It’s been a while since I have sat down and typed anything. I have drafts written up and finished, but I wanted to address some things first. The next post I was going to publish, at the time felt like it made the most sense. I had written about moving forward and healing, how to seek out the proper help and going through that entire process. About as soon as I had gotten halfway through that piece, I started having massive struggles with my medication. My body was rejecting it and it quite literally, turned my world upside down for about a month. I will share what was happening, for the sake of explaining how the last few months have been.
In about late January, I had gotten the results back, from my GeneSight test. This test for those that don’t know, takes your DNA (swab from inside cheeks) and gives you results on how your body metabolizes certain drugs. This test is helpful when it comes to the process, of picking a medication. In my experience with this test and having been through a few different medications, I feel as though it’s extremely helpful to get a GeneSight done. I am able to see how my body metabolizes the medications I have taken, or am currently using.
Back from November of 2021 until January 2022, I was taking Prozac which is an antidepressant. I felt fairly “okay” on this medication, but I did feel like it wasn’t giving me well rounded support. I was still having intrusive thoughts, impulsions and anxiety wasn’t manageable. The results on my GeneSight, showed that I super metabolize Prozac.. meaning it goes through my system so quickly, that whatever dosage I’d be put on, it wouldn’t give it’s full effect. After this knowledge was discussed, we decided to switch to Effexor. This medication is supposed to have the same effect, but my body metabolizes this drug normally.
This is when it went downhill for me. The Effexor wasn’t the right fit for me, even with the testing… your body still may negatively react to certain medications. In this case, my reaction to that drug was horrific. I want to preface before I continue, that this isn’t meant to scare or shy anyone away from trying medications. There is the understanding that finding a good fit, is a process and for some that can be longer than others. I was on the Effexor for about three weeks, nearly a month before I fully wanted to try a different one. I was having negative side effects.. I wanted to give it a chance, with the thought it would settle with time. Unfortunately, it took its toll on me physically and mentally. My physiatrist was concerned with how bad this medication was affecting me, we made the switch to Pristiq. I had to transition and “ween” off the Effexor, thankfully I didn’t have any “withdrawal symptoms”.
The Pristiq was an instant perfect match, I felt better each day that I was taking it. It took about three weeks to get past the Effexor, it really drained me to the point I wasn’t eating properly, lost sleep and my fitness journey also stopped. I had lost the confidence, that I fought so hard to gain. I felt weak again physically and I was emotionally broken again, since then I have been trying to “get my feet back underneath of me”. Now that the Effexor is fully out of my system, I feel so much better and am not haunted with my own thoughts daily.
This long winded explanation.. is to bring awareness, that not every medication you may try, is going to be the right fit and that is okay. It truly is a trial and error experience, I am glad that I’m learning from this and moving forward. I hope this doesn’t scare you away from medication, I believe that seeking help in whatever form that may be, is the most helpful thing you can do. Each of you who are suffering, deserve an outlet and to get the help you deserve. I am learning that fighting for yourself, is a tough battle at times and it requires effort to show up for yourself everyday. Finding that drive and energy for that, can be difficult and feel impossible at times. I can promise that with the correct medication or therapist, it is possible to get that drive back.
After two years of struggling with my health, I am feeling now that in the last couple of months, that I am starting to find myself again. Having one set purpose in life, isn’t a fair statement to share, because I don’t believe that is true. My purpose has changed time and time again, and I have learned to be okay with that. You will transition through different seasons of your life, some goals will change and your aspirations will grow with you. I once was so consumed with the horses, that is all I wanted in life. I didn’t have a “Plan B” … or any thoughts about the “what if” the horses don’t work out for me. This mindset had its negative ramifications, despite the positive drive it brought me everyday. This drive for the horses, had gotten me through the darkest times in my life. I found motivation to go and ride.. or be out at the barn, while I was drowning in my grief. Looking back at that time in my life, I honestly don’t recognize the girl who fought that hard. I was in a denial period for a long time, I refused to feel all my emotions. I was terrified that if I let them in, I wouldn’t be able to come out of it. That pent up emotion, hurt, anger etc had built up for years and eventually, it all came crashing down. That is when I knew it was time, to get the help for myself that I desperately needed.
Now, I am sitting here writing this while I am down in Ocala, FL again. I made the decision to come back down this winter, I needed to do something for myself and my mental health. Being down here again, has healed my heart in many ways. I am having a therapy session every Wednesday, sometimes if I need it I add one on Fridays. I am happier on the Pristiq and feel like I am finally heading in the right direction. I believe that sometimes, shifting your plans to better your health is completely okay. There isn’t a rule book for how you should go through life, or navigate your health mentally or physically. Grief is linear and coping with loss, trauma or any form of tragedy, is on your own time. No one should pressure you, or make you feel guilty for your own timeline.
I am slowly getting back to the gym, getting my fitness and muscle I lost back. My physical health has taken a decline the last few weeks, I had a flare up that I’ve been addressing. I have some answers and can move forward from there. I am literally taking it day by day and learning to be kinder to myself in these times. I feel stronger now and can continue writing here… sharing my thoughts with you all. It makes me happy to know, that these words have helped you in some way. I will continue to share my heart and hope to make you feel less alone in your journey. No one deserves to struggle alone, or feel as though they don’t have a safe place.
I will pick up where I left off… and make a post about seeking out help. What to look for in a therapist or psychiatrist, beginning that journey and how obtain those outlets. One step at a time, be compassionate towards yourself and be patient with your journey.
Thank you for reading and once again, allowing me to open up my heart.