Is it Jamais Vu all over again?

It being my favourite time of the year and my pills having run right down and my doctor having commented on the good progress my emotions have made [pause], I have reached another milestone in my healing. I have now been a week and a half without the fluffy support of sertraline (also known as lustral and zoloft).

Starting the tablets and increasing the dose two and a half years ago certainly took some getting used to: it was not unlike adding various colourful elements to the cocktail shaker formerly known as my brain. Then, having shaken it up a bit, looking through the eyes of stupor at Real Life and wondering whether stupor was cognate with stupid and not particularly minding about that or much else a lot of the time.

Once it did all settle into order the effect was transformative and safe. A few weeks into my full dose I felt generally positive, more prepared to handle life’s ups and downs and less confused, panicky, shaky and anxious. Big events still had the capacity to leave me stunned and weakened, but overall I was protected and ready for life. And I am very grateful that I have had this mental protection, which has allowed my thinking processes to be challenged, altered and rehearsed ahead of coming back off the medication.


I was warned that my brain would not take kindly to having the stabilising drugs removed.

Oh boy, yes. My brain is adrift, keen to engage and reeling from how vibrant and ready life is – stunned and lost in a new stupor of forgetting and confusion. I turn and the world follows pixel-by-pixel, resolving slowly and crying for attention. I sit or stand still and my mind washes with the sensation of rising suddenly. I might as well be walking on water, as I have to live in a state of utter trust that all is well.

It was alarming until we recognised why it was happening, and now it is a strange comfort too – a mellow drunken place which is gradually releasing me into a sober stew of decisions, practicalities and unusual metaphors.

My brain now feels like a lettuce dipped in water and held up high. O Happy Day, but I am dripping everywhere. And that floor really could do with a clean.

My thoughts now are like wool, shorn from a sheep lost in the wild for years and dragged through honey. So sticky and woolly and dense. I think it’s all there. I hope so. Several events in recent days have had me doubting my memory utterly. I am, at least, well rehearsed now in living in the present and making that work well. I would also love to relocate my son’s school coat, with or without the school clothes he was wearing on Tuesday which we may or may not have lost at the same time. I do know he has his entire PE kit and am reasonably certain that it is clean and back on his peg in school.

My emotions now feel like I finally own the right to use them, like jars of spices deep in kitchen cupboards. No clue what goes where, but heck, why not?

Repetition works.

God has been telling me over and over again in the past two years:

Trust Me for everything
There is nothing you cannot trust Me for

Stilling my soul and minding my mind.  This has been my song these past months and years. Figuring out what dependence really looks like and finding my true self well-fitted to the purposes God has for me; some small and some excitingly less small.

As the cushioning of mental health drugs wears off and in the shadow of insult and pain, my brain has learned and relearned to pause in God. God has proven over and over again to be utterly reliable, safe and refreshing. In the daze I see direction and in the nights he whispers stories of hope wrapped in adventure.

Back to Jamais Vu. It is a real thing. It is a strange part of coming off the drugs. I do not mind if I am undignified and lost, because I feel more found than ever.


One response to “Is it Jamais Vu all over again?

  1. Hoping you can keep going without medication… and that if not, you won’t feel at all like a “failure” because some of us just don’t have the right balance of brain chemicals and that is not to say that we are weaker or of less worth than the others who have (or are pretending). A lot depends (though not all) on our experiences of life, especially early life, and how it was handled.

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