Life is what you make it. I recently moved from a quiet town in the country to chase my big city dreams. Nothing ever goes smoothly, nothing is ever what it seems, but everyday I am getting closer. I am yet another slightly less-than-average girl trying to find her way in London, and in life.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Suddenly we're here.

So that was a strange feeling, reading back through posts that I had completely forgotten that I'd written, feeling like an alien was talking to me, someone that I didn't know I had been. I'm 26 now. Ironically, still the same weight as in my previous post from a year ago (fuck PR - she didn't beat me, but I didn't win either).

I've moved jobs. I came off my anti-depressants (fuck PR again, recurring theme here?). I turned to alcohol for comfort. I've been hiding.

I went on a night out with PR and a few others in August 2015, we had an argument where she accused me of having no feelings or emotions. She was crying, I really didn't feel anything. She was also very drunk, but at the time I just heard exactly what she said and took it at that. I didn't (and don't) care about her option, I don't care about her, but I didn't want to be a robot. I started questioning everything.

I have always felt like an outsider looking in, that I didn't have normal reactions and emotions and that I was just odd. I'm an only child, my parents are divorced, I am very tall and I've always been noticeable, so I've always felt that I stood out. I always felt like I was different to others around me. I started anti-depressants when I was 17, and I couldn't really remember a time without them. So I blamed my medication for making me feel like an outsider, and I honestly felt like I didn't know who I really ways, deep down, without the meds. I was just a pharmaceutical experiment, those evil corporations had just convinced me that I needed their medication so they could take my money and laugh at me from their ivory towers. They were laughing at me, they were looking at me. It was all about me.

Blaming an external entity was the easy solution, obviously. It is always easier to look outwards than inwards, to shift the blame and find a quick fix. The drugs were making me feel like an outsider, they were fucking me up. Which is, ironically, the reason that I started taking them in the first place, but that didn't matter. I was convinced that they were evil.

 I flushed them down the toilet. And about a week ago, I hit bottom. Again.

I've been struggling along without them for just over a year. I convinced myself I was doing well without them, that I didn't need them, that I was stronger than that. My mum was proud of me, she hates thinking that I need something to help me, that there is this foreign body that I rely on to be normal, something she doesn't know or understand. Why can't I just be happy and be me without them? I don't need them, I'm perfect as I am. I wish she was right, but she isn't.

On a normal Monday 2 weeks ago (after a different type of drug binge on the Friday night which probably didn't help) I got to work at 8am and I felt hopeless. I am not an emotional person at all (hence PR's robot comment, which surprisingly enough still stands and I haven't become a patriarch of emotional intelligence and empathy since flushing those poor, doomed pills down the loo) but I was crying as soon as I got in to work. My team are all men (apart from K who was on holiday) and thankfully having the same level of EI as I do, no one noticed. But I realised then that I needed help. I had been struggling. I didn't realise how much, but I was miserable. I had given up everything I enjoyed, apart from drinking. I quit the gym, running and dancing. I didn't leave my bed on weekends. I cried myself to sleep at night and enjoyed it. I didn't reply to people's messages. I hated myself for being alone, but I didn't want to be around anyone. I didn't want anyone to see me or look at me - I was repulsive. I didn't want anyone to speak to me for fear of them realising how boring I really was. I hated myself and wanted to change, but I didn't know how. I didn't feel like I was able to do anything. I dreaded the future, social events, life. I didn't realise how bad it had got.

So now I find myself here, a week or so later, on 20mg of Citalopram (having previously been on 20mg of Fluoxetine, then 20mg of Duloxetine, then back to 40mg of Fluoxetine). I'm not going to say I'm fine now, but I don't feel so bad. I don't feel like I'm on top of the world and that I love my life, but I've not cried again since. I'm not going to tell my mum which is hard, because I tell her pretty much everything and now I feel like there's something between us. But I don't want her pressure, because she doesn't understand why I can't just be happy. I don't understand why I can't just be happy, so I don't expect her to. But I don't pressure myself in to telling myself this is temporary. I have accepted the fact that I might need medication for the rest of my life. It doesn't make me any less me, it just makes me the me that can cope with life. I wish I didn't need them, but I do. I can't help that, and I don't want someone around me, telling me that I don't need them and that I am okay without them. I just want to do what I need to do to be healthy, and I'm at peace with what that means.

I'm going to keep updating this, because it's my therapy. This is my outlet and I enjoy it. I find it quite telling that I haven't felt able to write here in the past year, since coming off my meds. If this is what I need to do what I enjoy again, then so be it. And I encourage all of you to embrace what it is you need to be yourself, too. Don't feel ashamed, or weak, or guilty for needing a bit of help. It doesn't make you any less you. If anything, you are stronger for admitting that you need help and going out and getting it for yourself. This is an intense, boastful, balsy, dog-eat-dog, self-assured time that we live in, and those are the qualities that we are told we need to succeed. If we are not naturally built that way, we are told that we are failures. I refuse to accept that. I am not a failure. I have my many shortcomings but damn do I have my strengths. I am very strong, and opinionated, and determined, and forceful, and arrogant in many ways and no one will ever get one up on me. And that is not something that I could have said a few weeks ago.


Medication: 20mg Citalopram daily
Weight: 13st 6lbs

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