Why then have I abruptly stopped taking my medication?
No pills for a week, a chemical half-life of 36 hours. This means 94% of the active ingredient has left the bloodstream. So far I’m not noticing any obvious changes other than noticing that I’m noticing. No SSRI discontinuation symptoms popping up, no worsening of existing “symptoms” which also fall under discontinuation effects.
So far so good, but arriving at this point without conscious planning is, now it has my full attention, a bit strange. I’ve been told several times by different medical types that it’s unlikely I’ll ever not need at least a “maintenance” dose and I’ve been quite untroubled by the thought of life-long medication. Far, far, far rather that than illness.
I wonder whether it’s my experience of the efficacy of mindfulness and meditation which is behind this. Not as blissed-out alternative to reality (although the very rare moments of samadhi, blissful ultra-reality, are a fantastic incentive to keep going) but as a toolkit for living, weathering the “stings and sorrows” of life, as this NYT article memorably terms them.
Or of course it could be driven by something as trivial as the desire to lose weight, in which case a healthy dose of exercise would be a far better option.
Today was the first day when I consciously didn’t take the pills rather than apparently simply forgetting. I’m interested to see what happens next. But they’re still safely in the cupboard (so the cat, who finds the rattling noise they make irresistible, doesn’t play with and accidentally ingest them) ready to be popped should the need arise.