“It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off.” – Florence and the Machine, “Shake It Out”
This has become my mantra lately. Everyone has demons. My demons are deeply rooted in self-esteem and body issues (but find any American girl who doesn’t have this and let me learn at her feet).
I’ve battled depression for much of my adult life. My serotonin have probably always been off, but when I was in high school, I had a great coping method: ignore it, push it down, pretend it isn’t there. But demons have a way of surfacing at the worst possible times. Mine came out in college. Thankfully I still had a good enough head on my shoulders to know to seek help. I probably wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t taken those first scary steps into the counselor’s office.
For over a decade, I’ve taken Zoloft to help my depression. In the beginning, they were the only reason that I got out of bed at all. But then I started questioning if the medicine was changing me into a robot. As a writer, I didn’t want to quell my emotions to the point of having my creativity suffer. So I stopped taking it for a few years.
But the thing with demons is that, even with medication, they never fully go away. They just get quiet for a while. If you’re lucky, the quiet times last for years. I wasn’t so lucky and learned that I needed the chemical balance that Zoloft provided. So I went back on it and at a stronger dose.
While the medicine I took was helping with my mood, I questioned if it affected other areas of my life. With the help of my doctor, I started taking a new medicine, Wellbutrin. It’s been less than a month and I can’t remember the last time I cried so much. I’m not willing to give up on this new medicine yet, though. I still get out of bed in the morning and I still hang out with friends and I’m writing more now than I have in the past year.
So I just keep telling myself to turn up the music, drown out those demons, and start dancing. I’ll sing at the top of my lungs even though I’m flat and I’ll dance like no one is watching or judging. I’ll shake that devil out and just enjoy the feeling of being alive. Will you dance with me?