I am fine!! We have all been know to say this when asked how we are during a difficult situation, trying to come across as strong, but is this just a cover for getting in touch with our true emotions?
Emotions, what are they exactly?
John D. (Jack) Mayer says, “Emotions operate on many levels. They have a physical aspect as well as a psychological aspect. Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action – they operate in every part of a person, they affect many aspects of a person, and the person affects many aspects of the emotions.”
Dr. Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings’ warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going on in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the mental/ intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, memory.”
So as one who has been numbed out by SSRI’s for 16 years, the idea of getting in touch with ones emotions is a bit daunting. Emotions that are not felt and released can actually have a negative effect on the physical body and for this reason alone I feel it is necessary to release these emotions, but in order to that I must feel them, to know what they are.
I know that I cannot control my emotions, but I can learn how to be with them, to find peace with them and to let them go. We are often afraid to feel feelings, afraid of losing control, or the pain involved in feeling emotions, afraid to cry, feeling the sense of loss or failure or whatever the emotion might bring with it.. So much of life is about what you feel rather than what you think. I have come to realize that being connected to your emotional life is essential if I want to live a life with high energy and a true sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
I am of the belief that there are two basic emotions, love and fear. This has helped me in dealing with people recognizing that if they are not coming from a place of love, they are coming from a place of fear. I love, I know I do, but I am not really sure that I know what that feels like anymore. As I am slowly coming down off of lexapro I am remembering me, who I used to be. I was passionate about things, determined and focused. I had so many interests, photography, school, art projects etc…
I have slowly lost interest, being very unattached, no, actually I disinterested, detached, There is a big difference.
Looking for affirmations for my work from others (ego) instead of just for the love of the work. This has been a recent realization for me and one I look forward to exploring further on this healing journey.
I have tried my best to not come across as a victim, and I hope that is not the message you get from me as you read my blog. I believe every path we take can bring about growth. Do I see myself as a victim? Not really, I made the choice to take this medicine, to go the easy route by taking a happy pill. I did not have the tools I needed to cope any other way. But in the process I lost myself, and I lost sight of this very fact.
Some people turn to substance abuse, or other distractions, my distraction was taking on a new project, attempting something and learning something new. This I think is admirable in a way, however looking for it to fulfill me is in itself a distraction. But a distraction from what? Feeling empty? Emotionless? Looking for others praise and approval to build myself up? Social media is but another way to get lost in the (lack of) reality of life. Just look at my facebook page! I would certainly want to be friends with that version of myself, the one I create for others to view. But is that all there is to me?
After my father died, I was at a loss, I did not cry, really felt not much after the initial shock wore off. I remember driving to Oklahoma after I got the call, feeling tears well up inside, but fighting them off. I knew in that moment where in my physical body I stored up sadness that I ignored or buried. It was at this time in my life I realized it is time to get off the meds. In not allowing myself to feel sadness, anger, or any of the “negative” emotions, I must also be dumbing down my joy, not to mention the harm I was doing to my physical body.
I gave it my best shot, using essential oils, I made it 6 months! But I failed. Or did I? I have recently learned that this is a normal course of withdrawing from the meds and often the reason many return to the meds. This has been true for me every time I have tried to get off lexapro. This last time I was mean! It was as though I had no filter and with out notice, the emotions took over. Instead of feeling the emotions, I became the emotion. It was like having an out of body experience and I had no control, and absolutely no practice with sitting with and learning from uncomfortable emotions. I realize now that I was trying to control my emotions and these out burst were a result of that. I went back on the meds.
So here I am, two years later, attempting it for what I hope to be the last time. This time however I have armed myself. I am educating myself and others, about the withdrawals, I am surrounding myself with a solid support system and being extremely frank and honest with everyone, especially myself. The only expectation I have for myself at this time is self care. If it takes a year of focusing on me, doing what I need to do, I will do that.
I think it is sad that self care is often seen as selfish, but if other care is our intention, and self care is neglected then how will you be able to keep up the other care if you yourself are not well.
My marriage and my relationship with my children and grandchildren are all at stake here. But just as important is my relationship with myself. I do not have a crystal ball to determine the outcome, but I am coming from a place of love, not fear as I move forward. Love of self. Not fear of self.
Is there any fear? Maybe.
I can say that the only new sensation I am having is a feeling of being in a fog. Not fully present, at least not for long periods of time. I am feeling a bit restless, not so much in my mind, but my body. I am learning to honor that, which at times has disappointed others, but to not would mean not honoring myself. I am having a slight sensation of swooshing in my head, but it is not to bad, just have to move my head a bit slower and be more mindful of what I do. My body is healing and a healing body requires rest. That too, I am honoring, resting during the day and trying, unsuccessfully, to nap.
I have only cut my dosage in half, (which by the way, I did to fast, but I will address that later) and will continue to unnumb myself over the next few weeks.
Here is to feeling!