If you'd like a more detailed account of my journey, please see my intro page.
4 and 1/2 yrs. after I took my first reduced dose of Effexor XR, I am anti-depressant free. It can be done. If you've got raised eyebrows over the length of time it took, there's a good reason for it. If I hadn't gotten in a hurry in the beginning, I'm certain it wouldn't have taken so long. I had to get to know my body and there were a lot of glitches in the process. When I finally gave into taking it easy, exercising patience, keeping my eyes on the end-game, cleaned up my diet, things went so much more smoothly.
I just realized that I have earned a degree in How To Get Off Effexor- I should print myself a diploma. Yea!!!
Between Scarlett O'Hara (Gone with The Wind- "For tomorrow is another day") and Donna Sommer (I will Survive), I made it.
Thanks to this forum, to Alto for starting it and for all those who pass through looking for hope. It can be done. Not a single one of my docs along the way had any faith I would succeed. I asked my current doc if she remembered she told me she had no confidence I could do this. That was 3 years ago when I was at 7.5 mgs. Her response- she was sure I'd not make, it but she was wrong. No big deal. NO BIG DEAL???
I still have a benzo to get out of my life. I'm in the process of getting my body stable so that I won't be faced with adrenal setbacks like I had with Effexor. It has been a weird lesson for me to come to terms with the understanding I had physical problems that docs threw drugs at and refused to find out why I was having them. But, I know now and I am looking forward to a bright and happier future. I will be so relieved to be off the benzo- but this experience taught me to be patient, listen to my body, take care of myself mentally and physically.
If I have any parting words, this would be them. Even though most who know me think I am gregarious and social, underneath I am an introvert. This is not a good way to live. We need each other and isolation is a huge battle I struggle with, every day- because it's easier. The only real joy in life comes from being part of other's lives, not to get my needs met, but to be of service to them. Life is out there and I'm not going to find it staring at some screen.
So on that note, I'm signing off and going out for some fun!!!
Newton's Mom ( I never explained who Newton was- he was a precious kitten, rescued by some school children that had a lot of problems, deformed eyes and several diseases that were debilitating. He was chatty and friendly. Every day when my husband would come home, he would meet him at the door, walk into the bedroom closet while my husband changed clothes and they would have this long conversation. He was so dear. He lived a pretty good life but died young, at about age 7. I can still see him jumping for joy in the rain when he got out one day. He's my vision of joy and hope. Thanks Newty for your encouragement during a hard time in my life).