So, I’ve been on some form of anti-depressant, sporadically, since 2001.
I don’t think this is unusual these days for Gen-Xers or Millennials, and yes, I do blame my parents. (Look, I’m 132% sure my kids are going to blame me for everything wrong with them someday, so I’m just making sure my parents realize they fucked up too. It’s about keeping balance in the universe, people.) Anyway, I reached the ripe old age of 22 and realized, “Fuuuuuck. Life sucks.”
Now, in my defense, I come from a loooooong line of depressed women. Blame Society, blame genetics—either way, we’re fucking depressed. And considering who we recently elected as president, Society ain’t changing soon.
Enter: Happy Pills.
Man. I feel like I was an early-21st century test subject for this shit. Not kidding. Prozac made me puke my guts out, so did Wellbutrin. Zoloft seemed fine at first, except I couldn’t sleep, eat, or have an orgasm. Which, you know, kind of eliminates all of life’s pleasures. (And as you all know, I’m all about life’s pleasures). I wasn’t content being “happy” if I couldn’t enjoy life, and honestly, my shrink probably hates my guts for it. I refused to accept a Happy Pill that didn’t allow me to enjoy life to the fullest, so I was on-and-off anti-depressants throughout my 20s, seeking the perfect solution.
After I had my second kid, I went on Cymbalta, which I stayed on for 8 years. It didn’t make me numb, which was good. It made me tired, which sucked, but was a better alternative to being anorgasmic, IMO. (Yes, I’m a raging slut for wanting to be able to achieve orgasm. My priorities are all out of whack. Kiss my orgasmic ass.)
Then, by accident, I went off Cymbalta. Enter: HELL. Not because I was horribly depressed, but because the actual process of going off Cymbalta was sheer, unadulterated torture.
My God, ya’ll. I had raging headaches, hot flashes, cold sweats, hallucinations, you name it. The whole time, I was working, being a mom, and going about life as usual. (Note: I do not condone going off anti-depressants without a doctor’s guidance. This is bad news, and DON’T DO IT.)* Funny thing was, I was simply forgetting to take my pill in the morning as usual, and didn’t realize why I felt so monumentally shitty. For a fleeting moment, I actually believed I was dying of something incurable, and considered going to the doctor and screaming WHHHHYYYYY?
Then it hit me. I hadn’t taken my Cymbalta regularly in weeks.
At that point, I was all in. I was going off that shit. (Maybe a mistake. Again, please don’t use my experience as a reason to hop off your meds cold turkey. I am merely relaying my personal experience).*
I eventually began feeling normal again. And btw, “normal” does not equal “good.” Life hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized pretty quickly that I needed some sort of help, but wasn’t willing to go back on prescription meds. That said, I’m fairly in tune with my body, so I knew that if things got too desperate, I would immediately start taking my leftover Cymbalta again, no questions asked.
“Normal,” incidentally, includes rage. And horniness. I spent two weeks in a fit of horny rage. I wish I were joking about this, but I’m not. There is no better way to describe this period than as, “I fucking hate humanity. Also, I’m horny as shit. WTF.”
Anyway, please don’t text me and proposition me at this point, because I’ll likely turn you down. Just a warning. I recently had a dream about Justin Trudeau begging me for sex, and I turned him down. So, yeah, chances aren’t good, people.
Also, since then, I’ve discovered Sam-e. I bought my first bottle of the supplement at H-E-B and was fairly skeptical. I’ve been taking 400mg for two weeks, and I am fine. Maybe even a bit more than fine. Let me be clear: This ain’t no miracle cure for depression, and I am not euphoric 24/7. But I feel reasonable, competent, motivated, and basically like myself, except a bit more optimistic. (Horny levels remain unchanged). I laugh when shit is funny and don’t when it’s not. I’m not overly tired, so that’s definitely a plus.
So far, it’s worked for me. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, have a good fucking weekend.
*Can you tell I went to law school?