My dad told me something that was confirmed over and over again and which guides me now. “It’s not a disease, it’s a manifestation”. And indeed, it is the energy we all have inside, which isn’t inherently positive nor negative, it just is.
We have more power over our mind than we are led on to believe, and we can put that energy to good use.
My highly creative mind which manifested itself so early was a constant through all the pain, and it helped me translate everything that was happening, it was as much a method of coping as it was one of letting all go.
The last years have witnessed my life settling down to the point where I felt I could free myself from the antidepressants which were obviously useless – reading the latest news about SSRI’s and their (lack of) efficacy only deepened my frustration with psychiatry and our approach to it. So after steadily tapering off both my antidepressant and antipsychotic (overprescribed in any mood disorder as mood regulators), I managed to quit the former. After a mild, short withdrawal period, the results were something I could have never expected. The part of my brain which constantly fretted over everything and gave way to mood swings and irrational fear was gone. Everything felt more vivid, my perception had altered, improved, it was as all that poisonous smog had finally lifted. It’s been months and I’m better than ever.
I’ve learned so much along the way. I don’t believe in “crazy”, nor do I fancy labels and pigeonholing. I’m deeply annoyed by western psychiatry and the whole outlook over these things we go through, and it’s an endless subject which doesn’t seem to find its way through soon. We don’t know anything, yet we pretend to do so, at all costs. I do believe in the importance of emotion and of immersing yourself in it, only to let it slide. Don’t get stuck, stay away from loopholes. Consciousness flows like a river, however cheesy that might sound, and you have to let it go. The past serves as a teacher, and it doesn’t have to influence the present. Pain is necessary, but also avoidable. What’s done is done. The only thing that matters is what I’m doing now. And nobody knows what they’re doing, and everyone has their own suppressed fears, and love saves everything.
I’ll never forget the deep pain I felt, nor do I deny it. I relate strongly to the ones lost in these ugly places. But I do have faith in them.
I hope they’ll eventually realize things are sometimes so simple, we won’t believe they’re true. I hope they’ll learn so much and that one day they’ll know how important it all was, how the whole chain of events, however pitiful or sorrowful, led to someone who got to meet, fight, surrender, know, befriend themselves.
There cannot be an end to an essay like this which can satisfy. Life does not offer many certainties, but it does offer the chance to reinvent, start over, leave behind the pieces which don’t match, change whenever you wish. And the best thing is, everything always changes, so however low you might feel, you can be certain of one thing: it will not be like this forever, and the energy in you will one day bloom.
Ana Moca-Grama is a writer, photographer and nature lover. She writes short fiction and introspective poems, draws when lost for words and actively supports the movement for acceptance and eradication of taboos around mental disorders.