Everyone can relate to life getting busy/stressful and getting in the way of things. You set goals to start working out, eat healthier, drink more water, have a set sleep schedule etc., however one little thing can derail those plans.
For me, whenever I say I want to workout more and eat healthier, the school semester comes along and bulldozes over those plans. Instead I’m sitting at my desk studying all day and shovelling piles of greasy food into my mouth. And then I feel guilty and fall back into even worse habits.
One thing my therapist taught me, is that just because you fall back onto a coping mechanism sometimes, doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. For me, during school as soon as I start eating unhealthy, I can’t stop because one I don’t have a lot of time to cook. But two, because it feels like a sort of self punishment for not being able to be healthier like I wanted.
One misstep and my brain wants to self sabotage all the way.
What I’ve been trying to learn is that I’m not going to suddenly stop doing all of my unhealthy coping mechanisms at once. As long as I continue to not self harm, one day of stress eating, one day of laying in bed, one day of hiding from the world doesn’t mean I deserve to keep being miserable.
It just means that I needed a day to regroup. To remind myself of everything I am and can accomplish. To remind myself that not everyone is perfect and okay all the time. Just because you have a set back doesn’t meant you can’t come back from it stronger than before.
Another big thing I realized was that my SSRIs became one of my worst coping mechanisms. It became a crutch I was way too dependent on. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but this what happened to me.
When I first started using the SSRIs, I loved them. I loved that I stopped getting anxiety attacks and that I could actually function. I didn’t even realize that although I was functioning, everything was numb. I was so glad to not have panic attacks that I ignored how dull everything seemed.
I remember looking back now, how my closest friends would comment or ask about why I was so much quieter now. Or how I didn’t seem as happy all the time or bubbly. I brushed them off and claimed I was fine.
And I guess in a sense I was fine. Not horrible. Not great. Just fine. Existing and feeling emotions on a much lower scale.
It’s only when I started forgetting (on accident at first) to take my pills sometimes. At one point I was working 2 jobs, 60 hours a week ontop of school. I was running myself into the group because I didn’t want to be home. It was during this time I forgot to take my pills, once for up to a week.
It was during this week (after wondering why I was suddenly crying at everything again, happy or sad) that I realized that my meds really just mellowed me out. I didn’t feel my emotions as strongly as I used to. And some people may like that, but I don’t. I was upset that I wasn’t experiencing things on the same level as I used to.
And then o realized that no matter when I went off my meds, I would have to start learning how to healthily deal with my anxiety and panic attacks again. Because of that I decided to stop taking my meds when I left (although that was one of the few things I packed).
So I stopped taking my meds (I recommend talking to your doctor first. I was just in the midst of a breakdown. I eventually consulted him and my therapist) and honestly feel great about the decision.
Im not going to lie. The first two months, I had some pretty bad panic attacks again. However, I feel like im slowly starting to know how to deal with them and even stop them from happening by preventing situations, or working through them if they can’t be stopped.
It takes a lot of work, and I find myself falling back into bad habits more often that I’d like to admit. But I also have to give myself credit. I never would’ve thought that I would still be here or still be in school. And for that I am proud of myself.
Your mental health Mathie ❤