Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Willpower over Temptation
August 19, 2014

Willpower over Temptation

Almost a year ago now I went go see my local GP after I didn't have the strength to carry on going about life the way it was, a steady plateau of negativity. It was time for a drastic change and I had been suffering in silence for far too long. I tell my friends, about that time, that it felt like 'existing' and not really living. Staying in my room, either sleeping, playing video-games or eating quick oven food, my life was officially dull. I'm a student at university and was lucky enough to befriend some really nice people. One good friend in particular I made whilst there, watched out for me, and is always 100% supportive of me. He went with me to the doctor when I cracked and since then he's always been by my side whenever I've had any ups or downs.

Since then my life has changed a great deal due to a lot of hard work and a nurturing social group. Initially I started taking Fluoxetine (or more commonly known as Prozac), a type of antidepressent known as an Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI for short) alongside 6 weeks of counseling that commenced very quickly. It worked out really well, and was a much needed lil kick-start to get me going about my everyday life. After a couple of weeks, with very few insignificant side effects such as tiredness, and dry mouth, it seemed a little too good to be true. I felt the best I had done in a long time. Unfortunately my weekly counseling sessions were up, and I was now seeking an alternative. Things were still going good but I knew if I wanted to resolve issues that medication wouldn't fix it. Eventually I managed to get a hold of a clinical psychologist at my university and persuade him to give me weekly therapy services for as long as I was at university (a great opportunity to radically improve my mental state).

Around 3 months ago the effects of my SSRIs had burnt out after increasing the dosage several times, and depression was looming around the corner. I could feel it everyday starting to take over again. Every day was starting to feel more and more like a struggle... for what seemed like good reasons but were just mind giving me excuses to give in. The temptation was and still is, to stay in bed all day and forget the world. I came to a realisation recently that you should never wait to feel like doing something. Depression will always win that battle, you will never want to do anything so don't wait for that feeling to go away. I had to do things and set goals regardless of the fact that there feels like no real incentive and what's the point? With raw willpower I needed to overcome temptation to give in, and yeah most days are a hassle. I'm still fighting though because I know  what will help me get out of my situation more. Lying in bed won't change anything except the wrinkles on my face, if I want to feel different, I have to do something different. Finding a passion has been one of things on my mind a lot recently and after discussing with my girlfriend and therapist I've decided that as I feel rather strongly about mental health that I would start this blog.

Things started to get a little worse and I went to the doctor again recently. I have weened myself off the drug I was on as the side-effects were outweighing any good effects and now have just commenced a 50mg dose of Sertraline, another SSRI that works more as a stimulant rather than making me sleepy all the time. I've taken my first dose yesterday and don't feel any different just yet. I've just been giving my full attention to my work as a Barista in a café and the relationship I'm currently in. Time feels rather slow and my enjoyment of things is a bit limited. I can say however though that in comparison to how I was 1 year ago, I feel miles better. If I have a really bad day, it feels so much worse than it used to, purely because I have something to compare it to now.

On a lighter note, one of the things I have been enjoying a lot recently is the 24! Been watching it with my partner every night and that does give me something to look forward to everyday for after work. It's a TV series with each season happens in real-time of 24 1-hour episodes. It's about the counter terrorist unit in the USA defusing a terrorist threat under pressure with so many plot twists and great characters. That's how I've been distracting myself recently.. what do you do to take your mind off things when you're feeling down?

Francis

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