Weaning off Lexapro: Day 23

Photo of a snail in the rain

Pretty snail today

Meds Today:

  • 10mg Lexapro; normal thyroid meds
  • Calcium-Mag-Zinc tablet
  • lots of exercise (walking all day)

Symptoms:

  • Maybe not as smooth socially (face too readable?)
  • none really
  • still having acid reflux or something every night (which is new for me)

Journal Items:

  • Today was Pokéwalk day with my friend, “Joe”
  • First, I took and passed a Final Exam
  • Then, I went to an outdoor shop in search of rubber rain boots but no luck
  • Then, Pokéwalk. This time, bf’s mom joined, too
  • Halfway through, we ran into another Pokémon player that I’ve known for a while now and is super nice
  • We all 4 walked quite a while
  • 4 became 3 became 2
  • (I was stressed at times because I worry about peace and harmony and “Joe’s” feet, and everyone being happy, and blah blah blah) I’m still de-stressing from that aspect
  • I walked extra once I got home, since my socks were completely soaked anyway
  • Dinner; Dr. Who; now it’s bedtime and it’s quite late and … the usual, I guess
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Weaning off Lexapro: Day 10

Amazingly shaped clouds on a blue, evening sky with half of a moon

Half of a moon is there

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • fish oil capsule
  • A little exercise (bicycling)

Symptoms:

  • Tired
  • Still in a secretive, private mood, craving solitude
  • Fingertips a bit tingly

I bicycled for a couple of hours today. I went slowly and took many stops. It was lovely, the weather was perfect, except the air quality was poor, so I didn’t want to work hard and potentially give myself asthma. I went through a lovely park and around some lakes. I stayed out past dark and it was nice. I’m craving solitude but cannot get it. Tomorrow, I walk for hours with a friend. But afterward, I WILL paint, by myself. I WILL.

Topic: Ear Protection = Bliss

I highly recommend buying ear protection if you have any noise sensitivity. I don’t know what they’re called. They look like giant headphones but they’re for things like shooting ranges. I wear them all the time now. I wear them on the bus, I wear them when washing dishes, I wear them when vacuuming. I wear them when studying and it increases my focus by about a million (but the starting bar was pretty low).

The only issue that I experience is when removing them. Sometimes I get seriously cranky and I just want everyone around me to whisper. Why is life so loud and painful?

These ear protection headphone things don’t block everything out. I’m not listening to silence. It just dims everything way, way down. It’s heavenly.

Long-Overdue Update

Hi all,

Deer crossing in front of our car

Deer crossing

I haven’t checked in or updated here in a very long time until just recently when I had a little emotional emergency. So I thought I should go ahead and try to fill in some gaps, briefly.

Since I last really updated on here, I quit my awesome tutoring job and the in-person school and went fully online. I also started volunteering at an animal shelter. The online schooling is boring as **** and I’m kind of regretting the decision, BUT it is going faster than it was going when I was trying to juggle tutoring, classes, and more classes at the same time (tutoring is tied to taking several additional classes).

My first pea plant flower of the season!

First flower! Pea plant

I’ve also started gardening, which I used to do years ago. It’s great. I’m growing peas and lettuce. I’ve started some flower seeds but super late, so I’m not sure they’ll do anything. I tried beans twice but they were immediately eaten by something (I know I hand-killed a ton of thrips but I suspect more than just them were at work).

Also, as you can tell, I found a psychologist and was seeing him once a week. It took at least a month before I decided I could trust him. Obviously, I am not as sure about that right now.

But whatevs. I have a dental appointment today. Next week, I have a psychiatrist appointment. I am only seeing her twice a year now, but I might try to increase to 3 times a year since just recently I’ve been having more trouble again.

GullSandwich

Stolen: Child’s sandwich

Oh, and I exercise a ton still! And I’m eating a little bit more healthfully, much of the time! It seems that whenever I exercise a LOT in a week, I feel emotionally good. Whenever I don’t exercise, due to illness or just getting swamped with other things, I get depressed. The correlation is INCREDIBLY strong. Exercise = emotional stability. Sedentary-ness = instant hopelessness. Obviously, I need to use this knowledge for good.

Once a week, I see my friend, “Joe”, who some of you may remember I dated for a while, like two years ago? I don’t know how long ago. Anyway, he’s probably my best friend now. We go on a long Pokéwalk every week. It’s often along the piers, where I can see the birds and sea lions and sometimes a harbor seal and some fish. Sometimes, we go to different parks, including a particular lake that always has tons of different ducks and birds and squirrels. I’m very grateful to have him as a friend. Also, because he has Asperger also, and has dealt with therapists and group therapy and more, he really understands when I have my downs and instability and has great insights.

ALSO, he’s as into wildlife as I am, so he doesn’t mind one bit when I stop 800 times to photograph slugs and squirrels and birds and rocks and everything.

Close up of gull's eye, which is reflecting water ripples

Water reflection in eye

He and my SO (significant other) have met twice but only briefly. I really hope they become friends because then we can all go hiking together and stuff. We’re all attending “Joe”‘s b-day dinner this weekend, and I hope it all goes smoothly. I’ve had terrible experiences in the past with my ex who hated my friends. I’m not at all concerned about my SO hating “Joe” but I know that “Joe” has difficulty around other males. There will be up to 15 people and I’ll have met like 1 or 2 of them. Hopefully it all goes well.

What other news? I’m still living with SO and his mom. I had a rough time with it like a month or so ago, but since then I’ve been working on establishing what I consider more boundaries. She’s awesome and very generous but can be a little bit controlling about certain things, and I have a hard time knowing how to shrug it off. So I’m learning and I’m working on it.

Ducklings, back in April

Ducklings (from back in April)

I’m considering getting a part-time job at a coffee shop. I want something nearby, not too intense (although busy is okay, and I enjoy customer service). But my feelings of self-worth slip every day that I’m unemployed. I didn’t think it would happen, since I know that finishing school more quickly will get me a higher-than-minimum-wage-job more quickly and thus is productive, but it doesn’t FEEL productive. Even when I volunteer at the animal shelter twice a week, I love it but I still feel rotten about myself. Also, I’m focusing less well on school the longer time passes since I was at the in-person school. Bummer.

I set up a bucket to catch water in the shower as we wait for hot water. I also bought grey-water-garden-safe laundry soap and hooked up some tubs to catch my laundry water. There’s a plant out back that is a water hog, so this grey water really helps.

All right, that’s all for now.

When people argue; Panic

It’s incredible the flood of anxiety I feel when people begin to argue.

These two people do not shout. These two people do not throw things. These two people do not hurt animals. These two people do not give each other the silent treatment later or love each other any less tomorrow.

But they do get intense with their voices. One of them is forceful and the voice raises, not in volume but in pitch. The other gets forceful and uses “YOU” statements that I find very rude. “YOU” are not listening. “YOU” have switched what you are arguing.

These arguments always end peacefully and they love each other the same immediately after. For them, the effects are null. They argue. They debate. It’s part of what they do. Frankly, I would go so far as to say it is part of who they are as people.

But for me, the effects are longer lasting. I will be afraid of them for days. It was not directed at me; nobody is arguing or debating with me. I have already put in my noise-isolating headphones and escaped up the stairs. I have already blared music directly into my earbuds.

But the flooding of anxiety is so strong and so immediate. It’s an emergency for me, when two people argue. It is danger. It is red alert. It is unpredictable and unsafe.

They will not hurt me. The worst either of them could do to me, based on who they are and what I have seen, is to use an insulting tone of voice and say “YOU” don’t understand what I am trying to say. Or something like that. That’s the worst I’ve seen or heard from them.

But my body goes straight to fear. My body says, the monsters have surrounded me. I am prepared to run. I am prepared to hide. I am prepared to face the streets in the dark at night amongst strangers. I am prepared to kill to protect myself.

My intestines prepare to evacuate immediately. I need to run. Outdoors. I need to be one speck in an infinite darkness, alone. Unknown. Safer.

Instead, I am trying to prep for bed. I brushed my teeth. I’m listening to my music, blaring into my ears. I can hear the voices. They are calm but still firm. It’s only a difference of opinion and grilling over various scientific studies to prove one side or the other. My shoes and coat were already on (because me and one of them were about to go on a very short walk). I am ready; I want to run. I could take anxiety medicine that will help me sleep. It’s been 30 minutes, right? I could take off my shoes and coat without offending. … Or I could slip past and go on a jog into the darkness.

Ponies and such

It’s hard to look into the eye of a life change that already happened without you acknowledging it. I moved away a couple of years ago and left my pony behind out of necessity. It’s becoming more “real” that she won’t be mine and I’ve been feeling completely numb and irritable for the past few days.

It’s a GOOD thing for my pony; the lady who wants her is very dominant– exactly what my pony needs in order to listen and stay safe. They’re both full of energy. It should be a good fit. But it’s hard. I’m selfish and “want” this horse to be mine forever. I’ve had her for a very long time. She was still pretty young when I first got her; now she is at least 11.

But it’s the giving up of the horse world. I wonder if I resent that I got involved with a human that isn’t into horses and doesn’t want to live with them on his property. In a past life, I would have found that unacceptable. Now, year by year my old life slips away.

I’m in a city and there are things about that that I like. I like that there are always people around, and their energy. I like all the street lights and people and in some ways, I feel safer in this environment than I ever did alone in the woods.

But at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m home and I don’t expect to live in a city forever. Home is where the horses are. Home is where the mountains are. Home is where the forests are.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back home. But I am telling myself that I want to stay here until I get this Accounting degree. AFTER that, I will be free to leave. AFTER it, I will be free to find a horsey place and breathe them and hear them and feel their steps around me. I’ll have a dog again (maybe foster dogs). I will make this happen AFTER I get a degree. It should take 2 or 3 more years.

This is life and I must remember to breathe and enjoy the scents here. There are trees around. There is sometimes a very strong sun and warmth on my face. I might feel lonely at times, but I’m certainly never alone here. It’s strange to me that there isn’t a single horse barn in the city. Not a single one. I guess real estate in populated areas would make it unaffordable, since horses need a lot of room. But it’s too bad. Wouldn’t people pay a bundle for carriage rides through parks?

If this is all there is to life, it will be okay. I am getting outside to walk a lot now (thanks to Pokémon Go– which will certainly cause some of you to pull back with some disdain). It’s also got my out and bicycling quite a bit. I’m getting lots of outdoor exercise. What more could I want from life? (Other than to go back to my old-old life, with my parents and my dog, and my pony at the first barn, and gardening and painting and writing and drawing and watching “The Dog Whisperer”…) Funny that the time I’d look back on as my favorite was from a couple of years after my failure at college, and after my Asperger diagnosis, just chilling with my folks, working parttime (at a high-paying job that was very difficult for me) and taking care of my animals and plants. THAT was LIFE.

So I am doing a little bit of “life” right now, with the outdoor exercising. I drew a picture the other day. I knit a tiny bit yesterday (first time in years). But I’m so, so numb right now. Hopefully it will pass quickly. I do need to solidify the transfer of ownership of my pony, however.

A Brief Update (and a single picture, for now)

imageI couldn’t let you know ahead of time but I went Home (my parents and dog) recently. I’m back home (bf, school) now but I made it and it was wonderful. I can’t say much tonight; I’m going to go to bed very shortly.

There was much skiing and walking and such. I mean much. Every day.

So now that I’m back, I don’t want to lose that momentum. So I went to the bike shop after school yesterday and got my bike all fixed up (there were some things wrong). I also bought yet another lock. Two, actually. One is just to hold my seat on. The other is a fricking expensive but light-weight u-lock for my frame. City living…

So I biked to school today. That was pretty rough. I had to walk two hills on the return trip. It was a total of 9 miles and not flat enough for me. And my anti-persperant definitely couldn’t hold up… Plus I had jogging class. Apologies to the folks who sat near me at the tutoring center today.

It’s hard to be away from my parents and my dog. It’s interesting what kinds of things I have such strong emotional attachments to and what I can now part with. I parted with some more clothing. Even a black sweatshirt I had held onto for maybe close to two decades even though it had shrunk and was too small for me. But for many years, it held sand from an old Hawaii trip in its pockets, even after numerous washes. It was very sentimental for me. But I was able to part with it.

Then there were things in my childhood bedroom that had been rearranged and I was actually able to rearrange certain things, too. That’s pretty big for me. Certain shelves had to be kept in a certain arrangement or else I would experience intense anxiety due to OCD. It would feel that my luck would change and I would get terminally ill or those I loved could get terminally ill or injured. But it was not so bad this time around.

That is not to say I was able to part with all sorts of things. There is still so much I’m hanging onto and I wish I could let them go. But I won’t despair; it seems that things have been getting a little easier each time. So perhaps next time I am there, I can part with a few more things. And so on.

Anyway, I really need to go to sleep. One thing I did not get a lot of was good-quality sleep. For one thing, I was sometimes very sore and didn’t take pain medicine and thus didn’t sleep well. For another, there was a headboard I wasn’t used to and kept bonking my head into it.

Oh, but being with my parents and dog was WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL. There is so much I could say and tell about.