September 1, 2020 marks the official date when I became medication-free.
Having been diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a teenager, I have been taking some form of mood stabilizer for basically 12 years. The exception to that was when I was off medication for almost a year in 2013-2014, but needed to start taking it again. For the last several months now I have been feeling I reached a point where I no longer need drugs, so with the guidance of my doctor I have been weaning myself off my mood stabilizer. I took my last dose on August 31, 2020.
A combination of life experience, therapy, and personal growth I believe has led me to this milestone. I will not say I’m exactly “happy” all the time, but I do feel safe, and content, and strong. And when that’s not the case I have systems in place for taking care of myself and remedying the issue at hand. I still experience stress (and have had a lot of challenges this year), but I no longer feel crushed by my circumstances. I have the power to keep myself safe and healthy, and I’m immensely grateful for that.
This feels like a bit of strange thing to announce, and I’m definitely not as vocal about it as I was, say, when I finished paying off my student loans – I guess because to announce no longer taking medication is also announcing I was taking it in the first place. I am not anti-medicine, especially since I have first-hand experience on how beneficial it can be in keeping one well. But in my specific situation the medicine has served its purpose and I no longer need it. And after years of that not being the case, it feels pretty good.