Thought Catalog

The Bittersweet Reality Of Relying On Antidepressants To Make You Happy

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Alex Ronsdorf

It was a 37.5 mg pill that changed my whole world for me.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I can breathe without feeling any pain. I feel joy for what it is. I can finally feel happiness.

I never thought I’d be the one to start antidepressant medication. I always thought I could push through this pain by myself. I thought I was strong enough.

I was doing everything in my power to live the life I had always imagined for myself. I got good grades, I had a social life, I got enough sleep, I ate healthy food, I ran marathons, I had a good relationship with my peers and family, but something still did not feel right.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be happy. Every night ended in tears. Every morning I woke, I felt the pain in my body, that left me unable to feel anything else. It did not make any sense to me. Why was I feeling like this? Is what every counselor, every psychiatrist would ask me and I would stare back blankly, not knowing what to say, but feeling everything that should have been said.

It was a 37.5 mg pill that changed my whole world for me. Everything that I had been doing up until that point, finally started to make sense in my life. The pieces finally started to fit. And that’s what scared me the most. That it was this pill, this formula of synthetic substances that made me feel whole.

It felt wrong for me to let myself succumb to this form of happiness. But I could not hold myself back because for once in my life I felt like what it meant to live. Over the weeks I could feel the pain slowly leave my body. I let myself fill my heart with happiness, with joy, with life. Something I had only dreamed of doing for the past 6 years.

It all feels so real until I have to wake up the next day and take another dose of the anti-depressant that helps me erase the pain from my body so that I can push through another day of my life. It’s in that moment that I feel so weak. So, vulnerable. Knowing the control that substance has on my life. It’s in that moment that I realize my happiness is an illusion created by the right dosage, prescribed by some doctor in a hurry because she is behind schedule and there are at least 10 other people still waiting to see her.

It’s in that moment I ask myself if this is the life I want to live.

But every day. Every single day. I say yes. This is the life I want to live. This is the life that I have been given. And this is the life that I am going to push through. Some days I forget to take my pill and those days the pain swallows me whole and I am once again reminded of my ugly dependence.

“You only have to take them for six months”, is what the doctor said. It’s been about 8 months and I’m terrified. Life feels so good, and I’m so scared of losing this feeling.

But I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live life being so dependent on a drug, it’s not who I am. Today is the day I am breaking this relationship apart. Today is the day that I am going to challenge my mind in a way that might completely break me apart and throw me back down to rock bottom.

The part that I’m afraid of the most, is that this newfound independence may just make me realize how much I need that 37.5 mg to make me feel whole again. But I won’t know that until I try. And I need to try. TC mark

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