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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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

The moods had a reason, and 1 other thing

Amazingly, the intense mood swings seem to have had a reason. I don’t know why it took me over a month to figure it out. They had seriously intensified after I had returned here from visiting my parents & dog. Also during that time, I parted with my pony. I don’t talk about her on here much for a reason. But there you have it. I had a beloved family member for many, many years, and I finally gave her away officially.

And I could not focus on school the following month. And my mood swings were intense. But now that I realize the connection, my moods have been a lot more stable (no pun intended).

I’m finally making progress again in class.

My boyfriend and I are going to couple’s therapy and it’s been so great. We are both learning a ton. I really like the lady we are seeing.

However, one thing that we are doing lately is giving each other “histories”. They are formatted quite specifically but my bf went first and so I have known for several weeks now that my turn is coming up and I’ve been getting quite nervous about it. They are somewhat brief and don’t go into tons of detail. I believe that the ultimate point is going to be to see how he and I individually learned what relationships look like, how to show love, what we’ve seen work and not work in our own families, etc. But there’s also some question as to any moments of abuse and how they might still be affecting us / affecting how we are in relationships / that sort of thing. The thought of having to speak about such things again has generated a lot of racing thoughts in me, particularly in the form of insomnia. Such as right now. It’s hard to know something is coming and have too much time for dwelling.

I did find it informative to hear my bf’s story, though. In spite of having known facts about his life growing up, it was interesting to hear it through the particular format that she’s asking the questions and stuff. I didn’t explain that well.

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.

An update! Oceans, flights, hikes, conflict, beauty, and change

Well, it is time for an update! I have no clue when was the last time I updated this blog. But it’s well past time for an update. And, let’s have some ORDER around here! Bulleted list time:

Canada goose butt

The elegance of a feeding Canada goose

  1. I am suddenly distracted by a conversation happening downstairs. I will try my best to tune it out. I do not travel to other countries, so I have no reason to eavesdrop on how to make a phone service work in other countries, or buying other SIM cards, etc. No clue. Tune it out.
  2. School! Well. It was going very well until this current class. And now, HALT! I am scraping through chapters like a slug trying to complete a marathon in the rain. Hey, we’ll get there eventually. But I’ve blown my timeline.
    1. THE WORST, for me, is that I lost my Student Mentor! He got transferred to a different department. I got assigned a new one and I find myself feeling depressed while on the phone with her. She wants me to make sure I’m going for the right major for me, considering I have no interest in Accounting, kind of hate it, and fear and am bad at Math. She doesn’t understand that I am taking this horse to the end of the river. It doesn’t matter that I don’t want to be going through this river crossing. It’s the way to get there. It’s not my favorite way. I’d rather we have gone up over a mountain ridge instead. But I’m here in the horrible, dangerous river crossing that’s going to take years, but my horse is willing and I’m going to stick it out. Because, I’m not exactly young and not getting any younger, and I have no direction other than this, and I’m sticking to it, dammit.
  3. I quit the psychologist I was seeing for a while there. We never really clicked and like I’ve written sometime before, we had a serious issue come up that was never resolved and it was terribly awkward and I realized he doesn’t understand me and won’t understand me and I could never trust him again and wasn’t getting to where I wanted to be, so that’s done.
  4. My boyfriend and I are going to couples therapy now! We had our second appointment today and I really think this lady is wonderful! I feel as though she really knows the topic (couples and conflict and resolution). We had homework from Session 1 and it was helpful. This week, we have even more homework, and I’m kind of excited about some of it! 🙂 I was so excited during the appointment, when we were talking about ideas for reducing grocery store tensions, that I almost started crying tears of joy. …P.S. I am experiencing some insane PMS yesterday & today! Whew. Talk about eyes tearing up.
  5. Which is nice. Because all of that screwing around with my thyroid doses has given me Dry Eyes to the point where my eye doctor wants me to be on prescription eye stuff. In lieu of that, I’m to use Blink for very dry eyes multiple times a day. You know you have dry eyes when you put in a few drops of that stuff and feel like you’ve reached some kind of Heaven and kind of want to just keep dropping the stuff into your eyes, like a continuous stream. aaaaahhh bliss.
  6. I’m considering going back to the city college. I would take a specific Accounting class that I need to take for the online school but have a lot of concerns about. I think taking it in person first will give me a lot more confidence. Also, I could go back to weight lifting and jogging for my other credits. Then, I would qualify as an Accounting Tutor again, which would be so great. I loved doing that. It just pays so pathetically.
  7. But my stress over money is reaching extreme danger levels. I applied to a local job last week but I hadn’t seen the posting for 9 days and they’d already filled it. But they offered to keep my resume on file for the next opening, which was pretty nice of them. Man, I would have loved that job. I was so excited. I re-wrote my entire resume, which takes a lot of internal energy.
  8. Clouds in blue sky

    Clouds and Blue

    I am in love with walking along the water, even with so many people and chaos and the birds and the seals and more birds and the water and the breeze…. aahhhhh… Lovely. So I go out there a lot now to study in a coffee shop near the water. I focus much better there than I do at home, which I get distracted and do things like laundry and read about tidying and stuff. 🙂

  9. Goodnight! 1/2 dose of clonazapam kicked in a while back and I’m in a very happy, content haze at the moment. I hate to ever lose this feeling but I can hardly see straight due to my exhaustion (I haven’t been sleeping well for two weeks)
  10. Not since I got to spend so much time with my parents and my beloved dog. ❤ I’ve had insomnia of epic proportions ever since then.
  11. I have been practicing music more frequently. Yay.
  12. I need to and would like to do a bunch of garden weeding.

Depression

SquirrelHi all,
I’m having some trouble with depression. I don’t know when it started. It’s possible it started an hour ago. Or maybe a month ago. Or maybe years ago.

I’ve been anxious. That seems pretty irrelevant and I don’t want to talk about it, but it’s probably pretty important. Especially since it contributed to some sleepless nights.

I wish I could share the reason for my anxiety on here but I can’t because this is public.

I had an emergency session with my psychiatrist. She gave me some interesting suggestions for how to deal with my OCD next week. She gave me a very expert place to go when I return, but that won’t be in time.

I “should” be so happy. If I had six months before this trip, it could be nothing but bliss. But I’m traveling on very short notice and the tasks will be difficult. And I’m very afraid of something I cannot tell you.

I have a pretty bad yeast infection. I didn’t see a doctor, but I know. It’s causing a lot of pain.

My bf and I didn’t get along tonight and it wasn’t even my fault this time. Usually it’s me being crabby but this time it was him. I left the room quickly because I hadn’t come to argue. I was excited about sharing with him how I’d fixed the doorknobs today. I don’t know what went wrong, but it makes it kind of hard to breathe. Kind of bleak and gray and hopeless.

It’s entirely possible he and I aren’t a good match and won’t last much longer. But I want to get my shit together before I were to try and start a new life again. Then there are days when it seems like things are smooth here. Who knows. I can only say, “I need help” so many times before the phrase becomes pointless.

Anyway, I don’t have the money. School is going smoothly but I need a job. My money goes faster than I had projected.

I will be so happy once I’m there. I am supposed to spend an hour a day imagining getting rid of my belongings and feeling calm. I need to go.

Probably need

In truth, I probably need some extra help right now. My stress is up way too high. Interpersonal dynamics are very difficult for me right now. School is at a fairly overwhelming point. Tutoring is still going well but I probably shouldn’t have signed up for the max hours.

My SO’s mom, I haven’t written about this, but she is recovering from a cancer surgery. It was her fourth, distinct type of cancer removed. Nobody knows why she is so prone to having cancer. I don’t mean 4 different instances of the same cancer; I mean quite literally four different types. I’ve been around for two of them being removed; the other two types were removed long before I knew of my SO. She’s amazing. But this one involved part of the last adrenal being removed, so now she is in the process of figuring out proper cortisol dosing and it’s really hard. Sometimes she’s very exhausted.

It has changed the living dynamics, for me. My stress is through the roof. There is the worry, and the knowledge that at least two of the cancer types have a good chance of returning “someday”, and how it’s hard to see how tired she is when knowing her to be always so full of energy and drive at all times, before.

But there are the selfish monster stresses, too. Like when she chooses to cook for all of us, but I’d rather eat dog food than help with cooking, but now she sometimes does ask us to help, and I KNOW it’s the good and right thing to do, but at the same time, I’d really, honestly eat dog food if I had the choice of doing so OR cooking…

Or the times when I’d like to spend an evening with just my SO, but he invites his mum to literally everything we do now. But that’s SOOOO selfish of me. Why wouldn’t he want to see her enjoying the events, too? And why shouldn’t she? She’s been incredibly generous with me the whole time I’ve known her. Maybe he’s worried she won’t be around forever, you know? That’s totally understandable.

Quite frankly, if my folks would only move down here, I’d surely be inviting them to everything, too. I wish I could see them every single day of my life. It’s hard not to.

But the fear still keeps me away; I don’t honestly remember if I ever told any of that online here. Probably not. Since it’s all tied up in my fear.

Mortality is hard.

I suppose we’re all going to die. We’re all already dead. There’s no point in worrying about who is going to die when and first and how painful it’s going to be. I just have to live this every day and know, it’ll happen but every day is … one more bonus day.

Oh yeah. I just re-read the point of this post. I need to actually try to find a psychologist/counselor/whoever. Life is really high-pressure and stressful at this time. I honestly, honestly, honestly, don’t want to fall apart again. Been there, done that, DON’T WANT A REPEAT.