Adjustments

I started getting lost in my head again. My body wasn’t cooperating with my brain. I was slipping back to the before. The weight of days were becoming heavier and heavier. 

The doctor told me it would take about two weeks for the zoloft to even out in my system. The first few days went really well, the second week continued the upswing, the third week began to plateau exactly as expected.

Then I started feeling anxiety like I’d felt four years ago when I was first diagnosed. It wasn’t a full blow panic, but it was a persistent and rising hum of being unable to catch my breath, dizziness, chest pressure, and racing thoughts. I took half of my xanax after two days of researching whether or not it was okay to take the xanax with the zoloft (of course it is, the doctor even mentioned that in the initial appointment). I found relief from the anxiety, and the next day I spent the entire day on the couch watching netflix and barely speaking a word. I looked around at everything that needed to be done and said “Fuck it. I don’t care.” I figured I was just having an off day since things had been going mostly okay.

A few days later the anxiety was back with a vengeance, threatening a crescendo into a full blown panic. I took another half of my xanax before bed. The next day felt like I hadn’t even been on zoloft for almost a month. I waited another day to see if things would even out. I felt a little more buoyant, but still as if I was trudging through quicksand.

Time to call the doctor.

I went in yesterday with all my nervous anxiety that had returned–which was probably the only thing keeping me from sinking in the metaphorical mud, and left with a klonopin prescription and double the zoloft dose.

“How do you feel about that?” my friend Alicia asked.

“I think it makes for great ‘crazy meds’ jokes…”

I don’t know why but klonopin sounds way scarier than xanax, and I can just see the look on someone’s face when the topic of mental health comes up and I casually and self-deprecatingly toss out “Oh yeah, I’m on zoloft and klonopin.” There’s something uncomfortable and hilarious about catching someone trying to hide their immediate expression of shock that I’m on something so scary sounding or that flash of judgment, disgust, and fear…at least to me, but that could be the meds. 

Today is the first day of the double dose zoloft. It’s been a pretty good day. I feel like maybe this is what real life is supposed to feel like. Maybe I’m actually supposed to laugh at stuff and not have one single thing ruin my entire mood or send me into a giant spiral of hopelessness and frustration. I dunno, but I’m hopeful…dare I say even cheerful! Fingers crossed this is how it’s supposed to be!

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3am Anxiety and Expectancy Theory

Note to self: Remember to take your meds. 3am panics can be great writing material, but you will be miserable the next day.

It’s a strange thing to wake up feeling like someone just knocked the wind out of you, then realizing you are breathing normally, your brain just wants to torment you.

First I went through the social anxiety list. Mulling over every single personal interaction I’ve had in the last week or so to see how well I can weather the punches I throw at myself. Did I say something stupid? Did I forget something important? Should I have spoken up when someone said something that annoyed me? Would speaking up have changed anything? Was I really annoyed enough to speak up knowing there’s always the possibility of an unknown and possibly unseemly reaction?

Things that keep me up in the wee hours of the morning: Expectancy Theory.

Or more simplified effort vs reward. Is the effort I put in to a thing (idea, relationship, activity) worth the level of satisfaction and/or the reward for that effort.

This probably happened because of a discussion I had about how much I love cheese and how much I dislike booty dimples, but my love for cheese is greater than my desire to work out. 

Unfortunately, this little life-choice brain-game I do can keep me awake for hours exploring the infinite possibilities of all of the things I want to do, all of the people I could possibly develop friendships with, and all the activity that doesn’t involve being on my couch with puppies and my entertainment of choice, the effort it takes to achieve them, and then accounting for variables such as lengthy depressive episodes, catastrophic events, and unknown unknowns.

My brain at night

My brain at night

Last night it felt like hours and hours had gone by and my brain just wouldn’t stop. Like I was on the edge of a cliff and repeating over and over and over again the things I needed to do to keep from letting go.

I need to let go.

Letting go is necessary. Difficult, but necessary. It’s infuriating to realize my default setting is to think my way through everything, but I feel unable to take action. Every new thought is a new muscle tensed, every new possibility is another jaw clench. Then I realize my entire body is trembling and I will never get back to sleep.

It took immense concentration, but slowly, deliberately, I consciously relaxed every muscle in my body starting with my toes, I breathed deeply, I reminded myself it’s okay to let go, I’ll only fall asleep, not into a great chasm of helpless despair…only sleep, it’s okay. Wiggle toes, relax jaw, stretch shoulders, breathe, let go, fall.

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