So yeah. I blogged earlier this week about a lot of things, including how I was tapering off my medication.
Yeah, it turns out that that’s actually really really difficult. Like, insanely difficult.
Up until a month ago, I had been on two drugs. I completely tapered off one of them a few weeks ago (huzzah!). Then I halved my dosage of the other one. Oh boy. I did so mid-last week and spent most of the Easter weekend asleep or lying down staring at the ceiling because I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. It was debilitating.
So then this week rolls around and I get to the office. Sort of. I spent Monday in my pyjamas doing my best to stay focused on coding. It was one of the hardest days I’ve had in a long time. I find myself losing focus on what I’m doing, easily distracted.
I still have emails waiting to be replied to – really simple tasks – that I just can’t do. I’m struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning to do a job that I really really love doing.
You even find yourself crying but you don’t know why? Imagine that feeling – of not understanding why you’re sad – but constantly, all day, draining you of energy and motivation. The slightest setback during any task is throwing me way off.
I’ve never really talked about how bad my depression really got. In the Fall of 2012, when I was under insanely intense pressure at work, I was contemplating suicide on a daily basis. My wife was doing a work term away from Toronto, so I was living on my own, working 70-80 hour weeks for two months. The only thing that I could do to stop those compulsive thoughts was to tell myself that no one would be around to look after our cats if something happened to me.
This past weekend has reminded me of that time. I find myself questioning weather or not I was ready to take this step. On the one hand, I wanted to stop taking medication because I felt that it had helped me get through the roughest patch – to get enough energy to fight depression using self-talk techniques and meditation. On the other hand, maybe halving my dose of the second drug came too soon. I haven’t been diligent about meditating since moving to Amsterdam, so I really need to get back on that.
I’m going to give it some more time, since I am getting better as time moves forward. However, going from my half dose down to nothing is going to be really, really hard. Since I have a lot of travelling in May and June, I might leave that next step for July. We’ll see.