I didn't take my medicine the night before and I'm feeling the lack of it, sitting here in the torturous zone of indecisiveness and holding on with all I’ve got from falling off of the cliff that I am creeping closer and closer to. The ledge is approaching and I can feel its nearness. Flashes of the depths below taunt me and I’m haunted by memories of being captive in their relentless pit. In my panic I almost slip as I lean over, staring into the horrifically familiar place.
Withdraw is vastly different. It often masks itself as worsening depression, but once the delayed dose kicks in or the newly decreased amount levels out, I’m relieved to remember that the side affects are just scary moments before I’m a few milligrams less dependent – and that much stronger on my own.
Dependency is often thought of in terms of chemical dependency turned substance abuse, of which many consider themselves exempt. In some way or another, we all guzzle and munch on things to bring about ease and pleasure, to numb the negativity into a corner as the previously unnoticed pleasures rise into visibility. And once fully awakened, our senses awe with wonder and joy at their pleasing existence.
I am currently in the jumbled-up process of getting off of medication, having first time experiences with my own inner peace, experimenting with the outside delights that bring me pleasure, and definitely enjoying the latter two. Coffee and 90% cacau bars drive me straight into creativity zone and then suddenly wear off without warning, leaving me dependent on my own motivation. In such moments I’ve noticed that the place of crossover somehow becomes blurred and it’s easy to lose sight of what is dependency or simply pleasure. I’m happy to think that it’s doesn't need to be one extreme or another, but rather a mixture of both where my increasing emotional health benefits from the things that I enjoy.
Chemically dependent or chemically deficient? At this point, I am both. Numerous women have shared with me their fear of chemical dependency, or excused their need for outside help all together by claiming chemical deficiency. I won't negate or state numbers here, but I will confidently say that through my own personal suffering and seek for help I’ve realized that I truly am chemically deficient; not from random, unknown reasons, but as a consequence of my sufferings and unhealthy decisions. Either way, an imbalance requires an outside source to replace the missing. I want to raise my valleys and to level my mountains.
I long to be free from medicine. I’ve been resting in the support it gives me in order to go in, together with my therapist, and plow down those mountains and to fill up those bottomless valleys that were formed and beaten out over twenty-nine years of crashing thoughts and fears. Yes, I am dependent, but my chemical dependency is not a hushed addiction nor an object of shame, but rather the opposite. It humbles me, reminding me that I was never supposed to do this alone. It’s a temporary stability as my foundations are being rebuilt, until I can stand on my own two feet with a wide place beneath. Oh that day - when the formerly bottomless pit will be filled with truth, upon which I will stand; unafraid of it’s former capability to suck me into it’s illusion of endless lies.
One thing that is not temporary for now, and I chose to keep it that way, is having a therapist. A psychologist, psychoanalyst, or counselor is outside help in physical form. Medication eases symptoms and provides the stability to change, yet a therapist helps enable me to obtain and make that change. I don't lean on the guidance the same as the day I first stepped into those offices, now I have a different form of responsible dependency. It’s a process so discrete and secure. It’s a balance of being pushed little by little onto my own two feet and being reminded of the safe guard that will catch me when I start to slip. And I see my growth in the moments when I realize that that strength I had rested in through that last storm had not been merely his, but my own.
That’s the best reward, that’s the secret of dependency. Choosing to rely on outside support yet not placing the responsibility of change on one that doesn’t have the capacity to do so. Change brings growth and healing. It’s like having a caffeine boost when you haven’t even had a latte. It’s like the storm clouds have parted and you begin to see the sunlight even though it hasn’t stopped raining. The surroundings haven’t changed, it's still the same flowers and sun and buildings you’ve always looked at. You’re living in the same house and eating the same cereal in the morning, but it all seems so beautiful and delicious. This is what it’s like to be healed. And to heal means to live. Truly live.
I don’t believe that anyone, deep down, wouldn’t want that.
He had mercy on me and let me see my need for help. I pray that the same mercy falls upon you and that you find the strength to reach out and say with your own breath “I want help, I want to live”.