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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Depression is coming back

I am writing only to report that for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling depression creeping back in. As only a fellow person who has experienced depression can understand. It is not like I am in a great mood and then “something happens” in my life and boom, I’m suddenly depressed. No. I’ve been watching it coming for weeks. The breathing getting harder, the feelings of happiness becoming fewer and farther between. The irritability become intolerable and snipping and hating everyone around me for nothing. The pain of looking around, the headaches, the stomach aches. The breathing in and stopping for a minute and thinking, My God[] this would be so much easier if I didn’t exist. The making self exercise, making self eat nutritiously. Making self go to bed at a decent hour in spite of desire to stay up late. And you know, you can FEEL, it is only getting worse. It hasn’t started to get better yet.

Poem: Off by a …

As ever, there is something off.
In one forced smile and laughter that hits the wall and falls like a brick.
Judgement and judgement
You are doing it all wrong! Why don’t you research before you do that?! Don’t you understand the health at stake?!

Voice straining. I’m shouting to your deaf ears.
And gesticulating in large loops and dramatic movements.

In one rush of smoke and air hot enough to scald, I pull back my hair and roll up my sleeves.
I breathe smoke in and explode fire from my lungs.
AT YOU.

But really? A dark, snuggly, soft pit of despair would be my rest stop.
Tuck me in amongst the rocks and debris, sticks knotted in my hair.
Muddy tracks leading through the dust on my cheeks, from my eyes.

I want you HURT. You DESERVE IT.
i want comfort, and swaddling, love, peace, acceptance, understanding.

Mood Turbulence

Fruit smoothie with spinach and arugula added

Add some extra nutrients in there…

My moods have been insane lately. I don’t know what lately means. Two weeks? A month? A year? Two years? Just since I got back from visiting my parents and dog?

It’s worse for me at this moment because two weeks ago, “Joe”, who had been getting more depressed by the day for several weeks, snapped at me over something that was definitely innocent on my part. What he said was very rude and inappropriate and I didn’t address it well. In spite of his immediate apology, I had already shoved it aside in my head and didn’t deal with it and I still haven’t. What you said was like being punched in the stomach. That’s how taken aback I was for a moment. And then I made excuses, Aw he’s just really depressed and has been alienating all of his friends and I don’t want him to lose me as a friend, too. Yada yada. Kept on our walk.

But it wasn’t the same. And this week’s walk wasn’t the same, either. Because I don’t really forgive anyway. I suspect I don’t actually forgive any one for any thing anymore.

So then today, there was a point where we had to make a decision about which direction to head. We both had a preference, which is rare. We both had a strong preference. I made mine clear but instead of saying, “no” to his preference, I acquiesced. And then silently resented him for the next hour or so. I had nothing to say. It’s not like I intentionally think to myself, “I’m going to give X the silent treatment now.” It’s just that, when I’m upset with a person, I don’t trust that person and have no interest in speaking and nothing on my mind to share. It’s very hard.

Back to my main point. Since things are weird between me and my only real-ish friend, “Joe”, it’s making it hard to trust myself and my sanity at all. I’m already having a hard enough time with “Peter”, with how we keep triggering each other (we’re seeing a therapist now, which seems promising).

I need help. Aside from facts and moments in time, my moods are unstable. They are flying up and down. I go from bliss to anger in an instant. I don’t feel that I can control it. And I have no patience and no tolerance.

There are “easy” (clear-cut, that is) things that can only help:

  1. Create and stay on a REGULAR sleep schedule (this has NOT been reality)
  2. Create and stay on a REGULAR eating schedule (this has NOT been reality)
  3. Eat nutritiously at every meal
  4. REDUCE the amount of refined sugars (my moods have been INSANE)
  5. Create and stay on a REGULAR exercise schedule (I have been exercising, but not at set times and not for set amounts)

I believe that I need the forced routine of a job or face-to-face classes to get back into the land of the somewhat living and normal. I applied to a part-time position recently but they had just filled the position. There is a full-time job I’m going to apply to, perhaps tomorrow. But, I really only want part-time, for the sake of finishing my online school.

Pure and utter shit

Damn. So following my last post, things were smooth. I mean, several days in a row were smooooth. I almost made myself post about them. Things were going so nicely. I love my new job. I’m staying caught up in one class.

Then boom. Sickness hits. It’s just a minor head cold. The sore throat (my trigger) passed within 24-ish hours, so very little panic and whatnot. Sniffles, no biggie. Cough, no chest pain. Post-nasal-drip during the night for several nights in a row, so hardly any sleep, terrible but survivable. Then I picked up some cold medicine and it let me sleep through the night for two nights, pretty much. I haven’t needed to use it again since then because although the cough & nose are still productive, it’s not that bad.

Slipping. I’m slipping. Emotionally. This other class happened last Saturday and again today. The time inbetween has … okay not been the best. This class has assigned papers and too many for a one-week period (I did… um 2. The short ones. The rest, are now officially overdue). Okay that could certainly be a trigger. My bf tried to tell me this but I refused to listen (i.e. I thought he was wrong and wasn’t listening to ME because I kept saying it’s just this damn cold and once I feel better, I’ll be on top of my stuff again). No, I should have listened. It’s was a big, motherfucker trigger.

So now? My energy has been leaving more and more every day. It’s this goddamn virus, I swear it is. I checked last night too — I took anti-anxiety medicine just in case that would clear things up and I’d be able to focus on the paper. But no, it didn’t help.

Mono. If any of you have had mono before, that is how I’ve been feeling lately. Like I have the energy level I had back when I had mono. In other words, capable of going about some zombie resemblance of a day and then CRASH. NOTHING left. NO words, NO thought, NO movement. I felt like my body was dying.

But it wasn’t truly until today that shit is hitting. It is hitting me. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong, altogether. I walked myself to the ER tonight. I didn’t check in; I just paced in the ER for maybe twenty minutes. I texted with “Joe” from last year. I feel like he’s the only one in my life who is capable of showing sympathy/empathy in the way that I can “feel” so I told him I was in a really bad spot and he listened and asked me what had me so triggered, and that’s the first time I was thinking about it rationally. Like in the sense of triggers. Of course this class with assigned papers is a trigger. Of course the pressure to maintain my straight-A’s from last semester is too much for me. Of course the new job of tutoring and this guy who seems to have a crush on me (but I’ve made it very clear that I have a boyfriend and am not looking) and other students who come in and out and some of them I’m able to help confidently and others it is a real struggle but I am really enjoying that job.

But things with me and my bf are so rough right now. We’re not communicating well and it’s mostly me because I am making things weird and being really touchy. I don’t want advice about it, please — I wish to share what’s happening in my life, but please take it for what it is — I am just sharing — not seeking advice on my relationship. I need to get my head straight again.

I wanted to cut tonight. I don’t know what’s been up. My head is in and out of reality today, this virus, the fog in my brain, reality and dissociation. I was walking to the ER and I looked both ways to cross the street and let my mind ponder, because I had started to cross first without looking, I mean the hand sign was green and all that, but of course the small, old voice was there, telling me that if a truck just happened to be coming at me, that would be perfectly fine.

As if nothing matters? I knew something was going wrong this week because I stopped flossing my teeth four days ago. That only happens at the start of a a terrible depressed episode.

But I am determined that I am going to get my head on straight, get healed from this awful, energy-sucking virus, and go to a fucking therapist/counselor. I’m thinking of going to the free ones at school this week — I don’t know how good they are but I think it would help to get to talk with someone.

I hadn’t finished talking about how I’m affecting my relationship negatively — I’m so insecure this week, I am positive he is about to break up with me, against all signs. I can’t stand myself, so I’m assuming he can’t stand me and wants me gone. Or is about to want me gone and just doesn’t know about it yet. So I’m interpreting everything poorly, and looking scared this week, and he’s started to be weirded out by it. And I am fighting the urge at every moment to ask, “Do you still like me? Should I leave?” As if my life depends on him liking me? Of course it doesn’t, but it’s still eating at me this week, because of this insecurity and all of this SHIT that’s engulfing my head about me being a yuck person and blah blah blah. What the hell triggered this??? Was it something at work? Was it the terrible, terrible class that I’m now overdue in with several papers? Did it make me feel like a failure and I’m shifting that feeling into my personal life?

I walked back from the ER and the sky was still clear and the weather perfect. I came back in, bf said hi but was still watching some TV news with his mom, so I went out back and hung out on the back porch and chatted for a minute with a neighbor who is somewhere around my age. Mostly I just stared up at the sky and asked God[] to please let my breath be used by someone who is more stable than I. Someone more deserving. Then I did stop and wonder, am I feeling like I’m undeserving because I’m not emotionally stable? That it makes me less deserving of a human? That’s not very fair or nice. So I begged, Please empty out this shell of body and use it for something worth while.

It would be nice.

No longer getting out of bed

Well, believe it or not, there are some pluses and some negatives.

The biggest negative is probably that I’m no longer getting out of bed without assistance. Another negative is that I haven’t located external assistance yet, so my bf is getting the brunt of this at present. It’s not too cool, let me tell you.

But a pro is that I’m now a jogger. Haha. I started jogging 2 days ago but I’m determined. I don’t care if I only manage to jog for 3 minutes a day so long as I do it. Even if my only goal is to make it to the icecream shop not too far away and eat a cup of icecream so that jogging will result in weight gain. I don’t care right now, as long as I’m doing it.

I’m practicing piano nearly every day and a little bit of voice exercises as well. I’m still mostly just learning how to read the bass clef notes, but whatever. It’s really fun. Just let everyone else wear earplugs for a while so I can practice.

The semester is winding out but alas, I no longer recall the last time I attended either of my morning classes. This is pretty sad. It’s a big disappointment for me. I was doing so well for so long into the semester but I feel like I am too tired to get out of bed in the morning. And even if I get out of bed, if I’m alone I just sit there and don’t do anything and eventually fall back asleep. Even if I’m just sitting on the floor putting on my socks or something, I’ll run out of steam to move a muscle.

So I don’t know. I tried cutting my own hair the other day; it just hit me that my hair was too long and heavy and making me feel tired. Now it looks pretty silly but oh well, it’ll grow out.

I’m trying to eat slightly less now too, since I’m so unhappy with the weight gain.

Well okay, back to studying. Oh PS I didn’t get the job. I interviewed and did all right but I did bungle one of the most important questions they had for me. It turned out I got cold feet during the interview because part of what would have been my responsibility was to give IV’s to animals and also teach other recruits how to give IVs. I don’t honestly know if I am capable of inserting a needle into an animal. I don’t know if I could. So I got cold feet and never wrote them a follow-up thank you or anything at all.

If I can make it through the rest of this semester, I believe I can have a job as a tutor here next semester. But I need to do well in this class. Two more weeks or so and I need to maintain an A but I’m failing at getting out of bed. This is hard. = I make this hard.

Dump

If I watch you, I’m jealous.
Is there anything I’m not jealous of?

Is there any way I can someday be okay with myself as I am?
Accept myself for what I am?

There are things I can do that you’ll never be able to do.

They’re things in an empathy spectrum. I can feel like nothing else. But it’s not healthy.

I can hear a story of someone else’s suffering and feel the pain as my own pain. It IS my own pain.

But I hear the click-clack of the keys and I can see the rapid switching of windows and lines of text appearing and disappearing in nano seconds. I’ll never be able to do that. And that’s only one, tiny thing.

I’m not sure my life is here. I’m detaching but it’s a bad time to detach because my whole life feels unstable at present.

It’s my anxiety.

My heart keeps beating at the wrong rhythm. I don’t know if it’s from fucking with my thyroid levels over the last month or so, or if it’s all from anxiety.

I’m weak, I’m shaky, I have this chronic look of fatigue and worry on my face. I’ve gained weight and hold it in my face, which is a location that makes me uncomfortable because it makes smiling more difficult.

I made myself go on a walk today. I accidentally missed school. I’m irritated that I still mis-spell the word “accidentally”. You can’t tell because of spell-check, but I’m a phonetic speller and tonight, even that is worth me feeling like shit. Like I’m in my 30’s and still can’t spell a word I’ve written a thousand times before. TALLY. Accident, which I can spell, usually. smashed with TALLY.

It’s funny because I’ve been practicing learning Spanish lately, and the spelling is killing me. I’m a phonetic speller in English, how am I supposed to become precise in Spanish? Ah well, remember, it’s just for fun.

Approximations are as good as it gets.

And what is good in life right now? I may have slept through school but I ate good food. Some of which was nutritious (I hate spelling). I made myself go on a long walk. It was a bit chilly out today but I dressed warmly and the sky was blue and the sun was bright. I wish I had let more sun onto my skin; I suspect I’m shy on Vitamin D again.

I made myself a goal. There’s this place nearby that sells an amazing GF oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. So I went walking with the end of goal of buying one. I ended up also studying my Accounting chapter. Thankfully, tomorrow’s test got postponed. That is good because I wasn’t truly prepared for it.

Now I’ve been doing computer class homework for several hours. I’ve finally taken a little bit of anxiety medicine for the night. Thank God[] for anxiety medicine. I had a little fever when I came back from my walk. My walk also led me to a playground where I swung for a while. I talked with an aunt over the phone. I talked with my mum. I just can’t get out of this grayness and fuzz. My heart won’t normalize and I can’t smile.

I think this is my last week here at this apartment and i also think that really I’m freaking out because of being now unemployed and when I spoke with my brother, he indicated some shock that I would quit one job without having another lined up. That probably freaked me out a lot. But I really had to get out. I can’t entirely type why, since this is public, but if you can trust me that it was the right decision, then trust me and don’t question it.

I think I’m tired of being questioned. Who’s doing the questioning? Me?

I’m making myself write here lately, because I know from experience that writing helps me re-focus and re-ground. And I desperately need to re-ground. Desperately.

While I was home alone, I had religious music playing pretty loudly and I was signing along as loudly as possible. It happens sometimes and I really connected to it. I think that’s what I need right now. I’m going to keep searching for more music that I can feel connected with. I should probably trying praying and such too. I just don’t know if my incredible grayness and fuzz and inability to smile or leave the apartment is from crippling anxiety or if I’m just physically ill (the fever has been present for a couple of days). Do people get fevers when anxious? Oh well. I took anxiety medicine and once that kicks in, I imagine that I will find it help a little bit. And I’ll take whatever little bit I can.