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)

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. ūüôā

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.

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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.

Sometimes, I hate everything

Sometimes, I hate everything. Sometimes, I think things are great. Then BOOM. Kaboom. Crash. Explosions. Hatred and resentment.

And I DON’T trust that you have my best interests in mind. Then what.

You could have just TOLD me in the first fucking place, you know? So I don’t just grow more and more upset as the night goes on. So I don’t start building resentment and eventually explode and make a fool of myself yet again when I find out what’s actually going on. Why you don’t just fucking TELL me?

Communication sucks.

Sometimes, I hate people. I just hate people.

What I know is true is that since my divorce years ago, I find myself unable to forgive. Unable to stop suspecting the worst about people. Never letting my guard actually down.

You can be innocent but I will believe guilty until proven otherwise. Except, there is no proof that I’ll accept.

Everything’s fine

So, I’m pretty much back to my normal again. No mind loops of the past or anything like that. I’m studying for school again and going on walks. I’m still gardening. I’d like to practice music more frequently.

Image of a flying gull against a blue sky

Gull

Tomorrow, I will volunteer at the animal shelter and then go on a Pok√©walk with “Joe”. I think we will walk around a lake this time, instead of along the ocean. I haven’t been to that lake in a while, so it will be nice. I hope I can get myself out of bed and to the animal shelter. I’ve been having trouble with motivation. The route to the animal shelter is long and sometimes unpleasant because of the other people who ride that bus route. The vast majority of the people are fine, but sometimes the other people are not fine. At least I don’t avoid the Pok√©walks.

On Tuesday, I go again to the animal shelter and then to my psychologist. Although I’m basically my normal again already, I don’t know how I feel about this psychologist. I’m afraid to go. I’m afraid I’ll refuse to talk to him. I’m still upset, distrusting, and a little bit angry toward him. I suppose all of this resentment is just because he wouldn’t allow me to email him extra information — he wanted it all brought or said to shown to him in-person. It’s strange to me that I would take that so badly but it feels like he just doesn’t get it. (It = me, I guess)

Crab

Crab burying itself in the sand

I will soon be out of town. There is so much I need to take care of before I go, but I don’t have a consolidated list yet. I haven’t been able to remember everything in one sitting and don’t really know where all of my notes have gone off to. Hopefully I can get everything remembered and done before I leave.

So for the rest of today? My partner’s parents are both here and we’re about to eat pizza. I suppose the only chance I have of getting homework done today will be to do some after dinner. We got up very late today (because we got home from “Joe’s” b-day party very late last night). Then we made plum coffee cakes (his dad has his own plum tree), finished watching a TV show episode, and then went on a walk. The walk was my doing. We ended up completing a Pok√©monGO raid and taking over a gym. I hope that it will be easy for me to excuse myself after dinner, and focus well on studying for a few hours!

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 Pok√©walk 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.