Friday, July 29, 2011

One more chance

I woke up feeling better, and I decided not to start Cymbalta just yet. This decision evolved into resolution by the end of the morning and I even took the medication back to the pharmacy, but it turns out I can't return it. Fine, I'll still not take it just yet.

I want another week; another cycle trying to get pregnant; another month. I want to break my own record of 5 months off medication for once. I don't know what it is like to spend a whole season without antidepressants since 2004.

I don't want to go back to having uncomfortable side effects such as trouble sleeping and night sweats. I don't want to find out if Cymbalta will make my anxiety worse, just like Paxil did in the past.

I want to fight back and take control of myself. I promise I'll take the meds if I have another crisis, but right now I need another chance being 'just myself', without the aid of a mood elevator.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomorrow is another day

I had a good morning. No shaking, no throwing up. I was able to drink smoothies in the morning, and eat salad and soup for lunch. Yet, I feel this despair that has no explanation. All the stores and markets I went to with my parents remind me of them. I walked into Whole Foods at noon to grab some soup and felt an overwhelming sadness, because the last time I had been there, I had my parents here with me. Yesterday, when my husband and I went to Costco, it was the same thing. I walked in and remembered my parents, and felt sad, sad, sad. It is almost like I've lost them, even though they're safe and sound back home to their routine, their jobs, their house. It is like I'm going through the whole grief of moving away from them again.

I wish I had told them more how much they meant to me. Of course I can call them and let them know right now. So why am I so sad? Well, I think I'm depressed. There's no other explanation.

I talked to my doctor this afternoon and he recommends that I start the new antidepressant tomorrow morning. I still need to go pick it up at the pharmacy today.

I used to be able to write away all my sadness in poetry. I have written hundreds of poems in Portuguese, my mother tongue. I've written dozens in English too. Now I feel I'm at a loss. I don't have the motivation to write other than what I'm writing here. So that's all I'm doing now. Writing this blog, hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Going back to meds

Today it's been 3 months I'm off antidepressants. Today I also had a miserable morning throwing up and shaking with uncontrollable anxiety. I had Odwalla smoothies all day long, because I couldn't eat anything solid. I had soup for dinner, finally. I also agreed with my doctor, whom I saw this afternoon, that I need to get back on meds.

I feel defeated. I feel a failure. My husband says I set my expectations too high. He may be right, but it still hurts to realize 3 months was all I could handle off meds.

I took my parents to the airport for their flight back home yesterday. We left at 7am. I stayed in the airport watching them go through security, holding back my tears, feeling guilty for not having enjoyed their presence more. I wish I had been more affectionate, more pleasing, more everything. So I got back home from the airport  near 9am and started feeling sick of my stomach. I threw up, went back to bed, and tried to rest. I got out of bed at around 11am and spent the day cleaning and crying. I mostly drank smoothies and yogurt, for I was already having the beginning of what was today a full blown anxiety attack.

I don't know the name of the medication I'll be taking but it won't be Effexor. It will be a sort of fast-acting antidepressant, easier to get off than Effexor. I'll pick it up at the pharmacy tomorrow. My doctor says I can still get pregnant, and as soon as I do, we'll take me out of the meds. I haven't really thought much about it. I still wish to start a family, but right now all I can think of is getting physically better. No shaking, no nausea, no vomiting. Those are my goals right now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's classic depression, with a huge amount of anxiety

Something snapped. Something, deep inside, stirred the waters and brought anxiety back. I didn't even ovulate this month. I kept taking the ovulation tests in the morning, waiting for the happy face in the digital screen to indicate the LH surge; I got nothing, day after day after day, and anxiety built up to the point I was throwing up.

I thought having my parents here would bring great happiness; it brought worries and absurd concerns to my mind instead. We left for a long road trip on July 8 and I was sick like a dog, not being able to eat and throwing up anything that I had in my stomach. I tried hiding it the days before, but there was no way to hide it anymore. I barely enjoyed our trip. We went to LA, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Yosemite National Park, all in 9 days and nights. I was sick for 4 days, which is the usual amount of time it takes for my body to slow down the tremendous amount of anxiety I feel.

Now it's almost time for my parents to go back home and I feel guilty I didn't enjoy their company enough. We're spending this weekend in town and then they're gone on Monday. Three weeks, all gone.

I talked to my therapist yesterday and she says my symptoms point to the classic case of depression, but with a huge amount of anxiety. I am not happy, that's no surprise. I feel resentful, ungrateful, negative, fearful; I feel I navigate through my days as a dead weight that just floats around doing things, but I am not engaged. My feelings are not there; my heart is not there. There is no hope, no goal, no direction; I have no pleasure in life, no satisfaction.

I had a long talk with my husband and questioned my being off medication. Is it worth it? All this pain, all this sickness? Should we really have a baby? It's been three months off meds - and three months trying to conceive. And what if I get really sick of mys stomach and anxious like I've got before while I'm pregnant? Isn't it going to be really bad for the baby? What are the pros and cons of all this?

I have no answers. I'm hanging in there, but my strength is failing me. I want that once-a-day pill that made it all easier; that tiny bundle of chemicals that makes my serotonin go where it is supposed to go; I want to stop over reacting, over worrying, over fearing. I want to be freed of my self destruction. I want so many things but I know I need to try to cope. Cope, cope, cope. Cope until I'm suicidal again? Until I've lost 10 pounds and people start asking me questions? When do I say it is enough?

My husband thinks I can try being off meds a little longer. I tend to agree. I can always be on meds again. It is painful, though. It is very painful. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, I guess. I'm depressed again and I'm trying to cope without meds. That's pretty freaking hard, and anyone who's suffered from depression knows it. To top it off, there is a lot of anxiety too. It seems I got 'lucky' with my gene pool, which brings me another question: do I want to pass those genes on to another generation? I don't know anymore.