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.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 44

Sunset with pinks and oranges and yellows, and deep blue

Sunset tonight

Meds:

  • 10mg Lexapro; norm thyroid meds
  • multivite tablet
  • fish oil
  • sunshine & a little bit of walking

Symptoms:

  • woke up with terrible stomach ache
  • feel kind of sick but no concrete symptoms
  • head feels heavy; a little irritable

Journal Items:

  • Appointment with [assistance] (can’t remember if I’ve ever written about this before, so I’ll leave it w/o comment). I think it went well. I feel a lot more focused on studies again, and on finding a part-time job
  • I finally, after an entire year since qualifying, signed up for the reduced bus fare for low income people
  • Feel exhausted and kind of sick

Tomorrow Preview:

  • Tomorrow, I get up at 6:45am to get ready and leave for a memorial service that is a ways away
  • Tomorrow, I MUST finish chapter 8 in my studies

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 28, 29, 30

Sadly, you can tell that my interests are starting to cycle again already. I can’t even make myself journal here consistently. I wish I knew how to prevent this process.

All 3 of these days, I’ve had the same meds:

  • 10mg Lexapro (crazy); normal thyroid meds
  • 10mg Zyrtec
  • multivite
  • Day 28: minimal exercise (walking)
  • Day 29: a good amount of walking
  • Day 30: lots of walking

Symptoms:

  • I’ve had a cold
  • I’ve been cranky
  • a little reflux at night still
  • OCD thoughts as I try to sleep

Journal Items:

Eh, I’ve no idea. Day 28: Meh? Day 29: Walking but very slowly (I was pretty sick; I even skipped my Pokewalk day). Day 30: Volunteer work for most of the day. Yay. A little Pokemon stuff. I dunno. I don’t feel super, emotionally. Oh hey, I need to sign up at the local college again. I’ve decided that’s what’s going to save me and put me back onto a schedule again. I need to do that approximately…right now.

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 25, 26, 27

Sunset with colors of yellow, pink, and a lot of blue

Sunset this evening

I’m a little behind. Meds:

  • On each of these days, 10mg Lexapro, multivite if I remembered (I did today, the 27th day, for sure).
  • Exercise in the form of gentle bicycle rides on all 3 days.
  • I’ve also been taking 10mg Zyrtec.

Symptoms:

  • Coughing, sneezing (head cold), mild sore throat
  • reflux still, maybe not as bad
  • kind of testy yesterday and today
  • tired

Journal Items:

  • 2 days ago, I don’t recall. I know there was studying. Gentle bicycling
  • 1 day ago, I went on 2, gentle bicycle rides
  • Today, I went on a long, gentle bicycle ride with lots of stopping (Pokémon-related)
  • I finished the previous class and have started the new class
  • Bf and I had couples therapy yesterday and it was really helpful. I wish I weren’t so damn cranky today but I woke up feeling yucky and it stayed that way until I went on my bike ride.
  • Riding my bike, I felt instantly better. I felt wonderful so long as I was riding my bicycle. Outside. In the trees. And the sun.
  • It feels hard here right now, like everyone has tread on everyone else’s toes a little bit. Sometimes living with others is very hard.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 22

Dark sunset clouds with purple and bright pink and some orange

Sunset tonight

Meds Today:

  • 10mg Lexapro; norm. thyroid meds
  • multivite (possibly two, actually)
  • minimal exercise (walking)

Symptoms:

  • None really
  • I’ve been forgetting to mention something like acid reflux nearly every night, which is unusual for me

Journal List:

  • Got up all right, had breakfast
  • Went to a quick Pokémon Go raid, chatted briefly with people
  • Studied
  • Dr. Who
  • Studied / Took my pre-assessment and passed
  • Dr. Who
  • Studied. Bedtime

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 20

Blue sky and very swirly, white clouds in frame

Clouds from 2015

Meds Today:

  • 10mg Lexapro (I still just can’t believe it); normal thyroid meds
  • fish oil capsule
  • calcium-magnesium-zinc tablet
  • exercise (walking, a tiny bit of jogging)

Symptoms:

  • I SLEPT IN FOR A LONG TIME
  • Felt emotionally neutral
  • Felt good while walking
  • Mild brain zappies when turning my head
  • Brief anxiety (maybe 5 min)
  • UPDATE: I forgot to mention the nausea after eating, and some reflux

Journal Items:

  1. I was SO TIRED. I slept in very late; maybe getting up at about 1pm?
  2. I ate breakfast then, and immediately outside to play Pokémon Go with a group of people I hadn’t seen since before the holidays (they’re so nice)
  3. Then I tried to study but didn’t focus well
  4. I walked again (it feels SO GOOD to walk, even though I had a long phase where if I turned my head, I got mild brain zappies; it’s within manageable ranges so far, though)
  5. I tried to study again
  6. I ate dinner (early enough to prevent reflux, hopefully)
  7. Now I’m finally studying fairly well, but it’s closing in on bedtime and writing here is part of my “sleep hygiene” routine, so here I am.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 3

Sunset with a full moon in view

Full moon at sunset

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro (with thyroid meds)
  • Magnesium-whatever-else vitamin; fish oil capsule; chewable multi-vite
  • Hardly any exercise at all, though

Symptoms:

  • Pretty chill all day
  • Angry a few times but not strongly and not for long; a mild tingle of anxiety once because I’m taking an exam tomorrow, but only for a split second and it was gone
  • I wonder if my chillness of today is from the 10mg of Prozac last night? Sweet dawg, that’s all I can say.
  • Perhaps a few moments of a strange feeling when I blink/ turn my head, but very mild

Seriously, if weaning off of Lexapro proves detrimental, I will be requesting a low dose of Prozac to go along with the Lexapro in the future. Walking around and experiencing no anxiety? Hearing people argue and experiencing no anxiety? Fucking awesome. Maybe I was mad to think I’d feel better OFF of the drugs. Maybe what I needed was just a change in meds!

But, stay the course for now! I’m dying of curiousity to see how I feel w/o the Lexapro.

I didn’t take my final today after all. Studied the whooole day, with my bf’s help. I’ll take it tomorrow morning NO MATTER WHAT.

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.

Mundane Update

I’m calling this a mundane update. I’d say that I normally only come on here when my emotions are high or out of whack or something’s eating me, etc.

But I logged in for a different reason this evening, and thought, perhaps I would go ahead and write. Because writing helps me stay stable.

And I feel completely stable at present. I.E. I normally wouldn’t be writing. So here I am.

I’ll give a day recap. I had a big exam this morning in computer programming. I hope it went okay; time will tell. Tutoring was really challenging because students from one of the other classes came in for emergency help (their exam is tomorrow) but it was from a class that hardly anyone asks for help for, so I don’t remember the content very well. And I hadn’t brought the right notes; I didn’t realize some of those classes were that far in the book. I don’t bring my full notes because they’re so heavy.

I actually went across town after school/work. That’s not my norm. But last night, I got an invite to dinner with my SO and some of his friends, one of whom I have met a couple of times now and I enjoy his company. So we went even though it was for a very late dinner and we only just got back a bit ago. It’s late. I’m super sleepy.

I’m getting over a virus. I had to take like a week off of school. I missed the exam review and the last bit of new info for it and everything! So I studied a lot this-past weekend.

Pokémon Go is pretty exciting right now. They re-balanced the gym prestige. And this week, or for a few days anyway, they’re running these crazy double-poké stop goodies and double (or more) spawn rates of critters. This is tied into my getting-over-my-virus because I finally feel a bit of energy returning so I’m probably going to go out on a Poké bike ride tomorrow after work, or at least a nice walk. I walked a tiny bit extra today, and it was really nice. The sunset was amazing.

I’m super, incredibly behind in my online school. Well, only a week or 2, but it feels like a lot. It’s because my current class is a writing-based class and I suck at writing papers. I have one I need to revise TOMORROW (I’m telling myself that) and then I need to write one more paper. Then I can move onto a different class, thank goodness.

Well, I’m incredibly sleepy beyond words, so goodnight. Voting is tomorrow here but I already voted.

A title for an evening

Hello all,
(It is amazing that anyone is still there reading this, considering how long I go between posts lately.)

Last semester, I was actually doing fabulously. Have I mentioned that? I was pretty emotionally stable. I stayed up with my classes. I enjoy tutoring.

I’m in summer now, and things are different. It’s decision time. I told you about that already. But the not-knowing for sure what I’m about to do once summer ends is weighing heavily on me and affecting my sleep (LACK of sleep, be sure). I’m having to take clonazepam more frequently than is my norm, just to get some sleep each week (that’s the drug I’m prescribed for night because it helps my restless leg syndrome as well as helping with the anxiety AS WELL as having a happy side effect of some drowsiness). So it’s my miracle night drug, but I try not to take it more than a couple of times per week, since I don’t want to get addicted or have it become less effective.

I’m grateful I have it available. I can’t imagine getting through times like these without it, really. Before I finally searched around through all of my belongings to find my bottle of it, I had gotten sleep-deprived enough that I was getting seriously loopy and forgetting things like crazy and crossing over what I dreamed and what happened in reality. If you get that sleep-deprived, you know what I’m describing.

I’m taking C++ this semester, because the Accounting choices were slim pickings for summer (I’d already taken all of the ones offered!). I am LOVING C++. It concerns me. What happens if I end up wanting to switch majors?!?! I am really loving it. But I’m also loving being an Accounting tutor. The trouble is, I don’t actually have any interest in Accounting topics themselves — I couldn’t care less about tax laws or auditing. I’m going to have to learn all of those things. And I know I can do it, once I re-align my goals again.

But I’m actually INTERESTED in this computer programming. If I could program, there is SO much I could do. Years ago, I started drawing out diagrams for apps and stuff I wanted to hire someone to make for me and sell! So now that I’ve had a taste and can dream that one day *I* could write my *own* programs??? I have a lot of interest in that. But it would mean starting over and having wasted a whole year! (Well, not wasted as far as learning SO MUCH about myself — like that I’m capable of being a successful student (that wasn’t the case previously) — and capable of tutoring!! (I’d have NEVER guessed!) — and I took a jogging class, piano, and so much more. But it was a wasted year as far as income. My tutoring income doesn’t even cover half of the rent per month. I’m not joking. My savings is going poof too rapidly. [Besides, end goal is to work for animal rescue. I KNOW I could do that via accounting. Could I do that via computer programming? I have some vague ideas, but don’t know that one with enough certainty to bet on it.]

I haven’t even paid for my pony’s board this month. My friend hasn’t mentioned it — she knows what’s up — but it weighs on me. I want to gift her to my friend but her husband would go nuts if she legally owned another horse. So we’re in this weird limbo right now and don’t know where it’s headed.

I gave someone a dollar today. It was for an interesting scenario. But she said there is a special angel in heaven waiting for me and gave me a hug. She had a really cute 1.5 year old dog who was very happy.

I’ve needed to write here. I wish I would focus myself to do this every day. It helps. But I basically have only enough focus for school and the tutoring. I allow EVERYTHING else to drop off of the planet. I even missed an appointment with my psychiatrist. I didn’t mean to but she’d confirmed in email and I MEANT to reply again and I MEANT to write it on my calendar but just never got around to it. It went into the pile with the other thousands of emails I haven’t responded to over the decade+.

I’m homesick. I’m REALLY homesick. I. Want. To. Be. Home. Right now. This week. This month. It probably happened when my world here went into a limbo mode (don’t know what I’m doing next semester). But I want my old life back — the one before I was married. I want to live with my parents and brush my dog and trim his nails and drive out to see my pony and train her and groom her. I want to smell her on my clothes and carseat and have to take allergy medicine and the whole deal. I miss my life.

Breaking up with my boyfriend and moving out of this house would almost be worth it if I could live in a place where I could foster animals. I don’t want to WAIT for my life to start; I want to start it tomorrow. I want to be helping animals right now.

The animal shelters around here have zillions of volunteers. That’s what you get in a city, I guess. I would sign up but I honestly feel like they have endless volunteers and I wouldn’t be in my niche. There is an emergency vet nearby. I’m considering going and asking if they have any use for an intern or volunteer or something. I’d be fine just cleaning cages of animal waste or whatever behind-the-scenes thing I could do. I just don’t want to be one who has to tell an owner that we had to euthanize their pet. I’m not ready for that yet.

I have to go now. Goodnight.