Imagine you’ve been fighting something your whole life. It’s not tangible – it’s inside you. It controls how you feel. When you sleep. What you do with your time. The kind of relationships you have with other people. It controls whether you have energy or not. It decides your mood. It makes you feel like you hate the people you love and as if you love people you have no connection to. You’ve been trying for years – more than a decade – to get control of it. Of yourself. To be the person who decides what you do and when you do it. How. With whom. Along the way you’ve met people who genuinely seemed to want to help you. And others who had their own agenda and literally set you back years. Therapy. Drugs. Hospital stays.
Fifteen years later you’re on less medication – but you’re feeling worse. The last thing you want is more. More of anything. So you take a chance. You’ve been told for years that drugs and therapy are what you need and what you’ll always need. But it’s just become a boring, repetitive and losing game to you and you’re tired of playing.
I’d been told over the years to stay away from anything containing high doses of B vitamins. Supplements, energy drinks, etc. I was told it would put me off balance. Way off balance. And getting back would be a nightmare.
But earlier this month my doctor put me on a new antidepressant. I took it for a week and a half and it made me feel terrible. What was worse was I felt okay until I took it. It was like intentionally swallowing depression and apathy in a capsule. And I had to do it everyday. I called my doctor and she told me to stay on it. She said sometimes things get worse before they get better. It could take up to six weeks. I only made it one more week. At the end of that week I was worn out. I was tired. I went to the convenience store and got two energy drinks – in my experience they were safe in moderation. The first one I drank for energy. But the next day I had a bored/depressed feeling going on and took the chance of trying the drink then. It worked. I got through the rest of my day being productive, but not amped up.
So I bought some B 12 vitamins to take in the mornings. The lowest dose I could find – 500mg. The fact that I have more energy is wonderful – but it takes second place to my mood. My head is clear and I can think, make decisions. I don’t spend my days sitting on the couch waiting for it to be time to go back to bed. I’m active. I’m getting things done – both things that need to be done and things I want to do. I’m active outside as well – on Monday I went out for a bike ride with my husband and we went 4 miles total, which is a pretty big deal for me.
And I’m not feeling unbalanced. I’m not feeling manic. I’m aware of the signs and they aren’t there. But it’s only been a week or so. I’m still wary. I’m still watching. I want it to be this simple. Especially after everything else I’ve put into my body over the years in the name of being better.
I’d love to know your experiences with what’s helped you. Or what hasn’t.
(As a note, this is in no way me advocating that you switch from meds to vitamins or go against your doctors wishes. It’s just my personal experience.)