About 10 years ago I was an artist. I was an artist in the sense that everyone in town who knew of me knew that I was capable of drawing very life-like drawings. I was known for my creative ability from a young age. I did not get to be very good at Art until I was in my teen years. People used to ask to buy my work and they would approach me for commissions, although I rarely ever obliged anyone, as I liked to draw for the sake of drawing – whatever I desired.
My creative ability was hewn down like a grass blade to a lawn-mower the moment a young man rolled over my right wrist with his roller blades. The young man did apologise to me, although I do not know if it was sincere or not – as this was someone who previously bullied me a lot. I don’t think he or I even realised the damage he had caused, and I personally didn’t think much of it at the time, other than to get back up on my feet and keep scate-boarding.
The other thing that impacted on my creativity over that 10 year period was that I was heavily medicated on a variety of antidepressants that neither served their purpose, nor did any good. In fact they caused considerable harm, and I am lucky to have survived that era, as I was frequently in and out of hospital, suffering from serious suicidal ideation.
Retrospectively, I believe I was suffering grief from the loss of my Uncle, as well as other losses, which I may discuss at a later time. I just want to say that I am so grateful now that I am not on antidepressants anymore – my mind is so much clearer, (thank God!) and I’m once again capable of learning. I recall a time when I was trying to read a year 11 or 12 Chemistry text book and the words would jumble up on the page (unlike usual). I was not capable of reading, nor was I able to retain what was said to me. I would forget it 5 minutes later.
10 years on and I have a much more serious diagnosis and am on much more serious meds (much to my disapproval), but I’ve realised recently that this is working for me (for now). I do want to find a good pscyhiatris who can help me to go on a lower dose, once I know them well enough – and if we have success with that – who knows? I believe anything is possible and among those possibilities is that of maybe not requiring medication.
The reason I believe this may be possible is because prior to my diagnosis, I had one major episode. It was acute (severe and relatively short), then it gradually improved over a year until I was able to switch the voices etc. on and off. I could “tune in” or “tune out”. The only thing the antipsychotics help with is reducing the volume and my interest in the voices. I believe that I can get to the stage where I am not on meds, able to switch them on and off, but choose to keep them switched off.
Eventually, I won’t hear them at all. Of this I am certain.
To me it is still not entirely undesirable, as there are comforting, kind voices, as well as horrible, nasty ones. I can actually tune into the nice ones and tune out of the nasty ones. However, if I was to become distressed, I would predominately (in theory) hear the nasty ones, as the horrible ones occur when one is already in a very negative emotional state. The positive ones can happen at that time too, but are little comfort when one is in great inner turmoil.
One thing I do know for certain is that weather I am experiencing and extreme state of mind or am my regular healthy old self, I am capable of behaving as though nothing is wrong. I realise that this would concern my Dr and other people who work with me to help me move on with my life, but I am very truthful with the people in my life from random strangers to people who are close. There certainly is nothing going on right now. I don’t even have residual symptoms anymore.
Back on the topic of art, I want to share with you the process of going from being a very poor drawer to becoming a very good drawer again – as my understanding is that once you have learned something once, it is possible to learn it again and this time with more ease. I just thought this would be fun to do. So from time to time, I will share with you some of my work. I hope that you enjoy both the work and the process of progressing from poor to (hopefully) brilliant drawer!
Have you ever experienced a loss of skills or abilities due to being on medications? Have you ever been diagnosed as majorly depressed, then realised retrospectively that you were probably suffering normal grief instead? What has your experience been of using antidepressants? Weather you had a positive or negative experience of it, I would like to hear from you in the comments section below.
Have a great day or night wherever you are. 🙂 Much love and blessings!