My baby is nearly one, I'm trying to build a successful blog, rekindle my acting career, fight a court case and I'm planning a wedding, so I might as well try and come off Prozac again right? Why the fuck not.
This will be round three on my very public boxing match with Prozac. The first round you can read about by clicking on the pill, that attempt was in 2012
Round two came about after my miscarriage, I didn't want to take any chances that Phoenix would be addicted to the drug like I am. So I managed to stay off it for my whole pregnancy. The result of this was carnage, I was one crazy hormonal mess.
I did it because I'd read that there is a slight chance that unborn babies can be affected if the mother takes anti-depressants and I just didn't want Phoenix to suffer at all once he was born for anything I had done. I know what a toll coming off that drug has on my body, mind and soul and I did not want to even think that he would have to deal with that on his first few months here on earth.
That being said, I don't advise any one to come off any anti-depressants unless they have talked to their doctor and certainly not if they are already pregnant, that is really very dangerous for you and your baby. There is no proof at all that taking Prozac can affect your unborn child but stopping taking the pill cold turkey and without your doctor's help, most definitely could hurt you and your baby.
This was just a personal choice for me. I was doing research to pitch a documentary and I read in a book called 'Prozac Backlash', that there are cases in America that have been brought to light and indeed to court, that Prozac could be blamed for things like autism and other birth defects, which you can see listed, by clicking on the pill below..
However, non of this has been proven yet, so please do not panic. It is just worth reading about if you are trying for a baby.
After giving birth to Phoenix I was so fired up with it all, I thought the best thing for Phoenix and his father was for me to go back on the drug I have such a love hate relationship with, just to set me off on my journey in to motherhood with a pretty Prozac sheen on it. A cherry on top of an already delicious cake.
Now though, a year later I want to make a final bid to shake off my addiction once and for all. This will be a last last chance saloon bid, for my personal battle though. I have one more war in me and if I don't make it all the way this time, I will take the green and yellow brick Prozac road to Oz forever.
It sounds idyllic doesn't it? A pill that gifts you green tinted glasses by taking away all your emotions and lets logic rule your life? It is I suppose but I have also felt numb inside, for most of my life. I have spoken before about being a Prozac zombie and that is what you become.
I want the chance to find out who I really am (I have spent my whole adult life on Prozac). I want Phoenix to see eyes that are alive when I smile at him, not the dead stones that I know they are on Prozac. Most of all I want the chance to rejoice in who I am, instead of keeping me in a cage, I want to fly.
As I write this I have already been Prozac free for 3 months. I am supposed to be through the withdrawal period by now. That's it, the drug is out of my system, the worst is over. I know this won't be the case though. I've been through this enough to know that I am about to hit the brick wall of not being able to cope. This time though I know what to expect. I can remind myself, it's not you, it's the addiction playing tricks on you.
I have gone through the physical stages of my withdrawal. Things the drug company haven't even tested yet, things no one tells you about. Things you find out about as you live through it.
I have had wanted to rip my own skin off.
I have woken up in the middle of the night feeling like I have scolded myself all over.
I have been though the sleepless nights.
I have had my heels split open.
I have suddenly thrown up for no reason.
My eye sight has got worse and is now getting better again.
I have wanted to burst with anger for the smallest things.
I have felt extreme anxiety about nothing (in my experience this may not go away).
I have felt like my head will explode if one more person asks me a question.
I've done pretty well this time with all of that because I knew it was coming. There have been times when I've said to Ayden, "I'm really angry about that, however I know it's lack of Prozac but I need to tell you." I'm so pleased that I have that much of a handle on my logic this time around, as usually off Prozac I am all emotion. A cascade of emotion and fear but this time Prozac I am ready for you.
Maybe it's having Phoenix and knowing I have to win this time but the despair I usually feel off the drug isn't as prevalent either. Sure I feel a bit hazy about how I feel about things. I feel hazy about whether I should feel at all because I just don't know. There is no desperation this time around though. I'm actually managing to remain positive in the face of some pretty big mountains.
With mental illness people forget it's always there. Even when you are doing well, you are doing well because you are fighting a really great battle with the beast on your shoulder and you may fight well for a day or a year or a lifetime - but you are always fighting. It whispers to you on every breeze and maybe it whispers to everyone, it's just some of us listen more closely and are affected more deeply.
I have learned the hard way, after speaking about my troubles, when you open up about mental illness, you leave yourself vulnerable and I hate to say it but especially as a woman. I was recently called a 'Fucking headcase' by someone who clearly wanted to hurt me and they did a sterling job in administering that pain. No other 'illness' can be used against you as 'mental illness' can and the truth is we are all somewhat mentally ill.
I have yet to meet one person who I haven't noticed has some 'issues'. Maybe because I have faced the beast of mental illness in my own soul, I can see it more clearly in others. I can see the invisible Jinn on most people's shoulder, holding them back, imprisoning their souls. They may never see it but it is there in everyone and so they will struggle on, thinking they are OK and the world around them is at fault, thinking they are sane instead of revelling in the fact that they are not.
The acknowledgement that we are human to me, is acknowledging that we are all insane, we are all of us fallible, which is a deliciously artistic, poetic and a strong place to be. It's a place we should teach our children to not be afraid of. A place where actually, there is more hope than anywhere else, if you just see it for what it is. It's delicate but oh so human.
The spectrum for mental illness is so wide and yet the stigma is administered in the same amounts. There should be no stigma but there should also be a realisation that one persons mental illness, might not be an illness at all, they might just dance to the rhythm of a different drum.