This isn’t the typical positive post you’re used to read in this blog for the past years, but a brutally rough and honest one, about what life has been two weeks after I stopped medication for my mental health.
If you just arrived and you have no clue what I’m talking about, please head here and here where I explain you my entire story, and how, lately, I’ve been more aware of the people I have around me, what’s my actual support system, and if I was actually ready to start this new chapter in my life.
Long story short, life has been shit the past two weeks, and sadly, I can’t sugar coat it, even though sugar coating, adding sprinkles, confetti, rainbows, you name it, to absolutely everything around me is kinda my life specialty, isn’t this ironic?
But hold up, as shitty and real the past weeks have been, I’m actually (and drop serious) thankful they happened. I’m grateful of feeling all my feelings, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the cute ones and being able to do things that I never thought I was going to be able to do, at least in this lifetime of mine.
The side effects
Soooo, when I decided to stop my medication, I kinda knew I was ready for that step. I talked to my doctor, and for two weeks before stopping, I was under half dose (under medical supervision). I think I’ll remember for a while how I felt the last day I took that little yellow half pill on Feb 3rd, but heck, life is too short not to try this. The first week I had two days with massive migraines, with aches all over my body, with no clear thoughts or ideas in my work life, but hey, I started feeling my feelings all over again – and I was shocked how much I missed them.
Some mornings needed a bit more of coffee, some evenings needed something sweet (I’m looking at you, Nutella), and some days I needed to just sit and read a book (more on that later). Some days I cried and I actually loved the feeling. Some days I couldn’t stop thinking about my health for a few, but, overall, I felt I’m in the fastest and scariest rollercoaster ride, and today, 14 days after, I’m feeling grateful I’m here.
The things I did differently
Therapy: I started therapy, and holy baby jesus, where was I before therapy? I always thought that being hopeful, a happy person that focus all her energy in the good things of life was enough, and HEY, I was SO damn wrong. Let me say it again for the ones in the back: I was SO damn wrong. Talking to someone who has no clue about your history, someone objective, someone with knowledge and tools that can help you see what’s underneath all those emotions we feel, has been the best decision in the past two weeks, and see? I even forgot about medication for a hot minute.
Journaling: I consider blogging part of my journaling, where I express how I feel, the happy moments I want to remember, but leaving medication made me change a few things here and there, so I bought a prompted journal that I fill every night and it has been, magical. The things I’m afraid to say, the ugly, the beautiful, all there, in a piece of paper, every day.
Be patient with myself: I know it’ll be a long road, and being patient is key. There’s so much pressure today on most of us, to “level up your life girl” in our businesses, our marriages, our lives, and now even in our wellness journeys, and I decided I’m learning to be patient with myself, to be gentle, to love the slowness and take it as a win. Baby steps, friends!
The things I’ve learned
About mantras: I’m still starting my morning reading The Daily Stoic (forever the best way to start the day) with a coffee, and now meditating using a new app that I LOVE, like, next level love: The Shine app. After trying a short meditation of the day, I set up a mantra that helps me focus and feel better (it actually does), try it, it’s so worth it!
I’ve learned what takes my energy, and how to stop it: So, let me help you understand what I’ve learned about myself: being positive about everything (aka Maca) all the time wasn’t the best life strategy, because sometimes, life sucks and it is okay to feel this. Through therapy, I’ve learned that I’m that kind of girl that loves to help and be there for the people that I love, but, I don’t know how to set up boundaries and limits, I don’t know how to say no and I don’t want to hurt people if I do say no (I’m working on this as we speak), and in the long run, helping people without setting clear limits just end up hurting me more, unconsciously.
Yes, we all have problems and HEY! that’s life, it’s human, it’s real and guess what? We actually need problems in our lives to solve them and learn from them, BUT what I’ve learned is how we are choosing to see our problems, and if we want to fix them and move on, or if we use the problems we have to feel victimized and miserable about yourself. I decided to actually move forward, to understand why we do certain things, to get the help I need, and to fix them.
Spoiler alert – If you decided to set up your limits in different situations (I’m new to this and I’m learning) with different kind of people, as the people you love, people you’re not so close with, people you see once in a while, people you work with, people you hang with and have drinks occasionally and, they get upset when you set boundaries, they are upset because they benefitted from you (yes, YOU) having no boundaries and no limits – I’m repeating this mantra, every day and you should do it as well.
Reading more, slowing down life and more: I’m reading two books at the same time right now, who am I? I was an expert book buyer, always starting and leaving them halfway through to start another one. So, I’m reading (this book that has been AMAZING), I’ve been making candles & pottery, I’ve been writing more, I’ve been shooting photos for fun and slowing the heck down. Also, now more than ever, when you learn to control your emotions over the things you can’t control, life is way way more fun.
This is only the start of a new mental health journey and the beauty of being human is to realize when you make mistakes, when you’re humble and you don’t run away from your problems but you face them bravely with therapy, meditation or simply leaving medication, when you are kind and try to make things better, when you truly want to heal and be a better human, in my case, for my little ones, Nico and Oli.
And, as Mark Manson explains in his epic book The subtle art of not giving a f*uck, moving forward, I’m administering my f*cks, because let’s be real, I have given SO many unnecessary f**cks the past three decades.
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