Well oops, it's been a year since I last took the time to update you. About me. I feel like that could be perceived either way. There was tons of growth, no doubt about that. But there were also tons of challenges, and continue to be. The path is WINDING. I strapped myself in about 9 months ago, knowing this journey was going to be a roller coaster. Who would want it any other way ...
The last time we chatted I was seeing a counsellor regularly, doing my best to work on ME with her help. Learning lots about self-compassion and treating myself with love and care - especially while living alongside someone dealing with their own mental health challenges. The last year has tested me as a partner, an employee, a consumer, a person, a family member, a friend ... and so much more. I still remain in the low periods the majority of the time, but I'm long past the point of dwelling over it. I continue to get back on the horse.
October 2019 was a HUGE month, a lot of things happened personally and with our business. We had our very first event, Strike Out The Stigma. We challenged ourselves in a business program. We spent meaningful time working on our mental health. We worked through hard days and exciting days. We found our community and launched a new collection.
And that was it.
I didn't have an ounce of me left to give to anything or anyone, including myself. I crashed and spiraled hard. Harder than I truthfully ever remember, but at this time in my life it feels that much more intense because I'm responsible for so much more when I go down. I stayed in our spare room, in the dark, for about a week. Barely eating because I had no appetite. Being nauseous constantly and having horrible gastro problems. Watching Disney channel show re-runs to numb my mind. Sobbing uncontrollably because why the heck not! No desire to cuddle the world's cuddliest dog or be consoled by my long-term partner. I turned off my phone, I didn't answer messages. I cleansed every single social media account - sorry if we're not cyber friends anymore because I removed you. Don't take it personally, everyone was a victim this time around. I stepped away from You Are Collective and really I mean I dropped it on the ground and ran away into a dark hole to watch Lizzie McGuire all day. CW: Suicide. My head was not in a good space, I felt extremely worthless, empty, frustrated, and exhausted. I've always struggled with suicidal thoughts, but they nearly consumed me during this period. Coupled with self-harm tendencies, I was not in a place I would wish on anyone. I assure you, the days of That's So Raven on repeat is not what dreams are made of ... this was not a vacation.
Yes, I had support. Yes, I had resources. Sometimes it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you have all the anti-depressants, love, tea, yoga, clean food in the world. Sometimes you hit your low. I'm fortunate this dark stretch only lasted as long as it did; that I had enough self-work previously and that the people around me didn't let me sink further. I know everyone doesn't get this so if you EVER need that support I AM HERE FOR YOU.
I decided to take a step I never had before - talking to my doctor about it. Well, let me clarify. I've tried to talk to many doctors about it before. This time, I would talk about it and not let it go. I would be my own advocate. I had to.
I started antidepressants on December 13th.
On December 13th:
I started 10mg of Cipralex.
On December 17th:
I increased my dose to 20mg of Cipralex.
On January 10th
I maintained my dose of 20mg of Cipralex and added 15mg of Mirtazapine.
On February 3rd
I maintained my dose of 20mg of Cipralex and increased to 30mg of Mirtazapine.
On February 11th
I stopped taking 20mg of Cipralex and 30mg of Mirtazapine. I added 25mg of Sertraline.
On February 18th
I increased my dose to 50mg of Sertraline.
On February 27th
I increased my dose to 75mg of Sertraline and added 12mg of Seroquel.
On March 12th
I stopped taking 75mg of Sertraline and added 75mg of Effexor. I also increased my dose to 24-48mg of Seroquel
I stopped taking 48mg of Seroquel
I increased my dose to 150mg of Effexor and discussed adding Wellbutrin in 10 days
I increased my dose to 225mg of Effexor and never added Wellbutrin.
On July 3rd, my doctor decided to pass me onto a specialist.
Unfortunately, Effexor feels like it's doing less and less as the days go on and my anxiety and depression increases. My doctor continues to be dumbfounded by the lack of success of any antidepressant or antipsychotic we've tried. I'm grateful to still be seeing my counsellor as often as we decide is necessary. I've taken a huge liking to online counselling and feeling comfortable in my own space while I share more and more with her. I feel very heard, seen, and understood during sessions with her. I learn so much and always feel more relaxed after working with her. I know I've done a TON of self work, and continue to. But that doesn't mean my mental illness goes away.
It's been 9 Months and I've officially been referred to a psychiatrist. As of August 17th, I have my first psychiatry appointment booked for December 9th.
A full year after the antidepressant journey began. Hopefully, it won't be another year before we chat again but if it is ... I'm sending all of my love your way! XO
P.s. Check out my personal blog on Instagram: @rebeccagetsreal for more open, honest convos !