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: 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).

Weaning off Lexapro: Day 2

Mostly blue sky, a hint of ocean, and a piece of tree

Beautiful blue

Today:

  • 15mg Lexapro, in the morning (with usual thyroid med)
  • 1 fish oil capsule, 1 magnesium-something-or-other-vitamin
  • Some exercise (walking)
  • 10mg Prozac, before dinner

Symptoms:

  • Actually, I had moments of happiness. Maybe I am very excited about this process
  • I did get angry at one point but not more than I have on previous days. It didn’t last long, which is unusual for me
  • I still have cramps (unrelated)
  • By around 4pm, I started to feel light-headed and a little dizzy. By 6pm, I took the Prozac because it was just getting worse and I was at a dinner party at my Uncle’s house with family and I wanted to feel okay. It worked very rapidly.

Alas, the dinner party started out fantastic. My brother told some growing-up stories I hadn’t heard before and they were amazing. I haven’t laughed that hard in AGES. But it ended with an ugly twist. I’m not sure if my uncle was just drunk or frankly, I believe, high. I don’t know. But he did say some very odd things, even for him, and for a while talked a lot about race and made someone at the table feel wretched and she left for a while and when returned, had been crying. Nobody knew what to do. It had been such a fun evening before things got weird.

Also, I didn’t study very much and tomorrow is my final. I’m probably going to fail. Since it feels hopeless, I find that I don’t care about it as much as I should. :/

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.

Poem: Déjà Vu

Fear reverberates through my bones
An old déjà vu tugs its way toward me.

A feeling. A taste. A sound.
So familiar and yet…

Through soft air and dying leaves, I fall
Spiraling down toward the earth
To cover it in a downy white blanket.

Where is this?
Who am I?



 

Is this hunger?
Will I claw my eyes from their sockets to escape this feeling?
I can’t be here, not after so many years and countries have passed.
The blood runs shallow beneath my skin.

Be careful. The ice is thin and rotten
and nobody will hear your vocalizations
your desperation
Your cry for help.

Very nice professor!

I spoke with my professor after class today. I have him for two classes — one is a daytime class and I always attend and stay caught up and try to participate when I can. The other is a night class and my attendance has been terrible. Not just terrible — but often I don’t show up, and all other times I show up late. (Until last week) I have been staying caught up at home but then avoiding going to class anyway. This is because it’s a night class and across the city. It doesn’t take any longer to get there than to get to my usual classes, but mentally it’s much  harder. And I’ve been getting anxious about it days in advance. Basically from one class to the next. If I think about the subject, I’m fine. If I think about the professor, I’m fine. If I think about the location, not fine. If I think about the time of night, not fine. And my boyfriend has even been meeting me after he gets off of work and taking the bus back home with me. Plus I have two friends in the class (that’s why I thought it might be okay to take this class in the first place). But no. Every Wednesday comes and I feel completely incapable of going. It’s more like just lie on my bed and try to conserve energy for the night class, and feel more and more anxious all the while.

Anyway, so I spoke with my professor about it and he says that he can see I try hard and am a good student. He’ll be fine with me NOT attending the class in-person anymore! I can do all of the work at home and submit it, and come to his normal office hours when I need help!!!!! I wanted to give him a hug. For the day of our final, he is going to be on my normal campus, I can hang around there for a bit and then take the bus with him straight to the night class. So I won’t be trying to travel alone in the evening, and will get to the final on time! Yay!!! That is pretty darn amazing.

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.