Serotonin – Time to say goodbye?

 

This could easily be a heavy post, except I don’t want it to be.

A year or so ago, in an attempt to deal with the grief of unexpectedly losing one of my oldest friends, I focused my mind onto meditation. But after endless months of tears and self-destructive thoughts, I felt my last resort was to get some medical support.

This is a journey in the fascinating world of antidepressants.

Happy-Pills

March to November 2016 – First Steps

 

Being put on the common antidepressant known as Citalopram was probably one of the best thing that could have happened to me. After a few challenging days, it helped me rid myself of all the noise in my head, and opened my eyes onto the world of possibilities that was right there in front of me.

It gave me the strength to grab those opportunities and face a wall of fear I would normally avoid at all cost.

It made me not give a shit about a lot of unnecessary things. It made me GROW.

actually-I-can

November 2016 to April 2017 – Step Backward

 

After feeling like a superhero who could get anything done, I eventually burnt out and fell off my top of the world to find myself back at the bottom, but under a set of new, passionless rules. With no more shit to give, my mojo was slowly slipping off my fingers and soul, replacing the thirst for knowledge into a dull exercise of counting the days until I would feel again.

Four sparkless months went by.

dead candle

April 2017 – Wake up

 

Traveling has always been my saviour. So it is no surprise that at the end of two amazing weeks wandering around Thailand, I realised that I had missed three doses of Citalopram in a row. To give you an example, the last time that had happened was last July, in Mauritius, where I ended up spending three days building a plan on how to throw myself in the ocean in the middle of the night – until I realised what the fuck was happening [I swear it was actually funny afterwards].

I-m-fine-tee

Coming back home, I quietly decided to give it a go. After 5 days without, I could feel things again – passion and grief – like those guys had been put in a cryogenic tank, waiting for me to be ready. The urge to write came with it, something I hadn’t felt in absolute ages. All those resurfacing sensations made me realise how disconnected from myself I had been for the past 6 months, and how much I actually wanted to give this thing a shot indeed.

 

May 2017 – Consequences

 

Although the first few days were a happy revelation of “I can do this”, I’ve also had to deal with whirlwinds of thoughts and feelings, as well as live with a constant migraine for the past 10 days. Getting up in the morning is an actual mission, not because I don’t feel like it, but because my whole body is in a traumatic state of reshuffling everything again – a big “what the hell are you doing to us” that my mind and body scream at me.

All. Day. Long.

Mindfuck

My dreams are equally fucked up. Last night, Dan, our friends Graham and Linnea, and myself were in a canoe trying to paddle up a strong river until, all of a sudden, we became the flippin’ canoe itself, gasping for air in muddy waters. Other recurring themes involve fire-coloured skies, lost lands and conflicts with both friends and indigenous people. A massive headfuck that Freud would have a good laugh decoding.

I lose my shit a lot. I snap. One second I can’t take it, the next I laugh. One moment I’m thinking of leaving it all behind, the next I remember it’s just my brain fucking up with me.

breathe

What now?

 

For the first time in my life, I’m choosing to give myself the time. Because I know deep down that this mountain can be climbed, one breath at a time. As long as I keep in mind that I am not my thoughts and remember to breathe, eventually, I should be okay.

Sure, it would be much easier for everyone if I got back on the drug, but I need to do this.

 

Because, for once, this is about me and no one else.

 

Wish me luck.

long-road

 

I want more, says the voice.

picture of landscape with text overlay of the definition of novaturient

 

Ever found yourself in that state where the voice in your head, your voice, keeps on repeating: “I want more out of life.”

 

Of course you have.

 

Some might say that this is all linked to a logical state of holiday blues following the amazing two weeks I’ve just spent traveling around Thailand – sure, I hear you. But I also know that I’m at my best when traveling (read: exploring, backpacking, pushing my own boundaries in a foreign countries – resorts and all inclusive being a soul-killer to me), that it helps me put my mind back in the right place and remember what truly matters to me.

See, my worst enemy is routine. It’s a filthy one that likes to pretend it’s your friend, by smothering you in a comfort zone that turns you blind and deaf to the yearnings inside, turning the temporary into permanent – one guaranteeing each time to make me slowly simmer inside until I emotionally explode.

slow-motion picture of a bubble being burst

I’ve known for years that I’m not shaped for sedentary life, yet I find myself investing more into it on a regular basis – either through home improvement-related activities, or through numbing the wild voice inside by drinking myself happy.

I’m torn between this beautiful and comfortable thing called Home, and an inner fire to explore, meet, learn, feel.

home-tent-view

“I want more out of life” – so, let’s hear what the voice is saying to me this time.

It says it doesn’t want to get back to the unhealthy, oversleeping, passionless, and numb version of myself that took over for half a year, before I set foot on foreign land three weeks ago. It says that’s not me. That I shouldn’t let the light and the fire die again. Because, fuck it, my time’s counted (and so is yours, by the way).

Beyond the panicky “sell it all, pack your shit and go”, it says: “never cease working on being a better version of yourself” – in what you are, and in what you do. Because that’s the only sane movement that will get you where you want to be.

 

travel

 

So where is it I want to be?

In a place where I take better care of myself and my dreams, where my priorities guide my decisions – redefining my priorities so they reflect who I am and where I want to be… hang on, going round in circle here.

I moved my work to freelancing with the aim of giving myself the possibility of working from anywhere in the world (providing there’s a decent wifi connection). It’s been just over a year now, one where I’ve had to find my balance and, although I’m not quite there yet, I’ve experienced enough self-sabotaging through that year to realise that I needn’t wait until I’ve totally found my feet to stir my work life in the direction I need it to go.

So let’s start this new journey with some official rules.

The work rules I need to follow to keep the flexibility and fire I yearn for are:

  • Take work that can be done from anywhere in the world;
  • Take that flexibility, don’t let it go to waste;
  • Take work that brings you financial stability;
  • Take work you feel passionate about;
  • Take the skills you enjoy to the next level.
Let’s start with that.

you go girl