It's Okay Not To Be Okay
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
About two weeks ago, after being medicated for 16 years, I took the last anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill that I will ingest for the foreseeable future (I tapered off with the help of my doctor). It was one of the most liberating feelings I had ever experienced; the conscious decision to leave my depression and anxiety management in my own hands, pill free.
After a couple of days, the liberated feeling subsided and the once well-managed anxiety and depression and regulation of my emotions was not-so second nature anymore. Anger, anxiety, sadness, frustration, worry, control: these feelings were like tidal waves coming over me and I was swept away by them. I felt crazy. To be honest, even a couple weeks sans meds, I am still feeling a little crazy. But the more I try to get a grip and control everything, the more frustrated I get and the more intense my emotions are.
I keep wondering if I should go back on the meds since I am feeling so whacked, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I needed this; the lack of control, the full feeling of my emotions. I have been getting a forced, steady dose of serotonin and norepinephrine since I was 12… of course I feel different! Which has led me to this conclusion: I need to be okay with not being okay all of the time.
When these feelings begin to come flooding in, I notice that I immediately judge them. I label them “bad”, “irrational”, or “bitchy”. I begin to get mad at myself for not being able to better emotionally regulate. Over the past couple days, I have been making the conscious decision not to judge how I am feeling. I instead recognize that I am beginning to get worked up and accept it. It is okay to feel this way. There is nothing “wrong” with me. I am not “crazy”. This recognition and acceptance have done wonders. Though it does not make what I am feeling disappear, I do feel more at ease knowing that they will subside eventually and I will be alright in the end.
The non-judging and awareness are just the beginning of my mindful approach to anxiety, depression and stress management. I have already noticed a difference and am hopeful that my daily emotional regulation will become more second nature once again.