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Archive for the ‘Neuroses’ Category

“Hugs”

I don’t hug. 

I mean, I do willingly hug my kids and my husband.  But they are the exception.  There are people I love dearly, people who have burst into tears right in front of me and all I can do is pat them on the arm when I should be hugging them.  I suck at comforting people, clearly.

Hugging just doesn’t come naturally to me.  In fact, most of the time after I hug some one I have to go wash my hands.  I don’t know why.

There are times that I am comfortable hugging people, like at BlogHer last year.  I even hugged Marinka, before I remembered that she doesn’t hug, either.  Beforehand, I imagined us being the two stiff non-huggers in the crowd, but lo and behold, I got to Chicago and hugged more people in one weekend than I had in my entire life.

There is something about getting to know people but only seeing them once or twice a year that makes me feel ok about hugging, and to even *gasp* initiate personal-space-barrier-breaking physical contact.

You’d think, then, that I’d be throwing out hugs left and right on twitter since the sentiment is there but I don’t actually have to have anyone up in my personal space. 

{As an aside, this is one of the things I love about Twitter, blogging, and social media in general: I can socialize till my heart’s content without having to wash my hands between conversations.  A life saver for neurotic little me.}

But, no.  I’ve thought about tweeting “Hugs”, and goodness knows sometimes people seriously could use a good squeeze when they are in the thick of something difficult.  But I go to type the word and *cringe* *hand wash*. 

Today, though, I gave my first twitter hug.  I couldn’t even type the word “Hugs” like a normal person.  I had to type out “Sending you a huge virtual hug!” and I’m pretty sure that on twitter, wasting all that character space is probably against the law. 

Any minute now, the twitter police are going to pop up and revoke my account.

And then where will I be?  Lost and drifting, alone in cyber space with no one to tweet me “Hugs”.

Withdrawal from Lexapro: Part 1


Disclaimer: This post is long.  Mainly because I was a wimp and didn’t post the first part last week, as I should have.  So, two posts in one = long ass post.

Nine months ago, I was suffering from depression and anxiety so severe, I felt as though I was struggling to live my life from the bottom of a deep hole.

Fortunately, I have a wonderful doctor who gently suggested that I try some medication, coupled with therapy. Just for a little while, just to make it so that I could put one foot in front of the other without feeling completely overwhelmed.

The plan, initially, was for me to start with 10mg of Lexapro and re-evaluate my situation in nine months. I have no doubt that Lexapro saved me from myself. Because of it, I was able to function, to interact with people, to care for my kids in a manner that was acceptable to me.

However… for the past few months, the side effects from the Lexapro have been outweighing the benefits. I feel myself walking through a constant fog of apathy accentuated with days of extreme sadness. Every single aspect of my life feels overwhelming, and yet I have no energy or desire to tackle even the smallest item on my to-do list. No matter what I eat, or how little I eat, I gain an average of 2-3 pounds per week. Even worse, my body fat percentage jumped six percent in four weeks.

I complain, constantly, and can’t see the sunshine in my life, even as it blinds me.

Four weeks ago, I decided that I need to either up my dosage of Lexapro, or kick it to the curb.

Me? I choose to reclaim my life, and quit the meds with a plan in place, a safety net, and my therapist on speed-dial.

———

I wrote that last week. I never published it, because I wasn’t sure I would go through with it. I had little confidence in my ability to swallow that last pill and walk away.

But today? Today is day four without my meds. Today I feel amazing. Today I feel as though the fog is lifting and I can see my surroundings for the first time in a very, very long time.

And, bonus – my body fat has already dropped 2% with no exercise what-so-ever.  Unless wearing my Sketchers Shape-Ups while sitting on the couch reading People Magazine counts as exercise.  Doubtful.

I have experienced some negative side-effects from Lexapro Withdrawal so far. The worst, for me, is the vertigo and the muscle cramps. I have also experienced some brain zaps, a racing heart, and short bouts of rage and crying.  But I know they are temporary. And thanks to an amazing therapist and an incredible book, I know how to fight them and an even mor

My saving grace has been the book Depression Free, Naturally, written by Joan Mathews Larson, PH.D. who works in conjunction with the Health Recovery Center.  My friend Kelly, who is familiar with my struggles, recommended I read this book.

By the way, Kelly – I owe you, big time. This book helped me to create a plan for myself, not only for the days and weeks following my last dosage of Lexapro, but for keeping myself mentally and hormonally healthy for the rest of my life.

Currently, to combat the horrid side effects of Lexapro Withdrawal, I am taking the following supplements:

Breakfast:
3 – Amino Acid Combos
1 – B Vitamin Complex
1 – Omega 3
1 – Magnesium
1 – Chewable Vit. C

Lunch:
1 – B Vitamin Complex
3 – Amino Acid Combos
1 – Iron
1 – Zinc

After Dinner:
3 – Amino Acid Combos
1 – B Vitamin Complex
1 – Chewable Vit. C
2 – Tryptophan

And, when I need it for anxiety, I’m taking Hyland’s Nerve Tonic.

I know that seems like a lot, and it is! But without these, my symptoms would be much, much worse. Based on my research, the symptoms of Lexapro Withdrawal can be so severe that normally sane people contemplate suicide, hear voices, and go without sleep for weeks at a time. I didn’t want that to be me.


In fact, the first night I took the Tryptophan, I had a good night of sleep for the first time in nearly ten years. It is my new best friend.


The next few weeks will be rough, I know that. But I am so excited about the future. I am incredibly happy to start getting to know my true self again, and to introduce her to all of you.


Thank you for supporting me as I navigate the journey that is my life – it means so very much to me.