When Prozac Stops Working
I’ve been crying lately.
In the shower, in bed, while getting dressed, while cooking dinner, while walking to Sainsbury’s, while loading up the conveyor belt and paying for my shopping.
Big, heaving, snotty sobs that I can’t stop or control.
I am crying in private and in public – I’m not picky and I have no shame. I am a bit of a mess at the moment.
The crying in public thing doesn’t actually bother me me at all. For years, I was terrified of crying in public. I thought I would get stared at and judged but that really isn’t the case.
Try crying in public for yourself one day; I guarantee that no one will notice because they are too wrapped up in their own shit, and even if they do, they quickly avert their gaze and scuttle off because they don’t know what to do. I’ve even managed to clear one end of a busy tube carriage by breaking down and get myself a seat.
The truth is, no one wants to go near a person crying in public, because they could be a nutjob.
You know my life is in the shitter when I stop wearing makeup – I would look like even more of a nutcase with Superdrug’s finest kohl eyeliner running down my face.
Crying is something that really shouldn’t happen to me, because I am on a hefty, emotion numbing dose of Fluoxetine, or Prozac to give it it’s trendy, mid-nineties, street name.
I can’t help myself by increasing the doseage as I am on the highest dose that my doctor is allowed to prescribe in the uk.
I really don’t want to go down the route of changing anti-depressants because, withdrawal. Ever been through Prozac withdrawal? It makes Renton from Train Spotting and his heroin withdrawal look like a weekend at Butlins. Besides, Prozac is my drug of choice.
I have a love/hate relationship with Prozac.
I love it because it makes me numb to everything. The worst things happen and Prozac just makes you shrug. When all the world was getting worked up about Trump and impending doom, I didn’t care. Why would I care? (To be honest, I wouldn’t have cared much straight, but the Prozac made everything even more fuzzy).
People can say the worst things to me and I shrug it off. That’s if I am even concentrating enough on them to be listening.
You feel so numb that you sometimes feel a bit invincible, which can lead to doing some pretty reckless things – some of the things I have done while on a Prozac high make me cringe when I think back.
I love Prozac because I need it.
I have been on and off it several times throughout my life. I’ve been through the horrific withdrawals and the learning how to feel every sorrid, horrible emotion again and each time I’ve gone back on it, I have felt that first, wonderful dose kicking in.
Lovely, brain altering chemicals.
You can feel Prozac entering your brain the first time you take it. It’s the oddest feeling. It’s almost like you can feel your brain being rewired for the first twenty four hours. It’s sort of buzzy and like lots of little electric shocks going off inside your head.
I hate Prozac because it’s made me fat. Bastard, brain altering chemicals.
Yes, I am vain.
But the good thing is when you get fat on Prozac, because you don’t care about anything, you don’t care that you are fat anyway.
I hate it because I go though phases where I cannot drink alcohol.
I mean I can’t bring myself to. I love a drink, but I am going through one of those awful stages where I can’t even force down a pint. (No lectures on the dangers of drinking on Fluoxetine please – informed choice and all that and I have been on anti depressants for long enough to have learned how they effect me).
I hate Prozac because of the vivid, mostly horrific dreams that I have while I am taking it.
Dreams (nightmares) that are so vivid that you wake up panicking that they were real. Dreams where you dream you have woken up, and you think you are awake, only to wake up again. On and on. And the most terrifying ones where you realise you are dreaming but cannot wake yourself up.
Dreams that have me waking in a panic and running to check on my sleeping children because I am convinced that nightmare was real and that something terrible has happened to them.
But the good outweighs the bad.
There are times like now when things get so bad in life that not even Prozac can help me. I blame the drugs for not working as they should and that is true up to a point, but the thing with depression is that is part chemical imbalance and part circumstance.
There is no drug in the world that can change what is happening in my life at the moment, and the ways that Prozac can help me deal with outside forces and the actions of other people is limited.
When you take Prozac it’s like having a protective bubble around you.
Nothing can hurt you.
All the shit ricochets off the outside of your lovely Prozac bubble and you feel nothing. The worst things can happen but nothing gets in the bubble to hurt you.
And then little cracks start to appear in the bubble and some of the shit gets in and it’s like little pangs of angst and panic breaking through and you have to work really, really hard to patch up those cracks and carry on.
And then one day you wake up and there is a fucking huge hole in your bubble and you have the pain in the pit of your stomach, the panic sets in and the next thing you know, you are crying in Asda because you can’t remember what you went in for.
And that’s when you just have to hope that people understand that you are not crazy.