I'm Prozac-ed and I'm Proud!
I haven't read Prozac Nation yet. Or any of the other 11,699 books that Amazon has listed when Prozac is put into their search engine. I've heard anecdotes about how people don't feel like themselves or feel cut off from reality. I believe them, though I've never had these side effects.
I do, however, have personal experience with the drug and frankly, I'd like to share. I've been on Prozac now for about 3 years. They have been the best three years of my life.
I started at a low dose. At first I had really hideous dry mouth but I started to have entire days where I didn't cry once. I could engage Michael in an actual conversation without feeling like I was being attacked, belittled or pandered to. By the way, he didn't change a bit. My therapist remarked that I no longer seemed "catatonic". This, I assumed to be a good thing.
I was doing ok, but we decided to up my dose. Soon, entire weeks would go by without feeling like I had to get in bed before 5 p.m. This was astounding. I took a walk. Then another one.
I got into an argument with Michael and it didn't feel like the end of the world. It was just a disagreement. What the fuck?! I was still having little crying jags for no reason but I could firmly understand that they were for no particular reason.
We decided to tweak my dose upward again. I started writing again. I started concentrating better. I started to feel like I could bring up a problem I was having without feeling like my entire world might fall apart. Un-freaking-believable. I had absolutely no sex drive but frankly, I never particularly enjoyed sex before and so this was not something I spent a great deal of time in mourning about.
One more tweak. Here we are. I did my last tweak about a year ago. It's been the best year of my life. I have never felt better. I am not delirious but I find joy. I don't even know that I knew what joy necessarily was prior to this year. I often hear others concerned about going on psychoactive drugs worried that they won't feel like themselves. That they'll turn into a zombie version of themselves. I don't feel less "myself", rather, I feel like I am meeting myself for the first time. I can articulate what I want, which was nearly impossible just 3 years ago.
I do not feel zoned out, nor do I feel restless - I've given myself epinephrine shots before - so I know restless. I have written more than I ever have, and I can access my thoughts better than ever. Sometimes I feel like exercising, sometimes I feel like cleaning. Sometimes I feel like sitting on my couch reading a magazine and smiling at the wonder that I can do that and not hate myself. Sometimes, I can even tell someone what I want, or what I don't want. Which is an entirely new thing for me to experience. And if that's not authenticity, I'm not sure what is.