I never thought this day would come. I remember the relief I received from medicine when I first started taking it. I remember being so scared to start it after reading all of the side effects. I remember the hopelessness I felt before I took my first dose, wondering if this was going to pull me out of that dark place. And then I remember inch by inch, day by day, being able to take my life back because I had committed to a tiny pill every night before I went to bed. To this day, I still believe that medication saved me. Of course God saved me, but I am grateful he led me to the right med.
Many of you know that in all areas of my life, I try to come from a holistic approach. I almost never even use Ibuprofen, hence why I refused medication for as long as I did. I will never judge anyone for using meds, as I always say, YOU do what feels best for YOU. We are all just here trying to make the best decisions we can for ourselves and feeling good is my personal top priority, so meds have been a priority for me for the last eight years.
About a year ago, I noticed my energy was lacking. I noticed brain fog and just mental fatigue. I felt more overwhelmed and almost like I couldn’t handle things mentally that I knew I should be able to handle. I started to question my meds. My husband challenged the meds too as he has had hope for me since I have developed and implemented so many daily tools to eliminate so much anxiety over the years.
I leaned into this idea and one night I went to take my pill as I have done for so many years now, God spoke to me and I felt him tell me it was ok. I skipped my pill that night. That wasn’t the first night I had skipped a pill as I had forgotten a few times here and there. I woke up the next morning feeling content with this decision, but also wanting to handle it in a responsible way. After talking to my doctor, I decided it was best for me to cut the pills in half and do that for at least 2-3 weeks to see how I feel. There was no reason that I needed to rush this process.
I started to fear the process. I had felt some anxiety and old tendencies creeping in that reminded me of myself before meds, so I convinced myself that this half of a dose was what my body needed right now and I would just be grateful I had cut down the dosage and I called the half a dose my “sweet spot.”
I continued to take half of a dose for the next 8 months. I was able to manage pretty well for those months, along with help from the CBD that I use. (I will link in this newsletter for you all to check out) However, I started to feel tired again. I started to even have “brain shocks,” which is not a technical or scientific term, but it’s what I describe the feeling you feel from withdrawing from these types of medication. I had felt them before when I had gone from a full dose to a half of a dose, but now they were happening and I wasn’t changing anything with my meds and hadn’t for months. Something else was tugging at me to lean into the idea of eliminating the meds.
On January 18, I skipped my pill and haven’t taken one since. (As always, contact your doctor as everyone is different and this is NOT medical advice but just my experience) I did feel a few more brain shocks, but my personal withdrawal process was smooth. (Different meds have different effects when weaning) The first few nights my sleep was very disrupted and my brain felt like it wouldn’t shut off, but I kept praying and trusting that my body could heal. I leaned into patience and a deep love for myself for how far I was coming with my journey.
I developed a routine with workouts and meditation and journaling. I was cautious about what I was eating as certain foods can oftentimes amplify our anxiety and the way we feel. For the first time in my life, I had never felt more FREE. I felt so empowered because I was doing something that I had feared for so long. I felt empowered because I had listened to my gut when it told me to lean in and trust this new path. I felt empowered because for the first time in my life, I felt like there was nothing interfering with my body or my mental state. My mind felt clear and the energy I felt was surreal.
I want to remind you that the journey you are on is so powerful. But remember that the very thing that led you HERE, is not the thing that will lead you THERE. Growing is a beautiful thing. Medication served me for a very long time, until it didn’t anymore. And now I get to write a new chapter for my life. I get to look at life with a new lens. And damn it, it feels better than I ever imagined.
*Please know that wherever you are in your journey, I support you. Today is YOUR day and it is so important that you choose what is best for you. Whether that is medication or therapy. Be proud of yourself. I am proud of you!
Find Tabitha’s book and journal, Anxiety, I’m Not Your Bitch, here.