Caitlin – a good friend of Freedom of Mind Festival – has been taking antidepressants for a while now and recently came off them. She chose to mark the occasion with a wonderfully honest account of why she had been unable to drink alcohol for nearly a year.
If you have seen or spoken to me in the past few days/weeks/months you will know that today is the day I can drink again!
As my nearest and dearest are aware, I haven’t been able to drink in ELEVEN MONTHS. “Why would anyone do that to themselves, Caitlin?” I hear you ask. Well kids, it is because, for said eleven months, I have been taking antidepressants and science means that alcohol would take away all the good stuff in the drugs.
When I started taking the antidepressants, I decided to go fully by the book and stopped drinking altogether. Lots of people don’t stop drinking but basically I was too scared to drink in case:
a) there was a terrible chemical reaction in my bloodstream and I died (NB: not possible, Caitlin) or more likely
b) it stopped my antidepressants working and the crazy came back.
So since August 4th of last year I have been dealing with my ‘what I call’ crazy with some pharmaceuticals, and I COULD NOT RECOMMEND IT MORE. Apart from some side effects they helped me start living my BEST LIFE. If you are suffering from the ‘what I call’ crazy (aka depression and anxiety) my love goes out to you because it’s the f*****g worst! And I only had a mild form. I was lucky enough to (more or less) get out of bed every day and even luckier that I never had thoughts about harming myself and I am very grateful to my brain for only having slightly messed up chemistry.
It got to a point, though, when I decided that my drugs weren’t letting me live my best life. Sometimes I would like to not have to have crap side effects and sometimes I would like a drink that’s not lemonade. So I went to see a doctor and said words to the effect of ‘I reckon I’m good now, what’s next?’, and have VERY SLOWLY been coming off them.
So yes, I still have depression, but it is way more manageable now. I have decided to stop taking drugs, but not because taking antidepressants is in anyway something to be ashamed of, and I am very lucky that I never felt ashamed but I am aware that I live a very privileged life.
Which leads nicely on to the part where I say thank you to all my great friends and family who have helped me through this PALAVER. (Family you have to deal with me forever but still a shout out to you because you are great.) My friends you are truly the ones who have kept me going through this and for that I am eternally grateful. I am forever indebted to you and hope that some day I can do the same for you as you have done for me.
So if I haven’t seen you in a while, message me and we can go for drinks! Alcoholic drinks! (Nothing over 5% for a bit though, my tolerance will be low.) I am in a better place now (mentally and geographically <3 bristol) than I have been for a few years. I can tell you about all my work pals, past and present, my lovely house and best friends/housemates and all the other wonders in my life now!
Off I go into the world, with a new haircut and no dependency on pharmaceuticals to keep my serotonin levels high enough.
Lots of love to you reader, thanks for giving me your attention for a bit. I wish good physical and mental health to you and everyone you love. OH AND THAT YOU FIND A POUND ON THE FLOOR TODAY.
This post was originally a status on Caitlin’s Facebook page, which she allowed us to re-share here on the Freedom of Mind blog. Special thanks go to her from all of us.