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!


Cautiously Optimistic

I’ve been making a lot of “crazy meds” jokes with people who are aware of my situation. I don’t think they find it as funny as I do. I can’t tell if it’s awkward like making a joke at a funeral and no one knows it’s okay to laugh, or a “this is a serious thing, why are you joking?”

Honestly, I don’t know that I care. I see a returning sense of humor as an improvement. It feels good to laugh again.

Sorry, not sorry.

Sorry, not sorry.

It’s been five days on the Zoloft now, and I don’t want to jump to conclusions or anything, but this stuff is pretty great. The first day I was a little loopy, but in a good way. My husband even mentioned how nice it was to see me smiling. Mostly, it’s been feeling like I’m hovering just above the abyss of depression, which is pretty amazing after feeling like I’ve been drowning in that abyss for so long.

It really does feel like I’ve been thrown a life raft.

The only downside I’m seeing is I’m kind of indifferent to some things. Which isn’t bad in some cases–like seeing the articles about the giant earthquake predicted to hit the pacific north west or the mini-ice age prediction for 2030–which normally would have sent me into a tailspin of despair and hopelessness. I do worry the zoloft might inhibit my capacity for deeply feeling the things I want to feel or are accustomed to feeling, but if that does happen, I don’t think it will happen for long.

I’m more focused though. I’m less anxious about incomplete tasks. I’m more forgiving of myself. I’m better at positive self-talk. I feel like I can breathe again. I have a desire to move and do things and be a real person.

It’s pretty great so far. It’s a little up and down in some places, but it’s much easier to get back up.

It’s supposed to take about two weeks to even out and my dosage goes up the day after tomorrow, so we will see what happens.