Learning to cope.((I don’t have the drugs to sort it out)). 

For the whole of my adult life my mood has been controlled by psychiatric drugs. Since puberty emotions became something intolerably intense for me that needed to be dampened because I felt I wasn’t strong or capable enough to deal with them. 

Any mood swings or problems were considered pharmaceutical in nature; an issue with my medication or dosages, and not just normal human fluctuations.

For over 17 years feelings have been tempered, flattened, smoothed over by daily waves of serotonin with a pinch of norepinephrine and dopamine and one bland day I’d just had enough.

It has taken me two years to complete my borderline homeopathic taper off prozac but as of a couple of months ago I have been drug free. It will be undetectable in my blood soon if not already.

The world has changed. Everything is more vivid and vital, sharper, urgently demanding my attention. Things are loud and overwhelmingly contradictory, and tears flow freely for the sake of a broken pen, or missing words. 

I would like to clarify that although I have never learnt to cope with strong emotions, that does not mean that I am weak or incapable. I need to remind myself this on a daily basis.

And so I wade through the great spectacular symphony that describes the breadth and depth of human emotional capacity. I never realised that the orchestra was so big, that there were so many different instruments that all used to feel just like a blanket of disappointment or anger but now have individual notes of their own.

I don’t know how to deal with the stitching on a favourite dress coming undone, or how to stop myself from shaking while I’m telling you my point of view, but I know this is where I am now meant to be amomg tears, smiles and torn up letters.

Repeat after me: “I am an idiot”

Brace yourself.

I have managed something really special today, even for me. I measured out 2.5ml of liquid fluoxetine in a syringe for an oral dose, then not paying attention to the angle, squirted it on the back of my throat, choked, couldn’t breath for a couple of mins, freaked out, and of course, had an obligatory panic attack. Once I could breathe again I called  an out of hours Dr because my throat felt like it was burning through into my lungs. I’m so embarrassed, of course I’ll survive without intervention, what was I thinking? That the prozac would dissolve my trachea? (yes, yes that’s exactly what I was thinking). The lovely people at the end of the phone asked me if I have ebola a few times (not even I think I have ebola…) and whether I’d taken an overdose (nope, nothing that exciting I’m afraid!) they established that actually I was fine except for a bit sweaty and coughy. I was to go away, take a paracetamol and regret agreeing to this call being shared with my regular Dr. So the moral of the story is thus: when taking liquid medicines, don’t do what I did, dispense onto your tongue like a normal person…Ok?

Can you imagine dying from choking on prozac? I think I’d deserve a Darwin award for that…

“Shame is the shadow of love”~pj Harvey, shame

A journey into hitherto unknown medication types

*note to self, visits to the GP are not meant to be you constantly trying to make the Dr laugh…this is serious business….I really MIGHT think I’ve got a turnip growing out of my foot…*

The journey has begun. I am switching from my faithful friend of 12 years, one Mr prozac, to a newer sexier antidepressant called mirtazapine. I’m doing this not because prozac doesn’t work (it does) but I simply cannot survive much longer with every night’s sleep broken by episodes of night sweats. Its been going on ever since I started the drug and enough is enough. This week I’m mostly having a headache due to tapering off prozac, which is in turns exciting, dizzying, exhausting and nauseating. I feel a little like the density of my brain has changed, and I’ve already started to get comments about moodiness at work. I had to warn the boss lady that I might be a bit moody until the transition is over, so about a month….she asked if she was allowed to tell me off….I said she could try. What I didn’t tell her is that if I’m feeling absolutely terrible then I’m popping a valium and staying home in a chilled out cocoon until the worst passes. Who wouldn’t? I’m not too sure about this new drug…it might make me gain a lot of weight (that sounds expensive) and might make me super sleepy or drowsy even during the daytime. I’m going to have to forgo horse riding for the first weekend just incase Im all off balance / uncoordinated etc 😦 Booo. It’s kind of scary because prozac and I have had a good run, we’ve been through some tough times together and come out relatively sane, albeit sweaty and tired. I’d love to come off antidepressants totally but the times I have tried have been a disaster. Everything feels so intense, it’s overwhelming. Maybe now I could cope ok if I can only get through the withdrawal procedure without scratching off my own skin. Nevertheless I know prozac will still be there for me if I break up with mirtazapine and even drug-relationship counselling (valium) or holistic approaches (hugging horses) can’t make things better.

Phase 1 of tapering prozac to half the dose and SO is already saying he’s not putting up with this shit ( me wanting to lay down and listen to music and generally chore-dodging due to slight dizziness and lethargy, and not finding being prodded in the eyebrow romantic?! ) so that bodes well….

I have no idea how my writing will be affected. If you are lucky I might even start proofreading what I type, but don’t hold your breath huh?!

“I’m medicated..how are you?
Let’s take a dive swim right through,
Sophisticated point of view”~placebo, follow the cops back home

Forgetfulness leaves a bitter taste

It’s finally happened. I’m left with such a bitter taste in my throat.

Lack of organisation and extreme goldfish attention span had me scrabbling in the medicine drawer for the liquid version of prozac because all my pills are gone. I mean ALL. I’ve been bleeding my secret stashes for weeks..all those emergency few I have in a handbag or next to the bed, in the cutlery drawer, down the side of the sofa. All gone, and it’s my own darned fault. Again you are probably thinking I’m being a drama queen but if you’ve ever tasted fluoxetine then you’ll have the greatest sympathy. It’s kind of how imagine a spoonful of bile would taste and it l-i-n-g-e-r-s. It’s really a test of strength because 90% of me wants to just skip a few days to avoid this unpleasantness, but the 10% that can tolerate the spoons reminds me what happens if I do that…so sulkily I concede.

I’d like to blame the doctors for not having their phonelines open 24/7 for repeat prescriptions, and for those rare occasions that I DO call when they are in, being engaged!

I’d also like to blame the pharmacy that dispensed this bottle of liquid evil, as I’ve previously requested the one with sucrose not sorbitol, but here I am with a sorbitol, slightly minty flavoured liquid that is trying and failing to mask the gag and wince inducing bilious bitterness of this medicine.

I’d like to, but honestly it’s my own damned fault and this is my penance for not getting new pills weeks ago…

“I was alone, falling free, trying my best not to forget”