Being off anti-psychotic medication is like having an unfinished jigsaw. You can see the picture and you might even know what it looks like when it's finished. But there are pieces missing. Sometimes it's a few pieces. Sometimes it's most of the puzzle.
That's how I currently feel. Which is one of the reasons I haven't done a lot with this website. Or much else for that matter. Back in March, there was a mostly completed jigsaw that I called “My Life”. There were a few pieces I was waiting to put in to place before I felt like I was mostly complete.
Then I took the final doses of the drug and, as it slowly left my system, the jigsaw was tossed in to the air. Suddenly I was staring at a small pile of jigsaw pieces, unsure of what to do with them. Some are easy to put back in to place. Some are not so easy to fit back into the puzzle and now I'm finding myself left with a little pile of pieces.
So how do you recover from medication withdrawal? It differs from person to person. One person may find it easy while another may find the transition extremely difficult.
I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm enjoying being off the drugs and “flying free”. The ideas are flowing and the laughter comes easily. Yet, at times, I find that difficult. Inspiration and energy come and go in waves. Some days I'll write for hours. Other days I won't even look at my current project. I haven't written much in the past month, this post being the first thing I've really sat down and thought about.
Conversation is another thing I'm struggling with and I'm so thankful for the people who are giving me time to talk, even when I'm slow to find the words I want.
Dealing with day to day life has had both its ups and downs and I'm grateful for those who are walking that walk with me. The people I live, work, and interact with have been so loving and generous, giving me the time and space I need to adapt to this “brave, new world” I'm finding myself in. Sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I get confused. But the excitement at realising that I can do something, unaided by another person or pharmaceutical intervention is the biggest reward right now. I could win the lottery but remembering to put the bin out at the right time or taking my vitamins is a far bigger achievement.
Emotions often swing between raw and excited. I've shed more tears in the past month than I have in the past decade. Tears, I've discovered, are cathartic and clearing, slowly healing my newly recovered soul.
Sure, it feels like it's been a bit of a rough year so far. But right now it feels good to be alive and take on the world. I can't wait to see what tomorrow, next month, and next year have in store!