Firstly, I have to apologise as I can't remember any of the details I used here over 4 years ago.
Secondly, I cannot thank you enough for the guidance, information and support this forum provided for me when I first started weaning off back in 2013.
It was the hardest experience of my life and yet it feels as though it wasn't my experience, with only the slightest of reminders that it ever happened at all (the occasional sensitivity to light and sound or some mild brain zaps, far and few between).
This forum provided a safe space when my Doctor wouldn't listen, it provided safe methods to reduce my dose while giving me so much understanding of what to expect.
And let me tell you, I've walked away from hard substance abuse without batting an eye, but the withdrawal from cymbalta made me feel as though I'd never see the end of it.
But day by day, bit by bit, I started to rebuild myself with the help of those around me I felt like I was me again, with all the imperfections and bitch-fits, with the anxiety and depression that in comparison, seems far more managble now than it was when I was medicated.
I realise that this isnt the case for everyone and that I was extremely lucky to have the support I had and a safe space to fall back on, but 4 years post meds I'm now studying a degree in Psychology in hopes of better understanding how I can help others to manage and hopefully regain a sense of hope and self-belief.
I still struggle with anxiety the most, but it's akin to having a bitchy friend around who I need to knock down a peg or two every now and then, she tells me I'm shit and need medication and I frankly tell her to get fucked, after a bit of a cry or some hermit time.
The key for me was giving myself permission to feel, to process the emotions and to not take every damn burden on myself, I learnt to accept that I'm allowed to have bad days, weeks, months, but that at the end of it I'm still here, and I'm stronger for it.
I wasn't weak when I was medicated, I was lost and I was self-medicating as well, I hadn't dealt with so much pain and grief but never allowed myself the downtime to be mad, to be pissed at every little thing that lead to the panic attacks, that stopped me socialising, that saw me lose countless jobs and friends.
4 and a bit years later I've stopped counting beads, I'm more candid about the fact that I have a mental illness and I advocate every step of the way for those who feel as though they can't speak up. But none of that would be possible without support, not just from family and friends but from an online forum of individuals who have lived this, who continue to live this and yet you continue to provide a source of support and guidance for those struggling.
So again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.