The following was written a bit more than a week ago – I didn't post because even though it felt very real at the time, I knew I was being dramatic and it would pass and I didn't want to post it and panic the people who care about me, at least not while I was in the middle of it.
I promise you with all my heart I am fine now. I'm back to my mischievous, naughty self and I can see a road of hope ahead of me…. So hip hip hooray to that……
In fact I can see more than a road of hope. I am ready to dance bare foot in the moonlight and risk being alive and happy.
But I promised you a truthful insight of coming off this insidious drug. A drug that vowed to save me and here is is, warts and all…..
Nearly 2 weeks ago…..
My name is Sarah Jane and I am an addict.
After 15 years on fluoxetine – I've been ‘clean' from Prozac for 2 months now and I can honestly say for the past 2 weeks I have sometimes thought the only freedom I could find would be if I fell asleep and never woke up again. I function during the day but there have been nights when I have cried all night long with the feeling that I simply cannot carry on. I don't mean that I want to kill myself… I really don't – I've just felt such despair and I wish someone would swoop in and rescue me. I haven't felt like that in a very long time, it's petrifying. I've cried because I know I have no fight left. I have had enough and I wish with all my being that someone or something could just take it all away.
I don't ever remember feeling so desperate and I can't even relay to you fully in words, the utter feeling of panic, loneliness and sadness those nights of tears have brought me. It's like the floor has gone from underneath me to reveal a never-ending black hole. I'm holding on to the sides of it by my finger tips but frighteningly I'm starting to wonder why I am holding on at all, people are trying their best to pull me out but something has a hold of me and I could be lost forever. I almost want to be lost forever.
I'm lucky because lots of people want to save me. Some amazing golden people are trying so hard to save me. But it's like they can't see the abyss beneath me. They don't understand why I can't just take their hand and walk away from it and you know what, I probably can. I do know it's all an illusion but at this moment in time I'm stuck stead fast in my illusion that I'm about to fall. I think I've known the threat of falling my whole life but now I just don't know how much longer I want to cling on for. I'm tired of holding on. The black hole never goes away.
And then this week I remembered ….. Prozac could take it all away.
Prozac is the answer, my saviour. Prozac, the warrior that will make me fight on. Prozac will make me care and will be the reason to battle through.
I was so excited by this revelation I almost felt relief, but people around me said, “Look how far you've come”, and “You don't need it, you can do this.” Ironically, I did find I had enough fight to tell them, I did need it and that they were wrong.
So I went to my counsellor this week with a steely determination of getting back on Prozac to save my dwindling life force. So sick am I, I didn't care if I let you all down if I returned to the Prozac Zombie… I didn't care – I had convinced myself it was the best thing to do. I'd tried and failed and I was very happy to accept that I'm a failure.
However, all did not go to plan! Instead of putting me back on Prozac she gave me some very unexpected news. She said, “Of course you want to go back on it, you are an addict.”
I can tell you now, that was a fucking surprise to me! I knew their would be some physical withdrawal when I stopped taking it. Which I'm pleased to say, two months later have finally all gone. But psychological withdrawal? An addict? I didn't consider that would be a major issue, which is very naive of me now I come to think of it. I suppose I thought I'd just trip along in to the sunset, no longer a Prozac Zombie. I didn't once think I'd fall into the rabbit hole and be begging the queen of hearts to cut off my head!
The thing is, I know what it's like to be an addict. I was bulimic and I've had other problems, so I did not think for one minute Prozac would have the same effect on me once I stopped taking it. I didn't think I'd play games with my own mind to convince myself it was ok to take it, like I have done with food etc.
I know what it's like to ‘get clean'. I just never thought in a million years that coming off Prozac would be a similar process to other addictions and actually at this moment in time it feels a millions times harder.
Even if a person comes off illegal drugs there are meetings they can go to. There is help. When a person comes off Prozac, unless you have the money to pay for a counsellor, you are on your own and I can tell you from my experience, it's not possible. Without my counsellor I'd have been back in 60mg a day without stopping for breath.
Prozac has always been my saviour. It's going to be such a hard habit to kick. It's not illegal. There are no meetings for me to go to. It's not recognised as a drug you can be psychologically addicted to by society and even worse for me at this point in time, it did help me. So what the fuck am I going to do? I CANNOT be bulimic again, I just cant and I can sometimes feel that particular demon pulling at me again since I banished Prozac. It's under control but for how long? I can hear it calling me…. Can I fight that without Prozac?
How on earth do I fight the ache inside me that tells me to go back on it? How can I fight it, when Prozac is the drug that gives me ability to fight?
I haven't gone back on it and I suppose like all addictions I'll just have to take it one day at a time. I never would have thought that coming off a prescription drug could be so tough. I'm told I could be fighting this off for at least a year. I'm shocked there's no real help in the NHS (I'd get more help if I were addicted to heroine). I can't afford my private counsellor, but I can't afford not to see her either.
I don't want to feel like this any more and for anyone who is sane and thinks its a choice to just keep walking the line, it's really not …… because if it was that easy don't you think we who look helplessly at the abyss would just chose to look the other way at the sunshine? We can see the light there but the darkness calls our name so much louder and because of that, we fear it's where we belong.
I want to care about my life, but without Prozac I guess I'm gonna have to relearn how exactly I do that.
Right now, I want to be a happy Prozac Zombie again. I want that safety net. I don't want me. I've got what I asked for at the start of my blog, I've got my soul back and it's battered and bruised and broken. It's unrecognisable and it has no fight. I've got a soul back but sadly it's a soul that's had enough and yes, maybe that's because it's been crushed in to a Prozac box and now it doesn't know how to live….
I should be excited at the prospect of experiencing life in all it's glory, I have so many great things to look forward to and I should be like an excited child and embracing learning a new way of how to live again ….. but there's nothing there but tiredness.
That hazy rainbow of Prozac hope all coloured green and yellow has gone. I don't like it not being there and I don't know how to live my life without it.
The good news? I only have 2 choices…. Sink or swim. Hahahaha and I've made myself laugh in saying that, because I actually can't swim!
My name is Sarah Jane Honeywell and I am an addict…….
Like I say I wrote that nearly 2 weeks ago. I'm not back on Prozac, I'm not desperately sad and I'm not bulimic or neglecting myself and my needs.
I can honestly say... Life is good xxx
Thanks for reading
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