Withdrawal.

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the fog creeps slowly over my unsuspecting brain;

thoughts swim like lost fish, bob to the surface for a moment, then drift back down to the deep;

sleep is fitful, starting out with a hoodie and pants, ending in sweat and damp, still-dirty hair.

lots of sensory overload, too many noises lead to utter overwhelm. panic. that gulping feeling in my throat.

stay busy. I don’t stop. but then I get so tired. naps get “GUILTY!” verdict, gavel sounds.

throbbing headaches, waves of nausea, thoughts that zap, firing synapses. trouble remembering things, words catching on my tongue, tripping over my teeth. never the right word, the ONE perfect word I’d normally be able to grasp.

mistakes are made. unintentionally. shame. fear. self deprecation. feeling lonely. people don’t “get it” unless they’ve been there. at first I thought it was in my head, these symptoms. But when other people notice and comment…it means it’s not my imagination.

I need to be around people, and at the same time, find it difficult. It is hard to fake it. And the kids sense things, and I just tell them, “Mommy’s tired and not feeling well, but I’ll be okay.” Because that’s the truth.

My husband doesn’t know how to help me or handle this “situation.” I don’t know what to tell him sometimes because not even I know what I need or want at any given moment. This is a roller coaster, and I want off. This, the beginning, is the hardest part.

**It’s amazing to me that a medication I’ve been taking for depression…can do such damage in the wean off. It is so very important that you are under a doctor’s care and supervision during this process. Do not EVER suddenly stop taking a medication without consulting your physician.**

Pills

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  • Bobbi Parish-Logie

    Oh the irony, that a medication we take to “help” can cause such harm. I hope this is, indeed, the worst. Know that you aren’t alone. Many of us have been where you are and are still there now. You are loved. You are lovable. ~ Bobbi

  • Ally

    You said it – the wean off can be horrid. My husband went through a terrible time a few years ago, and ended up on anti-depressants that had even worse side effects (hind sight by another physician is that he was probably started on too high of a dosage). The wean off was absolutely awful. It included many things you mentioned, as well as uncontrollable tremors and muscle spasms. I’m glad you are under a doctor’s supervision. I can only tell your husband to be open to whatever you might need in the moment – and it does change moment to moment. But for me, knowing it wasn’t “him”, it was the medication effects, was helpful.

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    Hugs, Erin. I admittedly am one who has never been there, but I know you are strong. xo

  • http://napkinhoarder.com/ Phyllis

    That’s the tough part. :( You are strong and you can do it!

  • http://angelaamman.com/ Angela Amman

    Sending strength. xo

  • http://brennasblog.com/ Brenna Darazs

    Sending so much love and just peace to you. It took me all of 2012 to wean off Paxil. I’d been on it for anxiety/depression for many, many years. I went from 40mg to 7mg in 12 months. It was sheer hell. The worst withdrawals imaginable. I lost that year of my life. I am literally a shell of my former self. I am on a manageable dose of Lexapro now. I will never take Paxil again, tho’ I don’t judge those who do take it. All that to say I absolutely know what you are going through, Erin. You are not alone, ever. Love and love and love, Brenna xoxo

  • alexandra

    It sounds so hard, Erin. I wish I could sit next to you, and just listen.

  • Stevie

    Sending hugs to you. This is temporary and you will get through it. I hope writing about it has helped. Sometimes it helps me to remember it isn’t me, it’s just synapses misfiring, it’s just chemicals.

  • Meg

    Sweet, sweet Erin… I am here ALWAYS. You are NOT alone, NEVER! I get it, I get you, I love you. Whatever, wherever, whenever. Big hugs. I’ll see you tomorrow. Xoxo

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    Erin, I’m sorry this has been a struggle. Let me know how I can help. In any way. Short of having a cup of coffee with you and hugging you in person, because goddamn oceans apart. But anything. ANYTHING. xo

  • BipolarMom (Jenn)

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sounds awful. I’ve only ever weaned off a med to try another one in hopes it would work better. Sending hugs.

  • Jenny Rapson

    I’ve been through this…it sucks! Hard. Hang in there and know that your words give others courage. xo

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    OH Erin, I’m so sorry. So sorry because I feel exactly like you do right now, all those things you wrote about sleepiness, the right words alluding you, the TIRED, the weary and the scary, they are all happening to me right now too. I am going to be changing meds soon and I am scared that all of this will get even worse.

    but I am here and listening, I am here if you need me. Your heart is safe and tucked inside everyone’s hands, we are here for you. Take GOOD CARE of yourself. (and as always THANK you for taking the time to come here and warn us of the dangers of just stopping a medicine. It’s just like YOU my sweet friend, to be just as worried about everyone else too)

    Love you. xoxox

  • thekitchenwitch

    Thoughts and many hugs to you, sweet friend.

  • aninchofgray

    Sending you love today!

  • Jessica Smock

    I know it’s really tough. You’re not alone, and so many others have been through this. Thinking of you :)

  • moosh in indy.

    Lexapro. YEP.
    Been there sweet thing.
    xoxo

  • Kimberly M

    I had to go straight back on that shit…but it was because I crashed hard. I understand all of this completely. I hope that the rest of this will settle once you get further and farther away from it. xoxo

  • Julie Gardner

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

  • http://sellabitmum.blogspot.com/ sellabitmum

    Love you and thinking about you. xoxo

  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    Oh gosh. I hate that you are having to go through this. And it will get better. It WILL. And know that you are not alone. Lots and lots of people love you and are here to help as much as we can. Even if the help is just listening.

  • Lisha

    Been there. Know the demons. But you > them.

  • RobinFarr

    Weaning sucks. It’s so, so hard. I’m proud of you for talking about how you’re feeling and for being proactive in your well-being. It doesn’t feel like it now, but it will get better. We’re with you.

  • Robbie K

    Thinking of you and sending you strength to get thru this.

  • http://www.imnotinfectious.com/ Michael Lombardi

    I wish I could take over duty for you. Holding you tight might not go over well with the spouses. :-P But I’m sure they would let me be substitute mommy for a few weeks.

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    I don’t go off really. I just think – it’s not worth it. I need to be my best for the kids and I won’t be. But at the same time, I totally GET why people would want to go off it, so I still think you’re making the best decision you need to. Love you. Hang in there, Erin.

  • Arnebya

    I have an incredible desire and urge to be beside you, Erin. I tried taking an antidepressant once and it made me so loopy that I stopped less than a month in. I know I need to revisit it, potentially even find a different one, but I haven’t brought myself to do it yet. There are so many factors, none of which really make sense enough to keep me from trying, but…but.
    We are here for you as you walk this path, though, absolutely.

  • Greta

    I hope this is the hardest part, and I hope it’ll be over soon. call me if you need anything at all. xoxo

  • http://www.honestmom.com/ JD @ Honest Mom

    I’m so sorry you are dealing with this.

    I had a terrible time weaning. I went too fast one time and had to go back to full dosage for a while. Then I went down soooooo slowly, over months and months.

    Now I am on SSRIs again, but going through the “poop out” effect that I deal with every 9 months or so. The meds just stop working. And then it’s time to switch to another. Oh, the joy of the merry-go-round of meds.

    Thinking of you. It WILL GET BETTER.
    xoxo

  • http://thewestraworld.blogspot.com/ Vicky

    So sorry to hear all you are going through Erin! I have never experienced a drug withdrawal before, and truly can’t imagine the intense and overwhelming nature of having to do so. I think you articulate it in a way that makes it accessible to so many and I’ll bet others will be so helped by your advice and ability to share. Hugs to you!

  • mom

    so hard to be a mom, and to be sooooo far away; so sorry you are going through this, but so very proud of your courage, your strength, your ability to convey and to share such a difficult journey with so many…
    i am so very grateful for all of those below, who have such love and encouragement, and who take the time to express it all so eloquently…..it has to be very comforting…
    i am especially grateful for meg and such a golden friendship, and for tiffany and her kindness and support……..you are very special to so many, so hang in there my brilliant daughter, and know we are all there with you, through thick and thin (as you are there for all of us!) so very much love coming your way….XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • http://ninabadzin.com/ Nina Badzin

    Sending hugs and good thoughts for the new year!

  • Kristin Guile

    “The fog creeps slowly” is a near-perfect description for that thing that cannot be described! I remember having the feeling of being encased in some kind of thick syrup. I moved and thought in slow motion. I was embarrassed at my inability to hold a conversation, and yet also too sleepy to be embarrassed.

    I also had what I call “psychic pain.” Depression just hurts. It’s a pain I can’t describe, but it is real and it is a definite, physical pain.

    Be patient with yourself, Erin. Nurture yourself right now–very few others will have any idea how to nurture you, much less the inclination to do it. Take care of Erin. Remind yourself that, regardless of how it seems, this really is temporary. A few weeks from now, this will be a bitter memory. You will look at depression through your rear view mirror instead of the windshield.

    You have so many who love you, dearly. Just hang in there. This, too, shall pass.

  • aaustin519

    Just curious..is there a reason you HAVE to be off it? Or do you just want to be off it because you think you’re not a good Mom if you take it? Just remember, if it’s because you don’t want to take it anymore out of pride or whatever, depression and anxiety is a medical condition…you don’t stop taking blood pressure medicine or insulin. It’s the same thing. There is nothing shameful or wrong about taking anti-depressants…if it helps you live your life more fully, keep on!! This post is very scary and sad and want to make sure you know that you’re not a bad person for taking it. :) XOXO

  • http://unintentionallybrilliant.blogspot.com Roxanne Piskel

    Withdrawal is the WORST. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but the fog will lift.

    On another note, your words here are extraordinary. It’s poetic and beautiful.

    I’m here if you need me.

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    Feeling for you, going through this awful thing. You are a good mother. A good wife. A good friend. I hope this passes quickly for you. I hope you can manage better without the meds. xo

  • Wendy Goldman Scherer

    Oh Erin, I hope the worst is over soon. Thinking of you.

  • http://chibijeebs.com/ Chibi Jeebs

    This terrifies me. I went on antidepressants kicking and screaming (more like whimpering and shaking my head “no,” but whatevs – I was too depressed to fight) because I was afraid of going off them. But I wasn’t getting better on my own, so I started. Now, in a new province with a new doctor, the thought of being told I should go off them makes me anxious. I wish I never started. I don’t know that I would’ve gotten better if I hadn’t. I don’t want to need them. I don’t want to try to live without them. Why is life is complicated?

  • Pingback: This is the Face of Depression. | Erin Margolin