On my Way

Well, I’ve given up.  On day 4 of my antidepressant cleansing, I gave in.  That day, my boyfriend was off work and we took his daughter to the movies to see the new X-Men movie.  And I don’t remember much of it.  All I know is, my face was tingling and numb-ish, and I felt like the world was swirling around me.  So, after the movie, I took a pill and a half.  It took a couple of days, but it finally leveled out.  I feel better now, but the idea that I need medicine to be “normal” makes me sad.

I hate that I am chemically dependent, or dependent on anything for that matter.   At this time in my life – divorced, building a business, and wanting to get back to school – I am dependent on so much, from antidepressants to alimony.  For now, I rely on my monthly alimony payment to help make bills, though it runs out in December.  Then, for college, I am hoping to get some grant money so I can afford it.  I know that it’s okay to lean a bit while I go through this phase, but it doesn’t do much for my self esteem.  Basically, I feel like pond scum.

On the positive side, I’m on my way to being independent – for the first time in my life.  For 13 years, I basically depended on my husband to provide, and my father provided before that.  Sure, I had some jobs here and there, and I bought some cute clothes and kept my nails done.  But essentially, I did not provide anything other than “fun” money.  That behavior, however, has created some difficulty for me now because I am not in the habit of “regular” work and basically have no marketable skills.  I have 3 years of college, but no degree of any sort because I changed my major so much.  Soooo… I have to teach this old dog some new tricks.  Hmpf.

Lately, stress has been my constant companion.  I am expecting checks from clients but, due to a move, my mail has been held up.  Now, it is almost the 1st of the month and I am still broke and waiting. This situation forces me to call on some serious meditation and pinot grigio.  I am not a patient person, and am even less so when I am waiting. With every tick, I get a new grey hair.  (You laugh, but I can count them.)  Of course, when the checks arrive, they will be instantly deposited and then sent to bill collectors.  But nothing makes me happy like knowing I can pay my bills… unless it’s knowing I can pay them and still have enough left for Starbucks. Now that, my friends, is bliss. 🙂

For tonight, I am watching Netflix and enjoying a glass of cheap wine before I hit the pillow.  Maybe tomorrow the checks will come and the bill collectors will be held off for another month.  And, with any luck, there might be some Starbucks in my near future.  Here’s hoping!


Day 2: No Delusions

This morning began with a trip to my doctor’s office to discuss my current antidepressant.  A few months ago, I was forced – by insurance – to switch to a new brand.  My doctor chose Wellbutrin and I have given it a try.  But, 2 1/2 months in, I am unhappy with the results for a variety of reasons.  For starters, my anxiety is no better and I feel like I live in a fog.  There is more to the equation, but you get the drift.  Anyway, my doctor and I discussed it this morning and he has changed up my prescription so that I have to take a pill twice a day.  In addition, I am to stop taking my sleeping med because, apparently, the mix of the two can cause seizures.  Seizures!

I left his office with a sense of determination:  I am going to get healthy without these pills. I realize that going off medications is a serious matter, but I also realize that staying on them has the potential to do a lot of physical damage.  From seizures to loss of short term memory, the list of side effects is daunting.  I also realize that I have never been in such a good place in my life: I am happy.

At 34, I have some life experience under my belt, as well as the knowledge that life doesn’t always have to be roses and lollipops to be worth living. Even in the worst of circumstances, I can find something worth the effort of existence.  These elements, combined with an awesome network of friends and  a counselor who has seen fit to arm me with power over my own emotions, give me the confidence that I can work towards a new sense of wellness.

I have no delusions: I know that I am going to struggle.  But I also know that I have some great weapons to fight with in my back pocket.  So, I am going to try.  Today is day 2 without an antidepressant.  In fact, I haven’t taken my sleeping med in two days either because I suspicioned that it was the culprit causing the extreme drowsiness.  Withdrawals hit a bit today and I fought a nasty headache, but my spirits are high.  I’m feeling okay thus far.

Of course, time will tell. And, if crisis becomes evident, I will do what I must. But I have to give myself a shot now.  With the divorce finally over and life moving in a positive direction, I want to see if I can handle life without a chemical crutch.