Fighting the good fight

I may have mentioned that I’ve been cutting back on my medication over the past few months. My reduction schedule has been fairly arbitrary – from 300mg Wellbutrin per day (the dose I’ve been at for over a year now), to 150mg per day (for a few weeks), to 150mg every other day (for about two weeks), to 150 mg every few days or less (where I’m at now) – but it is based on the general recommendation that you should gradually cut back on antidepressants rather than go “cold turkey.” Nevertheless, I do NOT recommend that anyone else necessarily follow this agenda; instead, talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
Anyway, I didn’t really expect reducing my medication to have a noticeable effect. I think deep down, part of me still believed that these tiny pills can’t have any actual physical effect on something as intangible as mood/depression. Allow me to utterly and completely obliterate any vestige of that belief.
It’s nothing super horrendous, and definitely not enough to dissuade me from pursuing this course of action, but there’s been an undeniable relapse. It’s actually quite interesting to observe, knowing what I now know about depression, about mindfulness, about observing negative thoughts, etc. In the past, I would have thought of this relapse as “me just returning to my normal or ‘real’ self” and I would have been too depressed to try and fight what seemed inevitable.
Now I know better.
Depression is not a natural state of being; it’s an insidious invader. No matter how long it sets up shop, it’s a parasite, not a part of you.
Being able to make that distinction has made a world of difference for me this time around.
Nevertheless, feeling the old familiar pull towards darkness is disconcerting, to say the least. At first it was just a nagging sense of “my life kind of sucks.” Then it was the realization that I’m WAY more emotional than usual – more sensitive, more easily hurt, more easily angered, more anxious. I sleep a bit more, eat a bit less and seem to need more alone time than usual.  And – here’s a fucking weird one – I’m noticeably way clumsier.  ?!?  I’ve spent the last week or so dropping, breaking, spilling and knocking over stuff. It would normally make me laugh, at least a bit, but right now, it just pisses me off immensely (especially when said stuff is expensive, like my new french press or living room lamp – grrrr). I usually end up yelling and swearing in frustration, see the looks on my cats faces, and realize this is part of why I should never have children…
But, this is my new reality. I don’t have spare energy to sit around thinking about how much I wish things were different. As author and long-term depressive Therese Borchard puts it, “From the moment my eyes open in the morning until the second that I pull my sleep mask over my face as I go to sleep, I am engaged in battle.” 
My own fight against depression and BPD is characterized by three preventative strategies:
1) Guarding my thoughts (meditate/be mindful, practice positive thinking and gratitude).
2) Guarding my emotions (avoid emotional triggers, foster positive relationships and nix toxic ones).
3) Guarding my body (get adequate rest, nutrition and exercise).
Seems simple enough, right? However, it’s proving to be a full-time endeavour. Things are a bit of a mess in my head – so much so that I don’t really even know how to get these feelings out in words on this blog, though I desperately want to. Expect an onslaught of weird, self-indulgent Cubist posts on the horizon… you’ve been warned?
-Cat xxxx