Two years ago I posted on Time To Talk Day about how I had finally acknowledged my mental health problems and had started to do something about them. I had just left my job, I was a month into taking anti-depressants, suffering with insomnia (as a result of medication) and, questioning everything.
Would the medication work? Would I ever feel better? Would I have to take medication for life? Will I ever get back into work? Where am I going to get money from?
The questions went on and on and on...
Two years later I feel like a completely different person.
I am still taking medication, but I am currently on the lowest dosage I have ever been on. Bad brain days are much more rare. I am in a job that I love. And I can answer the questions that rattled my brain.
The medication does work for me. I do feel better most of the time. This year I want to try slowly wean myself off medication and see if I can go without. But I am also aware that maybe I can't go without and that's also okay.
At the end of last year I decided to try therapy. I found someone local and went to the free initial session she offers. I felt comfortable with her and I've been a further 3 times so far.
In this weeks session I was feeling really great and positive and she's helping me realise that the things I see about myself in a negative way actually are positives. So I'm finding it useful.
She's asked what I want to get out of the sessions and for me it's to just stay being okay.
I wanted to do it now as I lowered my dosage over Christmas so doing therapy at the same time sort of feels like a safety net. Just having a back up in case the lower dosage wasn't going to be right for me.
So far, it's been good. I don't feel different from when I was on the previous dosage - which I see as a good thing. I feel as good on a lower dosage as I did on the higher. It gives me more hope for coming off fully.
I think had I done therapy at the start of my journey, I wouldn't have been as open. I wouldn't have wanted to talk so freely and I wouldn't be open to seeing the negatives as positives. But now I have the hindsight to see how things have changed, it's about changing the way my brain deals with things and keeping on top of that. I guess for me it's more like CBT. I did CBT when I was first diagnosed but it was an online course and I never physically spoke to anyone during it. It was okay but it wasn't the best it could have been.
I'm in no rush to come off medication. I'm just taking it as it comes. I have a couple months worth of my prescription so my plan is to see how I feel at the end of those. If I feel ready, I'll go see my doctor to see what the next step is. If not, I'll continue for a couple more months.
I never wanted to accept that I have mental health problems. I was scared of the labels and stereotypes. I was scared of medication.
But now, I fully accept that sometimes I am depressed and deal with anxiety. And that's okay. I'm doing all I can to make the symptoms better and that's all I can do.
What works for me isn't going to work for everyone. But I guarantee just telling someone, anyone, will help. Whether it be friends, family, doctors or a therapist. Anyone.
I find it easier to talk to people I'm not close to. That's just me.
Please just talk to someone. They'll listen.