Antidepressants make everything easier.

They make feelings, which are not easy, less keen. They make caring less painful. They make the ups and downs less drastic, less dramatic. They numb those parts of you that are undesirable to the social machine, and fill the void with “evenness”.

They are gentle sandpaper, rubbing out the rough spots and making you believe that numb is what “normal” feels like.

If your life is easy outside of your own anxiety and depression, then the evenness of numb-normal is fine, I guess. However, if your life is a cage, and your captor is sick, then being a robot — a well-oiled machine that feels nothing — is not fine. With antidepressant medication, all those feelings you’re supposed to feel when in a dangerous situation, like fear, anxiety, and the desire to flee, all get turned down along with the rough spots. The sandpaper, you see, is not selective. It’s a general anesthetic.

What it is, is a trap.

Now that I’m off of Prozac, feeling things again is taking some getting used to. I find bottling up my thoughts and emotions nearly impossible. If I’m frustrated, I cry. If I’m mad, I cry. If I’m sad, I cry. If I’m moved by the beauty of a song or by the world around me, I cry. The waterworks switch on so easily, but that is not a bad thing. It’s healthy to feel. It’s healthy to recognize that you feel, and for your body to respond in an appropriate way.

Antidepressants are a way to avoid dealing with your issues in the only way that works — turning to the Lord for help. The joy of the Lord, not a pharmaceutical, is my strength. He created me to feel all of these things, and only adherence to His law can regulate them in the way they are meant to be regulated.

Today, I was mad at an individual that I am legally required to keep without identity. My way of dealing with him was to let my emotions and feelings run out of control. I was ranting, I was inconvenienced, I was insulted. Where is the Lord in this? He says to pray for our persecutors. The very act of heartfelt prayer is an act of surrender to the Lord. Surrendering this guy and my indignance to the Lord, as His law requests, and letting go of what was unhealthy, did more for my spirit than Xanax or Prozac ever have.

Is every day still hard? Yes. Do I still feel the creeping spirits of depression and anxiety? Yes. But those things are on me, not in me, and I cast them off like a too-heavy mantle, no longer desirous of owning them, but knowing that I can walk out from under them in Jesus’ name.