human, being

Cold Turkey, part 2
June 4, 2009, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Depression | Tags: , ,

End of day 1 of cold turkey and the only thing I have to say is:

why the hell didn’t I do this in the first place?

I was a little nauseous this morning and I’m pretty tired, but otherwise, no crazy, shaky, angry freakout for the first time in four days.

I actually feel pretty much like myself.



Cold turkey
June 4, 2009, 8:45 am
Filed under: Depression, Health | Tags: , , , ,

After four hellish days trying to “taper” off of the Wellbutrin 150 XL I’ve been taking since December (and after another anxiety attack on Saturday), I’ve decided to go cold turkey. I’m convinced that the side effects I’ve been experiencing (email me if you want the password to yesterday’s post) are due to the fact that the buproprion (generic) 75 mg is a different drug than the buproprion XL. And since the tapering is supposed to make me feel BETTER and it’s actually made my life a living hell, I’d rather have the flu-like symptoms of cold-turkey buproprion withdrawal than what I’ve experienced for the past four days.

I should have taken my pill 2 hours ago, and already I’m achy, nauseous and have a tremendous headache. I also feel exhausted, despite actually sleeping for 7 hours last night.

However,about the time I’d reach the crazy, crying, pulling-out-my-hair anxious phase of metabolizing the 75 mg version, I have to be art-directing a photo shoot. No guarantee that I won’t go there today. I hope not (but if I do, I have an Atavan in my pocket and I won’t be afraid to use it). I hope I can say I’m just a bit under the weather today and leave it at that.

This whole experience makes me question using this drug again next winter, even though when it was good, it was fucking awesome.

I’ve had a few “readers” tell me to be careful of addiction over the past two years. I’d look at them quizzically because I don’t use street drugs and I hardly drink. Now I know what they were seeing: this addiction, this withdrawal. I hate it when they’re right about the bad things too.

Protected: Buproprion taper from hell
June 3, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Depression | Tags: , , , ,

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34 inches

On Saturday, I was looking for feminine hygiene products in my bathroom cabinets and stumbled upon my measuring tape. It was tucked in next to my flab pincher–aka body fat measuring/torture device–in the corner of a cabinet.

I hadn’t taken my measurements since last June, when Steve and I went to see the trainer I’d been working with to get in shape for my 21st high school reunion trip to Vegas. When I started working with him in March 2008, my body fat was about 30 percent and my waist was 31.5 inches. At the June check-in, my body fat was down to 29 percent and my waist was 31 inches. Victory, albeit small. Blame the fucking Mirena.

He gave me the calipers and measuring tape when I told him I had to quit him because money got tight. I only used them once, last fall, and I was so disgusted I threw the instruments into the back of the cabinet. I was in the middle of my Mirena meltdown, when I was so bloated that my waist measured 36.5 inches. That’s a pregnant measurement, I tell you!

I’m still dealing with some bloating issues even with the Mirena gone, but if last fall was a 10/10 on the bloat scale, this spring has been about a 5. However, I haven’t had much luck shrinking my waist. I know–no such thing as targeted weight loss. The size of my ass proves that.

On Saturday, I didn’t use the calipers. I was too scared. However, I did do measurements. I feel disgusted:


Seriously. Ugh.

It was enough to get me back on the “I’m working out 5 days a week” kick I’m now on. Saturday, I took a rather lame Pilates ball class then did interval training on the eliptical. Sunday, I did a 1-hour Nia class, despite having a major breakdown on Saturday night and drugging myself to sleep with clonapin (weaning myself off of Wellbutrin has not been fun. At all.). Last night, I went to my salsa rehearsal class. We danced for about 40 minutes of the hour, and I broke a sweat, so I think it counts. And despite feeling like shit–I feel like I have the flu, all achy, nauseous, tired and with horrible ringing in my ears as I step down from 150 mg to 75mg to nothing–I am poised to go lift upper body and do 30 minutes of cardio tonight.

The Wellbutrin withdrawal has killed my appetite somewhat. I doubt I’m eating 1500 calories. Food just doesn’t sound good. In the back of my mind I’m hoping that the “anorexia effect” I’ve heard about will help me drop five pounds.

I can’t get over the fact that my waist is 34 inches. I mean, in the back of my mind, each day when I button up my size 12s and a bit of my belly flops over the waistband, I could tell I don’t have a 24-inch waist. But 34 inches? Seriously?

When I think about it, I feel hopeless. How in the hell am I going to get rid of this belly? Maybe this is the middle-age spread. Most of the women on my father’s side (whose body type I inherited) are bigger women. I SO wish I’d have inherited more than my mother’s smile and her family history of mental illness. She’s preternaturally skinny, and my half-brother and her mom are slim too. Damn you genetics!

Maybe I’ll never be skinny again. I’d be so happy if I can get my waist down to 30 inches. My ass usually shrinks in proportion, so I’d be more like 40/30/40, which is a nice curvy proportion for a 40-year-old mother of one, right?

And then I’d get lipo.


Or maybe not joking.

Days of Grace: 81-84/365
May 26, 2009, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Days of Grace, Depression, Fitness, love and relationships | Tags:
  1. a four-day weekend
  2. with lots of time to myself
  3. sleeping … and sleeping some more … and taking naps
  4. while listening to the rain against the roof
  5. two very good massages
  6. epsom salts for post-massage soaks
  7. after a couple of months away from doing pushups, I can still knock out 40 in a workout (but on my knees, but 40 nonetheless)
  8. taking time to take care of myself
  9. new prescriptions that will allow me to step down off the Wellbutrin, which has been at the base of my anxiety, over the next 2 weeks
  10. the basement is clean and organized, thanks to a day of hard work between me and Steve
  11. the house is clean, thanks to another day of hard work between me and Steve
  12. the garden is prepped for annuals (thanks to another few hours of joint hard work)
  13. tons of rain, so the dirt will be easy to dig in
  14. Judi, my new therapist, who is already helping me make inroads using a technique called PSYCH-K
  15. Walking into my office today, forgetting that I left it spotless last Thursday. What a treat not to walk into a mess. I’ll have to keep it up somehow.
  16. Dinner with Lauren tonight
  17. A two-day extension of our open enrollment, otherwise I would be SOL on benefits in 2009-2010.
  18. A three-day break from the computer. I was becoming addicted.
  19. Bing cherries on sale at Sunflower for $1.69 a pound
  20. Reservations at a cute Santa Fe B&B in just 9 days, followed by 2 weeks of blissful vacation

Today, therapy
May 22, 2009, 9:35 am
Filed under: Depression | Tags: , , ,

Last night, I had a bizzare dream about the new therapist I’m seeing today. In the dream, she was a gypsy tarot reader/astrologer/psychic who came to my house, drew lines all over a piece of paper and told me this:

My love and my talent would soon converge because of the trine between Saturn, the Sun and Chiron in my chart. It was all destined to happen TODAY! Poof! In an INSTANT!

And then, she held out her hand, twitched her moley eye, and asked for 30 bucks. And THEN, my apartment dining room (in some apartment I’d never seen before) was filled with all these weird white-caftan-clad people who set down a bunch of food on the table and commenced eating.

There was also something about running and hiding from bad guys, as usual, but I can’t remember the details.

It all had something to do with the fact that I start seeing a new therapist today. She came recommended by Laurel, my best friend, as someone who is practical, who actually gives you tools for dealing with the things you aren’t handling well in your life. Sounds good to me. I hope I like her.

She’ll be about the 7th therapist I’ve had in my life. It’s hard to find someone I click with, who I can open up with beyond a certain point. Obviously, from what I share in my blog, I’m able to open up pretty well with a lot of people, but I think for therapy to really work, you have to be able to get into the dark recesses of your head and heart. Those places don’ get disclosed to many people.

I haven’t always been a bellybutton gazer. It’s a new avocation, as of about the time of my divorce. I started waking up to my pain in a new way, and started clearing some of it away to expose parts of me that I finally liked. Now, I love selfhelp, spirituality, therapy. But I don’t do it well alone. I need guides.

My last therapist, R, was very esoteric. I saw him for 9 months. He challenged me intellectually. He made me understand that I am that girl with her finger stuck in the dyke too afraid to step away, because there’s all this stuff (which I see as murky sewage) just beneath the surface that I’ve just barely holding back. He asked me, when I was working on my depression, what would happen if I just didn’t go to work on days when I felt like shit, if I just allowed myself to feel the bad stuff, to feel it instead of avoiding it.  He helped me see that I am afraid, and I long for things and experiences that I’m afraid to go after, and that is at the bottom of my pain. But at a certain point, I felt like I was just not getting it.

My therapist before that, S, was wonderful. She helped me through my divorce, and through some of my intermediate mommy issues. After a year,  I hit a wall that I couldn’t get over regarding forgiveness. Forgiving, yeah, that’s a big freaking deal. It means letting go of certain pieces of myself that have been part of my identity for a long time–the victim, the martyr, the wounded child. I wasn’t ready.

I don’t know what I’m ready for now. I do know that I’m committed to the work: I’ve set aside enough money in my flexible spending account to have one visit per week for the next year.

The past five months have sucked. The past three weeks, as my level of anxiety has escallated–I believe due to the combination of more than enough sunlight and 150mg of Wellbutrin XL/day–life has been almost unbearable. But today, I feel a bit better.

It’s a journey, this life. Some parts of the road will be ridden with highway robbers, storms, ruts, swamps. Others will take me to heights where everything is clear, and clean, and wonderful. I’m ready to start meeting the road as it rises before me.

PS I did meet with a psychiatrist on Tuesday, which was a highly frustrating experience. Essentially, she is unwilling to change my medication right now, even though she also suspects it’s what’s making my anxiety so high-pitched and my tolerance so thin. She “needs more information” from me. She thinks she may move me to the SR version of Wellbutrin, which I’d take 2x daily for a while, then titrite down to 1x daily and maybe get completely off of it . I get to see her again next Tuesday for more evaluation. The pace is frustrating. However, I haven’t needed a sedative to hold it together for 2 days now, so maybe last Friday’s freak out was just a release of everything I’d been holding in for the previous months. I do feel much lighter than I have for a long time.

Days of Grace: 78-365
May 20, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: Days of Grace, Depression | Tags:
  1. I got up this morning
  2. I took a shower
  3. I did my hair and makeup
  4. I put on my favorite new dress
  5. I came to work

Somedays, that’s all you can do. And it’s enough to be grateful for.