Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's two and a half years since I last had serious depression. It's a hideous condition. Depression that follows mania is even worse than the usual sort in my experience, because you have to deal with all the fall-out from what you did and said when you were manic. The embarrassment and shame alone could kill you.

I also have to accept that I cannot even carry on with the original raison d'etre of this blog, which was monitoring my life in withdrawal from and free of meds. I am now back on 1000mg Sodium Valproate, an anti-convulsant mood stabilizer.

Not sure whether this means I will have to change the blurb at the beginning of the blog. I think I will have to update it in some way. Otherwise people may come here and then feel short-changed when they find out I am not the dazzling success story that they were looking to read about.

I will have to find some other niche, or just create my own, Zoe-shaped niche, I suppose.

I'm really glad that I did write this blog, though. It's a very useful record and reminder of what life was like off meds. It was by no means all roses. The rapid cycling, milder moodswings were quite disruptive and unsettling. Though they didn't stop me functioning, they made things difficult. I think the Sodium Valproate does dampen those down. It dampens me down overall. This is a trade-off. It's always a trade-off...the side effects for more stability. I do need more stability than I had, even before this episode.

I still have few readers, but this is still early days. Blogging is not a skill that you just learn overnight. How to build an active blog, with comments and discussion, is a whole other thing than just keeping a diary, which has been kind of my mindset up till now. Maybe it's as well. By the time I do develop a readership, there will be an interesting (hopefully!) archive to look back at. On Wordpress, they do that thing 'Posts that I want you to read'. If/when I make it over to Wordpress that would be a useful tool, and encourage me to make more of a conscious effort over some entries.

Depression is awful, excoriating, soul-killing. But I'm already starting to look forward. Optimism and hope will return. I am good at that. Maybe I even have a talent for it, but it's one I've had to use to the fullest, in this life. Even depression, it doesn't actually kill your soul. It just feels like it does. It can't hurt you. Maybe it even has a weird kind of function, one which eludes most of us. It's part of the rich tapestry.

Take care all. More very soon. I'm blogging a lot just now, also over at Moodgarden. People there are great at times like this, so supportive, and it feels safe and protected. Love, Zoe.


Merri Ellen of: Depression Research said...

Hey Zoe,

Don't give up hope. Life is a journey. I'm happy to read on your blog...

"About six months ago I happened across Gianna's Bipolar Blast and started to realise that I didn't have to go through withdrawal from psychiatric drugs alone. There is a whole 'withdrawal community' out there. This was a tremendously inspiring and validating moment. As of then I decided to record my own withdrawal in a blog."

Continue to engage in this community. Social support is so crucial!

Glad also to see you periodically do voluntary work which helps bring a sense of accomplishment and self worth- I hope!

There is hope! You are worth it!

Gianna said...

sweet Zoe,
I just read your posts of the last few days.

I'm so sorry for your pain and your sense of loss.

I wish I could make you feel better. The nice thing though, is even in your pain, I hear a voice of optimism in you. I hope you feel it like I hear it.

Your support has meant a lot to me Zoe, all these many months.

I will keep you in my thoughts.