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 76 – 86

Ladybug

Ladybug

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • Vitamins when I remember
  • Exercise: LOTS of walking and some bicycling

Symptoms:

  • IRRITABILITY
  • Strong, quickly changing emotions
  • More tired

Journal Items:

  • I regret having gone so long between journaling here, because this has been a HARD ten days
  • My body is NOT pleased with this lower dose, yet!
  • I am biting my bf’s HEAD off at the slightest drop of a hat
  • I do think that the last couple of days have been slightly better
  • Until my P.M.S. also joined in, and now I’m super emotional and who can tell what’s what
  • Studying has been challenging
  • We have company over for about 10 days, which has been good so far (but knowing myself, I’ll need some alone time soon)
  • It’ll be hard to have alone time tomorrow, seeing as my door hinge is going to have some wood glue as one of its newest additions and will then be open, propped up while drying for the whole day. 😉
  • Tomorrow needs to bring much focus and studying. It’s hard [to focus] because the content is so hard right now.

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 5 + 6

A field of small, bubbly clouds lit up pink from the morning light, against a sky that is a gradient from yellow to blue

5th Day: I should wake up around sunrise more often. That’s beautiful!

The 5th Day:

  • 15mg Lexapro + norm. thyroid meds
  • magnesium, mutli-vite, fish oil capsule, iron all taken separately
  • A little exercise (walking)

The 6th Day (today):

  • 15mg Lexapro + norm. thyroid meds
  • Fish oil capsule; iron; multi-vite
  • A little exercise (walking)

Symptoms:

  • Yesterday, I think I felt pretty neutral. I don’t recall anything.
  • Today, I’m getting a little bit of dizziness but it’s not unmanageable yet
  • Today, also, I’m NOT in a super talkative mood, but I think that’s unrelated
  • Today, additionally, I experienced some anxiety. No more than “usual” but more than the day-after-my-one-Prozac-dose, so that’s sad. I preferred the no-anxiety feeling, to be frank
  • I have been sleeping soundly lately, I think. But I did feel extremely tired when it was time to get up this morning

P.S. I finished my final exam (I passed, somehow). And I have already started to study for the next course!

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 4

Big, shapely cloud set on a blue sky

I loved this cloud

The Day (I’m writing it the following day, sadly):

  • 15mg Lexapro (regular thyroid meds)
  • Mutli-vite; fish oil capsule; iron tablet later in evening
  • Much walking

Symptoms:

  • No mood issues noted (maybe mild irritation at moments; mild anxiety at moments)
  • Intestines fairly normal, still some cramps (but this started before the med change, so likely unrelated)

This day involved a mess up in the morning where I didn’t catch my exam in time. I walked for hours after that, with a friend. In the evening, my bf helped me study for hours.

Weaning off of Lexapro

Water colored blue and pink from the sunset

Sunset on the water

Hi all,

Today begins a true attempt at weaning off of Lexapro 20mg, with permission and help from my psychiatrist. Update: I have been on the drug for over 10 years straight.

I definitely want to document this process so I will know if the withdrawal becomes too unbearable, or in the end if I just need to go back on because I was better on it, etc.

Today:
* 15mg Lexapro in the morning (with usual thyroid dose)
* 1 capsule of fish oil and a multivitamin, just because
* I must get in some solid exercise, just because
* tonight, 10mg of Prozac (this will allegedly ease the withdrawal symptoms because of the longer half life) UPDATE: I did not take it because I didn’t feel dizzy or zappy or anything

Symptoms:
* Have had diarrhea and cramps for 2 days, totally unrelated (could be PMS, food not agreeing with me, or a bug)
* Very anxious about being on the 15mg today — waiting for the electric zappies to hit me at any time, but they haven’t started yet.

That’s all there is to report about this for now. 🙂

In other news, I’m doing terribly at focusing on schoolwork. TERRIBLY. But within three days of now, I will have taken another Final exam. I’m not sure if I’ll pass it.

Anxiety medicine FTW

Well. Mysteries of the universe solved.

I’m still on the remnant half life of the dose of anxiety medicine I took last night and I feel woonnnddeerrful. I’m able think, I’m able to leave my apartment, I’m able to walk around, I’m able to do schoolwork.

The thinking is important. My brain is actually turning, slightly. Not like on a great day, but on an almost-human day.

What a relief.

I’ll forgive myself if I end up needing anxiety medicine from now until I have located a new job and have moved. This is my last week in my belovedly awesome apartment, btw.

I am actually in a class right now. I just asked a question. I love that after I ask a question, usually someone else asks a question, too. I think sometimes people are afraid to interrupt lecture but the prof doesn’t mind. She’s super nice. I like that I can be an ice breaker for others.

My extreme anxiety and depression lately has really poisoned things between me and my partner. It sucks. I hope that after I get a new job and after I settle into his mother’s house, I hope we can salvage things. Because he’s a great guy, I don’t actually want to scrap this. I’d like to see about working on things again. But it’s been hard when I have no smile inside of me, no motivation to get out of bed, and nothing that is a positive or hopeful for me. That really messes with a relationship.

But on the very last remnants of this clonazepam, life looks easier again. Things make more sense. I don’t think my panic had really hit until the last day of work happened and I moved everything out. I’ve been fallen apart since then. I didn’t even know it was my last day of work until I got there. So that was like, not a lot of transitional time. Me & sudden change? Not so hot.

My self-identity was tied up in that a bit. I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been in a lost, gray world since then. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted or what this was all about. I was just floating and lifeless and gray and foggy and fuzzy and in a gray nothingness in a way I can never hope to explain to someone not presently or recently experiencing it.

Moral is: Anxiety medicine will be my friend this week. Don’t feel shame. And don’t judge me, you. I don’t need it.

I need to be able to think clearly enough to apply for new, part-time work and pack up my stuff from the apartment.

Peace out.

Complaint + Random

I’m behind on journaling.

But meanwhile, I am having insomnia tonight. So here I am. I got upset. Things can be up, then boom. But it’s been okay.

But I don’t have to tell you or justify. I don’t have to rationalize that in all of my silence, I’ve been fine, but now that I’m upset, I want to write. I don’t have to balance the equation. I am what I am, and in this moment, I’m upset.

There’s a move coming up. You guys might remember how well I handle that… /fall apart/

School is well. Busy busy. But I like those days. Structured. Busy. People I’m growing to know, a little bit. Certain people I’m getting to recognize and chat with over studying in the tutoring center, where I spend most of my weeks. It’s almost like making friends, but we’re all busy and don’t have time to meet elsewhere in the city.

I’m sitting in an amazing place. I can’t describe it. I’m in the heart of the city in a modern, top-notch building and I stayed emotionally detached for a couple of months, thinking of it as His and Yours. I was just happening here to spend my time with my bf. But now, now that my bed is here is here and I’ve moved a bit more of my stuff in, and I’ve paid some rent and re-organized parts of the kitchen, and kept the shower and sinks clean. Now it’s mine too. And I’ve grown attached to the streets and the views and the amazing space. I’ll never live in a space this nice again; you’d have to see it and the views and the location to know what I’m referring to. I’ll never be this close to public transport or grocery stores again. Now, now that my bf has set his mind to leaving (he was unsure at first and I encouraged him toward leaving, due to the rent$$). Now that he’s certain of leaving, I’ve realized, I LOVE this place. I’ve even learned a few of the streets.

Oh well. It wasn’t a place I would have chosen at first; I certainly couldn’t afford it rationally. But damn. I’ll miss this. Oops, I’ve woken my bf. I have a cat on my lap.

I’ve been sleeping well lately, but tonight, no go. Partly, I’m in pain. I had some yuck food earlier, I think. Stomach ache, but mostly muscle aches and pains. I was exhausted today. One of the ladies I study with even told me so when I first approached the table; that I look exhausted. Yep. That’s because I didn’t have school yesterday and unstructured days are not my best days.

School days are great.

Hey, I have an opportunity to quit my job. I have chickened out so far. But now it’s right out in the open; I can just give the word that even Fridays are too much for me. THEY ARE. But the money… the money… is hard to give up. But commuting to another city each Friday and catching up on a week’s worth of chores and work has been difficult. Not impossible task-wise, but mentally difficult. Exhausting.

Or rather, I’m likely just still exhausted. I’ve been feeling better since getting to increase my thyroid dose nearly back up to where it used to be. I spent years and years at 100 mcg. My doctor said my tests were borderline high and she is worried about future osteoporosis, so wanted me to try 88 mcg instead. I did that for like… a month? And started to lose motivation! And energy. And drive. And the ability or motivation to do anything, even walk to the grocery store. It was getting bad, but I was still studying. I suspect it’s partly the placebo effect, because AS SOON AS I got permission to take a 100 mcg again, I felt improved THAT SAME DAY. 🙂  So I am alternating now — 88, then 100, 88, 100 etc. It does seem to affect my heartbeat at the higher dose, unfortunately. I forgot to mention that was another reason for going down on it. I can’t count how many times my heart has done odd beats today alone.

This isn’t to mention that we have to move in less than a month. We probably won’t find anything that fast, not here. So the backup plan is to move in with his dad, who always rents certain rooms of the house. It wouldn’t be free and would be temporary. But I’m concerned about space issues; the kitchen is very small and also, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t feel comfortable touching anything there. I wouldn’t feel on a level playing field, you know? It wouldn’t be the same as finding roommates. I like his dad and I love the location, except it’s not that close to the public transport or grocery stores. But the area is beautiful and neighborhood feels fairly safe, which is important. But the space, again, would my stuff fit into the room? Would we put together my bed and wardrobe there, knowing it would be temporary? So many unknowns.

I knit for a while this evening. It was nice. I’m paranoid/ fairly certain that my bf’s roommate’s gf doesn’t like me. I don’t think I’ve done or said anything offensive, but yet she definitely doesn’t talk with me or make eye contact. I might just be being paranoid. Or she just doesn’t like me.

And should I care? Really? Of course I had an image in mind where the four of us get along and we can even watch a DVD together or some such thing that won’t happen in the next less than a month, but / Got distracted. I’ve been listening to, “Welcome to Night Vale” a lot lately. I’m relistening to an episode right now. I’ve been trying to sooth myself since I got upset earlier. Hence why I’m (finally) typing on here again, too.

I zoned out again. I took some anti-anxiety medicine just before starting to type, too. It must be kicking in now. Yay. I haven’t said what upset me. It was a single spoken sentence. Hmm. Maybe it was 2 sentences, or one sentece with a semi-colon. No matter. It’ll be sorted out tomorrow; I just didn’t want to deal with it tonight.

Kitty is so soft and sweet. Man did she get excited when I came out here to the sofa with my laptop. She’s kneading on me right now. But I’m winding down, and then she and the other kitty will have these rooms to themselves again.

I don’t really want to stop typing. The sound and spring of the keys is very soothing. But I do need to lay down and pretend to be sleeping until it becomes a reality. Well, goodnight all.

Woop, zoning out again. (Listening to Welcome to Night Vale). So. Goodnight, all. Kindly do not judge me or my life. Kindly remember I only come here when I’m upset or emotions run high for one reason or another. It is not a full and balanced view of my life. Etc etc. Goodnight, all.