I had always suffered from bouts of deep depression; but it finally became bad enough for me to take the doctor’s advice and go on an anti-depressant. It worked! After about a month on Prozac in 1996 I remember noticing, “Wow. So, this is how normal people feel.” Life went on— but on Prozac I didn’t spiral down into a hole and stay there for days. I really felt like it was a miracle drug for me.
And I never stopped taking it. I was too afraid to experience deep depression again.
But after the miscarriage this summer, and my relapse, I doubled my dose of Prozac because I was afraid of becoming depressed. (I had extra pills because I didn’t take it during the pregnancy) The mere memory of depression triggered a big fear in me. So, like a good little alcoholic, I doubled the dose of my Prozac without consulting my doctor.
Twice as much should work twice as well, right? That’s the way my brain thinks. I’m that way with Advil, too. If two work on a headache, then four will really work. And, of course, with alcohol. If one glass of wine makes me feel this good, then just think what three glasses will feel like!
I’m addicted to more, so I will feel less.
This doubling up on my dose however has made me a crazy person. Sure, I haven’t gotten depressed (over almost losing my marriage back in September); but I have been the opposite of depressed. I’ve been manic.
And I’m “in fear” (as they say in AA)–avoiding starting my 4th Step, afraid to “look under the bed” at my marriage and my life– because I’m afraid of what I will find. I don’t want to feel anything because I’m afraid of going into a deep depression and getting stuck there “forever.”
So, these last four months on the double dose I’ve created like five small businesses, fourteen new blogs, purchased beads and made a hundred rosaries, spent way too much money on the boys for Christmas, and had very little sleep.
This is taking its toll on my body. I got a flu-bronchitis thing over Christmas. And though I improved, I am sick again now with a bad virus. And I haven’t been able to slow my brain down. I even thought about drinking last week to get some relief.
Finally, a few days ago, I put 2 and 2 together and figured out it was the double Prozac that was making me nutty. (Insert AA lingo here: sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) So, I cut back down to the minimum dose—and although I was still afraid to feel and face everything, I was more eager to stop being so manic.
I am so happy to report I slept well the last couple of nights and am slowly beginning to feel like myself again, without the mania.
I’m addicted to more, so I will feel less. But what I’ve discovered from this little brain-serotonin experiment on myself is that I can’t escape. Not through alcohol and not through doubling my Prozac. Neither works.
The only thing that “works” is reliance and faith in God, putting my whole life and my will in His hands, and letting Him do with me what He wants. Today, this day, I have faith that God will bring me through what ever it is I’m supposed to face about myself and my marriage. My sponsor will be happy I’ll finally be starting on my Fourth Step! More or less.