After years of heavy medications to get through the world full of A--Holes and Evil Bosses, now that PMS is no longer an issue, I am trying to slowly wean myself off of SSRI antidepressants. I am down to 75mg from 225mg and doing pretty well as far as withdrawal symptoms go. After convincing my doctor that diet pills do not pep me up but rather mellow me out, we addressed the issue of ADD, and I now have an Rx for methylphenedate (Ritalin). I don't take it every day. I have it in my bag as my emergency kit, for melt-down moments and unpleasant confrontational situations. I haven't had to use it very often, but knowing it is there is the only way I can feel safe about reducing the other and still function at work.
As I have reduced the dosage of my meds, I have felt my creativity return, my ability to write, multitask and think on multiple levels. My resolution for 2008 was to nurture that creative side, as I am a whole-brained person who prefers the right but works in a left-brained field. I've been able to become involved with some marketing aspects of the business that allow me to flex those creative abilities, and I love that.
During my cancer treatment, I was very mellow and laid back. I attribute it not only to being in chemotherapy and being sick and exhausted, and the meds, but to the cessation of estrogen production. I was kind and soft-spoken and pleasant to be around. Who the heck was that chick??
I enjoyed feeling that way. I enjoyed not getting riled or opinionated or argumentative, but it felt like being a person I had never before been. After chemo, despite meds and menopause, I did not have that same mellowness. I miss it. Perhaps it was partially the calm and protection of all the prayers being offered in my behalf.
But having learned more about the symptoms with which I struggle and how many of them relate to side effects of the meds, I have determined to get off the meds.
And now I watch these "traits" surfacing again. I can become strongly opinionated, highly argumentative ("I'm not bossy; my ideas are just better"), arrogant ("I can be nice; can you be smart?") and obsessed with the world being right and fair. (and no, I didn't say those things, but they make great t-shirts.)
Which begs the question: deep down under it all, is it ADD, or simply OPD? Obnoxious Personality Disorder, such as afflicted Julia Duffy's character on NEWHART. Or was it Designing Women. Which is the real me?
And who is the "me" I would like to be? I'd like to be mellow, affable and pleasant. But I'd also like to be creative and alert, and more healthy. I don't want to suppress parts of me to please the masses any longer.
Stay tuned as I follow the path to ... the real me? And please still be my friend if I get REALLY competitive at Pictionary and word games...
For anyone who can relate to any of what I have mentioned, I recommend the following websites: