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I'm writing because I want to share my story. As brief as it may be, I hope it helps you guys.
Depression sucks. I've been depressed for around 7-8 years. On and off. To lesser and greater extents.
August 2015 was my limit. I was exhausted with the mental gymnastics. My anxiety was getting the better of me. My focus was non-existent. My social life was chequered at best. My sense of worthlessness has hit critical levels. I simply did not see the point of going through the same sh*t every single day.
To be totally transparent, I wasn't suicidal but I was getting there. The phrase 'What's the point?' ended almost every trail of thought.
I've never taken pills. Not even for headaches. My mum's a hippy. However, I knew that I couldn't continue.
I went to the doctors, got some citalopram and referred to a therapist. The waiting list was long. So the drugs would have to do for now.
Citalopram, for me, numbed my anxiety. It also numbed every other aspect of my life. No gym, no stress, no appetite for life. Just numb. Floating through life in order to not take my own.
My job is stressful (everyone's is) and I knew that it would, at least, help me put words on paper and ensure I wasn't let go. There was no love in those words. Just a facade in order to carry on.
Other than work, I did nothing else. It's probably worse than depression. Although, you could argue either way.
January 2016 arrive and, whilst I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, I changed my diet, got to the gym and started therapy.
The funniest thing happened. It all disappeared. The anxiety, the depression, the lack of focus, the lack of appetite for life. Everything. Gone.
I did a little research and, being moderately gluten and dairy intolerant, found that Gluten and Diary act like drugs in 30% of the world's populations brains. They are broken down in the gut into Glutomorphone and Casomorphine which enter the brain and mimic the effects of heroin.
I had been on an 8-year come-down. But this isn't a testament to a diet change.
The gym helped relieve the anxiety and simply being extremely open and honest to everyone about my depression opened so many doors. I know it's hard to tell people your depressed when you're depressed. You'll avoid anything to make your day any worse. I've lied, covered things up and avoided all sorts of situations just to make sure I didn't feel any worse.
All that happened in the first couple of weeks whilst still on Citalopram. Then, serendipitously, my pills ran out. This was about 8 days ago.
I made the bold (probably silly) decision to quit cold turkey.
The brain zaps ensued. The headaches occurred. The sweat filled my bed.
That was 8 days ago.
What I've learned over 8-years of depression is that it really isn't you or the person you are. I haven't changed the person I am in the past month. I'm still the same. I'm just able to handle life better.
Depression removes our tools to handle life. Therefore, we ignore what's good for us in an all-hands-on-deck mission to avoid feeling any worse.
So, if you're still deep in the dark and looking for answers. Stop looking at yourself. You're fine.
Look at the food you eat. Look at what you do to your body. Look at how much time you spend alone. Look at anything other than you.
Because you will and forever be you. And that rocks.
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