It all started last March, when I was looking out the car window on the way to a regular doctor’s appointment.
It was a gloomy morning. I looked down the country road lined with cows and farms leading me to my doctor’s office.
I turned to my mom and told her I had been feeling more sad than usual and that I needed to talk to the doctor about it. My mom lowered the volume of the radio. She looked worried, like any mother would. She said it was probably because we had just moved to and I didn’t know anybody here.
Little did she know it was more than that.
It was the fact that I was feeling trapped in my body more than usual due to my condition. Cerebral Palsy affects my mobility and my ability to get around. I’m confined to a wheelchair twenty-four hours a day. Although I’m a very sociable college student and I go out with friends, I tend to always feel like I’m a glitch in a video game still trying to find my way. Luckily I found my passion for writing at a young age, after the death of my friend.
All of a sudden, the one thing I loved the most since I was a teenager, the thing that brought me the most comfort, didn’t help me during this time. On the outside I seemed to have it all; on the inside I was secretly breaking down each day. I was getting angry at my situation and how things weren’t working out in my life at the age of twenty-two.
I told my doctor about how I was feeling and she referred me to a mental health doctor. In the meantime, me she prescribed Fluoxetine to help with my anxiety and depression. I started taking it every single day, cutting the pill in half and placing it in my orange juice every morning.
When taking Fluoxetine it improved my mental state and helped me focus. I was doing okay at first, but after a while I started to feel the side effects. I would become hungry and want to eat junk food constantly. Then, my mindset changed; I felt like I needed the pills to be happy, and that I no longer had control of my life.
As someone who is an inspiration to many people I couldn’t lift myself to see a happy light in my life again.
A few months passed and I finally got to see a therapist.
I was very open about feeling trapped in my body and the difficulty of being an adult with Cerebral Palsy. At the end, my therapist said, “based on everything you told me I’m going to diagnose you with anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder.”
At first, I was crushed. How could someone like me, who has everything going for her, have a condition like adjustment disorder at the age of twenty two? I spent the next couple of weeks angry at the world. To add to it all, the side effects of the Fluoxetine were getting worse; I started to get pimples all over my body. As I was facing this major challenge in my life, my boyfriend at the time, Austin, walked out on me. This experience resulted in me becoming even more depressed to the point where I stopped eating, writing, and going to school. My life basically stopped.
I woke up one day and realized the support I had within my family and my friends, and I told myself I wasn’t going to let adjustment disorder take over my life anymore.
I wasn’t going to take Fluoxetine anymore either. As of September 8th, 2018, I haven’t take a single pill and I’m much happier. I’m now an advocate for mental health and am writing again. I completed my second novel and I’m continuing my studies.
My message to anyone struggling with mental health is you gotta keep on stomping on. Regardless of the darkness you see, there always a light.