Oct 212017
 

It’s the middle of the night as I write this. Despite falling asleep around 10ish, which is our usual weekend bedtime, I jolted awake feeling overheated and paranoid about the mosquito loose somewhere in the room even though M “locked it” in the closet. If I know there is a mosquito, I will not sleep as I could swear that I also heard buzzing in my ear. With no way to turn on the light or possibly kill it, I gave up on sleeping for now….

My fingers are crossed that the buzzing in my head will stop by the end of the weekend or early next week. It is hard to explain what it feels like, but sometimes I wonder if this is how patients feel after an electrical shock treatment. It occasionally makes me dizzy and definitely challenges any desire to walk around or move my head at all. If I really thought about it long enough, I am sure there are some yoga poses I could do to help the situation, but it is hard enough for me to focus my mind on one thing long enough to remember what it is I am doing….

I have noticed a massive mood disruption. My people tolerance has gone down – I didn’t even know that was possible…! M and I have had small quibbles and one big one of late. Old response are hard to break…. Although I am aware of these things after some thought, in the moment I am suddenly unable to pause and control what comes out of my mouth. The fuse is shorter at the moment.

Hopefully, this is just part of the stabilizing process and reconnection with my own control over my responses to others. Clearly I need to do more serious meditation and exercise to counteract whatever is currently going on with my mental faculties.

Anyway, step 1 is knowing. Step 2 is accepting. Step 3 is action….

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 182017
 

Day 4 – chemical free with the help of a break from the grey and falling spit from the sky.

Yesterday was foggy both in my mind and in the weather. It continues to get colder day-by-day, but with the sun in the sky my heart warms today. It is not clear whether it is the lifting of the fog in my head or the fall climate that is affecting me, but really it does not matter – my own mind is returning.

I can definitely feel the difference. It actually makes me happy to know that my mood is no longer being controlled by chemical aid. While I sense the ups and downs happening much more acutely than before, I am actually reveling in the ‘crazy’. πŸ˜›

Actually, it gives me a chance to reflect on myself again and to get a new handle on how to control my impulses. The good news is that the fog is lifting inside even if it only worsens outside. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 302017
 

These days we are so into being ‘busy’ and complain about how we must surely be more ‘tired’ and ‘stressed’ than everyone else. In competing for the worst life situation, we create personalities that never learn how to relax and rest.

As an introvert, this is nearly impossible to maintain.

Luckily, being regularly considered odd and somewhat ‘eccentric’ provides me the luxury of using it to my advantage. This means that I work a little bit hard most of the time, now and then I also work extremely hard at resting.

Yesterday was one of those days. Although I still did some housework, I basically rested in bed all day watching TV shows on my iPad. I slept as I felt necessary. I ate when I felt hungry. I drank what I wanted as the mood moved me. By the end of the day I was refreshed and ready to rejoin the world.

On the outside, the time looks completely unproductive and worthless. However, on the inside, it was an amazing time spent in my company according to my own desires.

One thought that did come to me are some decisions regarding my mental health, so starting next week, I will be putting myself onto a regular yoga and meditation schedule with the goal of starting to come off my meds. Although I thought that I would wait until the end of the year, there is a nagging voice in my head saying that if I have good mental health and practice, I do not need chemical help. So, I feel it is time to walk the talk. πŸ˜€

So, these days of rest are extremely vital and I shall regularly schedule them in from now on!

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 282017
 

Two days before the darkest days of my life started I began a new round of anti-depressants because as I had written, I was considering it based on my up and down moods.

Luckily, they kicked in on the day that I had to cope to distract me from the reality of our situation. It has now been just over a month and I definitely notice the change this time around.

While others around me are extremely emotional or responsive to things, I am not so affected.

In yoga philosophy, we often discuss a state of “detachment” which is described as not having emotion one way or the other as a reaction to life happening around us. Some who are not ready for such a thing imagine being a robot without emotion and despise the idea of it. Others, like me, crave it because I am a bit desensitized, which is good being a fairly sensitive person to my surroundings.

I truly sense my detachment toward results, other people’s behavior, etc. It does not mean that I am emotion-less, but just that I am not taken into extreme moods so easily. I also recognize when I need to keep my mouth shut because the emotional response I might get is not really worth it.

When I took these anti-depressants before, I did not know what to expect or what to look out for. However, this time I am definitely more aware of the effects on me.

Some side effects, though, are that I am much more tired than usual. So, now like an old lady I need an afternoon nap and I sleep a great deal more at night than usual. Of course, this might be stress as well since it is not yet over. However, I can also feel my head zapping now and then…. Thankfully, my headaches are no more.

So…although I do not plan to stay on them for too long, I am glad I decided to go back on them again especially during our crisis. No doubt I might have gone to some other extreme had I not started them. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Jun 192017
 

When my husband makes a point of telling me that I am constantly seeming grumpy or on edge and then have these bouts of “weirdness” where I am overly silly and happy, then I take a step back to consider the validity of his comments.

Although never formally diagnosed as depressed or bipolar according to labels, my therapist some years back allowed us to call myΒ moments as ups and downs. While I appreciate the lack of labels and freedom from a box, it does also make it difficult to explain to others what happens to me in these up and down cycles.

I came across this website yesterday when I was contemplating whether or not to go back onto medication temporarily given that I have no control over our current situation and that maybe it would help to take the meds just until life is a bit more settled…. What I found was this list ofΒ red flags for the author and thought to myself…hm…this just might be me!! πŸ˜›

In fact, I think it has been me for some time and perhaps I should have seen it coming a while ago…?

Even though my husband does not quite appreciate the label and tries to minimize what I am experiencing by saying “I think we are all a bit bipolar” or “I get this way too”, I try to take it as his way of empathizing with the fact that this may be a reality.

Looking at our current or recent circumstances, it is no wonder that I have not really gone to the extremes since everything suggested on this website is how I try to live life in the best of circumstances. Factor in the chaos that has surrounded us and now I can stop wondering why I prefer to binge watchΒ The Keepers (just one episode left!) all day yesterday rather than try to go out or see anyone….

So, I have not yet made a decision about the meds. I do have them already and know what to do – just not sure I am ready to go that route again…though it wasn’t a bad thing before and sometimes just having a little extra help can make a big difference…. We shall see…I should probably seek counseling, but that would require funds that we do not have and thus continues the spiral that spins me around up and down and around and around….

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 302013
 

So, it has now been over a week since I have been completely off the Cipralex.

I must say I definitely have gone through ups and downs; however, I cannot say for sure how much was the decrease or how much was the events around me. In general, I feel pretty good.

One interesting and annoying side effect I have had is zaps of dizziness. There is no pain to speak of, but I will suddenly get this rush past the front of my brain that sounds like a zzzaaaappp and then I’ll feel dizzy for a moment. Some days it happens a lot and others less. When I am more tired, I notice it more. I do hope that it will pass soon, though.

It is possible that I will start to struggle soon with my ups and downs, but am hoping that the routines and structure I have in place now will keep me focused on staying balanced in the middle. We shall see.

That’s my update and last one for a while on the Cipralex. It was good to be on it for the past nine months and it is possible that I will go on it again in the future. However, I am hoping that I can maintain a balance without it as I see how the side effects can be less beneficial over time. πŸ™‚

-T πŸ˜€

Dec 172013
 

This week starts my 5mg run and next week I will be completely off the Cipralex for the first time since March. Nine months is pretty good, even though I had said a year. It is interesting how much changes in a short span.

The past couple of weeks I have been extremely energetic and quite happy. Sometimes I scare R in the morning with my ‘joy’. I really do feel good, though I am starting to get a little bit tired since I have been doing a lot in the early hours – all before the day even really begins. Still, I feel like there is true positive energy coming out of me.

At the same time, I am journaling every day to stay on the watch for the signs that this is an extreme high and the extreme low may come. I am hoping that will not happen and that if this wears off, I will at least be able to maintain control so that the low never fully hits. So, we will see.

In any case, there is nothing wrong with being happy and productive!

-T πŸ˜€

Dec 102013
 

I think I mentioned that I decided to go off the Cipralex since winter holidays are coming up soon and I can kind of see how I react without the stress of work added. Last week I was on 15mg instead of 20mg. I think I felt a slight change, mostly in my sleeping, but in general I still feel quite good. So, now I am switching to 10mg this week and shall see how half dosage goes.

R has been warned and asked to keep a watch to see how/if my behavior changes as I decrease. If I become too rattled again, then that is a sign to think about going back on. I am really hoping that what I have learned from Karen will keep me focused so that I do not need the meds. We shall see!

-T πŸ˜€

Dec 032013
 

It dawned on me the other day that I cannot remember the last time that I felt so good physically and even mentally. I think I am probably in better shape now than I was in my 20s and I really feel good.

The Paleo diet has made a huge difference in my physical appearance and energy level. Although I am not drastically thin like I was back in NYC, I have lost quite a bit of my hip and bum fat. My stomach is flatter from not being bloated all the time. Besides that, I only work out a few days a week for about 30 minutes instead of being crazy and going every day for an hour. Though I am not 100% strict with the Paleo, I do notice a difference, which makes it worth it.

Coaching sessions with Karen have really affected my mental state. Unfortunately, today will be my last session with her for financial reasons, but I cannot discount the help she has given me to feel more confident, proud of myself and content with where I am at now while looking toward the future. I feel as if my mind has really shifted and so now I realize I do not worry so much about things or let stress build up in me like I did before.

Also, starting with last night’s pills, I am slowly weaning myself off the Cipralex to see how I feel not taking them anymore. I started by decreasing from 20mg to 15mg. I will do this for a week and then go to 10mg and finally to 5mg. My plan is that it will hit most over the winter break so I can see how my mind reacts when I do not have to be ‘on’ for work each day. If I feel okay, then I will try my best to stay off of them. If I cannot keep a handle on things, then I will go back on in a month or so. However, I am hoping that with the new eating style and settled mind, I can manage. So, no doubt there will be regular updates here. πŸ˜‰

So, our short week begins!

-T πŸ˜€

Aug 072013
 

It has now been almost four months that I have been consistently taking the Cipralex and it was not until I made my trip home that I realized just how much it is working for me. Honestly, I had contemplated going off of it in a few months, but upon reflection I am not sure. Maybe going a full year and continuing to reflect on my life will be better so that I can make a more informed decision about staying on it or not.

In any case, I really had a great time being home and seeing my BFF. It was perhaps one of the best trips I have had. Of course, there could be any number of reasons for this, but I think one major factor is being on the Cipralex.

While others around me were worked up or getting stressed over things I felt myself in a pretty calm place. I did not join in the stressful feelings, but instead watched with both amazement and sadness at how we let ourselves be taken over by the truly unimportant matters in life. The before-me would have felt the stress from others and gotten involved or let myself be swept along with my own worries or stress. The after-me saw through these behaviors and found how much I really did not need to become a part of the behaviors around me. It is not a judgment by any means as I am quite notorious for being a worry-wart all on my own. However, it does say a lot about the effects of the Cipralex, not just on my behavior but also on my perceptions.

Although I worry sometimes that my eyes are now tainted by the Cipralex lens in that I feel as if everyone should feel this kind of ‘awakening’, I think that the reality is that more people should probably consider how it could help them. It is not that drugs/medication is for everyone. It is not that everyone is ‘crazy’. However, I think there are probably a lot of people who deny that they worry too much, are depressed more than they should be, stress over the little things more than necessary, and then emanate all that negative energy onto others unintentionally. Even if we realize that we are this way, most of us will deny that medication is necessary or effective for ‘me’. I was this way as well, but now that I have seen the difference and talked with others around me, I realize that what is important is focusing on positive energies.

Still, I need to consider how to better focus when I need to as I know that the Cipralex tends to take my mind away too quickly from certain thoughts. Since I really need to get my dissertation written, it is going to be a challenge to figure out how to force my mind and body to focus long enough to accomplish this task. It can be done, I just need to try some different strategies than I have been.

In any case, I think that I’m on a good path right now and am happy with life! <3

-T πŸ˜€