Socially Phobic

June 7, 2007

The past couple of days

Filed under: Bad Days,Depression,Drugs — iambrave @ 3:44 am

have sort of been a personal hell for me. The physical symptoms from going off of Lithium went away but the emotional symptoms, not so much. I had to go into work yesterday and that was fine, but as soon as I left I lost it. I pretty much cried for eight straight hours. Today was a bit better except for a massive explosion of anger after I got woken up from a nap – I don’t know if this is exactly related but have I mentioned that naps make me somewhat psychotic? I would really like to know if this happens to anyone else. I typically wake up in the midst of a hot flash and extremely hostile. Do other people get hot flashes when they nap? I should Google it. I really shouldn’t nap at all given my problems sleeping at night and the amazingly terrible way that I feel when I wake up but I just can’t resist the blissful way that it feels to drift off so easily in the afternoon because that never happens at night. I don’t dread sleeping during the day the way that I do at night, and I can’t seem to stop denying myself this guilty pleasure. But please remember this if you ever serve on a jury for a crime that I committed – I think that I could plead a very strong case for temporary insanity if said crime occurred within a post-nap period.

Anyway. I don’t know what I’m doing. My husband and I also had a Big Talk yesterday about the reasons that I am depressed other than the biochemical madness. The deal is this: I believe that we are both sort of obsessed with having a baby. This is sort of like true confession time, because I don’t talk about this with very many people. Before we got married, whenever I had a chance to make a wish I would wish for a baby. Since the wedding, however, I have grown increasingly more wary. It was all well and good when it was a wish and a prayer but since it has become something that I have been taking actions to accomplish and talking to doctors about the reality of it scares me. It has gone from an anxiety that my clock is ticking way too fast (pretty irrational, given my age (28), and didn’t I just read that a 60-year-old gave birth?) to well, we have a few more years so what is the rush (more rational, but it feels weird when one of the things that I have been obsessing over does a complete 180 in my head). There are money issues, logistical issues like I just finished my first semester of a program and would I ever go back, issues about the fact that, as a couple, we have yet to have a life together that includes having a group of friends that lives in the same city that we do and really we never go out at all anymore due to our mentally ill dog (a true but long story for another time) and so shouldn’t we have a life where we are free to go out as desired before we just can’t anymore, and then issues about the fact that the reality of me, having a baby, having to be on top of my shit, not wanting to raise a child depressed or at least ever show my depressed face to my child because I know from personal experience what it is like to be raised by a depressed parent and I don’t want to be that mom, as well as not having time to lie on the couch for 8 hours and cry anymore as determined to be personally necessary, plus I consider myself to be very irresponsible on the whole and I have yet to figure out how to make a budget or grocery shop effectively or keep the house clean (also things that my parents never taught me but that I probably should have figured out by now – I consider myself to be fairly smart but there are certain common-sense things that elude me – I basically need to take home ec for grownups). And that horrendous run-on sentence pretty much sums it up and I don’t feel like editing so hopefully it all makes a little bit of sense.

All right, you say, so perhaps you aren’t ready. Perhaps you should wait another year or two. Why not? Having a baby in my early 30s – so reasonable. The question, then, is this: what the hell am I doing with my medication? Why am I putting my body through this right now if we aren’t going to do this right now? Because while I do not like being dependent on things due to my abandonment fears (odd running image in my head that has symbolized this for several years now: being in a less-developed foreign country and not having any meds and all hell ensuing…to tell you the truth, I don’t even feel comfortable finding, say, the perfect makeup, because what am I going to do if they stop making Bare Minerals? How have I gotten through so many of these issues with human beings yet hold onto them so strongly with inanimate objects, if you can classify a medication as such?), the truth is that I have been relatively stabilized over the past few months and feeling pretty all right and now I feel like shit so what is the point if we aren’t just going to go ahead and do this? I was of the mindset of “first I just need to see how the medication thing goes and then we will go from there”, but maybe that was wrong. Because I know that the way that I have been feeling is as equally bad for my body as are the chemicals that I ingest on a daily basis. I can see the point of not wanting to be on the benzos and having to take a sleeping pill every night even if they have been improving my quality of life but this whole Lithium thing has been sort of a nightmare that is hopefully coming to an end but no way in hell do I want to go through this withdrawal again anytime soon.

We left the discussion at the point where we were both going to think about these things independently and then reconvene in a little bit. And honestly, despite my intense desire to Figure Out Every Single Thing About The Entire Rest Of My Life Right Now (also irrational, naturally), I do realize that making major life decisions on a day when you cry for eight hours is not the best thing to do.

There was more, about how I am depressed about the summer because it is stretching endlessly before me in a sea of emptiness (HSP – TOTALLY called this one) and not enough to do that I thought would feel liberating but doesn’t because I rarely get bored but I am bored as hell now and how if I don’t find an internship or a job (two interviews so far, a potential opportunity still maybe there but I don’t have my hopes up) I will be alone every day while he is at work and I feel empty and sad and like I am having an identity crisis and I am 14 years old again and I need a project be it learning Spanish or CSS or volunteering or temping or anything really…but it’s too much to get into all at right this second.

To sum up, I am not handling the transition that is being married so well I suppose just because it is a major life change and I have had so many so recently (I just took this Life Stress Test and got a 354 and that is not even counting the items that I didn’t include because they seemed to overlap meaning that I have a high susceptibility to stress-related illness). I love my husband just as much if not more since we got married (though it turns out that I hate the word husband as much as I hate the word fiance – from this point forward I will be calling him Mr. Brave which is accurate because he must be pretty brave to be prepared to deal with my issues on a long-term basis) so this is not the issue. There is this book that I love, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, which makes the point that every transition is a loss and that you can and maybe need to mourn happy changes as well as sad ones, so maybe I am just in mourning for a lot of parts of my former life right now which doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be married, because I do, but getting used to things is a process. I am feeling confused in general.

I apologize for all of the run-ons and parenthetical asides here. I’m not making excuses or anything but did you know that the vast majority of my posts are written after I take my sleeping pills, go lie in bed for a little bit, and then get up again to blog? I’m a grammar snob and hold myself to high writing standards but, you know, sleeping pills and all. Which I may or may not still be taking next week, an adventure in and of itself to be sure.

One thing that I did learn today is that scrubbing the bathtub is a pretty good way to get my anger under control. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

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June 5, 2007

It might be

Filed under: Drugs,Insomnia,Mood Swings,PMS — iambrave @ 3:23 am

a couch night tonight. I am actually supposed to go in to work tomorrow to make up hours that I didn’t complete this semester. I am not supposed to be there until 11 (late, right?) but it’s already 20 till 3 and I am awake. Well, I might not really be. Sometimes I have to go upstairs, lie in bed until I can’t take it anymore, come back downstairs, and then it finally hits me that my sleeping pills are starting to kick in. And then I can sleep. Or not. Who knows?

I used to sleep on the couch a lot last year. It wasn’t that we were having problems in our relationship; it was more that the couch was a safe place for me and I didn’t get anxious there the same way that I did when I was trying to fall asleep in bed. Psyching yourself out of insomnia is not easy, people. I should be better at it given my lifetime history. (Insert parental joke: “She didn’t sleep through the night until she was 10!” Ha ha. Joke’s on me. And all of the people whom I have bitterly harassed for being able to sleep so damn well or just being asleep at a given moment when I am AWAKE AWAKE AWAKE!!!)

I think I’ve maybe slept on the couch here once. Maybe it’s just not as comfortable as the old couch that we left behind. Or maybe I have just come to appreciate the presence of other warm creatures in the bed. You don’t need a human partner for this kind of comfort. A dog works just as well. Before I got my dog a couple of years ago and I was single, I have to say that the cats just weren’t that reliable as sleeping buddies. I think they do end up in the bed every night anyway but it’s sporadic and often irritating, what with the head-walking episodes and random EXTREMELY LOUD meowing (girl cat is 9 years old, has been fixed for the vast majority of that time, and yet still acts pretty much like she’s in heat on a daily basis. I think it’s getting worse, and actually was thinking that she might be losing it a little. She has always meowed for attention a LOT, but I don’t remember the waking up part from before. A former roommate once told me that she thought that I was the human version of this cat. I love my cat from the bottom of my heart, but I did not take this as a compliment. As far as I know, I do not act like I am in heat on a daily basis. At least not since I got married. Ba da bum!).

What was I talking about, anyway? How did this turn into a pet post? Moving on, the ironic part is that right when we got back from the honeymoon a couple of weeks ago I was experiencing a miraculous sleep revival. I was even mind-writing a post about the way that my bed had magically transformed itself into the most glorious, comfortable place in the universe. No more. But it was nice while it lasted.

Revisiting the psychiatrist appointment last week: this pertains to the way that he told me to get off of sleeping pills. I currently take Temazepam for sleep and I’m wanting off of it. His instructions: try going without one night. If you sleep without the pill, try not taking it again the next night. If you don’t sleep, take it the next night. This has all fallen by the wayside since last week’s Lithium fiasco and I’ve been taking it nightly again. It went all right for a couple of nights, but I’m taking things slow. In any case, I have no idea if this is good advice for going off of sleeping pills. Plus, I can’t get into this right now without bringing up other issues that I have with my doctor right now and I really just don’t want to go there. It’s coming, don’t worry.

On other fronts, I am feeling infinitely better physically. Thank god. I have had a couple search hits on “lithium withdrawal” and things of that nature, and while I can’t say for certain that what I was going through was caused by the Lithium I will say this: be careful. Maybe take it slower rather than faster. But I seem to have gotten through, at least the horrendous physical symptoms (mood swings: not so hot. A lot of tears. I think I have PMS, though, too).

Well, this may be a crappy post but at least I am writing again. I will leave you with this, because if this doesn’t make you want to go to sleep right now, I don’t know what will:

sleep2.jpg

June 1, 2007

I feel like

Filed under: Anxiety,Bad Days,Drugs,Mood Swings — iambrave @ 4:20 pm

total and utter crap right now. Here’s a story behind it: Last week, I went to the psychiatrist to discuss going off of my meds. There are many things to be said about this visit that I’m sure I will get to at some point, but one of the things he told me was that it was okay to stop taking Lithium cold turkey because I’m on the lowest dosage (300 mg). So, I did, on Monday, I think. I did not anticipate feeling this bad!!!!!!!!!!! I am attributing this to Lithium withdrawal even though I haven’t done any research to see if this kind of thing happens to other people. Maybe I just have the flu. I don’t really know what the hell is wrong with me.

The first couple of days were god awful. I haven’t really been sleeping all that well but I have been sleeping SOME, so I don’t think that insomnia was the reason for my feeling exactly the same way that I do if I, say, literally don’t sleep at all one night after drinking heavily. I did acid in high school and this is kind of what I remember coming down felt like. I apologize for the lack of better description but my head feels, in a word, trippy. My head is tingling. Like if I take cold medicine. I am just trying to equate this feeling to something that maybe other people can understand. And then there’s the nausea – a kind of pit-of-the-stomach hollow feeling. I have barely any appetite. Or, I am hungry but food seems repulsive. And my heart is racing. Oh – this is also the same way that I would feel in my younger days on SSRIs and was really irresponsible about taking them – I wouldn’t take a Paxil or something for a couple of days and then feel like this. Serotonin withdrawal or something along those lines.

I feel cracked out.

The first two days were worse than yesterday and today, thank god. My brain feels a little better but I still feel like I am going to throw up. I was out doing errands and it’s 90 degrees out which doesn’t help and I was sweating and dizzy and I had to come home. Maybe it is partially the flu or something. My husband has been sick and I was feeling sick to my stomach last week before this all started. I dunno.

Mood-wise, I’ve been…hyper. My husband said that I was acting slightly manic, but that he likes me better this way. Probably a little more cheerful and outgoing, wanting to throw that extra joke into an email I’m writing when it may or may not be appropriate (I’m erring on the side of trying to be less silly, because I do not trust my judgment 100% this week). I’ve also been anxious. But not really dreading things anxious. More like I feel like I’m buzzing with too much energy. And yet I simultaneously want to pass out. I told you, I’m not right.

That’s what’s going on with me. Don’t worry, I am not going to try going off of anything else until I start feeling better physically.

Now I am going to lie on the couch in the air conditioning. Happy Friday and Happy June to all.

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