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 72, 73

Dramatic, dark clouds with light highlights and patches of blue sky, plus a gull

Clouds from Monday’s walk

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • B12, sublingual
  • Multivite, chewable
  • Exercise: walking

Symptoms:

  • Some acid reflux
  • Instant crankiness
  • Feel like life is out of control
  • Tired

Journal Items:

  • I had something on Monday, I had something on Tuesday, I have something today (a primary care doctor appointment that I wish I could put off for another few months), and I have something tomorrow evening
  • I finished the book I was reading for fun
  • Pokémon Go keeps me busy and moving around outdoors and interacting with people
  • I’ve started a new class that is going to be very, very full of important information. It’s a very central class and the reading is dense. I’m not even through the first chapter yet.

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 8 + 9

Blue sky with white, streaky cloud in late afternoon, with ocean water on a bit of sand

Two years ago-ish, which is hard to believe

8th Day:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • fish oil, mulit-vite
  • minimal exercise (walking)

9th Day:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • Update: fish oil

Symptoms:

  • I am still SO TIRED. It is less than 2 days ago, but still very bad. It’s not lack of sleep (although it could be lack of REGULAR schedule)
  • Not in a very talkative mood, which is hard since my schedule involves A LOT of human interaction last week/this week
  • My fingertips are kind of tingly, like very mild zappies
  • Update: Cranky / IN A SECRETIVE MOOD

Additional:

  1. So my partner is injured as of late, and can’t walk without assistance. I think that has hampered my own exercising. Perhaps I should go out on a bicycle ride right now.
  2. Listen, Friday night, dinner with bf and friend. Sat. night dinner with bf, his folks, and their friends. Sun. night dinner with bf, my brother, his gf, and his friends. Tonight, dinner with bf and his parents. And I’ve had NO PRIVACY FOR A WEEK. You don’t have to know me super well to know that I’m trying to withdraw into a dark cave but people find me there anyway.
  3. And, I’m doing this withdrawing from Lexapro thing. And I’m not really sure it’s going well, with how damn tired I am and withdrawn from wanting to talk to anybody.
  4. Plus, it’s Christmas time. Hanukkah is celebrated here, and Christmas, in a way. My mom sent me a box but it made me kind of sad because I could tell she put in a lot of things that she hoped bf’s parents would like. I always open her box in private, hoping it’s something special between the two of us, but since I’ve been living here, it’s always like jams and stuff that she hopes bf’s folks will like. I only like 2 kinds of jam and I buy them from a store and nobody else likes them so they’re just mine. I’ll talk to her about it at some point, but I don’t want it to be right now because then she might feel guilty for the box, and I don’t want that. I put it off last year, too, and then forgot to ever bring it up, and now we’re in this situation again.
  5. Not as if it’s the same as being there. We always ski together on Christmas day. That’s our family thing. We have breakfast together and then we ski.
  6. I’ve been studying better again lately, so now I’m less sure about my plan for next semester (going back to the city college, working again as a tutor, etc.)
  7. Nope, I can’t go bicycling now. They want to watch more Dirk Gently and will go insane if I postpone it because it’s already been postponed every day for a week.
  8. I’ll lift some little weights instead. And do some crunches. And a push-up, if I’m strong enough.
  9. “Next year” I’ll do my own Christmas celebrations. It’s just never the same as you get older, you know? You have traditions as a child. Then you grow up and everyone else’s traditions interfere with your own. I’m lacking the “quiet reflection” part of it, and the connection with the outdoor, natural world (as if there’s such a thing here in a city??? Fuck)
  10. Update: Thinking of positive things I’ve experienced that any potential child of mine could never, ever experience, like the being put on the shuttle for hours by one set of relatives and ending up at the other end with another set of relatives. But in the meantime, spending all of those hours to myself, listening to my walkman and watching out the window, and day dreaming. But my relatives aren’t spread in such a way for that to work, anymore.

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 7

Water's surface on a gray day

Water on a gray day

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro, norm. thyroid meds
  • Multivite, fish oil capsule
  • Hardly any exercise (walking)

Symptoms:

  • NOT IN A TALKATIVE MOOD except with my boyfriend
  • VERY tired

I cannot be sure if my mood and exhaustion are from the withdrawal or from my period starting.

I’m not sure I can handle this weekend. Tonight, a friend was over and my bf, myself, and the friend ate out together. Tomorrow, there is a dinner party here with bf’s mom’s friends. It is so hard to distance myself from helping with cooking in times like this. But I do not want to help cook. I would chew off my limb to avoid cooking. Then on Sunday, another dinner party, this time w/my bro and his gf. I need to pick up some things for it. My bf wants to make cookies rather than me purchase something, but he’s injured right now and I’m too damn tired to make cookies. I know I will be cleaning the whole downstairs before the dinner party; that doesn’t bother me. If I’m asked to help with cooking, though, it will be one more inflation to my balloon body that is already set to explode.

I just need to re-adjust my thinking. Remember, it’s “the holidays”. They’re supposed to be stressful. It’s not all relaxing and fun and games and sacred, peaceful moments of thoughtful reflection and prayer, like when you were a child (I was very spiritual although nobody else in my family was or knew).

Topic: Ear Protection = Bliss

I highly recommend buying ear protection if you have any noise sensitivity. I don’t know what they’re called. They look like giant headphones but they’re for things like shooting ranges. I wear them all the time now. I wear them on the bus, I wear them when washing dishes, I wear them when vacuuming. I wear them when studying and it increases my focus by about a million (but the starting bar was pretty low).

The only issue that I experience is when removing them. Sometimes I get seriously cranky and I just want everyone around me to whisper. Why is life so loud and painful?

These ear protection headphone things don’t block everything out. I’m not listening to silence. It just dims everything way, way down. It’s heavenly.

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.

Squirrel

Squirrel

Well, here I go. I’ll be away from the computer for a couple of weeks. I spent the entire day yesterday attempting to pack but it was overwhelming. Executive function for the … not win. Came in 200th, perhaps?

Anyway, I found a group of people that plays PokémonGO, so when I get back, I’ll be able to meet up with more people for the level 4 raids. Very exciting. Real, human people. I met them the other day and they gave me a plushie Pokéball because they had extra. I like this. They had a bag of battery packs on the ready in case anyone needed one. They’re prepared.

I need to stop picking at my acne. Bandaids are in play. The pictures are going to look awful.

One main issue outstanding: I never signed the paperwork over for my pony. If I die on this trip, there will be some contention over ownership, and that’s not what I want. I should at least write a non-legally-binding letter letting people know my intention to transfer her my pony.

Everything else? If I die, I don’t believe there is anything else that would be difficult to clear up. So, I just need to write out my letter of intention and I’ll be good to go on this trip with perhaps lighter shoulders.

Cheers, all.