When dealing with mental health, it’s difficult on navigating what is right and what is wrong to do. Is the issue something situational? Is the issue chemical? Is it something that can be modified by behavior? Do you have to use a combination of all of them? Yes. The answer is yes.
Around a month ago, I was started on medication to deal with my anxiety. I’ve talked about my issues with being Black & Depressed, twice, and it all boils down to how do you deal with mental health issues properly. For the longest, I felt that I was dealing with these issues properly but now I am realizing how mixed up I am.
Last time I overcame anxiety, depression, and whatever else I deal with, I somehow managed to pull myself together long enough to graduate. Once I built a solid schedule and valid support system, I finally thrived. I wasn’t taking medicine. I worked out five times a week, had a strong diet, close network of people who loved me, and a clear definitive goal to achieve.
Now, things are less definitive. I truly believe that a lot of my struggles will be dealt with once I feel directed in my movements. I am struggling not having control or confidence in my own abilities. I constantly feel unprepared and now I am spending a large amount of time trying to locate what I need to be successful.
I am starting therapy soon. I am working out again. My spiritual life is solid. My academics and career have time to fully recover. A lot of my current stress centers on my ability to focus and overcome my mental obstacles. I have trauma from my family, schooling, and internal pressure but all that has to wait until I finish what is in front of me. I need to produce and I am struggling to do so.
That’s where medication is coming in. I am currently taking 20mg of Fluoxetine (Prozac or Sarafem) daily. At first, it didn’t do much but it is a medicine that needs to reach certain levels in the body to take effect. A week in and all of a sudden, life was good. I found myself not anxious and able to write/work. I felt so much more productive and I felt like life was great. Until the side effects hit me.
Now, I am scheduled to meet with my doctor Tuesday, so I can get better answers but it has been a rough ride. It started off with me feeling overstimulated. I’m talking about everything tingled and my mind was spinning. The tingling dulled down and I didn’t noticeably have side effects until I went to sleep. Or the lack there of.
Night after night, I lay down as early as I can to no avail. I think I possibly go to sleep but it’s definitely not deep sleep. I haven’t had a dream in a month until today, and it was amusing but very short-lived. I toss and turn all night and just realized that I wake up when the birds wake up every morning at five or six o’clock. I try to turn over and go back to sleep but my mind is still going. I get up around eight to start my day only partially exhausted. All day, I feel the urge to lay down and sleep. I might lay down for a nap, actually sleep two hours and then get up again. I am perpetually tired.
The hard part about this is that I am so happy about being free from anxiety, I don’t know if I want to go back to something else. I am worried about starting new medicine because I don’t want to go through anymore crazy symptoms. It’s also scary because I truthfully don’t know if this is how you are supposed to feel because I question if I ever felt normal. Medication is tiring for me but I really just want to be better. I want to function again and I hope I can find something to at least hold me over until graduate school is done. I am so tired of being tired.
Typically, this would have ended with an upbeat or something like that but I just wanted to be honest with my readers. I am struggling and if anybody else is going through the same, I feel your pain. Please leave advice or words of encouragement below.