with extreme sadness, I couldn’t walk straight as my balance was affected. The nausea was unbearable, and the light-headedness and blurred vision wasn’t helping. On top of this, my husband and daughters watched as I couldn’t stop crying. Twice I curled up on Neil’s lap in a ball trying to find some sense of safety and release. I wish I had this post Stopping Self-Harm Urges Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy. to refer to, I would have had tools.
As the afternoon went on, and we arrived back home in Calgary the feelings were overwhelming. I started picking sores on my face, scratching at my arms – wishing I had longer nails so I could scratch harder. Thoughts began to creep in – suicidal thoughts.
STOP you know better! Yet the feelings kept coming and coming.
Then my saving grace, I had reached out to my dear friend and Registered Clinical Psychologist – Gemma Stone. She heard my cry for help and texted me:
“How are you? she wrote
“I’m not good Gem.” I responded as tears were streaming down my face.
“How can I help?” she reached out.
“Can we talk on the phone?” I pleaded
“Of course, call me on my cell when the time is right.”
Notice two very important steps on supporting a loved one, that Gemma displayed:
1. Ask – how can I help you
2. Invitation for help at my pace.
Gemma wisely brought me back to when I came back from the Peaceful Warrior Courage Training with Dan Millman. She had witnessed firsthand how peaceful, calm and present I was, and remembered me showing her one of the incredible exercises we were taught by Dan – to relax and step aside. Gemma had me visualize this, the calming affect was tremendous and almost instantaneous. It was what I needed in the moment.
Words of Wisdom
This morning, I read the wise, loving and wonderful words of another cherished friend – Elizabeth Words of wisdom and advice for all I think:
Time to change the bulb in the lighthouse:).
I will be candid and honest as I always am. You are running your pattern, and honestly, I thought this would happen about 3 days after the book launch. Depression, overwhelm, low self-esteem, confusion and withdrawal. It came early so here are my 2 cents to support you through the week and you did give me permission:) Sending with love……
First of all, I know you will start to feel more balanced being back on your meds. Eat very, very well this week and drink more water than coke. No wine! Nurture your body and if you don’t have time or interest to shop and cook then this week you and your family eat out. Go to bed at 9:30pm, light read or look at a magazine – lights out by 10.
- Close your eyes and think appreciative and grateful thoughts.
- Go outside for a minimum of 1 hour every day and walk.
- Feel your awareness of your surroundings – colours, shapes, smells and sounds.
The same goes with coaching yourself – being quiet and aware allows your own wisdom and resources to flow.
BE THE AWARENESS, BE THE GENTLE WISDOM, BE IN ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR TRUE NATURE and know that everything right now is exactly right, perfect, and as it should be. You can relax and be calm knowing this is so. Be proud of your spirit, love the being ness you are and share your gift with the world. The lighthouse shines brightly, and it will only be seen by those who need its guidance – it could be 1 person, it could be a few hundred, and it could be millions – the lighthouse doesn’t care nor will it really ever know how many people it guides and if truth be known it probably doesn’t care – it just continues to be what it is for the world. Shining bright and steady.
Love and hugs dear Lee – love yourself for that is the bulb in the lighthouse
This morning I spent an hour, outside, walking my dog – breathing in and being aware of all my surroundings. Thankfully the medication has kicked back in, and the awful withdrawal side effects have subsided.
I am so grateful for friends like Gemma and Elizabeth, who were there when I needed them most.
I am grateful for Neil, who even in his own fear and frustration with wanting to fix me but he can’t, he did what he could – hold me.
And I am grateful for my two beautiful girls, who realize and know it’s not their fault. My 12 year old daughter actually said to me last night.
“Mom, how are you feeling, are you feeling better yet?”
“Not good, and no sweetie I’m not!” I replied.
“Mom, you can say “crap” if you want – it’s okay to feel like crap!” together we had a good laugh over that one.
Please no matter what anyone tells you never take yourself off your medication.
Have emergency supplies. This morning I put a small container with an emergency supply in my purse. I won’t do that EVER again!