Terminated Again

Ze Good Doctor fired me. It’s a good thing! Let me explain – but first, some Who:

I’m free
I’m free
And freedom tastes of reality

Where were we? Right: with me getting fired by another treatment provider. Most of you know I withdrew from antidepressants four months ago. Mine and Ze Good Doctor’s most recent meeting was in early July; then, he seemed pleased by my progress and told me to come back in three months. But when I walked into his office this morning I wasn’t sure what would happen. I had a mild OCD lapse last week and, as tends to happen, I overreacted – which, given the timing, included me seriously contemplating whether or not I should go back on medication despite overwhelming evidence that I shouldn’t.

I made this for Ze Good Doctor:

THE PROS AND CONS OF WITHDRAWING

PROS

CONS

  • Medication helped me get better, but the skills I learned through Exposure with Response Prevention are going to keep me better
  • I have more energy
  • I have more motivation
  • The lingering tiredness that’s been affecting me since as long as I can remember has begun lifting
  • My mood is great
  • REDACTED FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION
  • Medication has, in the past, caused a spike in my obsessive thoughts
  • I like the idea of being medication-free (which is a minor point, but it’s not an insignificant consideration)
  • I’ve made several significant lifestyle changes – in particular with regard to sleep – that are having a much bigger impact on my day-to-day well-being than antidepressants
  • I feel as though there’s been an increase in obsessive thoughts since I’ve withdrawn. The thoughts are mostly white noise, but they’re also persistent and occasionally upsetting.

As I said: overwhelming. But I tend to overreact to even the tiniest lapse, and I walked into this morning’s meeting willing to at least discuss going back on medication somewhere down the road.

Ze Good Doctor nipped that talk in the bud within 30 seconds. He reminded me (since apparently I need constant reminding) that these intrusive thoughts, despite being persistent and oftentimes unpleasant, are symptoms of OCD and, indeed, are universal; that I needed to work on accepting their continued presence; that it’s okay if every day isn’t a 10/10; and at the end of the appointment, that he’d see me in one or two years.

Not months. Years. And then he said he was formally discharging me.

I honestly never thought I’d get to this point; I certainly wouldn’t have dared to imagine it last May after my experiment with tapering went south. Now that I’m here, now that I’ve scored this massive personal achievement, I’m going to celebrate – then learn how to stop overreacting to minor lapses and how to love my brain, warts and all.

Thanks to every single one of you for helping me get here.

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One thought on “Terminated Again

  1. Pingback: One Year Antidepressant-Free | Stuff and Nonsense

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