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Jemima

Success: Jemima Survives Lexapro and Dr. Dickhead, Too

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I've initiated just about everything, Dalsaan.  The card games, Mahjongg, Writers' Group, board games, volunteer work on the community newsletter, and the finance committee are all activities that were started by other people, mostly in my over-55 housing development, that I had to join on my own, and there is one once-a-month dinner that I started. The only things I can think of to which I was invited are the sewing group, another monthly dinner, and the Christian book club. I'd say that over half of what I do calls for some initiative on my part. However, the groups with which I've gotten involved now expect me to be there, which can feel burdensome, especially because I think I've gotten involved in too much. Some nights I need that escape from boredom and loneliness, but I'm hoping that my life begins to change into something that feels more purposeful. Maybe I'm just being impatient again. Like I said above, it's only been since mid-January that I've felt at all like my old self, and even then I was still dragged down by my problem with magnesium. 

 

I have to remember too that I'm 68 and I just don't bounce back from things like I used to. This has been an aggravating week between waking up sick at 3:00 AM Wednesday, not being able to get back to sleep, having the roofers here at 7:00 AM Wednesday and Thursday, and again this morning from about nine until ten-thirty to finish painting my shed, of which one side had rotted away from being too close to the house.  It's been an expensive ordeal too, and that's always stressful.

 

In reading over my first paragraph, I realized that I didn't realize how much I'd taken on. I've been wanting to find a church too, but I never seem to have the energy to go to Sunday morning services, which makes me think I've got my priorities screwed up and it's time for a review and weeding out.

 

I've still got some "must" stuff to take care of this afternoon--picking up my veggies at the CSA and another errand plus packages arriving late in the afternoon that will have to be put away--but I'm going to rest and relax with a book as much as I can and let the blankety-blank AARP course go until tomorrow or even next week. The heck with cards, too.  One of the less likable women I've met here started women's poker on some Friday nights instead of the usual Phase 10 game, and I don't enjoy gambling at all, so maybe I'll start my weed-pulling by dropping out on poker nights.

 

Damn, I'm tired. I can hardly wait for 1:30 to roll around so I can go get these errands done (CSA hours are 2:00-7:30).

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The alkaline supplement is Alkalife, which is composed of potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, probably not the greatest mix: http://www.microwaterman.com/Microwater/Alkalife_Alkaline_Ph_drops.htm, but I happened to have three full and three partial bottles of it from a previous attempt to neutralize the damage from my smoking habit, so I used it.

On so-called alkalinizing diets it is possible for the Na/K ratio to become imbalanced since vegetables are potent sources of potassium. You might try sea-salting your food to taste, if you do not already do so, and quitting the alkaline supp. See how you feel. The body is good at regulating sodium by taste. If you don't need the salt then your food will taste "too salty", if you need it it will taste good.

 

As for what I'd do if I could do anything--brace yourself--I'd go to seminary, maybe for a Master's in Christian Counseling, but mostly for my own enlightenment. I don't see how I could possibly do that, though.

You should lisen to yourself. Do it! At whatever level you can comfortably partake, auditing a course or volunteering or physically going there to take walks, start getting involved! Having a purpose in the day-to-day will keep you going another 30 years.

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Thanks, Alex!  I never thought of just going there to take a walk. I've always been afraid to make an appointment to talk with a counselor there because I'm afraid I'll get pressured into signing up for something I can't afford, but if I just bumped into someone and had a chat, that would be nice.  Or even just seeing if there are any other retirement-age people on campus would be worthwhile. I'm immersing myself in Christian reading at the moment and that is helping a lot for the time being. I greatly appreciate the encouragement, especially since I've always regretted not following my dream (to be an artist) back in college.

 

As for the acid-alkaline balanced diet, I'm easing up on that and not taking the supplement.  I feel better already. I had a Milky Way yesterday afternoon and it was a nearly exotic experience after weeks of salads and nuts.

 

Thanks to Dalsaan, too.  Your question really got me thinking about all the activities I've taken on that are pretty much meaningless.  I've made a few new friends from a few of the activities, and I value that highly, but a lot of it is just filling time and avoiding loneliness.

 

I have a lot to think about.

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Too much social life! Why not concentrate on the activities where your friends are? You may be able to forge closer relationships with them.

 

That online AARP Drivers' Ed course is horrible. I phoned them to give them heck about it. Repetitious, tedious, time-wasting. The only reason I'm going to finish it is the discount on car insurance.

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That's what I'm going to do, Alto.  Today was a good one:  Writers' Group followed by a Chinese dinner out with one of the two friends I made there.  I feel quite content at the moment. These activities stay on the calendar, but some others are going to go.  I'm finally at a point where I can enjoy having an evening to myself to read. I'm guessing it's a sign of progress that I no longer need distractions for the sake of distraction. The over-involvement in activities seems to be a stage in retirement for a lot of people, too.  My friend and someone else I know have both said they also need to cut back on the busy-ness.

 

I fully agree about the AARP course, although I understand why it's so slow and tedious--they have to make it last eight hours, just as if you were in a classroom. To make matters worse, Pennsylvania requires that you answer a personal question at certain points, including the end, and I answered wrong.  The question was about previous address street numbers.  WTF?  How am I supposed to remember a street number from 1997? I've lived in my current house since December 31, 1999, and I remember the apartment address where I rented the year before, but that's it.  I called and now have to wait until I get an email telling me to download my certificate tomorrow.  I hope the jerks don't try to make me answer another stupid question first. Grrrrrrr.

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I want to get this on record some place other than my hard drive where I'll probably forget the file name and lose it, plus my experience may be helpful to others who tend to get depressed.

 

First of all, I did something really stupid by taking both hay fever medication and sleeping pills at the same time and made myself good and sick.  I don't think I came close to accidentally killing myself, but I spent a miserable week-plus in bed, getting more sick and tired every day. It just dawned on me mid-day this past Thursday what was going on, although I knew better than to take these two meds together but somehow just wasn't thinking.

 

But that's not the important part. This experience somehow jolted me into realizing I'd never changed my priorities since I retired.  When I was working, I put in so much time and energy on the job that I had trained myself to take care of necessary chores first before I ran out of steam, and put enjoyable things on the back burner, although I did manage to make it to church most Sundays.

 

I no sooner retired than I went into antidepressant withdrawal so I haven't had the intellectual or emotional stability to stand back and look at my life until just recently, and somehow that bad drug experience shook me up enough to start thinking about making changes.  What's been happening is that I've followed my old pattern of 'chores first' and since I don't have the physical stamina I did nearly three years ago before AD withdrawal, mostly what I've been doing has been chores.  It's no wonder I've felt down and still somewhat anhedonic. I now intend to put first things first, meaning church, friends, and satisfying activities first (SA is included in the latter) and work in the "necessities" as best I can.  (If it's any consolation to Petu and Tezza, one of the things I really have trouble with is grocery shopping. I just loathe it and am tempted to start using a local grocery order and delivery service that can be arranged online. I already have cat food and litter shipped every few months along with regular, automatic deliveries of vitamins and TP from Amazon.)

 

So I've already asked a friend to go to lunch on Monday instead of postponing grocery shopping until then, skipped grocery shopping today (partly or mostly because of the high heat and it being a weekend), and have made out a check for an offering at a church I want to try that has Sunday evening services since I'm still not able to get up much before ten in the morning. I've made out umpteen checks for church and ended up shredding them, but I'm determined to go tomorrow evening.  I can pick up a few groceries on the way home since the church is only a few hundred yards from one of my favorite stores.  (A friend suggested breaking up chores into small bits and I think I may try that.  I always tried to get a month's worth of groceries at one time while I was working, but that's no longer necessary, another thing to re-think.) I've also decided not to try any more special diets, like the acid-alkaline balance thing, and just eat as healthfully as possible with a treat, such as frozen yogurt or chocolate, here and there.  I will, of course, continue to avoid gluten since I know for sure that it makes me sick.

 

This is going to take some doing, but I'm just going to have to screw up my courage and try some new habits. I'm sure not happy with the ones I've got, and maybe now that I've made a public commitment I'll be more motivated to change.

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Woo hoo! You go! 

 

:-)

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Thanks for the support, Rhi!

 

I made it to church for the first time in many months and picked up two bags of groceries on the way home, which was so much less a chore than buying and putting away a month's worth of stuff at one time. Small steps and small improvements. And dang, that frozen yogurt was good!

 

I hope my ongoing saga isn't boring everybody silly, but I suspect that many people who get through antidepressant withdrawal will find that they are at least a partially different person afterward and need to make some changes. I hope that my story will help to cushion the surprise in addition to helping me keep on track.

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Keep it coming, Jemima. I relate to so much of your story and find the "post taper/DC" struggles most relevant to my own situation.

 

Thanks!

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And so I've hit more bumps along the road. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

 

One of them has been total disappointment with the newsletter volunteer work. The other two women have been doing the newsletter since it started 24 years ago or close to that long, and they aren't going to do anything differently than they've been doing it for anybody for any reason. I signed up for a day trip that I didn't realize fell on one of the designated meeting days and asked the older of the two women (who seems to be in charge, although not officially) if they could change the meeting day just once and she as good as told me to take it or leave it. They also treated me like a peasant. So I'm leaving it. I retired to get away from people like her. They're bad for my mental health.

 

Two small steps forward are that I didn't go to the poker game last night and intend to continue skipping poker nights, and I've resolved to throw away food that isn't very good instead of treating myself like a garbage can to avoid "waste". I just made a crockpot casserole with green beans and new potatoes I got from the CSA  and the beans have turned out to be woody, so I'm going to pitch the whole mess. My parents courted during the Great Depression and were death on waste of any kind, so I had that idea pounded into me, but it's time to change that habit too, I think. I also told the leader of the sewing group not to expect me every week, although I intend to keep going as I can. I do enjoy those women and the Girls' Night Out they have once a month.

 

Now that I've quit taking the antihistamine and sleeping pills in combination--in fact, I'm not taking the antihistamine at all--I've had more goods days and hours and I'm beginning to get ideas for things I could make and maybe write. I'm having more and more windows of creativity, so the anhedonia is noticeably fading away. It also feels really good to know what I do and don't want to do and have the courage to drop out or sign up. Things seem to be moving in the right direction now. I'm starting to feel good about having free time too instead of dreading getting up in the morning and being bored all day. This is more like what I expected from retirement.

 

Tonight it's the board game group, which I do enjoy, and it also helps to curb my whining.  The hosts have four children, two of whom have major handicaps, and I often think of them when I start to feel sorry for myself.

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I'm not exactly 100% yet.  It seems to take a really, really long time to get through this and feel normal from time to time, although in looking back, I think I wrote my "success" story at the end of March, so that would put me only a little over five months into "recovery".  What I think has happened is that antidepressant withdrawal changed my life so radically that I can't just pick up where I left off. I have to start all over building a life instead.  The damage that Lipitor did to my arms has also thrown a monkey wrench into the works. There were things I had planned to do in retirement--like redecorating--that I'm no longer physically able to do, so I either have to hire them out or forget about them.  There are some things I can do a little bit at a time, like gardening, and some things that simply no longer interest me.

 

One big mistake I've made is to use antihistamines and benzos for sleep. I haven't had an antihistamine in over a month now and am beginning to be able to sleep without anything except Tylenol, Melatonin, and an occasional dose of magnesium, but I think I sabotaged my own progress using drugs for insomnia.  I'm still not at the point that the anhedonia is gone, although it's hard to tell if that's a drug side effect or just from being so aimless at the moment. Thank God I didn't get hooked on the benzo--many thanks to Rhi and her warnings--and I have now sworn them off completely.

 

I don't know if the length of time on a drug(s) has anything to do with the length of recovery time, but I was on antidepressants for only fifteen months and on three different types during that time (Pristiq, Remeron, and Lexapro), so perhaps the short duration for each drug (Remeron, 4 months; Pristiq, 5 months [overlapping the Remeron]; Lexapro, 10 months) shortened my withdrawal period somewhat.  I was also given  1 mg. Lorazepam every three hours PRN and used it quite regularly for seven months until I read about the horrors of benzo withdrawal here and stopped it CT.  I did not go into deeper withdrawal from that and am very thankful that I didn't get addicted.

 

Another (maybe) mistake I made was getting involved in too much as soon as I was able to be out and about, and I've withdrawn from a lot of those activities over the past three months, keeping just the few that I deeply enjoy and a distraction (mostly playing cards) or two. I just signed up for a Bible study and have offered to volunteer two hours next week at a church-supported food pantry, something I can continue to do or not. I'm reading a lot, mostly fiction, and taking some pleasure in not having to get up and be somewhere on time five days a week.

 

Things improve, but ever so gradually.

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Jemima, you are an inspiration.  I just finished reading all your threads, and you have been through it!  

 

I've been reluctant to volunteer.  And you just plunged in!  Wow!  I thought it was only here in Australia where volunteers are treated like dirt, and if you can't come on Thursday between 6 am and noon, just forget it.  And if you can't lift heavy trays, just forget it.  You'd think VOLUNTEERING could be such a creative thing - even if you aren't involved in the output.  Like at the soup kitchen, if you can't cook or waitress, you CAN (and you can do this on your own) keep company with the people who need the soup kitchen.  Maybe they need someone to talk with, to share a meal with, as much as they need a meal.  I know when I attended a soup kitchen, sometimes I wanted to be anonymous, but sometimes I wanted a friendly face to tell a story about my day, and maybe hear a story, too.  And feel like I shared a meal with a friend.  The same with any volunteering organization, whether it's visiting folks in hospital, or helping with your neighborhood elderly.  Just helping them get to medical appointments, or holding their hands when they go.  

 

People will always need people, and "organized volunteering" is usually about power trips for people who never acquired power in the "real world."  Let them get their own burritos.  And you make your burritos as you see them.

 

An activist once said, "You can only pick up the beer cans in your path."  And if your purpose is only to pick up those beer cans in your path - you have made the world a better place.  And you have purpose.  Likewise, I would add, "you can only be kind to the people you meet," and see where that leads.

 

I kind of understand the retirement thing, as I gradually went from full time, to part time, to disabled (but not qualifying for disability).  You remember what it was like to be full on.  But are you demanding too much of yourself in recovery?  Sure, it's essential to push yourself, but you don't want to collapse in a heap, either!  I like your attitude about chores and food.  I came to a similar conclusion (about the chores, I still struggle with the Depression mentality of my parents, too, with the food) but it took a long time to do it.  If I only did chores, there would be nothing left to write in here, or see friends, or help hubby.  I'd have a spotless house, and dinner on the table - but - there would be nothing left.  

 

I envy you your faith.  I remember what it was like to believe in something, and once that was ripped away from me, it's hard to get back.  Like after jumping (or being pushed) off a cliff - you long for that cliff, that stability, that rock under your feet - but it is too late.  I may find my "faith feet" again, but I think it will take a long time.  Baby Baby steps.  Like faith that the sun will come up in the morning.  Faith that this emotion won't kill me.  Faith that the emotion will pass.  Faith in the tiny everyday things, until maybe they will acquire critical mass and equal something more.

 

This search for "Porpoise" (purpose) as I've always called it - is more vital than a search for "Happiness."  It's like the compass needle has been spinning (and mine has spun many many times) and you lost where you thought you were going, and you're nowhere near where you thought you would be.  AND, as you've pointed out, the trauma of the drugs has left you a different person than you were, with different capabilities, tolerances, and needs.  I guess the spinning needle image makes me thing of being present and being still.  To put it in the words of your faith, the still small voice is the one of guidance.

 

And it's so much easier to look for the big, dramatic one!

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Thanks for your post, Jan, and yes, I do tend to push myself too hard. I'm only beginning to accept that I'm not the same person I was before being damaged by Lipitor and antidepressants.

 

The past month or so has been pretty bad physically.  My allergies are acting up, which causes severe sinus congestion and tinnitus along with dizziness from most of the congestion being on the left side.  The cold, damp weather makes me ache all over, especially the muscles that get strained from not having rotator cuffs any more, no doubt another legacy of having taken Lipitor, a drug I hate every bit as much as any antidepressant in the PDR.

 

Most of my past experiences with volunteer work have been in church settings and once a small town public library, all good memories.  I have had a couple of bad situations in the past few years, though.  One was a formerly church sponsored soup kitchen and food pantry which has turned against anything Christian or religious at all, which I think I wrote about in my Intro, and the other was a formerly church-connected retirement community that ignored my physical problems and just plain made me miserable.  Some of that, I think, was because the volunteer coordinator was in her seventies and had memory problems, but there was also a lack of consideration for the volunteers.  We were first and foremost free help.  Now I'm volunteering at a food cupboard that's sponsored by several churches in a town a little farther away than  the other two places, and it's a joy to help out there.  The churches and the volunteers take their Christianity seriously and treat *everyone* with respect and caring.

 

I still haven't found that overarching purpose, but I'm feeling more patient about it and enjoying picking up the beer cans along the way.   :)

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Hello tgirl, and thanks for asking. I'm doing better and better, although I have my bad days like everyone. Just when I think I'm finally over AD withdrawal, another layer of yucky stuff peels off and I'm surprised that I can get even better.  Maybe I'm just learning how to handle fear and depression in more constructive ways than popping pills.  Those problems have been with me for as long as I can remember, thanks to growing up an only child in an outstandingly dysfunctional family.  My father never touched me sexually, but he sure beat the crapola out of me emotionally and back in those days (I was born in 1945), women just didn't get divorced, if only for the sake of economical survival.

 

Anyway, my lifetrend is upward.  I'm currently taking an online course in writing fiction and really getting into it, and even my physical problems are getting better. Today was one of those nasty winter days when the weather is changing and barometric pressure is going up and down--a phenomena that would ordinarily put me in a lot of pain--but  although I'm having some pain, it's nothing like it was a year ago.  Even us old people can get better! (I'm 69)

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I am glad to hear from you again dear Jemima.

And soo glad to know you continue to improve.

Yes, we older people get better also;I'm 61 and getting better every day.

My recipe?lots of courage, patience, faith, and staying away from psychiatric medicaction.

 

Hugs,A.

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I am a survivor from physical and emotional abuse from my psicopath father.

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So good to hear from you, Alex, and to know that your improvement continues. Please keep in touch!

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I'm feeling lonely after a bad Thanksgiving Day, and it feels awfully good to sign on here and read and reply to posts. This forum always reminds me that I *DO* have friends, even if they aren't geographically close enough to share a meal.  

 

The reason Thanksgiving was such a bummer was the Nor'easter that blew through the afternoon and evening before Thanksgiving, and human failure.  I had planned to go to a church dinner (for want of any invitations) or at least go out to a restaurant, but the man who's been taking care of snow removal for me for the past eight or so years never showed up or called, and I can't reach him by phone either, except for the voicemail on his cell phone. He has not returned my call approximately twelve hours later.  Being divorced, childless, and having shoulder problems is bad enough without this!

 

Anyway, a lot of the mess melted today, and a neighbor who noticed me struggling to get the ice chunks off the car and out of the way sent her husband over to take care of it for me, God bless them both.  I've played cards with Maryellen often, and she's aware of my shoulder problems.  I was surprised at what I was actually able to do, but very relieved to have Jim finish up. I could not have done it all myself.

 

Working at the food cupboard continues to be a source of satisfaction and growing friendships, and the fiction writing class is not only worth every penny, it's really hard work and takes up a lot of time. It's amazing how stories and characters take on a life of their own!  I'm trying to write a Christian piece (short story? novel? who knows?) about a woman who thinks she's found a really good church, only to be disillusioned by church members who put on a good act, but who don't know Jesus from a tree stump. (Yes, this comes from personal experience and I'm betting there are a  lot of people who've been through just this sort of disappointment.)

 

Thanks for being here.

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Sorry that your meal out was thwarted Jemima, I can imagine how disappointed you were. It's good that your neighbour came

to your rescue, that was kind of him. Glad you are feeling better now, these things always happen at the wrong time! 

The writing sounds good and I would love to read your story  :)

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Thanks for the encouragement, MammaP!  I'll take all I can get!

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Hi Jemima, 

 

I'm new to this forum and just read through your story--how inspiring and motivating. How are you doing now? 

 

It's so wonderful to see that you're taking a fiction writing course (or were, possibly last semester). How did it go? I feel like I've found a kindred spirit, as I've taught fiction to college and high school students, my master's is in fiction writing, and I've been writing fiction since I was very young--I can certainly identify with what you say about having the creative aspect of your personality. When withdrawal is sucking everything out of your life, though, it's really hard to have that. For me, with the anxiety/dread/doom I'm feeling, I couldn't care less about my creativity. 

 

It's really nice to hear that it comes back, b/c at this moment I am doubting that, doubting that anything will stabilize and seem normal again. You know, catastrophizing everything. 

 

Were you always into writing? Or is this a newer interest? How are your w/d symptoms overall, now that it's cruddy winter out? Your story really is an inspiration, and it gives me hope as I struggle through these long anxiety-filled days and near-sleepless nights. Your comments about the drugs for sleep hit home with me--it's so tempting b/c the sleep is so elusive but so very necessary. I hope you've found a workable solution. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you're doing well! 

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Sorry that your meal out was thwarted Jemima, I can imagine how disappointed you were. It's good that your neighbour came

to your rescue, that was kind of him. Glad you are feeling better now, these things always happen at the wrong time! 

The writing sounds good and I would love to read your story  :)

 

I haven't actually written any stories yet.  I thought I had a good idea, but then when I started writing it, it didn't seem all that interesting. What I'd really like to do is write a best-seller that features a protagonist who goes through antidepressant withdrawal hell and comes out the better for it. I think one of the purposes of fiction can be getting a message across to the public.  Writing a non-fiction book about antidepressant withdrawal is probably preaching to the choir, whereas a good story will sugar-coat the facts well enough for the general public to swallow.

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Hi Jemima, 

 

I'm new to this forum and just read through your story--how inspiring and motivating. How are you doing now? 

 

It's so wonderful to see that you're taking a fiction writing course (or were, possibly last semester). How did it go? I feel like I've found a kindred spirit, as I've taught fiction to college and high school students, my master's is in fiction writing, and I've been writing fiction since I was very young--I can certainly identify with what you say about having the creative aspect of your personality. When withdrawal is sucking everything out of your life, though, it's really hard to have that. For me, with the anxiety/dread/doom I'm feeling, I couldn't care less about my creativity. 

 

It's really nice to hear that it comes back, b/c at this moment I am doubting that, doubting that anything will stabilize and seem normal again. You know, catastrophizing everything. 

 

Were you always into writing? Or is this a newer interest? How are your w/d symptoms overall, now that it's cruddy winter out? Your story really is an inspiration, and it gives me hope as I struggle through these long anxiety-filled days and near-sleepless nights. Your comments about the drugs for sleep hit home with me--it's so tempting b/c the sleep is so elusive but so very necessary. I hope you've found a workable solution. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you're doing well! 

 

I loved the fiction writing course and am now in another, advanced one, soon to end.  I like the instructor so much (Steve Alcorn--heard of him?) that I'm going to take his course about writing mysteries after I'm done with this one. (I don't plan to write mysteries, but I think most good stories have something mysterious within them.)  I also want to take a course that's being offered in preparing your own Kindle or other ebook, but I'm nowhere close to having a book ready to publish, so I'll wait on that.

 

I often thought that I'd take up writing after I retired (which I did on Labor Day weekend, 2011), but I got off Lexapro far too fast, although according to doctor's instructions, and ended up sick for close to four years.  My creative streak, which is mostly along the lines of fine arts and crafts, has faded in and out over the past year.( I've also got severe damage to my shoulders from Lipitor, so I'm unable to do some of the artsy things I planned to do--but I can still type!)  I've just gotten over the off-and-on anhedonia for a really unexpected reason, see below, so others won't miss it.

 

Thanks for your post, and hang in there.  It really does get better, although it will try your patience.

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A mystery with a protagonist experiencing antidepressant withdrawal!

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a legal drama - think Erin Brockovich meets David Healy

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Sorry to have been away so long. It's been a long, dreary winter here in the Middle Atlantic states, and I've been somewhat depressed from that PLUS a surprising source.

 

I've mentioned being gluten intolerant before, I think, but I didn't realize how sensitive I was to dairy until recently.  I've been off and on dairy for years because I'd read that it aggravates allergies such as hay fever, which I often get very badly in the fall, but I got hungry for cheese a few months back, bought some and ate it. It didn't take long to figure out that sharp cheddar was a bad idea, but I seemed to do okay with Velveeta.  Big oops. A few days ago I woke up from a fitful sleep which included a dream about having the flu to the point that I felt like I might throw up in my semi-conscious state.  I'd just been thinking how my cat has perked up since I started mixing gluten-free oat bran into her food to combat a chronic constipation problem, and somehow that led me to think, "Cheese! Cheese is the culprit!".  I had been eating it as a bedtime snack and I didn't associate poor sleep and lots of upset stomach episodes with it because the allergic symptoms didn't come on until early morning, roughly six to eight hours after eating the stuff.

 

I quit the Velveeta immediately, and wow, do I ever feel better! Last night I went right to sleep with only two Tylenol caplets for back pain, and I've experienced several days of feeling good and energetic plus beginning to take an interest in needlework, clothes, and cooking again.  That low-grade depression I'd been dragging around with for months seems to be gone.  Even my writing is improved.  Yogurt and butter seem to be okay, but I may try cutting those out, too.  I hope those of you who are also gluten intolerant will try doing without dairy for a week or so.  I'm not saying that will cure antidepressant withdrawal, but I'm certain that, for me, it prolonged that lethargic, low-grade depression and anhedonia for months.

 

It's good to be back.  Some of the people with whom I've tried to be friends have turned out to be a big disappointment to the point that I wish I'd never met them and am trying to figure out how to end the "friendships" with a couple of them, one of whom is emotionally unbalanced and hasn't got the common sense God gave a goat, and the other is so self-centered that she's out of touch with reality.  There are a lot of people out there who are either stupid or crazy or both.  I've found most of the people on this forum to be just the opposite, and since we're a minority, I suspect being smart, sensitive to others' feelings, and sensible in general, we probably find the world more depressing than people who are walking around in a haze of dim-wittedness and selfishness.

 

I'm starting to make a lot of typos, so I'm going to go shower and go to bed.  In the meantime, we've had 3-4 inches of snow today, and the predicted "wintry mix" (doesn't that sound pretty?) started about an hour ago.  The temperature is at 24 degrees, so the "wintry mix" is probably going to be an ice problem tomorrow. There have been a number of sirens off and on all day, no doubt car accidents caused by people thinking (or not) that it won't happen to them.

 

I'm also going to read Deeply Odd, an Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz, who's a really smart guy IMO. It's really sad when the only intelligent life I can find is with my cat and in books.

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A mystery with a protagonist experiencing antidepressant withdrawal!

 

Right!  And she has a cat who looks just like your avatar!

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a legal drama - think Erin Brockovich meets David Healy

 

Er, I think that's a little over the top, but anyway David Healy looks a lot like a man I should have dated, but didn't because I was scared to death of a romantic relationship.  He pursued me during the separation during my first divorce, which was very bad timing.  I wish I had never seen a photo of Robert Healy because I don't like going down that what-if road at all.  The guy was Scottish, too.  McSomething.

 

Glad to see you're still around, though, and I hope you're doing well.  I'd go read your thread, but I'm fading fast.  Yes!  How good to feel tired and sleepy!

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So good to see you again Jemima!

I've been thinking of you, and how are you doing...

I'm still in the rollercoaster, but significantly better.

Just getting out from a nasty wave,The good news is that the last one was more than 2 months ago....

 

Hugs.

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Hi, Alex-

 

I'm so glad you're getting better!

 

Hug you back!

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a legal drama - think Erin Brockovich meets David Healy

 

On second thought, this is a good idea but I wouldn't be able to carry off the legal part. It would be a great theme for a John Grisham book, though.

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Amazing how food affects mood. I overdid M&Ms this afternoon, had racing thoughts about two hours later, and have felt nauseated and mildly depressed ever since. I'm beginning to think that a bland diet of mostly lean beef, chicken, and fish plus plain vegetables and fruits might get a person through withdrawal a little more easily. I now know that the dairy intolerance kept me feeling low for months.

 

It's worth a try.

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Hi Jemima, I just started reading this thread and it's been very interesting. I especially noticed the bit about the statin and the rotator cuffs. My dad, age 83, just discontinued statins after noticing profound muscle weakness, and having just torn his rotator cuff during a sudden arm movement that was not at all unusual, just very fast. His MRI showed that the muscles had already been calcifying, which is apparently a sign that the muscles have been in decline since before the recent injury.

 

I want to add my encouragement for the novel project. For the dramatic element, it could be a patient who is eluding forced hospitalization and medication, and cannot convince anyone that her symptoms are due to meeications. Until some guy who looks exactly like Dr. Healy comes along :)

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Hi Jemima, I just started reading this thread and it's been very interesting. I especially noticed the bit about the statin and the rotator cuffs. My dad, age 83, just discontinued statins after noticing profound muscle weakness, and having just torn his rotator cuff during a sudden arm movement that was not at all unusual, just very fast. His MRI showed that the muscles had already been calcifying, which is apparently a sign that the muscles have been in decline since before the recent injury.

 

I want to add my encouragement for the novel project. For the dramatic element, it could be a patient who is eluding forced hospitalization and medication, and cannot convince anyone that her symptoms are due to meeications. Until some guy who looks exactly like Dr. Healy comes along :)

 

I'm really sorry to read about your dad.  IMO, statins are poison and the whole cholesterol-causes-heart-disease theory was dreamed up by Pfizer to sell expensive pills.  I think I came awfully close to dying from too-low cholesterol. I understand the statins contribute to memory loss too, which is probably why there's been such an increase in dementia over the past decade or two.

 

I'm still working on the basics of the novel. The very basic theme is good (personified in the protagonist) overcoming evil in the form of psychiatry or maybe Big Pharma, but I'm not at all sure in what direction to go with the plot. I'm surprised at how difficult it is to write fiction, or at least to write it well.  I always pictured my favorite authors just knocking out one page after another, and while doing a lot of work, not really struggling with it.  Surprise!

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I started writing a (condensed) story idea for the novel I have in mind and used "arrogant psychiatrist" as part of it.  Is that an oxymoron?  :lol:

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