withdrawal

[Note from Cori: I’m sorry for the absence; things got a little complex in our lives in the past 3 weeks or so. I was involved in a car accident that totaled our car. Our son and I were relatively unhurt, but the amount of time spent away from my writing has been a bit intense as we research, test drive, and try to make an intelligent and wise decision on the procurement of a new vehicle. I’m back to my regularly-scheduled posting and pondering, but just wanted to explain the weird lapse of new material.]

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Part of this journey for me is to realize what my coping mechanisms have been over the years and move past them. Some have been legitimate, others, not so much.

Some mechanisms have been to use medication to help normalize my brain and mind and be able to function on a daily basis without breaking in to heaving sobs or snapping someone’s head off for no apparent reason. One of those has been an anti-anxiety medication that’s also called an “atypical antidepressant.”

Intitially, The Stuff did me an enormous amount of good. I went from crying 6 days out of 7 to welling up during the final half of “The Return of the King,” which is pretty normal behaviour for me. 😉 And I began to realize that although it took my niece’s unexpected death and the fear that I would lose my son in a similar manner to get me on The Stuff, the benefits were worthwhile. The doctor supposed that I had probably been dealing with a low-level of anxiety and post-partum depression since our son’s birth (when I went on The Stuff, he had just turned 4), and that combined with my PCOS and the trauma from Emi’s passing, my brain and biochemistry simply gave out.

As time progressed, I began to be afraid of going off of It, because I became acutely aware of how good I felt and how lousy I’d felt before. I didn’t like that feeling (of being dependent on something like The Stuff), but I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice.

Last winter I decided to try to go off The Stuff on my own; partly due to laziness and not remembering to call the doctor for a refill, and partly because I really didn’t like being dependent on it. I made it about 3 weeks before my husband gently said, “Um, sweetheart… please go back on The Stuff. I think you really need It.” 😕 I will fully admit to being grouchy, teary, a bit snappy, and (oddly enough) a bit dizzy (literally). But I didn’t realize that these were symptoms of withdrawal, not an exhibition of my “need” for The Stuff.

So jumping ahead to the recent past, I realized that I’ve worked through so much junk in my life and released so much pain that caused an underlying sense of unwellness in me that I really *could* go off it. And as typically happens for me when God gives me a task to complete, I wanted to do it right then. So I talked to my husband who (bless him!) said, “If you want to, that’s fine. But why don’t you call your doctor first?” I saw her last week and came out with a withdrawal plan that weans me off of The Stuff gently.

Withdrawal hasn’t been easy, even in a step-down plan. This Stuff messes with my brain and makes me more tired than I thought possible. Even after 7-8 hours of sleep at night and 4 cups of coffee in the morning, I’m inexorably tired and need a nap. 😯 I’m also taking a low-level anti-anxiety script to get me over the hard points when I know the end-goal of being off of The Stuff is worth the crappy way I feel at the moment. The good thing is that the anti-anxiety stuff is not addictive and has no withdrawal symptoms. So I’m not compounding the problem. And I’ve started to take a bit of fish oil (I know, icky!). I’ve read that DHA, EPA, and Omega-3s are really helpful in brain function and in limiting the scope of withdrawal symptoms. So although it’s like taking a spoonful of Lemon Pledge, I’m doing it.

The funny thing is that I had a glass of wine last night after dinner and although I’m generally fine after a single glass, last night I was quite… um… tipsy. 😯 Seriously, I felt more off-balance last night than when I’d consumed several glasses of wine in an evening, and the only thing I can attribute it to is the fish oil. Weird! So my husband his brother were conspiring about ways to make this work out to my husband’s benefit. 😉

As much of a pain in the tucchus as it is to have withdrawal symptoms, I’m just glad that I’m well enough and have done enough work to get off of The Stuff in the first place. The gratefulness and glory go to God for bringing me to this point.

His and his,
~Cori.

This entry was posted on 170933H Aug 2008 and is filed under Path to Healing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • http://sensuouswife.blogspot.com Sensuous Wife

    Good for you, Cori!

    Anytime I’m reading about someone I care about who is going through a hard time, I always wince inside and say “oooh I wish there was something I could do!”

    Well thankfully this time, there is.

    I can offer you a fix to the dha tastes like lemon pledge problem.

    Right here. Gel capsules of medical grade DHA fish oil. On sale for half price. Capsules with no taste.

    http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=CL-1905

    Love,
    SW

  • cori

    SW–

    thanks for the link! That’s the brand of lemon pledge I’m using. :) Any “fish burps” from it? That would definitely keep me from taking it; this stuff has a mild burp afterwards, but it’s lemony, so it’s not horrible. 😉

    love,
    cori