Thursday, December 16, 2010

A surprise birthday party followed by a meltdown

It was supposed to be a Christmas party a friend of mine was throwing at her place. She asked me to bring a couple of grape Martinelli's. I told my husband about it and he replied with a "oh, nice". December 12 came and we went to the party that ended up being my surprise birthday party, organized by my husband and friends. I wasn't really expecting it at all, so it was very very special.

I'm officially 30 years old now. The party mode has been replaced by a mix of feelings that may be the result of my medication reduction, and/or the fact that it's been a year I visited my home country (so homesickness), my turning 30 being away from my family, the holiday season approaching and bringing the sense of family, which only enhances how much I'm missing mine.

My emotions are out there in the open, for everyone to see. It may be good, at times, to be so expressive about the way one feels, but it is not a good thing when it makes one look weak and vulnerable.
Today, for instance, I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. I remember I used to laugh at some of my mother's friends who cried after watching some silly cartoons. Now look at me! Andy goes to college and I cry seeing Woddy and Buzz wave good bye?? What is wrong with me?!

Perhaps I know it, and it is what I feared the most. I realized, yesterday, that I haven't been out of medication for longer than 5 months at a time since I got depressed, in 2004. It's been 4 years I'm on Effexor XR taking the same dosage every single day. I've just started to reduce it - I'm still taking 2/3 of the full dosage - and I'm feeling all emotional?
I hope I'm wrong. I don't want to give up before I have tried to be completely off meds at least for a month or two (so that I can try to get pregnant). Of course I don't want to be depressed while I'm expecting, and my doctor will not prescribe medication if I'm pregnant, so I understand the risks I'm taking by doing the reduction now.
I would like to make it clear that I am not reducing my medication on my own - my doctor is the one deciding how many milligrams to cut each time. I've gone through this before; twice, actually. I usually feel very dizzy when I'm down to the minimum dosage (37,5 mg), but it goes away as the weeks go by. Right now I'm still taking 150mg out of  the full dosage of 225mg, and my doctor and I hope I'll be completely off meds by the end of February.

I've always tried to feel positive about my future. When we decided it was time to try to have a baby, I knew it would require stopping my meds, and I was very hopeful everything would go smooth. Even now, when I feel I'm having mood swings, crying while watching cartoons, and feeling nostalgic about turning 30, I'm trying to stay positive and avoid thoughts of defeat. I know I'll need to be strong; I know I can have a relapse; I know a child will require an immense amount of dedication, time, and love from me. But you know what? I've never felt so ready in my life like I feel now. So I need to shake the dust off my yoga mat and focus on my practice, do my meditation, my prayers, and trust my serotonin will work well enough without the help of my long-time friend 'venlafaxine'.

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