Weaning off Lexapro: Days 125 – 136

I have been and am still on Lexapro 5 mg. I will not be reducing any more any time soon. So I won’t be continuing these type of entries after this, unless my dose changes.

I am on the 5 mg, after having been on 20 mg for like 12 years straight. My emotions and perceptions of the world around me are all over the place. In nearly every aspect of life, I am torn.

It’s impossible for me to know at this moment if indeed all of these parts of my life actually need to change, or if the angst and unrest I’m experiencing is a direct result of the decrease in Lexapro. I could make these changes and tear apart my current life. Or I could increase my Lexapro dose. Or I could do a little bit of both. But at this exact moment in time, I cannot know which is the most “correct” choice.

The past weekend was terrible. I was avoiding studying for a Final exam and I failed the pre-assessment. But all of the terror and hopeless that I was feeling inside, I didn’t attribute properly to the schoolwork. I attributed it everywhere else around me and I hurt my boyfriend and I hurt our relationship pretty severely.

When I was Home recently, it felt right. I wanted to stay forever. But if I broke up with my boyfriend and moved back Home, I’m sure I’d be full of anxiety and feel very dark and depressed. I’m sure that I would feel very scared and as though I’d shut a door to a very large world. I’m sure that for a long time, things would feel without purpose, shallow, and hopeless.

I pay [irrelevant] a month. I flip between that seeming like a small amount and an impossibly large amount. I am unemployed. So that money is basically coming from old savings– mostly money from my now-deceased grandparents.

But, many people go into debt for an education. That is socially acceptable and “normal”. ((All irrelevant.))

Logically, I realize other people’s wealth is irrelevant. I made the CHOICE to quit my below-minimum-wage-tutoring job to focus entirely on school. Of COURSE that means paying out of savings for a couple of years (kiss the old money goodbye; I wasn’t very good at Math).

I’m considering reapplying for the tutoring job. They’ve increased the wage to minimum wage now. I’m sure I could get in a few hours a week. It would be really hard because the bus route is not fast, and I can’t have the job unless I’m also taking classes there. So I’d be really splitting up my time to make a tiny amount of money. But it would also be giving me back my self-esteem. I felt good when tutoring people. And it would be good for me to have a set schedule.

My boyfriend and I are thinking of moving. I don’t know if it will help us or not. But I think that we need to feel more like independent adults again. And I hope we can find a place that shortens both of our commutes. But the cost will go up. We pay [irrelevant] rent right now but I don’t think we could find anything that low anywhere near here.

Yep, there is that wave of hopelessness. I just pictured how much effort and energy I will be putting into tutoring and how very, very little money I’ll be making and how it will all be going to rent. I know, this is reality for many people. Maximum effort to not even stay afloat.

I could go back to my parents. I’d be on such a good schedule there. I’d feel so much more at peace there. I’d be with my dog, who has congestive heart failure but is responding well to his medications. Up there, I could get a part-time job again and study. It’s all easier there.

I don’t want to go to couples therapy this week. I’m afraid of what we’ll talk about. And I don’t know my own mind on so many of the topics.

For now, I need to stop thinking. I need to focus on studying today. I deleted my beloved Pokémon Go app. If I could just delete the thoughts from my head… I need to get through a lot of readings and practice problems today.

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Poem: Phoenix or Burn

If this is the time of the Phoenix,
things are going to change.
All that’s set is full with smoke and coals
choking and vision poor
But if it’s time, I peck and claw my way up through the rubble.

I’ll spread these fiery, glittering wings and prepare for flight
New lands coming fast.

Or I need to increase my Lexapro.

Poem: Why bother? Complacency.

Why fight?
When we can be stressed.

Why run, and change?
When we can stay and do nothing.

Why struggle? Why push and crowd? Why try to get to the front?
When you can find a lazy chair and kick up your feet and relax.

Why get bitter? Why spit venom? Why try to articulate all of the things that NEED FIXING?
When you can burrow your face into a book or newspaper and blot it all out instead.

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 89 – 124

Scraggly trees and a dark sunset with interestingly patterned clouds

Sunset through a pattern of gray clouds

Meds:

  • 5 mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • Vitamins if I remember (maybe a couple of times a week)
  • Exercise (walking, bicycling, skiing)

Symptoms:

  • ANGST
  • Irritability only with certain people (such as my bf)
  • Insomnia now that I’m back home
  • Longing
  • Feeling that something BIG is going to happen soon (CHANGE)
  • Confused. Torn. Mixed up.

Journal Items:

  • There’s no way for me to remember and write what has passed.
  • But I did go to my parents’ house. And spent time with my beloved, beloved dog, who has heart failure now. He’s living on borrowed time thanks to responding well to medicines. Every day he’s with us has always been and will remain a gift.
  • My dad’s going to turn 70? What? How?
  • Practicing music
  • Studying for class
  • Walking, very short walks with my dog, and longer walks with my mom
  • Skiing with my folks, and my bf when he came

The mountains, the snow, the smells, the sounds. The fresh air, the cold wind. The gravel, I could roll around in it and never get enough.

I miss it all so much. My heart stayed there. I’m a split person as I have been the whole time, but it’s more obvious right now. I’m dissociating mildly here right now. I’m not connected to this place. I don’t like living here.

But life is complicated and I have to let it slide in this moment of time. I believe the reduction of Lexapro from 20mg to 5mg has really made a large difference in me. I *feel* more like I used to feel, so long ago (I’ve been on Lexapro for over a decade). But that doesn’t mesh well with what’s around me today. I believe that the Lexapro put a bubble around me and I was okay with things I would never have been okay with before. It might reach back far enough to say that I wouldn’t have been married in the first place if I hadn’t been on Lexapro and had such drug-thickened skin. Life is weird.

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY WEIRD!!!

I’m listening to this song all day today:
https://youtu.be/djEg4O3b2IU

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 87, 88

Deep blue sky, white, distinct clouds, green leafed tree

Stark contrast

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • Multivite, swallowable
  • Exercise: Walking, tiny bit of jogging
  • SLEEPING SCHEDULE OFF
  • EATING SCHEDULE OFF

Symptoms:

  • IRRITABILITY
  • PERSEVERATING LIKE MAD
  • YEARNING / ANGST
  • HOMESICK
  • Blood sugar off kilter

Journal Items:

  1. The most important issue is the sleep schedule. My bf had to stay up past 2 a.m. a few nights ago in order to finish some time-important work. I was up past midnight before I finally fell asleep. That really messed me up. Now I’m sleeping in late and going to bed late.
  2. Food. Missing meals, not eating fruits and veggies. Blood sugar thrown so far off that I had to drink a diabetic shake at midnight last night to stop the shaking that had started.
  3. I’m sad. I want to cry. I’m hurt. (Update: The feeling is separate from the following paragraph. The following paragraph is 1 thing I’m allowing to fall into the hurt category, my feeling hurt is its own thing, without a cause. It’s chemicals flooding my body and finding whatever they can to feel hurt about. I type only one example below):
    1. (I’m hurt about what some other Pokémon Go players are saying about people who ask for help to get kicked out of a gym in order to get their coins. They call people like me selfish and entitled. I find it hurtful and I don’t want to play anymore. I’m going to cheat the rules now and start a new account so I can take my own damn self out of the gyms w/o asking for help, since that is so publically judged.)
  4. I’m perseverating on things. A LOT. It’s hard to break the mind loops. OCD intrusive thoughts are strong right now.
  5. Schoolwork is going slowly. So slowly. I’m set up with a tutor now, and also an Instructor. But that won’t be for several days. In the meantime, I just have to try and keep plodding through it.
  6. My dreams at night are nice. I am back with my horse. I’m doing training. I’m with my parents and my dog. I wake up and it’s all gone. My horse is sold and I don’t know if I’ll ever have another horse. My parents are far away and plane tickets are very expensive. My dog is so, so far away. He’s about 14 years old. Okay, now I’m crying.
  7. This is not an easy phase of medication withdrawal. I don’t like it. I’m going to hang out at this dose for at least a month. I don’t care how long it takes. I won’t go down any more until I stabilize. It scares me that there are still 2 more steps down until zero Lexapro, and that final step is said to be the worst of them all.
  8. I feel different today. Like something is going to change. This happens sometimes. It feels empowering and huge and like something major is going to be fixed or my life is going to go into a different direction (Update: I wrote it in passive-tense but that’s not what I mean. I mean it feels like I AM ABOUT TO FORCE A MAJOR CHANGE). Usually, I get very depressed soon after this feeling, which is ironic but. That’s historically what happens.
  9. I am allowing myself to listen to this song on repeat all day today: https://youtu.be/pFptt7Cargc Amen. ❤ ❤ ❤

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 74, 75

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro(crazy), normal thyroid meds
  • exercise: walking and bicycling

Symptoms:

  • Quicker to become irritable
  • Quicker to feel hopeless about relationship

Journal Items:

  • This has been a difficult couple of days relationship-wise.
  • Bedtimes are out of control and I’m feeling extremely passive aggressive over it, which doesn’t help me accomplish anything productive, believe me.
  • I need to redo my resume. I need to apply to jobs again. I need to get a job. I need to earn an income.
  • Because… I need to feel more independent. I’m of half a mind to cut & run from this relationship right now. But I can’t feel objective about it when I’m so financially dependent right now.
  • Rant: I KNEW these things in advance. I TOLD myself I’d be more careful the next time. But that damn honeymoon period, so to speak, locks me into a relationship and I get to know and care about the other person. Then later, when it all settles out and the person doesn’t have the qualities I already know that I need, it’s hard to get out. What are the two main things I’m bitching about right now? *) Not a dog person, which is IMPORTANT to me, and *) Has even worse executive functioning than I have, which is a BIG DEAL for me. And I’ll add another: not fully aware of how poor his own executive functioning is. Definitely blamed ME for avoiding certain conversations, when it was so, so clear that the convos didn’t happen because we’d both forgotten and never got around to it! Give me a LITTLE bit of the benefit of the doubt, would ya? This is all not. easy. [[Note to the reader: this is NOT an unbiased story and it is NOT a complete picture in the slightest. I’m merely venting some poison.]]
  • I’m studying very slowly but thoroughly right now (it’s an important class, so I’m opting for over-studying rather than under-studying, atm).

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 72, 73

Dramatic, dark clouds with light highlights and patches of blue sky, plus a gull

Clouds from Monday’s walk

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • B12, sublingual
  • Multivite, chewable
  • Exercise: walking

Symptoms:

  • Some acid reflux
  • Instant crankiness
  • Feel like life is out of control
  • Tired

Journal Items:

  • I had something on Monday, I had something on Tuesday, I have something today (a primary care doctor appointment that I wish I could put off for another few months), and I have something tomorrow evening
  • I finished the book I was reading for fun
  • Pokémon Go keeps me busy and moving around outdoors and interacting with people
  • I’ve started a new class that is going to be very, very full of important information. It’s a very central class and the reading is dense. I’m not even through the first chapter yet.