So in late August 2007, as advised by my psychiatrist, I began taking one Prozac capsule a day.
Four weeks went by, the time in which my body should have adjusted to my new medication.
At the end of that period, I felt no mental or physical changes…
…but over time in the months that followed, several things happened.
Whenever I went walking in public, I always made sure to keep my shoulders straight, hold my head up and keep looking ahead instead of down. True, I’d long known that this was the best way to walk in public – but now I was much more conscious of doing it and making myself do it.
As well when walking in public, if I was keeping left out of courtesy and had been maintaining an unmistakable course for some time but I was approached by people coming from other directions who weren’t concentrating on where they were going or (from the indifferent expressions or smug smiles I saw on their faces) expected me to get out of their way, I maintained course and often made them get out of my way.
A local pest who had spent the past few years always asking me for money when I passed him by on the street? I began yelling at him to “PISS OFF!” or “FUCK OFF!” instead (although my psychiatrist advised me not to do this because it could be dangerous, so I changed my response for the better).
A woman who was about to exit Town Hall Station through the ticket turnstiles but couldn’t seem to make up her fucking mind which one to go through? Finally, as I went for one that at the last minute she veered towards again, I kept going and gently brushed her aside – and when she scowled and gently slapped me, I scowled back and gently slapped her in return.
The jerk at Pizza Hut one evening who also couldn’t seem to make up his fucking mind where he wanted to go at the buffet? Finally, I’d had enough of trying to be polite and so I stepped forward and gently brushed him aside as I went to serve myself some garlic bread – and after he asked me with some anger, “You right there, mate?” I replied calmly with “Yes, I am, thank you”, finished serving myself and moved on.
The four teenage shits another evening at Pizza Hut sitting in the booth behind me who were being annoyingly loud and threw a hot chip that landed on me? Years before, I would have done nothing, and admittedly angrily throwing back that chip back over my shoulder was wrong because (a) I was lowering myself to their puerile level and (b) that encouraged them to throw it back – so finally I got up and stepped around to their table, and as two of them cringed and the other two began ducking under their table I snarled something at them, hurled that chip for the last time and returned to my seat.
They didn’t bother me again.
At first, incidents like the above astounded and worried me at the same time. I was astounded because previously I’d never had the guts to act like that – but I was also worried that it was because I was becoming arrogant.
My psychiatrist pointed out, however, that I was actually becoming assertive and self-confident by taking action and standing up for myself, instead of the inaction and suffering in angry silence that I used to do. Apart from swearing angrily at the local pest, I was moving in the right direction about doing and feeling better for myself.
And where did these amazing new-found superpowers come from?
There was the therapy, of course. Talking with my psychiatrist and working things out week by week showed me what I’d been intentionally and unintentionally doing wrong all these years, and how to start doing the right things instead.
And then I realised that the Prozac was also playing its part, because whenever I’d stood up for myself I’d felt calm and certain about doing so.
There’d been no “Eureka!” moment when I’d suddenly felt different after having taken antidepressants for a few months – but instead, there had been so much subtlety that I’d never felt it happen.
Therapy and medication together had changed me for the better.
Prozac had worked for me, and as a result I felt much better about taking it.
And so for the next two years, life kept on getting better and better.
Until something changed.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂
Right after posting the above, I enjoyed the following auto-generated help from WordPress about extra categories and tags to use: