Several months ago, after over a year of having the regular “really hard week,” I decided to see a psychiatrist and start medication to get myself back from the “unhinged” place I felt I was spending most of my time. Luckily, the first medication he prescribed worked pretty quickly – I went from feeling very fragile to feeling like myself again, and from there I felt more able to tackle the things that felt important in my life, and to really enjoy myself. The house got cleaner, derby was exciting, I was able to take the dog for a walk and feel good about it, rather than being completely overwhelmed by the prospect.
About a month ago, I started getting these horrible headaches that I realized were from tensing my jaw. Not clenching my teeth – just this constant muscle tension, whether I was awake or asleep, was causing constant headaches from the moment I woke up until I finally fell asleep. And then repeat the next day. It turns out that this is a common side-effect of the drug I was taking, and now I am slowly weaning off of it.
It’s strange and interesting and scary to realize what a difference the low dose I was on made for me. I’ve been decreasing and getting off of the meds for 5 days now and I’m feeling unsteady, unsure, and unhinged. I KNOW that I can feel good, that I CAN feel like myself, and I’m trying to channel that. I’m trying to focus on how good roller derby makes me feel, on the things that I have accomplished, and remind myself that this tight-rope walking I feel I’m doing in just getting out of bed is not who I am.
I’ve talked to a couple of people about this and realized, again, how much stigma there is around it. I wish we could all talk about it a little more, and I’m trying to be someone who starts that.