To Get Off Or Not

I started taking an anti-depressant at the end of the year called Citalopram (Celexa). I wasn’t really sure it was a good idea but I was in a bad place and was looking for a way out. My regular doctor did an annual “how are you doing” survey on me last fall and suggested it… it wasn’t until the end of the year I took it, I was very reluctant.seemed. The reluctancy comes from a few places.

First my Mother was crazy… not diagnosed crazy, but a hypochondriac it … Actually seeing how things have played out with my siblings its possible she had real medical issues and mental issues and was never diagnosed or treated properly. But as a kid it appeared as if she were always taking another pill for another made up thing. She never got better, he had peaks and valleys but she’d end up right back where she had been before. This sounds worse than it was… she wasn’t a good mother as in her needs came first – whether it was men, chocolate, romance novels, men or men… we were often a hindrance to what she wanted to do. When we were all teens she sent us all off to live with various relatives she was done. People will say “she did the best she could” but I don’t really buy into that. 

Secondly I have old AA tapes in my head that tell me not to take medication. Even though the Big Book talks about getting help from professionals – the talk in the rooms often is how you aren’t “really sober” if you’re taking mind altering chemicals. The belief is that “God” can fix it if you just do the steps. Or if you believe enough, or have enough sponsees. My last sponsor, and current friend, expressed worry about taking the medication in the beginning (probably still does, but his heart is in the right place).

At my annual physical on Tuesday the doc asked me how it was going with the medication and I expressed that it was going well. I advised him I was also in therapy and working on some childhood stuff. He thought that was swell. He then asked if I I thought I wanted to get off the medication… that gave me pause.

I’m listening right now to “I Had The Time of My Life” purely by coincidence but it’s true “I’ve never felt this way before”.

The medication has changed me, but I think for a good way (with a few exceptions). I’m less irritable, less angry, more comfortable around others, dreaming (literally) and I guess most importantly – not depressed. I have kind of a fear about losing some of that calm if I were to go off of the drug.

I wouldn’t say that I’m addicted to it, I don’t have any physical cravings or anything… I don’t dream about it or plan my weekends around when I’m going to get the next one… I get one pill a day with food, in the morning… that’s it. The first few days I took the pills I felt like I was on speed (old fashioned caffeine pills not the new stuff they have) but that’s all in the past now. I have, though, grown comfortable and like this feeling… which is in itself very unlike me.

Today in therapy I talked to that guy about what it would mean getting off the drug. He said there isn’t a way of knowing… you wean off of it and see if the symptoms come back and if so then you go back on I guess.

When I was deep in my depression I didn’t want help, I found comfort in the dark and wanted to lose myself in it. Fixing it or finding a way out seemed unimportant and an impossible challenge. What’s to say that if I get off of it that that wont come back? Fear is silly isn’t it?

My doc said we’d revisit it at a later time and see what I thought at the end of the year. So that’s where we are with it. I’m going to keep on taking it – critics be damned. 🙂

I feel different than I ever have in certain ways. In other ways I’m still the same old guy that would rather lose himself in a book than go outside. I downloaded Pokemon Go and was pretty excited until I realized they expected me to go out into the world… nah, I’m good right here.


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