Tag Archive: effexor


Dialing back the meds

Just a quick note, I started at 75mg Effexor on Sunday.  I had been at 150mg.  I’m a little worried about dialing back right now because, in the time since I began seriously considering this change, I have fallen into a little bit more of a funk than I had been.  I haven’t really felt like cooking for days.  But I am going to go ahead and try this, supplementing with yoga and meditation.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga is proving to me just how pathetic my upper body strength is.  I think my arms are okay, but my chest muscles are woefully underdeveloped.  I spent about 10 minutes on a 30 minute “Intermediate” level video and had to quit.  My arms are still trembling.  This will be good for me.

addendum

I neglected to mention last night that I had forgotten to take my drugs the day before (Wednesday).  I took them as usual on Thursday and, which it was kind of a rough day, I kind of thought my body chemistry had reached equilibrium by late yesterday afternoon.  Since I’m feeling fine this morning I’m inclined to think that the whole mess last night was just more withdrawal/fucked up brain chemistry.

 

I freakin’ hate these drugs.

Withdrawal dreams

I had a lot of dreams last night/this morning featuring SMF. Or maybe it was one long dream. The details are, of course, hazy. There was moving some junk around from place to place (uncomfortable amount to carry in my arms but not enough that I couldn’t manage) — I think from mom’s house to mine or vice versa, but it all had the grubby, unkempt feel of Bentley Place before the carpet came up, some kind of party and/or wedding, a game of some kind involving cupcakes and glass marbles on a beach. All throughout my mood fluctuated erratically. I felt SMF kept trying to be all buddy-buddy and I just wanted some room, just wanted him and his friends to go away and leave me in peace for a while.

It’s most difficult for me to interpret dreams that feature people or scenarios that I still have conflicted feelings about in my conscious reality. After all, I do want SMF to leave me alone and stop behaving as though we’re buddies or something. I keep thinking, why did he feel compelled to text me when his GF sprang that breakup on him? Surely he has closer, better friends. Surely he could have texted his good male friend who also recently went through a breakup. Instead of me. So when feelings like that show up in my dreams too I have trouble determining whether I should take it on its face or whether it’s referring to something else and the familiar characters only showed up for impact.

I think to some extent these dreams might have been kind of fucked up mainly because I didn’t take any meds yesterday. I meant to pick up a refill on Saturday and irresponsibly opted not to. So yesterday and today and am sans medication, something I intend to remedy after work today. I have considered the possibility that I might not even make it through a full day of work but I’m hoping that the extended release drugs might be lingering enough to get me through to 5:00. That, plus some small amount of exercise this morning, a little meditation and doing the pauses as I’ve scheduled them will, hopefully, be enough. But we’ll see. It’s not even 9:30 yet.

So reading in to these particular dreams would probably not gain me much. If it’s mostly my body and brain reacting to the sudden lack of venlafaxine HCL, it won’t really reveal much about my actual state of mind. I do want to ask SMF about his texting me about the breakup, but at the same time it may not be a great idea to start that kind of conversation when I’m in danger of encountering some pretty severe withdrawal sometime today. So I’ll shelve that for now, save it for tomorrow or a couple days from now, when I’m back up to the normal levels.

I want to talk to my MD about weaning myself off the meds. Last time I tried unsupervised and it didn’t go so well. So when I go in for my annual in a few months I intend to bring it up and get her to send a new prescription so I can work down the dosage. Over a longer period this time.

Why I stay indoors

I just got rejected.

Not really.  Not in reality.  But in my head, it feels like rejection.

Basically, I had told New Friend (a while back) that I would be interested in pursuing a “more-than-friends” type dealie if he was.  Honestly, I didn’t feel anything for him at the time and I still don’t now.  In fact, were it not for the couple of things we have in common we probably would not hang out at all.  If he gets a girlfriend to spend lots of time with, I’m off the hook.  What I mean is, I don’t think we really enjoy each other’s company that much.  He’s horrible for conversation, which is one thing I absolutely must have, and his taste in movies is mediocre at best.  I’m not saying all these things just to make myself feel better — though it is helping — these are things I have been aware of all along.  But because being around a single man who is moderately attractive kind of stirred up some of my hormones, I made that declaration back when.  I have many times wished to rescind it.  Actually every time we hang out I think, “man, would it be rude to take it back?”

Today he texted me and said “blah blah blah, you said you were interested back when, I value you as a good friend” (what? if we’re good friends he’s seriously hurting for actual good friends) “so I want to let you know I met this girl, yadda yadda.”  The good thing is, it gave me the opportunity to say, “nono, you misunderstood. it’s ok. srsly.”  The bad thing is, my body is shaking (only a little) and I feel a bit like crying.  I feel rejected.

What do I do with this?  I know it’s irrational, I know I didn’t even want him.  So I don’t really understand why my brain is creating these unhappy responses.  I DO NOT want to talk with my therapist about this.  I suppose it’s not really worth it for me to keep paying her if I don’t feel comfortable talking about things like this.  The things that illustrate some of my core dysfunctions.  I think it’s not so much that I don’t feel comfortable talking with her about it.  I don’t want to. I don’t want to develop an action plan.  I just want a hug.  I want a friend, dammit!

I guess maybe that’s part of it.  I knew NF and I weren’t compatible, that I don’t even really like his company all that much, but if he were interested in me that would be at least something.  It would have meant I was valuable to at least one person other than my mom.  Valuable enough to call up and say “hey, let’s hang out” every now and then.

I’m a little fucked up today anyway because I forgot to take my meds yesterday. Woke up depressed.  Had breakfast, took meds.  Started to feel a bit better.  Cried a bit. Felt a bit better.  Then I started to feel dizzy and nauseous.  Haven’t gotten a thing done today because I ended up having to lie down for a bit.  When I woke up I felt like a had a brick in my stomach.  Still do.  Did I mention I’ve been shitting weeks’ worth of feces this weekend?  Let’s hear it for chronic constipation.  But I felt a little better emotionally, at least.  Then NF sent me that text and I’m…. well, not back where I was, but still.

I think I can’t really trust my reaction today.  Emotions started off wrong, body’s all fucked up.  I’ll try to reanalyze tomorrow.  Today I just want a fucking hug.

Fear, agitation, self-loathing. I keep tearing at my cuticles.  I forgot to pick up my prescription on Saturday and the pharmacy is closed on Sundays.  I had 1 capsule left.  So I chose not to take any today.  More important to keep it together on a work day.  Still it’s hard.  I think I was dipping into a more depressed phase anyway, but it’s definitely not been a good day.  All the old familiar feelings come back.  The hatred of the pills.  Resentment that I rely on them.

I am trying to remind myself that this is skewed, that I probably wouldn’t feel this way if I had taken my drugs.

I don’t mean to be a shut-in but I don’t know what else to do.  Got no friends.  Ugly, fat.  I know I’m not really either but I feel that way.  Double chin, yellow teeth.  Can’t breathe.

 

What am I supposed to do?  Almost 30 and I’m living with my mother.  Sure it’s only temporary but still.  What am I supposed to think of myself??  There’s no one to hate for it… I know you only did what you could.  You shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.

 

Just self-pitying now.  Don’t want to go to work in the morning.  Though when do I.

 

I want to tear off my skin and find a decent person underneath.  I want to be someone different.  Someone unreal.

 

I’m so tired of me.

Status update

I’m gonna be upfront and admit that as of beginning this post I have had 2 mojitos, which in this house means at least a shot and a half of rum each time.  Which is enough to get me pretty tipsy so I make no guarantees as far as grammar and spelling go.

Randomly, and right after BF left to hang with a friend, I felt the urge to masturbate, and helped myself along with some good old-fashioned smut.  Haven’t done that in a while, it was… well, I can’t say “fulfilling” but nice nonetheless.  I should point out that my libido is usually in the negatives (I blame the Effexor) so this is quite an occasion.

It feels too much like a Friday to be Thursday.

I think, since my last session with my therapist, we have decided to slow down the pace a little.  At first I seemed very capable and fairly healthy (?), but the last 2 or 3 sessions have been harder, like I’m slipping back into some of the old patterns, or just crashing into the same old walls I always run into eventually.  I think it kind of surprised her, the other week, when I was so much more fragile than usual.

This tends to happen periodically.  It’s like the wave of self-help crests and falls, and for a while I’m back to fighting myself again.  But it’s OK, really.  Right now (I feel tipsy, remember), I feel able to face these issues, this low self-esteem and whatever else.  The more moments like this that I have, the easier it will be for me to remember this feeling when it matters.

Kitty is totally kneading my side.  Ow.

Generic update

I forget if I mentioned before that I went to see a homeopathist (I hesitate to say “doctor” because I am certain she’s not an MD) a few months ago.  My mom was telling me about her positive experience with the homeopathic treatment: her argument was, well, nothing else has really worked, so what the hell, why not try it?  So I’m following her example and giving it a try for 1 year.  So far, results are inconclusive.  I am still seeing a therapist weekly and taking my effexor (like a good girl) so it’s hard to attribute any “success” to one thing or another.  I don’t feel substantially better than before, I don’t think, but maybe a little.  That’s still up in the air.

I deleted my Facebook last Sunday during my intense sadness.  I miss it a little, but not lots.  I miss that sharing, that feeling that maybe people are paying attention to me.  Even though they probably aren’t.

Been OK overall this week.  Root canal went smoothly (did I mention the root canal last post?), workweek was fine.  Last night BF went to hang with friends and I reclined on the sofa, examining my abdominal fat.  That I have so much of it really disgusts me.  I can grab it with my fist like it’s a hunk of raw meat, it’s that big and substantial.

I believe that if I dedicate myself to 1) breathing exercises 2) daily exercise and 3) improving my digestive health I will be able to mostly solve my abdominal issues.  I believe strongly that these problems are a symbol of my other emotional issues, that as my emotional situation improves, I will become better able to address the physical problems.  But there has to be a balance, because I don’t think I will really experience a sense of wellbeing unless I can get through a day without “sucking it in” — which means dealing with my breathing and getting my abs in at least slightly better shape.

Mission failure

I took 37.5mg Effexor twice today, once at breakfast, once at lunch.

From the last post to last night I have become increasingly aware of just how fragile I am right now.

I’m trying to stay positive about it which should be much easier since I’m taking an antidepressant again.

 

I just began to notice over the course of the last few days that my typing at home is awful, I’m always missing keys, even putting in the wrong punctuation.  At work it’s not bad, I would call it “fair,” but once I get home it’s a mess.

 

I don’t really have any other thoughts right now.

TIDAL WAVE

Today I am crying at EVERYTHING.  I’m serious.  Think about “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Tears.  Reread bits of “A Christmas Carol.” Tears.  I don’t feel sad in a conventional sense but I Can’t seem to Stop Crying.

I know it’s bad to say this, but I really don’t want BF to know.  I don’t think I can really hide, it though, not if this keeps up all day.  It’s a really small duplex we live in, and my face gets unmistakably blotchy when I’ve been crying.  Why don’t I want him to know?  Good question.  Mostly because he wants an explanation for things like that, because it kind of freaks him out.  He doesn’t understand depression at all.  He thinks there has to be a reason for it.  Our conversations when I am feeling depressed are never productive.  He gets frustrated, I get frustrated, nothing comes of it.  And I hate for him to worry.  He doesn’t know what to do with worry.  He feels like he should be able to do something to help me in some way, and I’m not sure there is anything he can do.

I am trying to breathe deeply to keep from getting sobby again.  The story after “A Christmas Carol” in this big old Book Of Christmas that’s been in my custody since before dad died is one by Truman Capote about a little boy and his “best friend,” a lady in her 60s who’s “simple-minded,” as they might say.  Totally blindsided me, and I was already weepy from reading the Dickens story.

 

Is this really what I am without the medication?  It’s so hard for me to know!!  Am I still going through this withdrawal period where things are just weird with my body and I just have to ride it out for a little while?  Or is this me, plain unmedicated me.  The idea that I am this affected when I thought I had made so much progress is really upsetting.

A dear, dear friend who unfortunately lives on the opposite coast sent me this message after I announced to my Facebook “friends” that I was off the meds:  “you are amazing, and I am really impressed that you are trying. there is no such thing as ‘failing’ in this case though, so if you find it isn’t working for you then you are the one calling the shots, and determining what works best for you. <3 Definitely sending some extra supporting, loving thoughts your way!”

I miss her a great deal.  And my mom is out of town, so I literally have no one it feels Safe to share this tumult with.

 

I started thinking about my father the last few days.  On the 27th it will be the 2nd anniversary of his death.  I was already on Effexor when he died, so this is the first time since then that I have felt his loss without the support of an SNRI.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been so affected lately.  This season will probably always be bittersweet — from right around Christmas to his birthday on January 23rd, a month of mourning each year.  It doesn’t seem fair, but I guess that’s what happens when someone you dearly love dies.

I don’t think my tears are entirely related to dad, though.  I was feeling fragile even before I started thinking about him.  I think it’s more like, my mind is desperately trying to find a reason for the tears.  An excuse, or something.  But maybe there is no reason, not a real source of the sadness.  Maybe it’s just a violent backlash by my body against cutting off that drug.  Or maybe it really is just what I am without that support.  Like if you take the rings off the necks of those ladies whose necks are stretched long.  They simply haven’t the support without those rings, and their necks collapse.  !! how painful that must be!

 

Going to do a bit of deep breathing and try to calm myself down.  I do think it’s important to feel what I am feeling, but I’d really like to avoid a full-on freakout if possible.

Bit of a downward turn

There are some things I have noticed over the course of this week that have me a little disheartened.  In the first place and most prominent (to me) is how fragile my psyche is, how susceptible to sudden change.  For example, I have almost cried at least once every day on the way to work and once on the way home, brought on by some story or other on NPR.

Second is the constant shivering, which may have little to do with withdrawal and lots to do with a climate in transition and the fact that it’s either too cold or too hot both at work and at home.  Regardless, my spine aches from being constantly tense and shivery.

Third is the sick feeling which, while not incapacitating by any stretch, has prevented me from taking my vitamins nearly every morning this week.  I have just felt too sick to my stomach to take any pills.  I can eat alright, but by the time I remember to take anything it’s been too long since I ate and I don’t trust that I won’t vomit it right back up.  It’s a feeling I associate with stress, which is only fair, as I guess my body is probably pretty stressed out.

I feel like I have gained some weight over the last few months and that brings me down a bit as well.

I do have this feeling that so much of my physical and emotional issues are built up in my abdomen.  I suffer from chronic constipation, cramping/spasms, sour stomach, often connected with emotional stress in my life.  I have never exercised, yet I am not in bad shape overall.  Except my abdomen.  It’s like this big ugly blob that is a physical manifestation of everything in my life that I can’t control or can’t seem to get right, or just seems too hard to fix.  I often imagine ripping it off, like pulling a wedge from an orange.  As though such a violent action would solve the underlying issues.

I remember what fat looks like from doing dissections in school; I have especially vivid memories of giving a frog a liposuction, essentially.  I don’t want to talk about it too much because the person I am now can’t bear the thought of dissection, and remembering being that person who could do such a thing has me tearing up.  But the fat, the fat is what I remember, and so I can very easily imagine what this belly of mine looks like under the skin.  It is vile and disgusting and I hate it.

 

What all this boils down to is that my behavior is leaning towards depressed, which, as I noted in the opening paragraph, is really disheartening.

 

I do have to give myself some credit, though!  I have made it through this whole week on no medication whatsoever and have had to rely on my own power to steer myself away from the kinds of unproductive negative thinking that is so easy to fall into.

When I told my therapist (brand new, only 4 sessions in) on Wednesday that I had gone off the medication (to be fair, I did tell her about my plan when I began seeing her) she seemed… concerned, I might say.  I suppose it does seem a little odd to decide almost simultaneously that going back to therapy and going off medication were both good ideas I wanted to pursue immediately.

Ohh my, I am feeling so sleepy.  And I kind of want to cry because this is obviously going to be much harder than I thought at first.  And I want to cry because I keep shivering and it’s frustrating that I can’t seem to stop!!  And I want to stop being able to smell myself when I sit indian-style because it makes me nervous, like there’s something irreversibly wrong with my body.

 

Sit and meditate, do some deep breathing, and see if that helps.