Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Recreation Center, Studio 2, 5:25pm Wednesday night. Restorative Yoga Class taught by me. Three students: two staff members, and one participant who is staff and a student.
I ask, “I am a Yoga therapist. I bring Yoga into the medical community. My passion is yoga and mental health. Anyone have anything significant going on they’d like addressed during this session, physical or emotional or mental or spiritual? It’s a small class, so we can tailor it.”
Girl in the middle says, “I’m coming off anti-depressants after a decade. I am having brain zaps. I’m getting through it but it’s been crazy.” She was describing detoxing.
The guy on her right says, “I wrote a book about my experience coming off anti-depressants. It took months to feel better.” He turns to the girl in the middle and says, “We should talk after class.”
There is a global movement: coming off psych meds. It’s hip.
There’s a place for medication, right? Sometimes it’s forced on people. I’m not sure if that’s right, ethically. I take medication daily. I fear the-coming-off. I question if I could appreciate life’s turbulent environment without defiantly losing my mind. (I couldn’t stop myself when I was younger. It was defiance for justice. I was enraged and uneducated. I had no alternative then. It seemed like the right – the only thing to do.)
There’s no long-term research on the medication that I take. My life has been shortened already, I am convinced: kidney and thyroid dysfunction after ten years of using prescribed lithium carbonate. I consider coming off the current drug more and more frequently, – I consider it only briefly, each time… wondering if I trust the support around me… if I could handle “it”… I always, so far, decide I am doing alright for now. My life span might be shorter because I take medication, but the quality of my life right now is really good. I’m alive. My sister is not. My dad’s not well.
This free .pdf, Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Of Psychiatric Drugs, written by Will Hall, could offer more info on how to stop using psych meds wisely – for you or those you love.
My student tonight, Brian A. Schultz, has a program, The 90 Day Happiness Project, a holistic approach for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression, including a cookbook, mindfulness audio tracks, and more. Get it on Amazon.
A life coach, Brian came up and thanked me after class. “I want to know about your book,” I said.”I wrote a book, but it’s a program. I was on anti-depressants from the age of 12 until I was 21,” Brian said. “I came off cold turkey. I wouldn’t recommend it.” His program describes how he lives well now in recovery. “My program is a lot like this class. Mindfulness is a big part of my program.”
All three participants were spacey, relaxed and joyful when class ended tonight. Yay!
I kept thinking, What are the chances that two out of three students in Restorative Yoga tonight have had the same experience? I told them to KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT.
I felt like I was in the flow, offering Yoga therapy tonight, out loud for mental health… I also felt like it would really, truly be possible to write my own book. Would you read it? What would you want to read about?