Hooked on a feeling

I’ve been waiting two months to write this post.

Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been waiting more than two years to write this post. But it’s only in the past couple of months that I’ve been in a position where I could write it.

So why has it taken me so long to write this post?



About two months ago my depression hit an all-time low. The personal issues I was dealing with combined to form a “perfect storm”, and on one particular night I was very close to ending it permanently.

The following morning I made appointments to see a counsellor and my GP.

The counselling session went as I expected: Get out of the house, keep active, maintain your social networks, and try to get through the events causing all the pain.

When I saw my GP I asked to switch to another anti-depressant I’d heard good things about. (Effexor XR, in case you’re interested.) She agreed, and set me up to make the transition from Cymbalta.

The good news is I didn’t have to go cold turkey to get the Cymbalta out of my system before taking the new drug. The bad news is the two drugs didn’t play very well together (at least for me).

And so for a week I was not only depressed, but a little bit crazy as well.

Of course, I didn’t realise I was crazy at the time, and my actions seemed perfectly rational. But in that week I said and did things I shouldn’t have, and managed to all but destroy one of my closest friendships.

And then, on the night of the first day I took the new drug on its own, the most amazing feeling came over me. It hit me in an instant, as if someone reached inside my head and flicked a switch.

I was… happy.

And not just happy. Deliriously happy. The happiest I’d been in months, and possibly the happiest I’d been since I was first diagnosed more than two years ago.

Even cutting my finger while slicing up mushrooms for dinner didn’t wipe the smile from my face.

I wrote about it on Facebook, and announced it on Twitter. But I wasn’t ready to write about it. Not yet.

The next morning I woke up, expecting the effect to have worn off overnight. Expecting to be back to where I’d been. Expecting to be disappointed.

But my only disappointment was that I hadn’t made the switch sooner.


So why wait so long to write about it? Because I was scared that making it “official”would be like waving a red rag to a bull. Or, in this case, Fate.

You see, I’ve been here before. Shortly before I was diagnosed I spent two glorious weeks on cloud nine. And I can still remember how bad it felt to not just plummet back down to earth, but to keep on falling.

And I don’t ever want that to happen again.


I’ve been happy for seven weeks now. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows–I have the occasional bad day just like everyone else. But I’m not sinking anywhere near as low as I used to, and it’s a lot easier to bounce back these days.

Am I cured? Hell no. My brain still has the chemical imbalance, and I’ll probably be taking anti-depressants for the rest of my life.

But that’s just fine with me. Because if taking a tablet can make me happy, then I’m happy to keep taking them.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Bonny July 18, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Have had two of the worst days of my life. Yesterday was tears and panic attacks, today….numbness. Dr won’t change to Efexor because I am not stable enough. Holy cow! Glad you are so much better

  • Bill Harper July 18, 2012, 9:27 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Bonny. If you need to talk, don’t hesitate to give me a call, okay?

    *massive hug*

  • @HeatherSmithAU August 27, 2012, 4:53 pm

    do I get a prize for spotting the girl is on the inside cover of all DUMMIES guides?

  • @HeatherSmithAU August 27, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Hey just read the post after the image comment.

    I am glad to hear that you are on the mend and look forward to seeing you at the next meetup :- )

    Keep positive & Keep in contact!!


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