A month ago I started coming off medicine. I wanted to try life without it, as I’ve been on some kind of medicine for 3 years now. I’m hoping I will generally be more awake, more enthusiastic, better able to experience a range of emotions, and, well, get more of my sex drive back.
I spent over a month tapering down dose. Since I’ve been best balanced, chemically, on a specific dose of two specific pills, I thought it made the most sense to taper them down by equal percentages.
I didn’t tell my doctor. In fact my doctor thinks I’m going to start coming off medicine in a month. If I had been back in Toronto with my psychiatrist that I trusted and knew…he’d probably know all about it. The doctors and I here haven’t gotten along so fantastically, and it isn’t their fault, it’s their country’s bureaucracy and inflexibility, but nevertheless I don’t feel comfortable sharing with them. At all.
And you know what, when I told him I was going to finally decrease, he charmingly made several mistakes: 1) he did not make a follow up appointment with me, but told me to come back in if there was a problem. Right, like someone who is nervous about bothering people and doesn’t trust you anyway will come back to you. I’d rather go to emergency, frankly. 2) He didn’t tell me about any withdrawal symptoms. In fact he didn’t think I would have any!
Well BAM, I DO. And it’s freaking me out.
Everything in the scientific literature, and the reported and sketchy internet literature, says that stopping cold turkey is stupid. I know that. I’ve done it before, and not by choice. It was pretty crap. But honestly – I tapered from 100% to 75%, then to 50%, stayed on 50% for two full weeks, then down to 25%, staying on 25% for a week and a half, and then 0, as of a few days ago.
24 hours in – No problem! I even stayed up late working because I had the energy (and a deadline) and concentration.
36 hours in – crashed at 8pm and just slept for the rest of the night.
48 hours in – starting to have trouble concentrating; my thoughts were zooming around the room like trapped flies.
Now – ZAP. Zap ZAP zap. Shivers. Shakes. Trembling. Adrenaline. My body is a fizzing bomb of sensitivity. I can feel my own heart beat. I get dizzy when I turn around. EVERYTHING is funny. But when I laugh I want to cry. I feel like I have pins and needles, alternating with zaps of some bizarre electrochemical pulse in the vicinity of my spine. I feel like I’m high. I’m getting random muscle cramps, tiny knots of sore, pinching feelings, like a Charlie horse for one set of about 20 cells.
What is going on? I did what I was supposed to! I took awhile to taper down! I was worried that if I took too much longer, my depressive symptoms would actually get worse!
Guhhh, there goes a shock in my rib cage. This is profoundly uncomfortable, and I can’t even say why. It’s like being in a car when you go over bumps and you get that flip stomach feeling of being on a roller coaster. ‘Whoop-de-doos’ my brother and I called them, when we were little. That feeling of shivering excitement and a pseudo-pleasant nausea is fun for brief periods. But it’s wearing very, very thin. I would really fancy ceasing this now. I have massive deadlines on Monday, and I am getting on a plane on Wednesday. I am probably going to scream on the plane if I still feel like this.
Oh God. I just realized I have to go ride my bike now. I have a meeting. Here’s hoping I don’t crash from giggling while simultaneously crying too much. Buzz buzz. Zap. Shiver. A veritable musical score of electricity.
I hope this is all worth it.