I quit my drugs cold turkey exactly 1 week ago.
Now, I’m not talking about narcotics; gratefully, I never got quite that stupid. I’m talking about high dosed antidepressants that I had been taking for at least a decade.
I had a bad crash a couple of months ago…I blogged about it in an earlier post. I had some crisis intervention, appointments at a mental health center to learn some coping strategies (or that’s what I was told I was going to learn there; can’t say I did, but they did give me some confidence in regards to some of the issues that had always held me back from getting therapy) & an increase in one of my prescriptions. I never did make it to a therapist because I had to cancel my appointment because I had just found a new job (and she only got back to me a few days ago about rescheduling and because of my neurotic thinking I, because it took so long for her to get back to me to reschedule, assumed that she didn’t care about me at all – so why should I see her).
Now, that is what I did & I’m grateful there are resources like this in my city & more so grateful that my sister works in it & gave me the number. All of this helped at the time. But it wasn’t quite right, either. The increase in my meds did precisely nothing. Because I had to seriously & somewhat forcefully commit myself to the coping appointments I mentioned (otherwise I wouldn’t have gone), I was forced to quit my job (which was, with the exception of the paycheck, no big loss because it was an uncaring & overly stressful place to work).
But I still had this tug at the back of my mind that had been there for some time. So, I decided to look into the source of that tug, which was a book called The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson. It’s been one of my nightstand longtimers (a book by my bed that I read bits here & there over a long period of time) for a couple of years. This book talks about being free of negative thoughts & feelings and living fully free in Christ. I remember living free in Christ before, several years ago when my faith had been renewed & had grown quite strong. It’s the only time I can remember ever having peace in my soul and happiness in my house. I have longed for that again for a very, very long time. But I could never understand what was holding me back, especially since I knew from experience that life with Christ beats life without Him, hands down. That’s when I realized & internalized what Neil had been writing. My problem is no longer depression (and I’m not even sure it ever was). The pain in my life is spiritual. Satan has been pulling on me for so long & I had forgotten the most important thing about being a Christian: As a child of God, I already have the power & authority in the name of Jesus Christ to get Satan out of my face, so my life can continue on in peace & joy.
That is how I knew what I had to do. I had to get my system cleaned out & start over. I know that healing, whether physical or mental, comes from God always and sometimes in the form of medications & surgeries or whatever. But I know, without a doubt, that the meds I was on are not what I need, at least not anymore. Maybe I will need them again, we’ll see. But for right now, I know that cleansing my body of all these chemicals I’ve been taking for so, so long is what has to be done. And it will be, under the grace & protection of God.
Of course, this past week has been no picnic. The first 2 days, Wednesday & Thursday went along fine. Friday evening came along a little differently, with shakes, chills, & sweats. On top of the chills, shakes, & sweats, on Saturday I had to spend the entire day lying down because if I didn’t, it felt like my head was going to float away without my body. Anything loud absolutely echoed in my head. I have to say though, that my family was pretty good in keeping quiet for me that day. Sunday went a lot like Saturday, but it did tone down gradually through out the day. I know for sure that it had to have been under God’s urging for me to stop taking my meds, because if I had stopped later I would have been going through the withdrawal when I needed to work – the shakes and “floopiness” in my head made it impossible to drive which is not a good thing when you drive for a living. But I was under control enough by Monday that I was able to work.
There were a few other oddities within this withdrawal experience. On Saturday & Sunday, when I slept, I slept hard – hard enough that I woke up in the same position I fell asleep in. I don’t remember ever doing that before. In the last few nights, though, my sleeping is much less but much more restfull. I’ve gotten about 5 hours of sleep a night but I’ve been able to function…this is something unheardof for me in years. I couldn’t function with less than 9 hours of sleep before.
I have also, in regards to sleep, experienced something Neil Anderson described as something that happens to him: “..nighttime spiritual attacks – sudden unexplainable awakenings connected with a sense of oppression & dread.” This happens at least once a night to me. I wake up in the middle of the night with a thought in my head that makes me absolutely panicky. (One odd thing being that the thought, in and of itself, is nothing frightening, but it makes me panic in a sense that I know it’s scary but I just can’t quite remember why) But Neil’s book & the Word of God help me through this – as Paul wrote, I “take each thought captive & make it obedient to the Lord”, & I remember that “great is He who is in me, than he who is in the World.”
I’m a little touchy & emotional, but I am finally starting to feel normal, whatever normal is…I’m not sure I remember.
The most important thing, though, is that I have rediscovered a strength that I had forgotten was there. The Word of the Lord.
You should read it. Read Neil’s book too.