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PatriciaVP

PatriciaVP: #TweetingMyRecovery 140 Characters is all I got

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

So I got the allergy med refill 5 days ago and have been feeling much better since restarting. I am staying off the Adderall, however, because I can't stand the way it makes me feel. The agitation is unbearable. Not sure why this is so all of a sudden, but now the thought of taking even a small dose scares the carp out of me.

 

From what I've learned here, quitting the Adderall as I have is the equivalent of a CT so I will be holding for at least 2 months.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Oops. I meant CRAP not CARP. No fish for me!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Having a nice window today. I'm feeling something I haven't felt in a while. At first I couldn't quite name it, but then I figured it out. It's hope I'm hopeful about the future for the first time in a long time. Not just that I will heal, but I'm having ideas of things I might be able to do in the future. That's new for me.

 

I'm also not in constant fear that this feeling will pass. I know it will, but I'm OK with it. I just hope that next time I'm in the throws of despair, I will be able to reflect on this time and believe that it will come again, lasting longer and longer every time. 

 

Weird thing is that every time a wave crashes over me, I get stuck on feeling like it has always been that awful and will always be that awful, even if I was fine just a few hours previous. I wish this me could talk to that me and remind her of right now.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

The window I mentioned in my last post went on for several days. I was quite impressed, but it seems now to be closing. I'm experiencing a lot more irritability sometimes even bordering on rage. The problem is- it can come from out of the blue. Quite unexpectedly. It makes me want to avoid being around anyone. I don't want to do or say anything that I really don't mean.

 

When my husband suddenly decided to take the day off and stay home yesterday. I lost it. I needed so badly to be alone. On Thursday, I had spent the day out with my daughter, strawberry picking and going to the movies. I was really looking forward to it, but it just seemed to take everything out of me. When I got home all I wanted to do was sleep. We had only been out since 10!!! I HATE THIS!! I know it will pass, but I hate not being able to guage my energy level from one minute to the next. That's why yesterday was so awful. I had made a plan to recover from Thurs., but then when my husband stayed home it was suddenly shot to hell.

 

I am, however, thankful for the window. It showed me what is possible. Now, I just have to figure out how to hold on to that when I'm in the depths.. 

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I had planned on holding for at least 2 months since I dropped the Adderall so suddenly, but the irritation and rage that has depended upon me recently reminds me of the issues I was having right before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Issues that I know now were actually side effects of the Lexapro. This makes me question the hold and wonder if I should return to tapering the Lexapro sooner rather than later

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Do these symptoms occur at any particular time of day? Please keep daily notes on paper about symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

This will help determine if it's the Lexapro causing this symptom.

 

By the way, nice job on your signature -- very clear.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Thanks about the signature. Nice of you to say.

 

I will start to track my symptoms and time of medication. For the most part it's pretty straight forward though. I take the Lexapro between 8&9 pm. I'm usually really groggy and kind of cranky when I get up at around 7 am. I often get more irritated throughout the morning and if I'm going to to freak out about anything it usually happens between 9 and 11 am. Early afternoon I often get so tired I have to sleep, but I definitely stabilize by 4 pm.

 

What I eat usually makes a big difference. High protein seems to stabilize but not always while sugar does the opposite.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Do you ingest caffeine at breakfast?

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Yes, I do.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I've stopped caffeine altogether now for the last couple of days. I think it's helped a little with the irritability.

 

I've been extremely nauseous all day the last few days also. I think this has heightened my anxiety to the point where I don't want to move. I just feel awful. I'm thinking that it might be caffeine withdrawal triggering a wave. It's so hard not to panic and do something extreme to escape these terrible feelings, but I've found that forcing myself to "do something" while I'm in this state usually makes matters worse.

 

I know that this is withdrawal related and not my natural state, but why does it feel like it is? Why does it feel like it will always be this way? Why is it so hard not to catastrophize?

 

I didn't sleep much last night which is making matters far worse. I have some financial business that desperately needs attending to. I was going to do it today, but it's something that is really hard for me to deal with anyway, but even worse when I feel like this.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I feel just awful today. What feels like depression, irritability. My phone didn't want to work right so I threw it across the room, and it slid under the bed. I couldn't find it right away so I started to panic, screaming and feeling painfully self destructive. My husband had to respond to the incoming call for me which then made me feel useless and incompetent heightening my self destructive urges.

 

Again, I know that if I try to push myself to "do something" while in this state it usually makes matters worse, but it's torture just to endure it.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Is it possible that caffeine withdrawal is heightening my other symptoms?

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

It was the side effects of the Lexapro that made the other medications necessary. That's why I had always intended to taper that first, but as I got lower on the Lexapro, taking the other medications became unbearable. Which is why I had to discontinue them rather quickly.

 

This leaves me with a quandary, however. Are the symptoms that I'm experiencing now withdrawal or are they the original side effects rearing their ugly head now that the Adderall and Depakote are out of my system.

 

If withdrawal, it makes sense to continue to hold until I stabilize. If it's side effects nothing will change until I'm off it.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Never mind. Figured it out. Didn't really start having the serious issues with rage, etc until Adderall was added to the mix. So what I've been experiencing is definitely withdrawal. Will just have to wait it out. Dammit!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Feeling sooo much better today. Almost good in fact. Can't say why exactly. Just hoping this is the beginning of a very long window. :)

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scallywag   
scallywag

Patricia, I'm glad you've got a window open and that you figured out the source of your irritability symptom.  I'm not sure that I would notice that I was more irritable, but people around me would DEFINITELY let me know. :D

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Scallywag,

You crack me up!!!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Greatness from devastation. It can’t be thwarted. It Can’t be stopped. We see this over and over again in nature, in myth. Every religion is filled with stories of amazing things coming from the overwhelming trials of the protagonist.

 

In nature huge forest fires bring new growth and life. Sunken ships create gorgeous coral reefs. All the natural wonders of the world were created by some catastrophic event.

 

I believe that you and I and all our fellow withdrawers are the religious protagonists, the natural wonders of our time. Our suffering may take years. It may be painful and devastating. Our losses may be overwhelming, but without these things, the incredible new day that is just on the horizon would not be possible. Our greatness is only possible through devastation.

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scallywag   
scallywag

Nice perspective and turn of phrase -- those of us withdrawing from psych drugs are natural wonders. I like it!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Thanks Scallywag!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

My biggest problem lately has been nausea. No where near as bad as the irritability, angry outbursts, uncontrollable crying and akathesia I was experiencing not long ago, but bothersome all the same.

 

I know this is a very typical withdrawal symptom, but I keep wondering if my birth control is exacerbating it. I'm only taking it to control menstrual cramps anyway so I'm considering stopping it to see if that will help.

 

Any thoughts?

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Wrote this on another thread:

 

Speaking of default states, I thought for so many years that mine was "exhausted". Before I started tapering my antidepressant, I was taking 60 mg of Adderall (a time released amphetamine), 10 mg of regular amphetamine, drinking 3- 4 caffeinated beverages every day and STILL sleeping most of the day away. As I've tapered off the antidepressant, I've had to get off the Adderall and amphetamine completely because they were causing heart palpitations and agitation. Now, I can't even have a few sips of coffee without bouncing off the walls. I stay awake and active all day just fine.

 

My problem, for the past 12 years, has been this damn antidepressant! I had three different psychiatrists during this time, none of whom ever mentioned that the Lexapro could be causing the sleepiness for which I was taking a butt load of amphetamines! What the hell?!!!

 

I'm thankful that I'm feeling so much better and that I was blessed with the where-with-all to figure out all this on my own, but I can't help but be a little pissed at the industry that put me on all this crap to begin with.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Mornings are the hardest. I'm no longer able to sleep all morning which is good, but I can't organize my mind enough to actually do anything either which can be very frustrating.

 

I'm too grumpy to accept much direction in the morning so my day feels like a frustrating waste of time until around 2 pm when my mind starts to clear.

 

I haven't been able to do much of anything in the morning for years. It's just that since reducing the meds, I'm actually starting to care.

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KarenB   
KarenB

I wonder if you can maybe set up something in the evening, eg put breakfast in a bowl, and walking shoes/clothes plus a water-bottle on the chair, so in the morning you can just kind of fall into a walk without too much thinking being required. 

 

It might help to stop that moochy feeling, which I know can feel quite unpleasant and frustrating. 

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

That's a great idea, KarenB. I'll give it a try. I've actually gotten it together enough in the past few days to make myself a veggie smoothie in the morning which has warded off some of the blahs.

 

The great thing is that I'm getting some energy back. The hard thing is that I don't know what to do with it because all the paperwork, cleaning, etc. that I let pile up while I was so ill still overwhelm me. I still don't seem to have the mental capacity to break them up into achievable tasks. Sometimes I wish I had a job so I could get out of the house and feel like I was accomplishing something.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I woke up in a terrible mood this morning. Really agitated for some reason. I decided to go pull some weeds that had managed to get as tall as me thinking the fresh air and exercise would make me feel better, but it just made me grumpier. Why is that?

 

I was all set to reduce my Lexapro to 9 mgs today because I'd been feeling quite stable and because I'd finally run out of the 10 mg tablets. Problem is that my aunt who has mental retardation and over whom I am guardian is in the hospital right now and it looks like she might not make it. If that's the case, I'll have to travel to NY where she lives for her final arrangements. Everything being so up in the air is making me a little nuts.

 

Maybe a med change right now is not the best idea.

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KarenB   
KarenB

Too much active exercise can actually be activating and therefore make symptoms worse.  You'll need to find your tipping point. 

 

Yes, it may be best to hold off on a switch - no sense trying to do everything at once.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I think you're right Karen the activity seems to make things worse. It's just disheartening when you can't rely on an old standby to relieve the tension.

 

I ended up reducing to 9 mgs anyway. When I had to get out the liquid, I just couldn't resist the urge to try it. Feels like I've been holding for soooo.... loooong. Only two months, but it feels like forever. We'll see how it goes.

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KarenB   
KarenB

The urge to cut is a pain in the but!  How's that for a bit of poetry in your day? 

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

At my most difficult times, I hold onto the belief that it is in our darkest moments that we grow the most. It's in the darkness that we become what we are meant to be. Like the butterfly in the cocoon, but like the butterfly, we can't see the beauty until the process is over. Inside the cocoon is such a hard place to be.

 

 

Unfortunately, the world fears our darkness even more than we do. They don't even want to watch us go through the darkness alone. So they try to scare us into staying on the mind-numbing medication.Forced to stay in this absurd twilight. Neither dark nor light. Neither hot nor cold.

 

I will endure the darkness of withdrawal and wait for true light to come.

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scallywag   
scallywag

Great thought, Patricia. I, in my less elegant way, express this as, "I'm not going to suffer or to risk my health just so that YOU are more comfortable."

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

So true, Scallywag. So true.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I've been experiencing cortisol spikes upon waking for the past several days. Actually this morning it wasn't as bad. Perhaps I'm over it already? I'm sure it's related to my dose drop last week. Interesting thing is that it's worse after I take a nap than when I wake up in the morning.

 

I'd like to thank all the moderators for this site. It's been a godsend. Without it, I would have never realized what I've been experiencing is withdrawal. I would've just panicked long ago and ended up on more of this poison. Because of SA I can calmly endure secure in the knowledge that healing is taking place.

 

Y'all are the best!

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

Energy without agitation. How great would that be? It seems that lately I can't seem to have one without the other.

 

A pattern has emerged. I get up when my husband does around 7 am, but am usually still tired which makes me cranky (maybe cortisol?). I want to stay up, but I can't figure out what to do with myself so I go back to bed after my husband goes to work. I'm still kind of sleepy anyway. Then between 9:30 and 10 it's like the angry monster kicks me and screams "GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!" I feel highly irritated and compelled to be active. Problem is that often the activity adds to the irritation. God forbid anything goes wrong with the activity or I'll have a total meltdown.

 

I usually have a highly nutritious breakfast consisting of greens, carrots, fruits seed and nuts all blended up in my Nutribullet. I've been going out of my way to avoid sugar and caffeine. It does seem to help my digestion and my energy level, but I find it annoying that it does nothing to reduce the agitation or increase my focus.

 

I went to visit some friends this weekend. Whenever we get together, we tend to stay up until the wee hours which is not something I am used to. On Monday I ended up sleeping all day. No 9:30  am agitation/energy spike. It was a nice reprieve. I preferred it. Even though I literally slept ALL DAY and did NOTHING. I didn't even take the dog out.

 

Tuesday it was back to the agitation although not quite as bad. Then today I had a seriously harsh spike. I didn't sleep much last night either. It's just frustrating when everything is so unpredictable. 

 

Energy rush is pooping out now. Feeling relaxed and sleepy. Gonna have something to eat and lie back down.

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PatriciaVP   
PatriciaVP

I've felt quite a bit better today. I forced myself to stay awake all morning so I wasn't drifting off and getting the multiple cortisol spikes. The trick to it was having something easy and straightforward to keep myself awake and focused, but avoiding potential frustration. I bought myself a friendship bracelet kit over the weekend. It's got these wheels in it that allow one to create a variety of patterns using a simple repetitive motion. Just enough thought and concentration without taxing my brain too much. That seems to be the key.

 

I also interspersed it with some easy chores most of which went well. When I tried to scrub the shower floor, however, the dirt wasn't coming up and I started to get very frustrated and angry. I was clearheaded enough to put more spray down and walk away without freaking out. Later it came up fine. Sounds silly, but it felt like a little victory.

 

I am starting to get tired now so I'm going to take a short nap before my husband gets home. Here's hoping there are no cortisol spikes.

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

"Sounds silly, but it felt like a little victory."

 

I don't think it does.  I understand completely.  And I think in this withdrawal business, any victory can be called a big victory.

 

And your post is a timely reminder for me.  My shower needs cleaning very badly too.  I usually wet 2 walls and then clean the first, wet the 3rd and clean the second etc and leave the floor until last.  I'll now make sure I mentally prepare and allow for extra time instead of extra physical effort.  Thanks. ;)

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