Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'm better. Things are better. I'm eating well and haven't had nausea in two days. There's hope. There is always hope. I'm back on Venlafaxine, of course, and will have to be more careful when I stop. It has to be slower, much slower. I'm taking two herbs that help ease anxiety - Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha. They've done wonders.
Am I sad? Of course I am. I thought I would be trying to get pregnant by now. I had so many plans. The baby would be born in January. My mother, who will be here in July, would go to the 16 week ultrasound with me. We would find out the baby's gender, it would be beautiful. Instead, I am still taking a drug that can be harmful during pregnancy, therefore I am not getting pregnant. At least not for the time being.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


According to the 'Lululemon Athletica' manifesto, life is full of setbacks, and it is how we cope with them that decides our success in life. Shortly after I wrote the previous post, I started feeling very sick of my stomach. I also started feeling very anxious. I had been off the meds for 3 days.  Of course now I'm back on Venlafaxine, which seems to have helped the anxiety go down.

I somehow feared the possibility of having an anxiety crisis some time after stopping Venlafaxine, but I never imagined it would come so quick, only three days. I also realize I was having a horrible, horrible week, full of worries, some accidents, and even my computer stopped working. Almost like an astrological 'inferno'. It seems my stopping venlafaxine came at a very bad week.

Overall, all of this means I'm not going to be able to get pregnant for a while, at least until I am stable enough to try to reduce the meds again. Such a bummer :-(

Friday, March 11, 2011


Last night I dreamed I was somewhere near the beach. It was so warm and nice, and I could see the ocean waves breaking against the sand. Then everything around me changed, like it happens in dreams, and I'm inside a building. I get in the elevator to do downstairs. The metal doors close in front of me and the elevator walls shrink so much they can almost touch the sides of my body. The elevator starts moving down and stops shortly after. I know something is wrong. I haven't reached the first floor yet. I try to force the doors open using my fingers, but they don't open. I start to bang at the doors and shout for help. I search for the emergency button and press it several times. I feel trapped inside a metal box. I'm feeling claustrophobic and it is horrible, horrible, horrible. I step back the most I can (2, 3 steps?) and try to visualize I'm inside a supermarket with long high aisles, very high ceilings full of fluorescent lights. Somebody outside the elevator talks to me. They say they're working on fixing it so that I can get out. I tell them they better hurry, or I'll go crazy inside such a tiny room. I tell them I'm trying to calm myself by imagining the supermarket aisles.

They get me out (I don't remember exactly how) and one of the people outside tells me she thought it was funny how I used the image of supermarket aisles to try to trick my mind out of the claustrophobic situation I was in.

I'm not sure what to make of this dream. I was terrified of elevators when I was a child. Even if my parents were with me, I would not get in. We would have to climb the stairs. I grew out of it eventually, and nowadays I have no problems with elevators  - or so it seems.

Am I feeling trapped? Is my mind trying to find ways for my body to cope with the lack of medication? Am I scared? Well, it seems so, but I was able to avoid having a major breakdown inside the elevator. It was a horrible horrible time, though, and I was relieved it was just a dream. What could this all mean? Perhaps my question is, without medication, am I going to make it?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When pain does not go away

It still hurts
Even though time has passed
Wasn't time supposed to heal any pain?

But pain
does not always go away
In spite of time
Or wisdom acquired
or forgiveness granted
Sometimes pain
and decides to stay
for good.

Pain is not
always bad.
for it reminds us we're human
it connects us with our feelings
it softens our hearts
towards others
whose burden may be much heavier
much harder
to carry.

The Buddhists say
Life is suffering.
I'm no Buddhist
but I tend to agree.

And while I despise my suffering
I know this pain
has made me stronger
than my older self.
I know I broke down
but I have risen
and built a greater me
from the broken pieces.
I embrace you, Pain
you've strengthened me.
I embrace you, suffering.
you've made me wiser.
I embrace you, fear.
You've reminded me I can be vulnerable
and it is okay
not to be perfect
not to be always good
not to be what others want me
to be.

I embrace who I am - my whole self
all my flaws
all my shortcomings
all my insecurities
all that makes me this being
who knows pain
also means
I'm alive.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We have it easy

I follow this blog about a young American volunteering in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amy helps rape victims through a non-profit organization called COPERMA. Her most recent post is about a visit she did to an orphanage. Some of those children have been adopted by American families, and unfortunately all of them reported being sexually abused. Her description of what she saw there - the way the children were underweight, had  a zombie-like gaze and were like dolls with barely any sign of life - like bodies separated from their souls - made my stomach turn in disgust. I realized how I've had it 'easy' my whole life, in spite of my illness, in spite of my anxiety attacks, my difficult time getting off my medication, my 'demanding parents', my perfectionism... what is it all to compare to what those children have endured in their short existences?

It breaks my heart to think that little beings who are barely starting to become 'persons' have to suffer such violence against their bodies and their emotions. I know it is in Congo, but we know it happens everywhere. It happens here in California. It's happened with children who go to the government daycare units in Brazil. My mother, who has worked in public education in my home country for her whole life told us about it - about how the teachers find out the children are being sexually abused or exposed to inappropriate behavior by their parents/caregivers. Usually, some of the children will try to perform the same actions they've seen/suffered at home to the other children in the day care, mostly during nap time. Then the teachers inform social services, and the social workers have to visit those children's families to investigate what might be happening.

This world seems to be so full of wicked wicked men. How could they hurt a child? And sexually abuse a child? Why does pedophilia even exist? Who was the first human being who decided that engaging in sexual acts with a 3 year-old was something agreeable to start with?

I know I sound like one of those people who are in complete disagreement with the world. These are things I cannot control. They almost do not affect me. I have no children of my own; nobody in my extended family has been sexually abused; none of my friends' children has suffered either. Why do I care so much? Well, perhaps it is because such horrible horrible acts make my very own existence seem too easy. I've had it easy here... I wish I could say more, and yet, all I can do to help right now is to donate to Coperma so that Amy can try to reach out to those children.

Visit Amy's blog.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Turning Point

I've been so busy I haven't taken the time to update this blog at all. Nevertheless, I've continued to decrease Venlafaxine and am now down to 75mg/day. I'll be stopping completely in about 20-25 days. Once I'm off the meds, my doctor told me to wait 2 weeks before I start trying to conceive. Venlafaxine has a half-life of about 7 days, so 2 weeks should be enough to guarantee I'll have no antidepressants in my system when the miracle of life begins inside me. I have to say, I CAN'T wait!