At Least the Stormtroopers Aren't Coming to Get Me… yet.

Once, a long time ago, I told one of my “doctors” that Prozac was not helping me. For some reason, he decided to try me on some hard core crap. I can’t even remember the name of it, but that medication taught me all about side-effects. I guess some folks out there may have found them amusing. Me? not so much.

One evening, probably about 30 minutes after taking my medication, I left work. After stopping at the local shopping center (shit, are they even called that anymore?), I went about my drive home. I drove under a bridge and came to a stop at a traffic light. As I waited to turn left onto the expressway, I looked into my rear-view mirror.

I shit you not…

I saw a fucking Stormtrooper walking toward me, all business-like with his gun drawn. I mean, not that he’d have hit me or anything… But still… fuh-reeeeeeaky.

This is not The Dissy you are looking for.

I squeezed my eyes shut, shook my head, and looked again. As luck would have it, it was just a dude on a white crotch-rocket wearing a white jacket and a white helmet.

Fast forward to current times and current events…

When I advised my doctor (different from the doctor mentioned above) that I wanted to discontinue the Effexor, she told me she was going to prescribe something called Clonidine to help with side-effects.

Now, when I am prescribed a medication I’ve never heard of before, I go out of my way to dig up ALL the information I can find about it. You know… because I want to know if my arm hair is going to fall out, or if I’m going to grow some testicles from my belly button.

Luckily, the information only said they may cause some hallucinations.

I kind of thought that was bullshit until the other night.

I keep seeing movement around me. Shadowy figures and images. Usually, it’s just the screen door blowing in the breeze or the clock changing time, but for that minute, there is something in the room with me.

That aside, my mood has been excellent. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve been joyous one hundred percent of the time, but I’ve been able to cope successfully with things like anger, loneliness, sadness, and happiness.

I am, once again, experiencing pure, genuine laughter, and, thanks to a bit of flirtation, I am starting to notice other feelings returning. (“hello, lady parts, how you doin’?)

Everybody Loves Joey.

But… that’s where I am right now. Jumping at shadows and gladly interacting with myself again.

Wait What??

Right now, I just really wish I had some chocolate pudding. Jello brand, sugar free, and with the layer of vanilla in the middle.

The other day, I saw an offer someone was extending. For a nominal fee, the person in question will re-blog your blog. What the actual FUCK? I am not down with this in any way, shape, or form. I think it’s one of the purest forms of bullshit I have ever heard of.

“here’s my money, now re-blog my bullshit writing and ideas…”
OR
“I don’t have any money, so please skip over my well-written, thought-provoking blogs.”

Is this the state of blogging these days? The very thought kind of makes me want to barf.

Actually, it really makes me miss MySpace. I had a wonderful blog there. I had a huge following, and when I was shared, it was because people liked, admired, or respected what I had to say or because I had amused them, and the same applied when I shared someone else’s material.

Enough of that…

Day three of weaning off Effexor:

I feel like I’m sleeping a little better, and, emotionally, I feel pretty steady. I’d say “good,” but I feel a little flat. I’m still not falling into any pockets of despair, and I can bring myself “up,” but I sort of feel kind of dull. Maybe it’s because I had to be to work at 10 for a few hours of overtime.

Physically, I feel okay. I do get a dizzy spell here and there, and I get the brain jolts on occasion. I thought the vertigo was going to be more of a factor, as I got a pretty good case of that yesterday. It’s very mild today.

The nurse practitioner I was seeing (who initially prescribed the Effexor) said I was having a hard time sleeping because Effexor is partially a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, which means it will increase adrenaline in your system. It’s a sizeable difference I’m feeling with cutting the dose by so much. I’m sure it’ll continue to improve. I think that’s why I’m sleeping better, and I think it’s decreasing my anxiety.

I need to focus on finding natural ways to increase my energy. I need to get back into an exercise routine, and I need to make sure to eat well. Hopefully, the therapist and I can work out why I seem so neglectful of myself.

Today, I would continue to call this experience good. The telling times will be in about 5-10 days when PMS kicks in. muaaaahahahahahahaaaaa…

Tomorrow is Another Day

Yeah, yeah. I’m obsessed with Scarlett O’Hara. Well, maybe not obsessed, but she is definitely a resourceful woman, and I am infinitely inspired by resourcefulness. When I’m running at 100%, I fancy myself something of a resourceful gal.

Why, yes. Yes I should.

Anyhow, Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who are celebrating. Lupercalia blessings to those of you who may be celebrating that, as well.

And here we are at day two of the great Effexor detox. I’m definitely feeling it a little more. There are periods of dizziness and lightheadedness. I am also feeling a weird sort of fatigue in my muscles. So far, none of this is particularly bothersome. It’s just there.

I tried to meditate last night, but I kept yawning. I remember yawning a lot when I first started, so maybe that’s going to be a thing for a while.

Emotionally, I’m feeling a little strange. As a whole, I feel okay. At certain points, I feel bad, sad, or angry thoughts try to slip in, and then they just stop, and I’m back to my even-keeled feeling. It’s very strange, to me, because I usually have to put effort into feeling better when thoughts sneak in.

When I woke up, I spent some time petting my dog. Then I sang a song to her. In this song, I reach into her mouth and play with one of her teeth. She loves it. Anyhow, I got to thinking about what a good girl she is because she never bites me, and it reminded me of my ex’s dog and how I was trying to train her to be gentle with her teeth. That, of course, reminded me of the breakup fight. In the act of being a petty shitbag, he told me I was never allowed to touch the dog again. (I should point out that I’ve touched that dog a LOT since then (well, maybe not a LOT, but every time I have seen her, I touch her)). That made me cry for a minute because I loved that dog. It was relatively easy to cry, so progress is being made there.

My Daisy-Lou licked away my tears, climbed up on the mountain of pillows, and she sat on my head.

Bottom line? It’s a good day.

New Stuff and Things

Today, I woke up knowing that this was day 1 of weaning me off of my prescription of Effexor.

Prior to getting out of bed, I did all the usual things I do in the morning. My doggie loves wake up time. For her, that means she gets to roll around in the bed, slobber all over my face, and, then, for her crowning achievement, she climbs up on my mountain of pillows and sits on my head. Every morning. For me, this means giving her the time she deserves while hitting the snooze button exactly 3 times. No more, no less.

Eventually, Daisy-Lou and I got up and went downstairs. After she tore around the yard like the Tasmanian Devil, we went into the kitchen and she got her customary doggie treat for making piddles outside. Then I knew it was time to get down to business.

I’m not sure whether it sounds like it or not, but I’m actually pretty jazzed about doing this. I’m hoping it proves to be a successful decision I made and that it’s the beginning of a better time for me. I’m a bit ambivalent about the weaning period, as, per all my research, Effexor is the worst antidepressant to come off of, but I am committed to the process.

That being said, I pulled out the doctor’s instructions, and I got a little concerned.

My normal dose is a 100 mg pill three times daily, so a total of 300 mg a day.

My new prescription was for 25 mg. I’m to take 3 and a half pills a day for a week, then decrease by half a pill until I’m done. So I’m going immediately from 300 mg to 87 mg? Okay, doc. If you say so. I also took the other medication she prescribed to help with symptoms of withdrawl, Clonodine HCL.

Right now, all I feel is a little weird, and that could just be because I’m expecting to feel weird. My mood is steady, I’m not short fused, nor am I feeling overwhelmed.

Next Wednesday, I see my therapist. Won’t she be surprised. haha.

FYI: this blog is not medical advice. If you think you want to stop your antidepressants, do so under the instruction and supervision of the doctor who prescribed them to you.

The Other Side of the Hill

Without a ton of kicking and screaming, I went on ahead and turned 50 yesterday.

In all, I’d say it turned out to be a pretty swell day.

In all, I’d say I’m embracing this change. It appears to have been significantly more than my number of years increasing by one. I actually feel like I’ve leveled up in many ways. I feel ready to take over the world.

Since I’ve committed to sharing my mental health journey, I will share that I started yesterday off with a visit to my primary care doctor. She and I discussed weaning off of the Effexor I have been taking for about 2 years now. Many factors have gone into this decision, for me.

  1. I will chuckle if I’m amused by something, but I have not experienced uncontrollable laughter in 2 years, and I miss it. I will cry if something horrendous happens, but I also enjoy those tears that come during a movie or during those stupid Hallmark commercials.
  2. The circumstances that were contributing to my anxiety are no longer factors in my life. By and large, it was my old job that prompted me to look into medication. I have a new job, one that is devoid of the factors that caused my problems at my old job.
  3. Depression may still be a factor, and we shall see if it is, but I think I may be able to do this with just a therapist.
  4. I finally have found a primary care doctor who understands how trying it is to transition off of these pills and was willing to prescribe something to help with the anxiety and dizzy spells that are sure to come during the transition and while my body adjusts to the new reality.
  5. I sort of miss having a libido. For as small of an amount of a sex drive as I had, I really couldn’t afford to lose what Effexor took away. I mean, I’m not shopping for a new boyfriend any time soon (if ever), but it also sucks to have certain parts of yourself closed down prior to you being ready for that to happen. Maybe there’s a friend out there. A friend who is a friend and also puts out (damn… do I sound piggish, or what?). Maybe there isn’t. Who knows? The option to find out does need to be present, though.

Sure, I am completely open to being on medication again, down the road, if I need it. I’m just hoping that I can make positive changes on my own now. You know, with the help of licensed mental health professionals. During this process, it will be nice to laugh so hard that it makes my stomach muscles hurt and to cry over the way that movie or story turned out. Anyone who has known me for any length of time has to have noticed how flat I’ve been.

Anyhow… Fifty is here, and she is nifty. This is the absolute first time that turning any age has caused me to feel anything, and I’m glad it is a positive thing.

I hope it turns out that way for all of my friends who are entering this decade this year.

Have a good one!

None Left to Give

When I was out with my friend the other night, I mentioned Barb’s and my blog So… Your Friend is an Asshole. I said the writing wasn’t very gratifying because I still felt very censored.

See, there are a lot of things I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t say. For no other reason than that people may judge me.
Who is going to see it?
What will they think?
What will they say?

Can I handle unsolicited opinions and advice?
Am I too old and tired to explain it all when someone asks me?

Yesterday, I blogged about the Crone Sisterhood Circle I attended. We all talked about what cronehood meant to us. One of the ladies said something that really made an impact on me. “Crones are all out of fucks to give.”

Boy, isn’t that the truth? Because, guess what? I just realized that I ain’t got none (shitty grammar is for artistic purposes and should not be used to condemn me as a moron).

So let me tell you a thing or two.

This past year, I have been trying to process the ending of my relationship. I have tried to be the person everyone thinks I “should” be, but that just isn’t working for me. I’m sick and tired of feeling like “so and so won’t like me anymore if I don’t get over this quickly.” or “this person will think I’m weak if I cry after all this time.” “Being sad will make people feel like you’re ungrateful for the things they’ve done for you.”

Well, fuck it. I guess that’s their damage and not mine if things go down that way.

I’m pretty well past the “person” involved in the breakup, meaning, my ex. Growth, evolution, and change were not going to happen with me being there. I can’t spend the rest of my life bemoaning that.

So what’s going on now?

I’m lonely.

I miss being close.
I miss my head on a shoulder.
I miss kissing.
I miss laughing and those private jokes no one else will ever understand.
I miss making meals just for two or for the whole family when we were all together.
I miss music nights.
I miss surprise flowers.
I miss not having to drive.
I miss holding hands.
I miss being able to trust.
I miss human warmth.
I miss giving.
I miss singing stupid songs in the car about the dog we just drove past.
I miss the cows talking back to me.

So, there it is. What I have yet to process and get past, and here’s me talking about it because, I’m an old lady now, and I don’t care what anyone thinks about any of this.

Have a good Sunday night.

Boom Boom Boom

She said she thinks I’m a firecracker. If she only knew. I’m talking about my shrink, of course.

This was after she asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I communicated it quite clearly. Sure, lady, I have an idea and zero clues how to make it happen.

This clinic works on a 45 minute hour, and I suppose it would feel more helpful if I went more than once every two weeks. I do really like her, though.

This time, I was a little more down than I was last time. I guess I’m trying to decide if I’m doing that thing I always do… Usually, I act like I’m in better shape than I actually am so the therapist ends up wondering why I’m even there. It was my brilliant idea to go there, so why would I want to talk myself out of needing help?

I feel like this is going to be a slow process for a while. That’s okay, I suppose. I have time.

Later in the evening, I went to dinner with a friend. It’s amazing I even made it out of the house. This was supposed to happen last week, but my dog was sick, so I wanted to keep close to her in case I needed to take her to the emergency vet. I feel like I might have found another excuse to reschedule just because I’m so out of the loop and out of practice with the whole “going out” process that the thought of socializing gives me anxiety. Add to the mix that this isn’t a friend I see very often, and it’s the first time we’ve hung out without the rest of our mutual friends being there, and there’s a recipe for me to sit there looking like a deer in headlights.

Let’s just say I’m a teensy bit of an awkward person. Well… I guess that’s what pina coladas are for. It does make one wonder, though, when and why this shit started happening. I’ve never been a particularly awkward person before. I’m not the best with small talk, but, hey, I probably wouldn’t be hanging out with this friend if I felt like that was an expectation.

“Let’s talk about the weather.”
“Let me choke you with this bowl of tortilla chips.”

I have a few friends coming over on Tuesday for my birthday. That felt like the right thing to do. I think I might make a cake, too. I want a damn cake, and I don’t want anyone to go buy me one because, unless it’s NY style cheesecake from Giant Eagle, it will be wrong, and I rang in my birthday last year with cheesecake, and, while it was wonderful, I really just want some regular, normal cake.

So, I’m basically just rambling on now trying to take up time at work. It’s slow here. I’d better stop rambling, though. Along with small talk, that’s another thing I’m not especially fond of.

Til we meet again.